Here we go

Tomorrow I’ll be at my new office. It happens to be in La Paz, Bolivia.

Image [With the purse from Bolivia I’ve been using for 7 years and the lunch my dad made me. It’s been a while since my parents made me a brown bag lunch. It must be a special day.]

Th goodbyes have been hard. A sweet card from this young lady, Courtney, had me wrecked- in a good way- tears as a tribute to all the goodness. She encouraged me greatly, as have other friends and family.

[Courtney and me at summer camp.]

I’ve been living in intentional community in Minneapolis where we’re learning not to be too independent or dependent, but interdependent. I’m not just going away on an adventure- it’s part of a global movement of brothers and sisters learning to live out their callings. There are people I will never be able to repay: incredibly supportive parents, good friends, even a few financial supporters who I’ve not seen in years or not met. But interdependence is not about “paying back”; It’s about freely giving, receiving, sharing.

An update on support & a story of trusting:

1) At first I had to spend money on training and a flight before I had raised anything. But I trusted that since God clearly had this next step for me, he would provide.

2) Then for a time, my preparation expenses very closely matched what came in, literally day by day. I wondered if it would be like that the whole year. It’s not the margin I’ve been taught to maintain by my financially-minded family, but still I trusted that if it continued, that would be sufficient.

3) I’m happy to report that in recent weeks, generous individuals have gotten me to the halfway point- I’m fully funded for the first half of the year!

[The water supply version of the fundraising thermometer. To help fill the glass, visit laurenbutler.org/support, click “Donate”, and select my name from the drop-down list.]

Now is when ideas become realities. Some will be hard: the privilege of a new job may be accompanied by a long workday, or the thrill of a new culture and language temporarily deflated by not knowing the word for what I’m seeking in the store. Yet more so, I anticipate the positive realities: the idea of working with Bolivian churches and communities transforms into faces, and friends. I’ll meet my co-workers who already have been supportive. I’ll learn from a wealth of knowledge on engineering development projects and put to good use what I’ve been learning over the years. And I’ll discover more about Bolivia.

As I left Minneapolis, I noticed some little things I love- like edgy identities and bicyclists that rule the road. I don’t know those little things that I will love about La Paz, like maybe a cafe around the corner or a good friend down the street. But an email from a co-worker helped remind me that I will find them. He shared that one thing that cannot be captured in books or websites about Bolivia is the “human warmth of the Bolivian people” and that though he is biased because he was born there, “in my opinion La Paz is the best city in the world.”

For prayer requests, please visit laurenbutler.org/support/pray. Here we go!

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