Have you ever been to Bolivia? Scratch that. Have you ever heard of Bolivia?! Well, it’s a special place, and this summer, if you’re up for an adventure, you can experience it firsthand. But first, some context…
Why Bolivia? Did you know that more Bolivians live in the Metro DC area than anywhere else in the world outside of Bolivia? Wild, huh? So over the last few years, a group of Restoration-ites with a passion for Latin America has been exploring ways our church can minister to, build relationships with, and walk alongside Bolivians – both locally and in Bolivia. So far we have held three small groups to pray about ways we might serve, sent a small ‘exploratory’ mission team to Bolivia in 2014 to build relationships with the local Anglican church, La Trinidad, and the children’s ministry Niños con Valor (NCV), and most recently initiated the process of establishing an immigration legal aid center at Resto. Now, we’re excited to announce that this summer, Restoration will be making its first formal mission trip to Bolivia. And we want you to come!
Bolivia is a landlocked country in the heart of South America with an enormous range of cultural, ethnic, geographic, and environmental diversity. There are more than 36 distinct indigenous populations dotting the map (with just as many unique languages), and its borders stretch from the Amazon-basin lowlands of Santa Cruz in the east (bordering Brazil) up, up, up to the oxygen-deprived capital city of La Paz at 12,000 feet (the highest capital city in the world).
But alongside this cultural and environmental richness exists tremendous poverty — both materially and spiritually. It is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (behind Haiti). And though over 90% of Bolivians identify as Christians (mostly Catholic), only 30% are active; Christian faith is more a cultural and nominal tradition, and less a profound and life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.
It is into this context that Restoration will embark on its first formal mission trip July 1-11, 2016 to this unique and beautiful country. We will travel to Cochabamba, a city located in the heart of the country at the foot of majestic peaks. The purpose of our trip will be to deepen relationships with two separate but interconnected ministries:
The first is La Trinidad, the local Anglican Church in Cochabamba, and part of the broader Anglican diocese of Bolivia. These partners in faith are doing bold things to share the gospel, proclaim Christ, and guide Bolivians toward a relationship with Jesus. We are excited to come alongside them and explore ways in which we can minister to one another.
The second is Niños con Valor (NCV), a children’s ministry that operates three unique homes for abandoned, orphaned, abused, or neglected children. These ‘least of these’ are just a few of the thousands of children in need in Bolivia, and NCV seeks to raise them in a Christ-centered, family-oriented setting.
Our time will be spent with both ministries, seeking to build relationships, train their leaders (particularly in children’s ministry and healing prayer), and refresh their workers. We are thrilled about what God is doing there, and about the ways he might be able to use us as part of His story.
We would love for you to consider being part of the team. If you’re interested, why not apply? 2016 Bolivia Team Application. And if you have any questions, please reach out to Endel Liias or Liz Gray.
Gracias y bendiciones!
The RestoBolivia team
(339) 222 – 2158
(202) 294 – 5131