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Kody Kostenko Dateline 12/20/16 Bolivia
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Another year at the Bolivia Industrial School is history. It had more than it’s share of challenges and trials, which is probably why God sent us back this year. I have a lot of growing to do and I only hope I learned the lessons that I was supposed to.

 

 

“I want to be part of your church”

 

A few years ago we were praying for a sewing teacher when I met Carmina Mendoza, a seamstress from Guayara. From the first, I was impressed by her kindness and Christian character. When I mentioned we were looking for a sewing teacher to volunteer once a week, she agreed immediately. She has faithfully donated her time and talent to teach our sewing classes ever since. 

Over the years we visited often with Carmina and became good friends. Early on she asked us to pray for her son and her nephew, who were lost in the things of the world. She was so excited when her son began to listen to Nuevo Tiempo, the Adventist Television station.  So you can imagine our surprise when we discovered that, though a fervent Bible believer, Carmina herself was not part of any church family. When she gave her reasons, we didn’t argue, but we were able to share a few things as there was opportunity, including some books and DVD’s. Some time later, Carmina’s son joined the Adventist church. We continued to pray for her nephew who was in the process of rehabilitating from drug addiction.

This last September, Carmina surprised us when she asked my wife “What do I need to do to be baptized? I want to be part of your church.” We are thrilled to report that a few weeks ago she was baptized in the school creek. To God be the glory!

 

The Bolivia Industrial School Gets more Industrial

 

  This year saw the establishment of the school bakery thanks to the initiative of Jerry Cardoza and some funds from an internationally backed program for developing rural businesses in Bolivia. Their representative for our region loved the idea of a school bakery business and went to great pains to make sure our project was approved for financing. Jerry had a couple of the boys present the proposal to the board and they were really impressed. As a result the bakery was able to acquire an industrial-sized convection oven, mixer, and dough cutter, which have turned the endeavor into a viable source of income. Now what is needed is a place to set up shop. So far, the bakery is operating out of Jerry and Jenny’s living room. (See pictures below). Some more teachers would help too, as Jerry had so many classes he was only able to bake three times a week, and that often early in the morning or late at night. The bread sells well in town. People love the whole grain bread, granola, and banana, fig and corn bread muffins. There is not the like to be found in all of northern Bolivia. All the other local product is strictly white bread.  (You can view pictures of the bakery HERE).

 

New Horizons

 

Beginning in February 2017, Lyli and I have accepted a call to join the team at MOVE (Missionary Outreach Volunteer Evangelism) a missionary training school in Belize where we will be teaching classes, preparing educational materials and completing a mentorship training program. We are very excited for this opportunity to learn and grow. Many of our volunteers at the Bolivia Industrial School the last few years have been MOVE graduates, and they have done excellent work.

Lyli and I plan to be stateside a few days after Christmas, and hope to see many of you. Thank-you to all who have been praying for Lyli and her health. We were able to consult with a good doctor here in Mexico, and found out she had a bacterial infection in addition to the anemia, which was diagnosed in Bolivia. She seems to be doing better now, but we appreciate your continued prayers. May the grace of God keep you always and prepare you for his soon appearing.