Category Archives: Bolivia

The land between

We’re making intentional plans these days to make room in our lives for short “memory making” trips to celebrate the time we have remaining together. One of our recent trips was to Guttenberg, Iowa where we stayed at a cabin generously loaned to us for the weekend by caring and loving friends. We enjoyed taking short walks and watching the boats navigate Lock 10, one of a “ladder” of 23 stair-stepping locks along the northern part of the mighty Mississippi River.

Whether it was a single motorboat or a 15-barge tow, we found it interesting to watch the boats navigate their way through the lock.  For each of them it was a transitional place from one part of their journey to another. And it was a time of waitin; the 15-barge tow took over 1 1/2 hours to make the passage. All were hauling cargo, whether it be the life of a single sailor or hundreds of thousands of bushels of corn and soy beans  the barges in particular sat lighter or deeper in the water according to the weight of their cargo. I found it fascinating to learn that one 15-barge tow, 1/4 mile long, could carry as much cargo as an 11 mile caravan of 870 semi-trucks, all in transition from one place to another.

Jeff Manion, author of the book, In The Land Between, uses the biblical story of the Israelites’ exodus out of Egypt and transition to the Promised Land as a metaphor for how we find ourselves in the undesired, transitional spaces of our lives.

You’ve been there. Whether it’s in a hospital waiting room, the “waiting room” while you wait for answers to desperate prayers, or the transition between houses and jobs, you know how heavy the weight of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety can feel on your shoulders; how it feels like you’re “low in the water” because of the burdens you carry

We continue to wait on the Lord regarding my health.  Will God perform a truly miraculous healing so we can pursue the desires of our heart to serve him in Bolivia – or WHEREVER he calls us? Or have these three and a half years of growing the GLOW ministries been the miracle he intended all along? If he desires me to come home now, I am ready and willing. Whatever brings him more glory. We are where you are or once have been: In between the land of what used to be and the land where we have not yet arrived.

Manion observes that the land in between is fertile ground for anxiety, fear and doubt to grow. We have a choice to accept and tolerate such unwelcome invaders or to combat them with the antidote of faith. It’s up to us to choose peace or anxiety, assurance or fear, truth or doubt. Each of these problems that interrupt and disrupt our lives are in fact an opportunity to trust God for his solution. That is the hope of our lives and the message of Go Light Our World, that the Lord Jesus is everything we desperately need.

If you’ve come to trust him with the eternal condition of your soul, can you trust him also for this very difficult transitional place in your place in “the land between?”

What we’ve experienced is a gracious and loving God who is ever-patient with us as we navigate the difficult transitional times of our own lives. Though we might think we have the capacity of a 15-barge tow to buoy the weight of our problems, nothing compares with the capacity of Jesus to carry the full weight of our heaviest burdens.

This is why we believe the truth of God’s Word that teaches me, whether I live or die, I WIN!  Cancer is a mighty foe but it doesn’t have the power to defeat who I am in Christ. I can trust the answers to prayer God has already arranged while I wait for them to be made known.

Whether I am completely healed and see the goodness of the Lord here in the land of the living, or in heaven, I rest in peace knowing I will be healed.

We all live in the land between this present life and our eternal one. Between this present problem and God’s future solution. What matters most, in fact the ONLY thing that counts, is that we live lives marked by faith that expresses itself through love.

Going home

There was a time long ago, when we left our home in the USA, and set up our new home in Australia. I was offered a job to teach music grades 7-12 in a small town school located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. They didn’t tell me until I arrived that I was the 6th music teacher in 6 years at this school. But through much perseverance I made my mark, elevating compulsory music education from being hated to being tolerated. One learns to accept what progress one can make. When six brass instruments surprisingly arrived by train from headquarters I, a woodwind guy, started a brass band. However badly we performed we could count on getting a “standing ovation” when we played “God Save the Queen.” Decades later I learned that little school band had grown in proficiency and toured Europe!

We lived in “Sherwood Cottage” in Burradoo, 3 miles from town. During school vacations we packed our Holden station wagon and hammer to keep the gear shift lever in place and we set off on grand adventures. From the tropics of Queensland to the chilly and rugged island of Tasmania; from the beaches at Botany Bay to the outback town of Broken Hill where we nursed orphaned kangaroo joeys, we experienced the “dinkum di” Aussie life. We explored opal and gold mining towns and enjoyed the diverse landscape of “the bush.” Despite the challenging work situation, we made wonderful lifelong friends and came to call the wonderful land of Oz our “home away from home.”

But at the end of my teaching contract and with our own little Aussie “Joey” in tow, we returned to our home in America. We enjoyed vacations in the Badlands and the Rockies but as much fun as we had, there was always a point where it was “time to go home.” There’s no place like home, that place where your is where your heart longs to be. It’s a place filled with celebrated love and shared burdens. When we went on mission to Bolivia, we had this strange and pervasive feeling that we had come “home to the place we’d never been before.” It’s where we belonged and where we long to return because of the people we met and how God was moving among us.

As much as we all cling to our own home sweet home, there is another place, more wonderful and exciting beyond imagination, that’s called our true home. If we think climbing volcanoes and feeding baby kangaroos is exciting, we’ll be blown away at how marvelous is this home where we’d never been before.

It’s open to all who realize how desperately they personally need God’s gift of eternal salvation and the transformational power for living right now with peace and joy and real hope. Heaven is our true home, the place of great everlasting blessing. And there’s a piece of “Heaven on earth” when we come quietly and humbly before the Lord our God and receive his blessing of grace and power for living a victorious life that rises above our darkest circumstances.

None of us know the time we have left in this earthly home. May God guide the time that remains. . . until we finally go to our forever home.

The rock in my shoe


Marcia and I love to take walks together. Only in recent months they have been short and slow. She is so patient to slow down for “me and my cane.” The other day, I picked up a rock in my shoe and as much as it irritated me, I knew it would take considerable effort for me to bend down and remove my shoe to get it out; I tire so very easily. So I kept walking with the rock in my shoe, pretending it wasn’t that big of a problem. But the longer I walked with the rock in my shoe, my pretending it didn’t matter became less and less convincing.

The minor ordeal caused me to think about other “rocks in my shoe” we sometimes tolerate. Like living with worry, regret, anxiety, fear, or doubt. Or criticizing or mocking others or a pessimistic attitude.  They’re all rocks in our shoes that limit the enjoyment of our spiritual walk. In fact, they can ruin a whole day grumbling and getting upset  over little things. But I wonder if we don’t mind the pain so much, because we don’t take the effort to remove them from our lives. It seems easier to react the way we always have reacted, forgetting – or denying – the power of God’s Spirit to transform our lives in such incredible ways!

Josias girlsOther rocks in our shoes may not seem to hurt us at all, but they cause pain to others. If a child complained of a rock in their shoe, you’d help them remove it, right? And yet our incessant focus on our own busy lives prevents us from noticing that others around us (and around the world) have rocks in their shoes they can’t remove – without our help. Rocks such as living on $2 per day, not having money to send children to school (cost of $1/day), not being able to provide a hot meal for a child ($1.25/day), or clean water (pennies per day). If you knew someone who endured these rocks in their shoes, you’d help them out.  I mean, which of us cannot afford $1/day or even 50 cents per day?

Feliz dia del ninosThis is how Go Light Our World works. We find children and adults in need, Quechua families in Bolivia. We know them by name and they know us. We’ve known one child for nearly 15 years, others for 5 years. GLOW helps them, often with no more than $1/day, to live a safe life, escape the cycle of poverty, and learn the hope of Jesus.

We invite you to help remove the rocks from the shoes of children at risk. Who knows, you might make a lifelong friend and find that your own walk is a little more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Go ahead – change someone’s world!

Learn more at:


GLOW Update March 2016

GLOW Update – March 2016

Everywhere you turn you see hurting people: in your neighborhood, your church, your workplace and across the globe. Some are close and others are “strangers” who Jesus calls “neighbors” we should love, especially those he calls “the least of these.” But you may ask, “What can I do to make a difference?”

starfishThere is an old story of a boy walking along a beach filled with stranded starfish. The boy picked one up and then another, tossing them back into the sea knowing they would otherwise perish. A man watching told him there were so many stranded starfish, he couldn’t possibly make a difference. Looking at a starfish in his hand, the boy tossed it into the water saying, “I made a difference for THAT one!”

GLOW is uniquely positioned to make a positive difference in the lives of hurting people. And your partnership with GLOW (through gifts and prayers) makes you an integral part of changing the world for hurting people, even “strangers” you don’t know. GLOW is organizationally small and nimble, working with missionary partners we know personally and trust. Accountability is high. Last year GLOW raised $14,200 and spent $14,237. No salaries, insurance plans, cars, or buildings. Just money in/money out – bringing the hope of Jesus to change the world for people in desperate situations, one at a time.

A 10-year-old boy in Bolivia has his first pair of new $12.50 leather shoes because a 10-year-old boy here gave his Christmas money.

Syrian refugees who were sleeping on the cold cement in Athens, Greece have warm sleeping bags from GLOW donors and the caring outreach of our ministry partner there.

Aleka with childrencrop -jpgBulgarian gypsy children have nutritious meals and Christian literacy tutors because GLOW donors care. 50 children now have their own native language Bulgarian bibles because many people donated $10 to GLOW.  We are preparing to fund the building of a kitchen & dining area this year to expand the outreach to orphans who have no other support.

Herminia etc with Aunt FranciscaFive Bolivian children (Roberto, Herminia, Deysi, her baby Lucas, and Sabina – pictured here with their Aunt Francisca) were recently abandoned by their mother and stepfather. They know us and remember us from when we first met and prayed with them four years ago. Gifts from GLOW purchased shoes and outfits and backpacks for each of them. Additional gifts have been received to provide for school supplies, tuition, medical care, and food. Even now as their Aunt has stepped up to care for the children your ongoing GLOW gifts continue to enrich their lives.

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6) That’s what your persistent prayers and gifts do. They express your faith through love to “the least of these,” people you don’t yet know.

We also want you to know we’ve made provisions for the gospel ministries of Go Light Our World to continue, regardless of Bryan’s health concerns.

By praying and giving you DO make a difference. Please continue to PRAY daily for:

Roberto, Herminia, Deysi, her baby Lucas, and Sabina, abandoned by their mother and now adopted by their aunt in rural Bolivia.

Tiffany, Roxana, Maria, Mariana, and Sony who lead the Bolivian ministry for children at risk.

Moises and Kely who work to strengthen godly families in Chile.

Aleka who ministers to outcast gypsies in Bulgaria and boldly shares the truth and love of Jesus with all she meets, even at risk to herself.

Andy who pastors a small church in a hard neighborhood in Gracemount (Edinburgh), Scotland and his wife Sarah in her difficult pregnancy. Please pray also for former drug addicts they know who are struggling to know that the hope of Jesus is real for them.

Larry who daily brings the real hope of Jesus to those in prison.Mark and Lyndsey who minister to the homeless in San Diego.

Dawn and Willy who teach people with little to trust in God who wants to richly bless them spiritually.

Chris and Candy who are adjusting to living in Africa so they can reach the Digo tribe. They are dealing with water shortages.

Gary and Cristen who boldly equip college students to get real with Jesus, live fully for Jesus and reach their teammates.

Marcia and Bryan and the GLOW board of directors as we seek God’s continued guidance in all of this, and for Bryan’s full health recovery.

Thank you to our monthly donors and one-time donors. Your investment is well-placed! It brings the hope of Jesus to unreached people through practical ministries including literacy, food, medicine and health.

If you want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, you can make your tax deductible gift to Go Light Our World by

Thank you for partnering with GLOW in giving and in prayer to make a real difference in the lives of hurting people!!

Without God we are lost, BUT GOD intervenes. GLOW is excited to write the phrase, “BUT GOD…” onto the pages of people’s lives!

Because lost people matter,

2016 Go Light Our World Board Members:

Bryan and Marcia Thayer         Chuck Jackson

Janet Johnson                             Dawn Neudahl

Mary Lothe                                 Kathy Trotter

Val Wagner

Greatnonprofits top rated status 2015

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When good desires become demands and idols


What was on your mind when you woke up this morning? When you laid your head on the pillow last night? Was it something you strongly desire or something you dread? Or perhaps an endless list of to-do items? Do your desires have to do with your expectation of others? It’s not unreasonable to have desires for good things, harmony and productivity between employers and workers, pastors and staff and church members, individuals and their friends, children and their parents and visa versa.


But problems beset us when desires become demands, and demands become idols in our lives. Idols? Yes , idols can rise up from good desires just as they can from ungodly ones. In placing demands on others that they change to our liking, it becomes an easy misstep to becoming our  brother’s judge. We can become so absorbed by doing good we fail to see if those deeds are actually ordained by God.


And so it might have been with our call to move to the Bolivian mission field, at least in our sense of timing. We still feel the call to support the CMA mission in Bolivia. But there are many ways to fulfill that call. After all, it’s his mission, not mine! I was reminded recently:

Sometimes God changes our plans, but never his purpose for us.


So, we had to surrender this to God. We put it on “Abraham’s Altar” realizing that God might accept our sacrifice or, like with Isaac, present an alternate sacrifice…serving him by living in Bolivia or by spending 2-3 months each each year or by some other God-directed means. Perhaps you have dreams and aspirations that seem God ordained. Offer them to God and be satisfied with whatever he brings about. His plans are always best. Act like you believe it!


How are you to know if your desires and ambitions are God designed or a product of your own desires for recognition or comfort? It always starts with honestly asking the Spirit to reveal the motives of your heart and mind:

What preoccupies my attention?

Ask yourself what I need to have to make me happy, satisfied and fulfilled?

What brings me the most frustration, regret, anger, or disappointment?


The Apostle Paul suffered some affliction, “a thorn in his side.” Three times he asked God to remove it. After that he resigned to accept the condition as part of God’s design for him.  Joni Tada Erickson sought a number of “faith healers” before coming to the same conclusion. Does God continue to reveal miracles today? I believe so. It might be an inexplainable healing like the removal of the last bit of cancer from my body.  Or it might be an irritating delay on a trip that kept you from being involved in a tragic accident had you not been delayed.


We can all imagine a great number of things that would bring us satisfaction. But consider this:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… Ephesians 3:20


Whatever your desire, our God is able to bless you even more than you ask or imagine. I’m asking for relief from ongoing pain for me and others I care for. I want to walk again. God might grant that. But even if he doesn’t, I will yet trust him – because he has something unimaginably better in mind, either in this life or the next.


Ask God for your heart’s desire in accordance to his generous and loving nature, but also trust him completely for his protection and provision for you. Ask him to reveal, even good desires that might become an idol in your life, and thus keep you from his very best.




It’s not too late to be a blessing!

Dear readers,

Three years and 975 blog posts later, we hope you are growing ever closer to the one true God who sees you where you are and loves you. These blogs are mostly memos to challenge ourselves, a journal of God’s goodness to us through these three difficult years through cancer and life threatening blood infections.


Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.

image imageThese same three years mark the birth and growth of the Go Light Our World (GLOW) nonprofit ministry. Originally focused on bringing practical expressions of God’s love to the most poor and outcast Quechuan people in Bolivia and the unreached Romani people in Bulgaria, we now also support vital gospel ministries in Corinth and Athens, Greece; in the poorest neighborhoods of urban Scotland; an outreach to the Digo people group in Kenya, and a number of missions in the USA to the homeless, people in prison, college students (USA and Puerto Rico) and those in New Orleans who don’t yet know Jesus and others beginning their faith journey with him.

Some of you already support GLOW in yearly or monthly donations. Thank you! You know your gifts go directly to the mission field, not to salaries, insurance plans, buildings or other admin costs. Your gifts have provided native language bibles to 100 people who were so excited to have a bible they can read!

You gave a little boy his first pair of leather shoes, medicine for a teenager who helps in the Josias program we support. You have literally clothed the naked and fed the hungry with nutritious meals and the hope Jesus offers. You have taught them to read and write – one has gone on to nursing school. You’ve visited “the least of these” in prison.

We continue to offer the free daily devotional blog to all. And we invite you, (no obligation), to consider supporting the GLOW ministries in 2016. A monthly recurring gift of just  25 cents per post ($6/month) provides a nutritious meal for 5 hungry children each month. 50 cents per blog  ($12/mimageonth) provides 144 meals over a yeaimager. One dollar per post ($24 per month) provides needed educational supplies and basic medicines where access to clean water is difficult.


We invite you to partner with us in 2016 in following Jesus when he said:


“In as much as you do this to the least of these you do it unto me.” – Matthew 25:40

Tax deductible gifts may be made online through PayPal or credit card: Go to OR by check to: “Go Light Our World” 1020 N 5th Ave W, Newton, IA 50208



Rejoice! Always rejoice in the Lord!

And there are three other ways to partner with GLOW that don’t cost a penny:

1.  Join us in regular prayer for GLOW and its recipients. Email us if you want to receive regular mission updates:

2: Simply press “Forward to a friend” or “Friend on Facebook” (bottom of this post) to others you think might be blessed by our daily message. Spread the light among your friends and build the GLOW community.


3.  Reimagead and write your own review of Go Light Our World at Great NonProfits:


We are blessed in order to bless others, to live simply so others can simply live.

Marcia and Bryan Thayer for Go Light Our World

Marcia and Bryan Thayer for Go Light Our World (at Mercy Hospital)

Thank you for prayerful consideration of partnering with GLOW.

It’s not too late for a one-time or recurring gift that begins in 2015 and continues bringing the light of Jesus to a dark and needy world in the new year!  Be blessed in your daily reading and in growing closer to God.



Day 63 Update – Thanksgiving


I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with friend and relatives. We have so VERY much for which to give thanks. Even on Day 63 at Mercy hospital, dealing more with the painful blood infection than the cancer, we celebrate:

  • My blood counts are rising or holding their own, which is necessary to fight this tenacious infection and become free of need for blood infusions.
  • No fevers!
  • About 12 of the worst skin lesions are starting to heal. (I don’t look so much like a wrapped mummy these days.)
  • I can stand on my own now and am slowly gaining strength walking short distances slowly with a walker and an aide.
  • I am off the antibiotics for the Rothia infection. They consider me cured of that unless I start developing fevers.
  • Partial Approval has been given for the prescription I need for my mold that costs $5000/month. They have approved $4,000. The case manager is seeking help for the other $1000. They will only approve one month and then I have to reapply since I need treatment for at least six more months.
  • Planning for discharge to home mid-late next week. (Have to resolve medicine assistance first.)


I’m also thankful for God using technology to extend his blessing. Marcos is a teen ambassador in our Bolivian Josias program. He lives in a poor family, goes to school, and works at a bookstore to help support his sisters and mom. Marcos managed to find me, 6,000 miles away, on Facebook Messenger. I asked how he was today. He replied not well. He had to stay home from school because he was sick. Knowing that many of these families suffer digestive problems due to lack of access to clean water and safe food, I asked if it was his stomach. When he confirmed this, I asked if he had any medicine. His sad reply was, “no money.” So I messaged Delia who coordinates the program and she was able to buy some medicine for this dedicated youth leader. This all happened in less than an hour. Thanks, God for using technology to demonstrate your blessings!


Prayer concerns:
Poor appetite
Continued pain…need the subcutaneous nodules to heal as they are putting pressure on tendons and nerves. The doctors say it will take weeks or months. A matter of waiting on the Lord.
Medicine approval
Strength to carry out normal routines to God’s honor.


Despite the concerns, my list of thanks goes on and on. Sometimes I fall asleep at night naming them one by one. (Other times, it keeps me up for hours.) I wonder, if you were to make a list of everything you’re thankful for, how long do you think it would take to complete it? Would you ever be able to complete it or would each day bring more blessings? Ask God to remind you of your many blessings and the many times he has intervened in your life.


“I will give thanks to you Lord with all of my heart.
I will tell of your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 9:1-2


The King asks


One of the games played by youth in Bolivia is called El Rey Pide. It means, “The King Asks.” In this game, one child is selected to be the “king” and sit in a special place of honor at one end of the room. The rest of the youth are divided into two teams of the king’s “subjects”, seated at the opposite side of the room. The “king” would scan the room with his eyes, keenly watching his “subjects..” Then he would pronounce, “El Rey pide…el cuaderno!” (The king asks for the notebook.) With great haste someone from each team would eagerly rush to find a notebook and bring it to the king. The first one to reach him “wins” that round. The game continues with several “el Rey pide” requests, each met with the enthusiastic response of the king’s subjects who are ever so eager to please their king. When we visited the Bolivian school where our Compassion child attends, they chose our sponsored child, Daniela, to take the place of honor and the game proceeded as “La Reina pide” (“The queen asks.”) We enjoyed watching the children laugh and play the game, each eager to please their “lord.”


Imagine if you were a great king looking down on the kingdom of this world. What would you see as your eyes roamed throughout your kingdom? Without doubt, your eyes would fall upon some always working ever diligently to build great monuments. You’d find others basking in the sun or consumed with their hobbies and games. You’d observe that some live in sumptuous comfort while others are scurrying around trying to scratch out a meager existence and merely survive.


“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a


Indeed, there is a king whose eyes are always upon us. What do you think he is searching for and what do you expect he finds? He is looking for those are fully committed, sold out, “all in the game”, devoted to the singular purpose of doing what the King asks and being the people they were called to be.


And what does the King ask? Qué pide El Rey? He asks us simply to be his people and to invite others into the protection of his kingdom. Love God and love others in his name. Feed the hungry, care for the sick, and visit those in prison. Be fully involved in his purpose, not distracted by other games and pursuits.  When you think about it, it’s not really as complicated as we sometimes make it to be.


But we read about wars and senseless shootings, about teachers and leaders who bring deception. It seems the world is filled with earthquakes, famines and disease, and even the persecution of believers. The King sees this. In fact he foresaw it and described it in Luke 21. He told us then and reminds us now to be careful that our hearts not become weighed down with dissipation (drunkenness, sexual debauchery, and the squandering of money and resources). The king cautions us to not be worn out with anxieties. And the king asks, “Be always on the watch and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen.” (Luke 21:36)


The King is watching. His eyes range throughout the earth to see who is fully committed to him, not just playing a game. He sees your faithful heart. His eyes do not miss your mournful cry. He takes notice of your weakness and sickness. And he looks to strengthen and encourage you in the hard places of your life. Be encouraged as you commit to responding to what the King asks. And be always on the watch yourself so you can encourage others also.


“A grenade in your dream box”


That was the expression used by my oncologist at my 2 year post transplant evaluation. It was his folksy yet compassionate way of acknowledging the impact this troublesome journey with cancer and reluctant transplant recovery has had on our dream of mission work in Bolivia. The latest medical counsel is “Wait…” at least until my health stabilizes. We had been preparing ourselves for this news when my GVHD recently returned. We’re looking to a new short-term treatment intended to derail what seems to be leading to a repeat of my earlier Failure To Thrive diagnosis. It could be much worse, so we’re thankful.


As we left the doctor’s office, this unusual expression lingered in my mind. And I wondered, have you ever had a grenade in your dream box? Something that suddenly, unexpectedly, and explosively disrupted your greatest plans and hopes? Perhaps Joseph felt that way when he was abandoned by his brothers or when he was later falsely accused and thrown in prison. King Saul was constantly throwing a grenade in David’s dream box. Fourteen years separated David’s anointing and actually becoming King. Certainly, the disciples must have been shell-shocked when their Lord’s body was taken down from the cross. We remember the long sessions praying and counseling with friends who lost a child at much too early an age. I recall working in a nursing facility where two women were in agony the same night; one whose body was failing while she pleaded for life and another who pleaded for Jesus to take her home, but her body would not surrender. I remember the gentle old man who visited his wife every single day though Alzheimer’s had quickly robbed her of every memory of him. Some dreams seem to be lost forever.


Whether big or small, God cares about your dreams. His unending love and amazing grace doesn’t always make it easy. But He makes it possible, because His compassion and mercies are new – every single morning. We don’t always feel it but His presence is what we need when dreams are broken. Where else would we turn? Will our emotions and logic console us?


Sometimes dreams are lost for a season, sometimes for this present life. But the very strong foundation on which our faith is built tells us to hold on to hope, to let it be a secure anchor in the most tumultuous of storms. It’s a place where everything else is weighed on the scale and measured against the value of knowing Jesus and being able to come to Him only by grace, while we wait.


Perhaps in that place of waiting out your present storm, you might find you are meant to be part of someone else’s dream, an answer to their prayer, an encouragement to the hurting, a ray of hope to those who have lost their light.


If it seems your dream box is shattered, if what you’ve built your life upon comes crashing down, come to Jesus. Come, just as you are. Don’t wait to get patched up. Just come. Honor His name in the storm. And if you can’t do that, come anyway. In the darkness of the night, hold on to your hope. Resurrection morning is coming soon.



Beyond chocolate bunnies and colored eggs


Easter is next Sunday. What preparations are you making for the commemoration of this special event in the Christian year?


Cute, but in Bolivia, it's just not 'hoppening'.

Cute, but in Bolivia, it’s just not ‘hoppening’.

Most of the world likely considers Bolivia to be a poor backward country. Poor, yes. But backward? In much of the United States, Easter is welcomed with chocolate bunnies and colored eggs. (Did you ever wonder who concocted such an idea?) Church attendance swells for an hour and then dwindles again to normal numbers the next week. Sadly, these commercial influences are beginning to appear in Bolivia. But mostly, it seems Easter is celebrated differently there.


In cities like Potosí, Sucre, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and others, people attend church, rituals, concerts, and processions. Some visit the renovated century-old Jesuit Missions, left by the Spaniards. You can hear the locals playing music taught to them by the ancient Spaniards 500 years ago. Many Bolivian churches celebrate the three most important days of Easter: Good Friday through Resurrection Day. Others prepare 12 meals throughout the entire week between Palm Sunday and Easter.


Likely, a certain amount of this may be chalked up to ritual but it seems preferable to me than the transformation of a holy week into a festival of colored eggs and chocolate bunnies.


Might this Easter be different in your home? Perhaps you’ll take time each day to ponder the path our Lord walked this week. How did He feel riding into Jerusalem, knowing that the people’s welcoming cheers would so soon change to condemning jeers? What was it like for the disciples to have their master wash their feet as a lowly servant would do? What would go through your mind if you were there and heard your beloved Lord say, “One of you will betray me?” What goes through your mind now as you contemplate that it was indeed our sins that put Him on the cross? Certainly you have known sorrow and stress, but have you ever sweat blood while you prayed as He did?


None of us can comprehend what it would be like to be fully God and yet suffer the scornful and painful death while being fully human too. Imagine being completely one with God for all history and yet in an instant moment, forsaken. Imagine hanging on a cross, punished for a crime you didn’t commit, and looking upon the crowd saying, “Father forgive them.” What if you were one of the disciples who had devoted themselves to Jesus, only to experience His death. All alone, dreams and hopes dashed, where do you turn?


And then imagine if you can, hearing the incredible news that your Lord is not dead; He is risen! And not just hearing the news, but seeing for yourself, touching His hands, talking with Him, putting it all together. There’s no way you’d walk away and say, “That was interesting.” There’d be no thought of chocolate bunnies and colored eggs. No, you’d respond like the disciples did. Changed for life, nothing would ever be the same again. Now that your purpose is revealed, you are compelled to devote all your life to it, with all your energy.


Let your devotions this week be filled with the wonder of your salvation, the cost at which it was paid, and the compelling call God places on your heart. And be blessed.