– One of our podcast guests, Grace Wright, gives a video tour– showing a new church that Samaritan’s Purse helped build in the country.
– Take a look at our Instagram to get a behind-the-scenes look of the making of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse.
Since the end of 2019, Bolivians have faced compounding turmoil and hardship. From civil unrest to devastating coronavirus difficulties, the country is desperate for hope. Today’s episode begins with a reminder that God is present in every time of need. While Bolivia is going through enormous hardship, Samaritan’s Purse is striving to bring spiritual and physical healing.
Nearly 12 years ago, the ministry responded to major flooding in the country and has since established a field office there. Samaritan’s Purse Bolivia has two bases of operation: one in the capital city of La Paz and the other in Trinidad. These teams are working together to meet the greatest needs on the ground.
Kristy begins the conversation with Grace Wright, a field and teams communication program coordinator based in Bolivia. Grace describes the landscape, culture, and offices in the country. Both teams are running long-term programming such as agricultural projects, water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs, and health projects. They are also tailoring each project and adding new ones to meet the most urgent needs in the country.
When COVID-19 hit in early spring, Bolivia went into a strict quarantine that cut off essential resources for most families—including the opportunity to work for daily wages, which many families rely on for income.
David McColl, the country director for Bolivia, explains how local church partners have played an essential role in helping our teams identify the most vulnerable families.
“Most of our work we partner with a church,” David says. “That’s what we do. That’s what’s sustainable. That’s what has an impact. The church is God’s tool to bring salvation through Christ. This I know, we want to reach those that are most in need.”
Samaritan’s Purse has partnered with more than 100 churches across the country—distributing necessary food, supplies, and hygiene kits. Gilvan Ramos, the senior programs manager, reiterated how these distributions create an eternal impact. He tells a story of a family of nine with no support and nothing to eat. Samaritan’s Purse heard of the family through a local church and delivered food baskets along with the Good News of Jesus Christ. That day, they heard the Word of God and accepted Christ as their Savior.
“Every person we talked to on the Bolivia team mentioned the importance of bringing God into every interaction, conversation, and decision,” Kristy explains. “Our teams in Bolivia strive to bring physical and spiritual help wherever they go.”
The episode wraps with specific prayer requests from the Bolivia office. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Bolivia as they continue to experience God’s hope and healing through crisis.