[Brother Harry Klinger, Pastor of the Church of God in Hamilton, Ontario wrote this report of his trip to Bolivia to the other pastors. We asked him whether we could share it here on our blog as well and he kindly agreed.]
Greetings and blessings to you in the precious name of Jesus!
I thought I would send you an update on my travels to hold services in Bolivia, given the unrest there and a number of your inquiries.
Praise be to God who helps us in every situation of life. I was able to spend my two weeks in Santa Cruz in safety. By the time I arrived on Sept. 9, a roadblock on the way to the church mission had been partially removed and we were able to travel freely. However, the political situation became tense and riots and demonstrations occurred in Santa Cruz. We visited the lawyer a few days later, who is helping us with our legal matters, and her office being right next to where the riot occurred, had all the windows smashed out. One evening, driving home from church services, a group of men walked out onto the road with wooden clubs and blocked our path. We retreated by following a side road. Also the roadblocks around Santa Cruz, were contributing to fuel shortages in the city and schools were closed.
Despite this turmoil, the Lord graciously blessed our services throughout the two weeks and the dedication services on Sunday, Sept. 14. We had a blessed time with the our guests from Mexico and others from the villages; but did miss the choir from Argentina which was unable to travel overland because of the blockades.
As you may have heard, the American ambassador was asked to leave Bolivia and American Airlines ceased all flights. I had travelled there on AA, but on this last Sunday, the day before my Monday flight, they resumed their regular flights, and I was able to travel home safely on Sept. 22. However, as I just read in an email from Sister Rosie Jeske, the crisis is far from over. Before I left, reports were still coming in of many roadblocks and that a group was marching on Santa Cruz along the highway right past our mission. They may block the road between the Mission and the city again. These are dangerous times for our brothers and sisters there and they certainly need all of our prayers!
Let us earnestly pray for their safety and their inner strength, knowing that “…the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy…our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield” (Ps. 33:18+20).
Your Brother in the Lord’s Service,