I would like to take a moment and let you know of a specific need that we have. We have been presenting this need in some churches and mentioned it in our prayer letters, so you may already know about it. However, I had someone ask me for a letter specifically for our need and I thought it would be good to share with all of our supporters.
Before I mention the need, let me share something we have learned in our time in Bolivia. We have been in Bolivia for 3 1/2 years now but been working in and out of Bolivia for 7 years. The Lord has had us, up until now, helping other missionaries or churches. But this time has given us a great opportunity to
watch and learn from others. We look and see what we do or do not like in each, what we would like to incorporate in ours as we start, etc…
The greatest thing I believe we have learned is the need of property. I watched a few years ago as a missionary of 30 years had to leave the field for health purposes. During their 30yrs in Bolivia, they started 3 very good works. However, I have noticed that since they have left, their churches have continued. They now have national pastors and are doing well. I believe a major part of this success was not only due to their labor among the people but their purchase of property.
I have seen that you can go out soul winning, and disciple your converts. Yet, no matter how well discipled they are. No matter how faithful they are in tithing and giving offerings, they can still only do so much. The problem is that Bolivia is the poorest country in all of South America. So even if there is a good number of people, and all are tithing correctly, they simply do not make enough money to be able to sustain the costs of a building and/or rent.
Because they do not make enough money to sustain the costs of a church building, they rely heavily on the missionary to keep them going. Without the missionary, they would shut down, leaving most of them without another biblically sound option.
As we prepare to start the first work of our own, we are asking you to prayerfully, consider helping us supply this work with its own land and building. Our goal is not just to start a church. Our goal is to make a lasting difference in the lives of these Bolivians. We want our people to continue to grow in the knowledge of our Savior, with or without our help. My family does not have any plans on leaving Bolivia, but neither did that other missionary family.
So would you help us? We have been surveying an area, that is growing very rapidly. There are main roads that are currently being built only 1-2 blocks away from the specific lot we would like to purchase. The land we are looking at is about 3,200 square feet and costs about $30,000. This does not include any building, or construction. This is just the land. I know this is very expensive to most American standards, but it is actually a slightly less expensive piece of land because it is on the outskirts of the city.
We already have many of our supplies to get started. We have a pulpit, chairs, Bibles, hymnals, etc… We also have some believers that are willing to help us start the work. So we have most of what we need except for the place. We would greatly appreciate any help that you might be able to give towards this goal.