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217 Seiten
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Mar 31, 2017


Peter, the oldest of seven children born to missionaries in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, resents the idea of leaving the only home he’s known to go to college in the States. His parents insist he needs to leave the shelter of the familiar in order to discover a real and vibrant faith of his own.
When he stumbles on evidence of a murder and reports it to the police, he launches his family and his best friend, Kasey, into a world of drug smuggling and human trafficking which threatens the lives of everyone he loves.
Peter’s temper lands eighteen-year-old Kasey in the hospital where they meet Esperanza, a sixteen-year-old victim of Hector, the same villain who threatens Peter and his family. The stakes are higher than ever. Esperanza is desperate to escape not only the vicious traffickers but her own dependence on the drugs they used to control her.
Peter confronts his own darkest emotions and the consequences of his choices.
He must decide between defeating the cartel through powers darker than Hector himself or trusting God to provide victory through the love of Christ.

Mar 31, 2017

Über den Autor

Felicia Bowen Bridges has never met a stranger. No matter your background or history, her early years as an Army brat trained her well in the art of finding common ground. She has a knack for striking up conversations with new friends in the strangest places. Her experience as a Pastor's wife, mother of four, and short-term missionary have provided a wealth of relevant and hilarious anecdotes as well as a variety of life lessons. As a published author, her nomadic childhood inspired a love for travel and missions which permeates her writing. Regardless of the topic, the core theme will always be the Gospel and the power of God to transform lives.

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BoliviaKnight - Felicia Bridges

Advance Praise for BoliviaKnight

Author Felicia Bridges seems to know the minds of young adults, the craft of suspenseful writing, and the joys and perils of mission work in foreign countries, and she uses that understanding to deliver a plot in BoliviaKnight that is taut, thrilling, and relentless. ~D.L.Koontz, author of Crossing into the Mystic

Felicia Bridges has penned much more than the typical YA novel. Each scene explodes with conflict as 17-year-old missionary kid, Peter Parkinson, makes a suspense-filled transition from fearful to brave, angry to compassionate, and victim to hero. ~Vonda Skelton, author Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe, Founder of Christian Communicators Conference

Emotional and tense, BoliviaKnight is an exciting read with unforgettable characters and a packed plot.

~Sabrina Zirkle,

Bridges is definitely an author to keep on your radar as I anticipate she has many more stories to come. ~Tamara D. Fickas, contributing author to God’s Provision in Tough Times and columnist for Broken but Priceless Magazine


International Mission Force Series

Book II

Felicia Bridges

Vinspire Publishing

Copyright ©2017 Felicia Bridges

Cover illustration copyright © 2017 Elaina Lee/For the Muse Designs

First Edition

Printed and bound in the United States of America. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system-except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a magazine, newspaper, or on the Web-without permission in writing from the publisher. For information, please contact Vinspire Publishing, LLC, P.O. Box 1165, Ladson, SC 29456-1165.

All characters in this work are purely fictional and have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author, and all incidents are pure invention.

ISBN: 978-0-9971732-7-7

Published by Vinspire Publishing, LLC

To Kelsey, your passion for God’s justice challenges me. Never doubt God’s love and mercy. He has big plans for you!

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for joining me for Volume 2 of the International Mission Force: BoliviaKnight.

One of my deepest hopes for this series is that it provides readers with a glimpse into the folklore, history, and culture of the nation or people group represented. In an effort to provide an authentic view into a world different from the one most of us abide in, and as the result of significant research including online resources, personal travels, and second-hand accounts, some of the details included in BoliviaKnight may be disturbing.

As we learn about groups with values that differ from our own, it is important to remember that we are all created in the image of God and loved by Him so much that He sent His only Son so that we might have eternal life through faith in Him.

It is also important to realize that many of the values of primitive cultures are reflected in our own modern society in an updated fashion.

I do not include any of these difficult issues lightly but do so in the hope of inspiring thoughtful consideration of how far we have come and how very far we have yet to progress.

I have provided a section in the back of the book with discussion questions to help guide conversations regarding these issues and I welcome feedback from readers via email at

Thank you and may God guide you on many adventures for His Glory!

Felicia Bridges

Chapter One

The staccato sound of gunfire ripped open the sunny afternoon and sent Peter diving into a recessed doorway in the narrow alley. His heart thundered against his ribs, and he sucked in the dusty air of the unpaved lane. He clutched the canvas bag of fresh produce he'd bought at the market to his chest as if it might provide some protection.

"¿Que haces?" An angry voice echoed down the passage, followed by an unintelligible exchange in deep voices shouting over one another in Spanish and punctuated by sounds of a scuffle.

Peter braced his large frame against the adobe wall and the wrought iron gate that covered the door of the home where he'd taken refuge. He tried to still the trembling which rattled the gate and threatened to draw the attention of whomever lurked behind the truck blocking most of the alley. If it weren't for that truck, they'd have seen him coming.

He didn't want to think of what that would have meant for him. He never should have cut through the alley. His mother had warned him well enough that the streets of Santa Cruz could be dangerous, but he'd been running late. Stopping to visit Kasey stretched from ten minutes into an hour before he knew it.

He heard grunts and dragging sounds followed by a thump and then the rumble of the box truck roaring to life. The sound grew louder, and he thought his heart might explode, saving the killers any effort in exterminating their only witness. He pressed himself tighter against the side of the niche and prayed the driver would have his gaze set on the road ahead.

The truck roared past without slowing, and Peter finally let out the breath he'd been holding. His next breath captured more dust and diesel fumes than oxygen, but he sucked it in as if it was fresh, country air. He waited without moving until the rumble faded and the cloud of dust settled before peeking out into the dirt lane.

No one in the alley. No dead body. That was good, right?

He shuffled down the alley, looking over his shoulder each step. He could see the tracks where the truck had parked. Beyond those tracks, reddish-brown muck bore evidence of a struggle with muddy footprints, eddies, and furrows. The metallic smell of blood mixed with sulfur transformed his stomach to a churning volcano threatening to erupt as the world spun around him.

His mind shrieked run, but his legs seemed unwilling to obey. The beige adobe walls of homes closed in on one side and corrugated steel walls of businesses encroached on the other. Both were topped by terracotta roofs that almost met as they overshadowed the lane, giving the aura of evening despite the midafternoon sun. A narrow streak of sunshine marked the center of the alley, and every rational thought screamed to follow that light away from this place.

The truck had parked beside the loading dock of a warehouse. A platform stood about three feet above the dirt lane with an overhead door for loading and unloading products. Next to it, a smaller entry included a long, narrow window. Several stairs led from the entry to the alley below. There were no signs or logos to indicate what kind of business it might be.

Peter drew near the door. He should have taken off running and not stopped until he reached his family's home, nearly a mile away. He never should have gone down the alley to begin with. Yet he stood at the back door of a warehouse, peering through the window.

Row after row of small yellow packages stacked neatly on a pallet blocked his view of anything more. The packets measured about the size of a brick but were slightly wider and more rounded on the corners. They were stacked six across and twenty high, nearly six feet tall. Peter craned his neck to see more, but he saw only a pile of clothing or rags in the corner.

A voice barked orders muffled by the door, but the pile of rags shifted, revealing a head full of black curls. At the sound of footsteps approaching, he obeyed the voice of common sense. He leapt down the five steps from the loading dock to the alley and raced away without another look back.

Esperanza skittered into the corner at the sound of Gerardo’s command. Her arms covered her head and she made her tiny frame as small a target as she could.

"Ven aqui." She trembled at his demand that she come but rose slowly and shuffled toward him, trying to stay just beyond his reach.

He closed the gap and grabbed her arm. "Donde esta mi dinero?"

Her fingers dug into the ragged pocket of her jeans and pulled out the bolivianos. He snatched them from her and shoved her back toward the corner. She stumbled into the wall and crumpled like a rag doll.

The room tilted precariously, and she steadied herself by holding onto the floor as if she could stop its swaying. Gerardo clinked the coins together and spat hate-filled words at her.

She curled into a little ball, happy when he walked away and left her alone. She waited to be sure he was gone before she pulled her mother’s necklace from her pocket. The purple and yellow stone glinted in the late afternoon sun where it slanted through the narrow window lighting up the corner of the warehouse where she slept by day.

She kissed the stone, wishing it were her mother’s face instead of her single possession, her one connection to love, family, home—her life before Gerardo. Holding the gemstone, pressing it to her heart and kissing the hard surface, carried her away in her imagination. Away from the dusty streets of Santa Cruz. Away from her dying mother. Away from cruel Gerardo. Back to the stories her mother told of the proud Ayoreo people centuries ago.

Chaco Region, 1530

Anahi scampered through the forest after her father. She barely reached his waist but her legs flew across branches and over fallen logs, easily keeping up with his brisk pace.

He turned and motioned for her to stop as he slowed and carefully took aim with his spear at the boar that dug at roots in the clearing ahead. With a wild shriek, he lunged and sent the spear whistling through the air, striking the beast just behind his front leg. The bristly, gray-coated pig let out an ear-shattering squeal and turned, charging at them in pain.

Her father dove out of the path, but Anahi stood frozen, rooted to the spot in terror as the injured animal raced toward her.

At the last second, her father grabbed her hand and yanked her out of the path.

Esperanza tried to remember her father’s face. So many years had passed. If only he were here to pull her off this path, to save her from the charging beast that threatened to trample her underfoot.

Peter ran through the courtyard and dodged his younger brothers as they dribbled and took turns shooting into the goal Dad had built. Despite Caleb and Nathan’s pleas, he didn’t stop to show off his own moves. He caught a glimpse of his mom in the window. Terry Parkinson stood at the kitchen counter, slicing vegetables for their dinner and no doubt waiting on the tomatoes in his bag.

His two littlest sisters, Anna and Faith, played with dolls in the living room, and he ignored them as well.

He burst into the kitchen, his face flushed and his pulse pounding in his head. Maggie, the oldest of his sisters, and Sam, the thirteen-year-old tomboy, sat at the long farmhouse table, finishing their school assignments for the day.

He dumped the bag of vegetables onto the table before collapsing onto the bench. The tomatoes rolled out of the bag and across the table onto Sam's worksheet, nudging her hand and scooting her pencil across the page.

Hey! the thirteen-year-old protested, but at the look on her older brother's face, she fell silent.

What happened? Son, you look as if you've seen a ghost. His mother wiped her hands on a dish towel and came to stand over him, pressing her cool hand to his face as if he was a little boy with a fever.

His eyes darted toward his sisters in silent communication. His mom nodded. Girls, why don't you go help the little ones get cleaned up for dinner?

Their immediate obedience underscored the gravity of the situation. His mom sat on the bench next to Peter and took his trembling, clammy hand in hers though it dwarfed hers in size. She swept his curly, dark blond hair from his sweaty forehead as she had when he was a toddler. Her eyebrows lifted in a silent question as she waited for him to begin.

He struggled to find the words. Could it really have happened the way he recalled it? Had he been daydreaming and imagined the whole thing? She always said he had a vivid imagination. And what if it did happen and they didn't believe him? The seconds ticked slowly by as he worked through the words in his head before spitting them out.

I...I think I saw a murder. Well, I didn't actually see it. I heard it.

His mother's hands dropped into her lap and clenched. Her face paled, and he worried that he should have waited until his father got home before telling them together instead of springing this on her.

She closed her eyes for a brief second, and he knew she said a silent prayer. When her gaze met his, her quiet voice wavered. What exactly did you hear?

I went to the market and, on the way home, I thought I’d take a shortcut. He held his palm up to cut her off before she could chastise him. "I know you've told me to stay on the main streets where there are plenty of people, but I ran into Kasey and her mom at the market, and we lost track of time talking.

Then I was running late and I knew you'd be wondering what happened, so I thought I would make up some time. It looked like the alley was empty. There was just a beat-up old truck parked outside a warehouse. I didn't see anyone. He ran his fingers through his hair and then buried his face. Then, all of a sudden, I heard loud shots. Two, maybe three. My head is still ringing. I hid until they left. He glanced up at her and propped himself up, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees.

But once they were gone, I checked where the truck had been. Mom, I saw blood in the dirt. His voice broke, and his breath caught in his throat. The iron scent of blood lingered.

Now, his mom's hands were shaking. Did anyone see you there?

No. At least, I don't think so. I heard two men arguing after the shots then the truck drove right past where I hid, but I don't think they saw me. He hesitated and pressed his lips together. He didn't want to finish the story, but he must.

I peeked inside the warehouse. She gasped and pressed her lips together as if that would keep her thoughts inside. He saw the struggle on her face as she restrained the urge to lecture him in preparation for his approaching adulthood.

Mom, I know I shouldn't have. I don't know what made me do it. But I saw a bunch of looked like drugs.

They'd lived in Bolivia for longer than he'd been alive. Situated between Peru and Brazil—one of the largest producers of coca and one of the largest markets for cocaine—drug trafficking led the list of major problems facing the place they called home. His father frequently counseled students at the university who battled addiction.

Although the ousting of a major military drug operation had eliminated one threat, it had opened the door to many small-time farmers of the traditional Bolivian crop to be lured in by the profits available. Before long, the profits drew in more and more organized crime as well. News reports of drug-related crime were more common.

His mom took a deep breath and rubbed her palms on her jeans before looking him in the eye. But you don't think anyone in the warehouse saw you either?

He shook his head. I don't think so. I heard footsteps, and I ran. The pile of rags. The curly black hair. But her back had been to him.

You didn't see anyone following after you?

Her question sank in and re-ignited the fear he'd felt in the alley. No, I don't think so. Oh, Mom, I never thought that someone might be following me. I came straight home. His eyes darted around the room, and he started to rise from the chair.

She pulled him back into his seat. I'm sure it will be fine. They probably had no idea you were even there.

His dad walked in as she finished her sentence and asked, Who had no idea you were where?

Peter’s mom jumped at the first word then sighed and visibly relaxed when she saw his dad. He set his old-style briefcase on the floor by the door and strolled across the kitchen to snitch a slice of cucumber from the cutting board.

She rose from the chair and wrapped her arms around him, her head

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