Bolivia Team July 6th

Bolivia Team Blog, Thursday, July 6th

We arrived in Cochabamba this morning, all safe and sound, but very tired. We are thanking the Lord as we witnessed His hands of protection and provision throughout the 26 hour “door to door” trip. So we spent this first day mostly resting, recovering from the trip, and allowing our bodies to adjust to the 8500 ft altitude. Everyone is doing well and we are excited to start our building project early Friday morning. Let me give you some more details.

God had his hand on us from the start. Within 15 min of our arrival for flight from Dulles to Panama City, I was told that two of our adults could not be checked in due to a problem with the reservations. Our team started praying, and we pooled all our travel experiences to try to work out some solution. For over 80 minutes we made calls, repeatedly discussed with supervisors, and prayed. Finally, after all other passengers had checked in, a supervisor named Kristy took the time to make several long phone calls, and found a workaround to get them on the flight. It took 20 minutes, and the three of us had less than 20 min to get through TSA to the gate. We did it in 12, AND ALL four of their checked bags ALSO made it. We considered it a miracle and awesome answer to prayers. Our faith was so encouraged as we could see God’s hands and evidence that no matter what came our way, He would be faithful to provide and guide us through every obstacle.

After a 5 hour flight, a hot & humid 2 hour layover in Panama, another 4:30 min flight, we arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where we would clear customs. This was our next “God sighting”. (this is our term for all the ways, big or small, that we see our Heavenly Father revealing Himself to us each day). All 22 bags arrived intact, and as we had our bags scanned, and many searched and inspected, the authorities did not question us nor did they try to confiscate anything. Plus all 11 laptops passed through without investigation.

Next, during our 6 hour overnight stay at the airport, one team member accidently left their neck pouch with passport and a good amount of cash in the restroom. At 1am after 18 hours, this can happen. The miracle was that within 30 minutes we heard this person’s name being paged. It had been found, not sure who, and given to the authorities with EVERYTHING INTACT. Praise the Lord.

As we lined up to check in for our last flight, we saw signs that BOA only allowed 14 lbs vs 22 lbs we expected for our carry on bags. Since we were trying to carry as much as possible in clothes, VBS supplies, and needed items for the Holman’s, we were packed to max. We didn’t no what to do, but we knew to pray. Again, the Lord provided, the agent saw we were a large group, and offered to check all our smaller bags AT NO CHARGE. Wow, we serve an awesome God.

I could go on and on, but let me just ask: How is God coming through for you today? Are you praying and asking him to work in your life? Are you looking and watching for the unexpected ways He comes to show His Love, Grace and prescience in our lives? He is indeed, IMMANUEL, “the God who is with us.”

I wish I could write more, and I will tonight, but at this moment its, Friday morning and we are heading out for our first day of construction at the church.

Continue to pray for our health, strength, adjustment to altitude, and that we are sensitive to each person we encounter as we work.

Love and Grace,

For the Team,

Mark Wichern




Phone: (540) 338-6400


601 Yaxley Drive

Purcellville, VA 20132

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