Bolivia Trip Report #1
The Bolivia VIM’s Have Landed!
Trip Report #1 from the June 2010 VIM Team
The 14-member June 2010 Encounter with Christ team of Volunteers in Mission to the Central District of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Bolivia has landed. We arrived in Cochabamba a little after one o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, June 18-some members of the group having traveled for more than 30 hours since leaving home. Organized by the New York Conference in partnership with the Susquehanna Conference in Pennsylvania, the team consists of eight members from the New York Conference, four members from the Susquehanna Conference and two veterans of previous trips who reside in new Hampshire and the area of the new Upper New York Conference. Our geographic diversity is matched by our diversity of talents we bring to here to work, worship and fellowship with the family of God’s children here in Bolivia.
Despite some minor problems with late flights early in our trip, our arrival in Cochabamba was on time and we were met by adults and children from the congregation of Luz de Vida Methodist church, with whom we will be working on construction of a new church facility. This facility will house this rapidly expanding congregation founded just a few years ago as an outreach of Emmanuel Methodist and currently overflowing its worship services held in a chapel made by converting a one-car garage at a house of one of the leaders of Emmanuel. The greeting at the airport and the bus ride to our quarters at the guesthouse of the Instituto Americana (a Methodist school) were enthusiastic and filled with singing and clapping of hands.
We begin work tomorrow (Saturday) at Luz de Vida, both on the new church and on installation of an oven behind the current garage-chapel that will enable the establishment of a bakery business, providing employment for some members of the congregation. We will continue to work with the Luz de Vida people on construction of the new church for a total of seven days, while also working our Bolivian friends in conducting half-day vacation bible schools at Luz de Vida and three other congregations. We are all excited about what is to come, and after so much travel we hope to get a lot of rest tonight. We’ll get another report off in a few days. Peace to all, and thank you for your prayers.
Your Bolivia VIM Team
Members of the Bolivia VIM Team are: (*indicates first time as Bolivia VIM): New York Conference: Dan Abbott*, Rachel Bird, Susan Biggert*, Ed Dayton, Rev. Carl Franson, Chris Freeman, Donna Holt, Linda Mellor* Susquehanna Conference: Holly Johnston*, Kathy Silva*, Bob Stevenson, Ginny Stevenson. Upper New York area: Dawn Mauro New Hampshire: Rod Wendt