An Evening with Tammy Firestone
Tammy Firestone, pastor of La Trinidad Church in Cochabamba, Bolivia, has been in the States since Easter, visiting family and those churches that support their ministry. Her last stop was at Good Samaritan. Monday evening, April 16, Tammy was welcomed to Good Sam by a small but enthusiastic group of thirteen from the Missions Committee and the general congregation. Larry Colletta, the Good Samaritan “advocate” for the ministry of La Trinidad hosted Tammy and introduced her to the group, reviewing our history with La Trinidad and Tammy, which began in the early 2000s when Tammy was a lay person at the church. He described our “walking with her” over the years and now as she is an ordained priest in the church.
It was rewarding to hear how our financial support over the years, which was increased in 2018, has helped the church not only keep active and grow, but also to reach out to serve in a missional manner in the area, even including two smaller church plants in the area. She also lauded our support for Niños con Valor, because many of their members are children from Niños and are supported by that ministry. “Your helping Niños con Valor has also helped support La Trinidad,” Tammy emphasized.
Pastor Firestone said that Good Samaritan has served as a model for them as they work to becoming a missional church. In addition to reaching out, they also have a goal to become self-sustaining and provide for themselves and others without missionary support. Tammy also is working to grow a staff within the church comprised of Bolivians that can become the clergy for the church and its related missions. “My dream,” Tammy said, “is to be no longer needed in Cochabamba. Rusty and I can then look for other ‘assignments’ God might have for us.”
Tammy shared that it is so special for the congregation at La Trinidad that we at Good Samaritan pray for them on a regular basis. To end our evening together, Tammy divided the group into smaller groups and asked each group to pray for certain aspects of their ministry, the cultural and political realm in Bolivia, and for named individuals providing leadership. She told us later that she had taken pictures of us praying and that the congregation will be even more encouraged to “see our prayers” for them!
Special thanks goes out for advocate Larry Colletta and his wife Betty for hosting and taking care of travel arrangements for Tammy for this visit, her final stop before leaving to return to Bolivia Wednesday, April 18. Also, thanks to Missions Committee member Cheryl Hutchinson for coordinating desserts for the evening and the many who provided wonderful and abundant desserts. In addition to those shown in the accompanying picture, John Whitnah and Pam Hicks were in attendance but had to leave before our closing picture with Tammy. Kevin Hicks also is not in the picture as he was the photographer! Tammy ended her visit at Good Samaritan by being a part of the Tuesday morning Eucharist Service and then met the clergy and staff at their weekly staff gathering.