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Bolivia Field Story

25 Years Late, or Right on Time

"I always find it amazing how God orchestrates people and resources to accomplish his purposes and ultimately gain the praise He deserves."

Several weeks ago, I received a request for an accordion from Juan, a Guarani church planter in Bolivia.  It was a strange request, I thought. But when we were missionaries in Bolivia, we became quite known for supplying used accordions to churches with no electricity that needed instruments that didn’t require a plug in. Where would I find an accordion? In the busyness of two different week-long trips to the US this Fall, I forgot about his request. Until last week when I received an email from our Kansas City office.  

“There is a donor in Minnesota who has an accordion to donate.” The email was sent to about 10 leaders, hoping that someone would know how to respond to this donor. It seems that no one was celebrating Oktoberfest in the office and looking for a polka producing instrument, except me.  I quickly got on the phone with this donor and heard “the rest of the story.”  

Ken, now retired Minnesotan farmer, was in the process of downsizing and moving into town. As he looked at his accordion, he remembered reading a note in the Gospel Message, Avant’s magazine, written 25 years ago by my father-in-law, Don Clements requesting used accordions for Bolivia. Don and Jan had already left Bolivia to work in Avant’s US office, but they still had a heart for Guarani worship music and there was a demand for accordions because Jan had taught many to play.

The next hurdle was how to get this accordion from Minnesota to Bolivia. Before I could worry too much about that, our new President chimed in offering to drive two hours out of his way next week when he and his wife drive up from Kansas City to stay with us for the International Board meetings I am hosting. Then Devan/Carolyn will be able to deliver this answer to prayer in February. I just let Juan know today that his answer to prayer is on the way!

I always find it amazing how God orchestrates people and resources to accomplish his purposes and ultimately gain the praise He deserves.  May this unusual gift accomplish in a small way the Avant theme that we chose this year.  1 Chronicles 16:10 & 24a “Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Declare his glory among the nations.”

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