Bolivian Cemeteries—Customs and Comforts


“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 NIV).

Recently, I attended a gathering in our village to remember the life of a church member who died unexpectedly. Arriving late, I sat in the back. Everyone wore black and wiped tears that fell profusely. The lady was a friend of mine also––my husband and I bought land from her.

Everyone in the crowd hailed from our village or nearby––all friends and neighbors. We sat on wooden benches and huddled together as the winds whipped around us; our winter was near. The sound of children playing in the distance soothed our hurting hearts.

After the ceremony, we sipped hot soup to warm our bones. The aroma of wood burning in a mud oven and the chicken baking in it filled the air. Then, the delicious chicken dinner arrived on clay plates served by beautiful Quechua ladies dressed in their typical polleras (skirts.) We talked, laughed, ate, and enjoyed being together. There was sadness—but joy also because of the hope we have in Christ that we will be reunited one day.

Visiting a cemetery anywhere gives the impression that all ended for the people buried in the graves. But, for those who trust Jesus as Savior, there is hope beyond the grave because we have eternal life. Whether we are dead or alive when Christ returns, we will all rise to be with Him forever.

Peggy Cunningham and her husband are missionaries in Bolivia, South America. They work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also an author of children’s books and devotionals for women, including her latest book, Shape Your Soul, 31 Exercises for Faith that Moves Mountains.

Devotional Encouragement

Making Holiday Memories

Making Holiday Memories

Thanksgiving was a traditional family gathering at my in-laws’ home. The siblings came from near and far with their families. Entering the snowy driveway, we’d see the house with seven gables high on the hill.

Beautiful horse in the snow
Beautiful horse in the snow

The roar of snowmobiles coming from the fields nearby let us know nieces and nephews were enjoying Grandpa’s toys. Beautiful horses galloped in the fields near the red barn.

Approaching the house, we caught a whiff of the baking turkey; then Grandma opened the door and lavished us with hugs. As we sat at the table beautifully set with china and crystal, the golden turkey served as the centerpiece, and pumpkin pie provided a sweet ending to the feast. It was truly a Norman Rockwell scene.

I miss those gatherings. They are treasured memories now that many family members have entered eternity. The memories cause me to be thankful for the times past, and they make me conscious this holiday season of how short my time is on earth.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1 NIV).

As the spirit of Thanksgiving ushers in Christmas, I’ll give thanks to the Lord for providing a way for me to have eternal life; for good health, family, and friends; and for so many other blessings. And yes, for making holiday memories.

God is so good! Enjoy His goodness throughout this holiday season, and make precious holiday memories this year.

Wishing you a blessed December, a Merry Christmas, and a New Year overflowing with God’s abundance.



Peggy Cunningham
Peggy Cunningham

Peggy Cunningham and her husband are missionaries in

Shape Your Soul 31 Exercises for Faith that Moves Mountains
Shape Your Soul 31 Exercises for Faith that Moves Mountains

Bolivia, South America. They work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also an author of books for children and adults. Her latest book is Shape Your Soul, 31 Exercises for Faith that Moves Mountains, a women’s devotional.  www.Peggy






Spinning Out of Control

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3 NIV).

Spinning is a popular form of exercise almost everywhere now. Although, in my neighborhood, spinning has a totally different connotation.

When I hear the word spinning, I immediately visualize a gym with a spinning class. Don’t you? But in my neighborhood, bicycles are not used for exercise per se. Yes, they are a means of exercise for my neighbors, but their primary purpose is to provide transportation by spinning to and from their alfalfa fields before sunrise.

As I watch my neighbors spinning by my house in the early mornings, I sometimes long to take a spin with them. Not to help them cut alfalfa but to stop my fruitless spinning and set my priorities on these people I came to serve, instead of focusing on the 100 things on my to-do list for the day.

When I step down from the merry-go-round of life, I find refreshment from being with God’s people and enjoy His beauty around me. I focus on the reason God has me here in this place of service (Bolivia)—to spread the Good News. It’s not easy to step off that merry-go-round. Some days I keep on spinning, and some days I wobble as I come to a halt. However, it is always possible.

Each day is a new opportunity for service. It’s easy to allow each day’s tasks (our plans) to keep us from God’s checklist for the day. But, when we ask God to establish our plans (to-do list) and take control of our spinning, He will establish our to-do lists and prioritize our days. Everything will change when we commit our plans to Him. The spinning out of control will cease, and our days will be fruitful and calm.

Try and see. The verse says He will—not He might. He keeps His promises.

Peggy Cunningham and her husband Chuck have been missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. In 1999, they founded Rumi Rancho Ministries. Rumi Rancho is their ministry base and home outside the city of Cochabamba where they work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also a published author of children’s books and women’s devotionals. Shape Your Soul is her latest devotional book for women. Learn more at