Don and his daughter Kristy had the amazing opportunity to travel to Bolivia! After arriving in San Cruz, Bolivia and picked up by our gracious host Ney Lopez we settled in to Ney’s place in San Cruz and got a need nap to recuperate for the red-eye flight and jet-lag. The very next morning we were back to the airport to fly to Salar de Uyuni to begin our adventure of the Andes mountains. For 3 day 2 nights we would travel over 550 miles in the rugged terrain of the Andes.
We went through the Siloli Desert and visit the caves on the Island of Incahuasi, which are covered with Stone Tree (cactus) which grow 2 CM a year (some are 1,700 years old) in temperatures of zero to 40° degrees Fahrenheit at an elevation of 14,000 feet. We then watched a beautiful sunset from the desert, after which we checked into our night accommodations, which were basic, with no heat in 24° temperatures with winds gusting fiercely.
Then we traveled Salt flats which is a dyed-up Sea bed from the volcanic eruptions, which form the Andes mountains. Here we road bikes 3 miles to the Salt Flats hotel and did some creative optical illusion funny pictures.
On day one, starting at 12,004 feet elevation we continued to 15,100 feet elevation in the western Andes mountains of Bolivia. First stop was to visit the train cemetery of 1,800's which carried the mining of gold, silver and cooper.
Day two began at 6:30 AM, due to the fact that the winds were gusting over 100 miles per hour and we would have to travel 12 hours to reach our final destination, over rugged terrain, often without any defined roads. We visit a volcano and beautiful lakes which were colored by the associated minerals of either, copper, algae or arsenic. We visit gazers at temperatures of 440°F at an altitude of 15,100 feet. I found it extremely difficult to breath at these elevations and needed oxygen. For our night accommodations, we stayed at very primitive communal rooms with gravel floors and no electric, in 24° temperatures with a wind-chill will below zero. God used a young lady (Victoria) in our group, from London England, to appeal on my behalf to get a generator for electric, so I could use my c-pack machine for breathing, this was a “life-saver.”
Day three we departed at 7:15 AM. We visit the Dali desert, the Green Lake, the Red Lake, once again because of the minerals associated with it. We then had an opportunity to see the volcanic mountains that are the border between Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. From this line of volcanic mountain activity of thousands of years ago we witnessed this massive lava flow for miles and miles and miles, which was 30 feet high and a mile wide. At the end of our mountain adventure we spent the night in Uyuni before flying the next morning to the capital city of La Palca and then flying back to San Cruz.
Our last sightseeing adventure took us the ruins of the Fuerte de Samaipata.
An unusual and wondrous site, Samaipata contains both a magnificent rock sculpture and a tall hill, which is carved in detail. These are ancient religious settlements that once existed here, and provide more examples of how advanced the Inca people of the time were. Tucked into the feet of the Andes, Fuerte de Samaipata is a site that is incomparable to any other in the world, and has been a UNESCO site since 1998. The site is now generally considered to be a pre-Incan site, built by the Chané people, a pre-Inca culture of Arawak origin, who migrated from Guyana approximately 2,500 years ago. It is suggested that the first engravings at El Fuerte were undertaken during the Mojocoyas period (AD 200 – 800).
Our first ministry opportunity took us to Novo Transformational Community, which is a Christian drug/alcohol rehab center. We were warmly welcomed by both residents and staff. I taught on "Faith and the Imperative Commands of the New Covenant." Faith is the responsible choice of the Christian to derive all from God. A willingness to be receptive to God's activity of Grace.
What a privilege it was to visit and love the orphans of Talita Cumi Children’s home and the following day to teach the staff. This is truly a place of refuge for orphaned, abused, and abandoned children ages 4 to 18. Learn more about Talita Cumi Children's Home.
What a privilege to encourage these woman who tirelessly give themselves to work of the Lord in this needy endeavor on the topic of "Living the Christian Life...'The Christ-Life." The source of the Christian life is Jesus Christ, not our own efforts. John 15: 5 " Apart from Me (Jesus) you can do nothing."
Our next ministry opportunity was an enthusiastic group of adults who gather weekly at Ney’s home who were eager here my presentation on "A Biblical Perspective of Humanity."
A detailed explanation of the gospel message which explains God’s intended relationship with man.
Our last day in Bolivia provided the highlight of the trip, which was to preach the gospel of the Living Lord Jesus at Trinity International Church.
Learn more about Trinity International.
What a delight to experience this trip with my youngest daughter Kristy which afforded memories for a lifetime!
Monday, September 18, 2017