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  • Writer's pictureKen

When life is hard to describe...

Updated: May 31, 2020

Sometimes I find it hard to describe exactly what life feels like down here. Experiences begin to fall so far outside the norm that it’s difficult to find the words. Last fall, for example, when the entire country held a civil strike to resist our ex-president’s illegal election. I basically live streamed it, but still…it’s hard to describe what it actually feels like. The strangeness of it all.

And now our quarantine...

Bolivia has been under a strict, no going outside, quarantine for 55 days. We can’t leave…we can’t drive…no one has been allowed to work…

Well…unless, of course, you’re a delivery guy on a motorbike. Then you’re making a killing! Those guys are everywhere. It could be the end of the world, but we still need our chicken.

Our president has stated that the quarantine will be lifted at midnight on Sunday, but I’m sure there will still be a number of additional rules implemented. I think all that we’re all hoping for is that we can go outside for at least part of every day and hopefully be able to drive again.

I know this pandemic has been a struggle for the entire planet. There aren’t many who haven’t been affected. But in a country where many people live off of what they can earn that day, this quarantine has been beyond challenging. What little money people may have saved is gone and they’re struggling to provide even the basic necessities for their families.

We’ve been helping a few families, but we’re limited in what we can provide. We’re not set up to provide aid like some ministries, and not being able to drive has made it especially complicated. For us to help, someone from the family had to walk to our apartment. One fellow walked over nine kilometres each way to get $50 for groceries for the week.

There are six or seven families we’ve been giving money and supplies to though. Isabel being given permission to drive has helped somewhat. But for the most part I can’t go with her and she doesn’t know where these families live…so we’re still stuck. It’s definitely been frustrating.

A highlight from last week was finally being able to drive out to the family of shoe shiner kids I’ve talked about in the past. They live more or less on our side of the city, so I was able to go with Isabel and show her where they live. There was one funny moment when we passed a police checkpoint in the lane going the opposite direction. We had to do some entertaining, driving through random neighbourhoods on the way home to get past them. Ah…missionary life…

It was good to drop off groceries and money for the family. It was fun to see them and the littlest one always makes me smile. He seems quite interested in the gringo.

Please pray for these families. Even once things start to get up and running again, it will be difficult for them. They have rent to pay and groceries to buy and many won’t get paid until after the first month of being back at work. One of our past students owns a store that sells ceramic tiles. His is the family that is being strictly quarantined, because his brother was diagnosed with Covid. He’s worried about his business and how he’s going to pay his bills after not being open for two months. Even when things reopen next week, he still won’t be allowed out.

Well, that’s where things are these days. As with all of you, it’s a wait and see game at this point. We’ll know more soon. Thanks for taking the time to read this and to pray with us. We appreciate it.

On a more positive note…we bought $2 chickens off of a truck today. I'm pretty sure that's a record...

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Feb 11, 2021

You always find a way to help! I know we joked about the legacy comments but it’s really helping me keep perspective right now to re-read these. Thanks.

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