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Travel Journal

Ultimate Workout 28
Journey to Bolivia
Mission Date: July 12, 2018
Travel Day

Jordan and I have officially started our Journey to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.  One thing you can be sure of is that when the Spivey's travel, there is always a "situation."  We expected it to happen on the 3rd leg of our journey in Miami, but were met with challenges in Charlotte, leg 2.

The ticket agent was multitasking explaining to me why we  could NOT get on the flight while simultaneously typing on his computer a million words a minute.  Mid sentence and mid key strike, he exclaimed, "Spivey!  Yes! Grab your bags and get on board."   


“Be encouraged. Hold your head up high and know God is in control and has a plan for you. Instead of focusing on all the bad, be thankful for all the good.” 
― Germany Kent

Here is just a little background.  He had just cleared #7 on the standby list and announced that the flight was full.  We were number 22.   What happened to numbers 8-21, I do not know.  This is what I do know.  


We were the LAST ones to board the plane. and as I walked down the narrow aisle,  and it made me think of the story in the Bible. Remember the guy who started work late, but got the same pay as everyone else? (See Matthew chapter 20)   


People were looking at us when we boarded, but I was thinking. Hey, we will all get to Miami at the same time.

THAT's some grace right there!    Yup, those first class passengers were smugly settled in their cushioned seats with plenty leg room and carryons carefully stowed in the dedicated overhead bins. Meanwhile, Jordan and I were forced to give up our bags to be checked and retrieved later.   But it doesn't matter, because when this plane lands, we will ALL be in Miami.

I'm grateful for his grace. We didn't earn it, nor do we deserve it, but let the record show that, Thursday, July 12, 2018, He GAVE it freely and abundantly!

Ultimate Workout 28
Journey to Bolivia
Mission Date: July 14, 2018
Prep Day

We have our luggage!!! It took me a full hour to retrieve, get through customs AND through the additional individual search.  I guess my early morning, no shower look was a bit suspect.

We are on the road and have already made a few stops.  One of which included changing money. Now, get this. The money changer boarded our bus with a pouch in hand.  Exchanged our money and got off.  It felt a bit illegal, but it was all above board, convenient and VERY safe!

Toilets!!!!! The camp has toilets. We were preparing (our minds and quads) for squatty pottys, but praise the Lord.  We have toilets.  I’m pretty sure you don’t understand my excitement, but trust me, things can get quite complicated when you have to squat to do the business especially at poo-thirty in the morning.  

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Ultimate Workout #28 Bolivia

Mission Date: July 18-30 Trip Summary

So,  the internet was  Which leaves me with the opportunity to provide you with the Cliff Notes version of the trip.


Early Arrival:   


Jordan and I arrived nearly a week prior to the participants to make sure everything was in place.  The staff kids enjoyed some swimming and a trip to the zoo while the leaders used the time to connect and get on the same page.  We also addressed any last minute issues (and there are always last minute issues) AND made sure the housing was comfortable and luxurious.  Let me just say that the staff was OUTSTANDING in every way.


     Participant Arrival


This is a big deal. The artists among us (myself NOT included) made signs and did a big (loud) welcome at the airport. The Entre Rios school also put on a cultural program and presented EACH participant with a token of appreciation. It should be noted that the airport photo was taken at 6:30 in the morning. Look at the smiles and the energy!


One of my favorite parts of construction.  The group took a moment to write prayers for the school, then they placed those prayers into the walls of the building. How cool is that? Our prayers remain long after we have gone.



Amazing what a group of focused teens can do!  They literally built a big 'ol building in less than a week. I Gotta give a shout out to the girls, they nailed, it as did Jordan (he was the youngest) and they guys weren’t too shabby either. Everyone pulled together to get the job done.  Thanks Dan for leading the way!



It gave me goosebumps to watch the kids go WAY outside of their comfort zones to share Christ with strangers. From sports tournaments (soccer, basketball and volleyball) to praying with strangers, trash pick up, to giving away books and doing VBS in another language, they rocked it!



Camp Life

Mercy!! It was cold, hot, rainy, hot, cold, rainy, dry and the temps ranged from 50-85.  The joke was that you just had to be prepared for whatever Bolivia might throw at you.  Tents got flooded, rooms got flooded. It was like a scene from the Tale of Two cities. It was the best of times and the worst of times.  There was not enough water (for showers) there was too much water (for tents and rooms).


One set of stairs (if you can call it that) looked like ancient ruins. Yet, I watched a man with one leg and crutches navigate them like it was a flat, smooth, paved road. Many of the teenagers did the same. This old girl, when forced to use them, took her time and managed to stay upright. 


Oh and the showers. In a word. Cold!


Bathrooms.  Typical.  A few toilets and a few squatty pottys….both require TP to be deposited into the trash can.

White Water Rafting & Monkeys...


White water rafting! Let’s just say, God was gracious!  Monkeys. I just don’t know.  I’m not that excited about a monkey climbing on my head or sitting in my lap, but the participants enjoyed the adventure.

Worship...the glue of UW

So, people think that our goal is to build a building, but really our goal is to build teenagers by connecting them with Christ.  Worship is just ONE of the ways we do that.  Pastor Brandon was spot on (as usual) with the Word.   Issac and his team lead us in amazing worship music.  I wish I could explain what happened Thursday night.  You'll have to trust me when I tell you that the Spirit of God was in the house.


"We Believe" Final Night 

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