Meeting our sponsored children – World Vision Bolivia

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. 1 John 3:18-19

Several years ago when I first traveled in South Africa, I found myself almost exhausted by the sights, the new understanding of their country and the loving people with so different stories to tell. Everything came so fast. Our dear friend Ian said to me, “It will take time for all of this to go down into your heart.” I have remembered his words so many times this week in Bolivia. At every stop there was more. More amazing people. More beautiful landscapes. More dedicated World Vision staff. More great need. This will all take time to sink in. To go to the deep places in my heart.

Our journey began with a meeting at Bolivian World Vision National offices in La Paz. Their wonderful staff gave us an overview of their work at 39 World Vision communities all around the country.

World Vision Bolivia National offices

From their offices, they loaded our team into vans with our fearless leader, translator and new friend, Andrea, to guide us through the whole week. We drove about five hours higher up to the city of Oruro. From Oruro we would drive to different World Vision communities each day (the official term is ADP – Area Development Project).

On the way to Oruro.

Our first community visit was to the ADP Winaypaj where we met Taylor’s sponsored child, Ashelin.

Taylor and Ashelin

The week before we arrived, we found out all of Ashelin’s other siblings had been sponsored, except one. We decided we wanted to sponsor her little sister, Rosario.

Sweet little Rosario

Ashelin and Rosario’s grandmother.

I think I’m going to have to write individual posts about each family we visited because these few lines don’t say enough, but I will tell you this. We visited Ashelin and Rosario’s house, their wonderful family fed us a gracious meal and at the time, I thought they were surely the poorest family I had ever met. Until two days later when we we met our next sponsored child, Miriam, from the Soracahi ADP.

With Miriam and her mom.

Miriam is the youngest of 11 children. The family welcomed us to their home with lavish gifts, including a guitar the dad made for Scott. Miriam held onto me from the minute she ran into my arms. I’m not sure she understands what a sponsor family is, but she was so happy we were there. None of us had ever been to a home of such desperate poverty. I think we were all stunned. And humbled. And grateful that God sent us to meet Miriam’s family.

Our families together.

From Miriam’s house we drove about 45 minutes into the most remote valley you can imagine. We were going to meet our sponsor child, Erik, the cutest little boy you’ve ever seen.

After a winding, stream-forging, drive through a valley, we parked for a short hike to Erik’s house.

Our families together. Erik is in the blue sweater.

Happy boys.

A soccer ball makes everything fun!

There is so much more to tell you about each family we have met, but this one thing I know. I have seen them with my own eyes. I have held them with my own arms. I have driven to what felt like the ends of the earth, but God is there. He is working mightily among His people in Bolivia.

Would you sponsor a child in Bolivia today? In the days to come I want to tell you more about the integrity of World Vision, but for now, the need is greater than you can imagine. Children and families are waiting. Mama’s in Bolivia are praying someone will choose their child. The World Vision link on the right of this post will take you to Bolivian children who need sponsor families. Would you choose one today?

Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25:45

Meeting our sponsored children – World Vision Bolivia 2018-02-21T12:26:38+00:00

Finally . . . from Bolivia with love.

 

For three days we have been visiting the work of World Vision in communities outside the town of Oruro. We have been welcomed with a lavish and generous hospitality. It’s such a privilege to see with our eyes what is being done to benefit the people who live here. The needs are great, but that’s why we’re here. To see, so we can tell others. To feel, so we will remember always. To fall in love, so we will go home resolved to defend and support and care for the ones now call family.

Maybe it would be easier to show you . . .

We are filming the whole trip so everyone can see and hopefully join us in sponsoring World Vision children here in Bolivia and around the world.

All our family is here. I believe God’s purpose in bringing the children will be greater than any work I could ever do. They will hold these days in their hearts forever and be changed.

The Bolivian people are both beautiful and delightful.

We are blessed beyond words to give and receive so much love.

A carrot washing machine invented by the people trained through World Vision. It has increased their productivity from 30 bags a day to 150.

Sitting to visit at a family home.

Scott speaking to a World Vision community through our interpreter, Andrea.

William and Grayson speak the universal language . . . soccer!

Finally . . . from Bolivia with love. 2018-02-21T12:26:38+00:00

To 13,000 feet.

Yesterday was a great travel day for all of us. Greensboro to Miami. Miami to Lima. Then Lima to Bolivia after midnight . . . oh, and that’s where it stopped being great for Taylor.

We landed in Bolivia and she turned green from the altitude. Really green. Bless her, she eventually walked off the plane and we stood with her, heads dizzy, trying to laugh while we wondered how this altitude was going to get to us. Lee said it feels like something is pulling you down to the ground. I think that is a good description of what it feels like for me.

We arrived to our hotel around 2am. Slept about 6 really good hours and now we are going down to meet the World Vision National Office team.

This morning, I’m happy to report that we’re all just a little achy and dizzy. Taylor still seems to be the one suffering the most symptoms, but she’s improving! So here we go.

 

To 13,000 feet. 2018-02-21T12:26:38+00:00

Midnight prayers

It’s almost midnight here. The house is getting quiet as everyone makes their way to bed. I think all of my family is mostly packed . . . except me. Ha!

But before I throw two pairs of jeans and some sweaters in my suitcase, I wanted to ask you to pray. Would you hold us in your prayers while we make our way to Bolivia. Tonight around the pizza boxes, it began to sink in . . . God is sending us. Just us. We are humbled and grateful and ready to go to love His people, for His glory. And more than anything, we desperately want to do that well.

I wish you had been at Westover Church tonight when 18 vans full of our high school kids returned from Project Serve. 200 of them piled out to cheers and hollers and tears, then they gathered to pray and shout and sing praises. They had been with God all week and served Him well and there is nothing, absolutely nothing on this earth that compares to serving God. Each one of those beautiful kids (including mine) knew that truth tonight.

And so . . . caught up in the sweetness of surrender . . . we go. Led by the same Spirit of God that just brought all our kids home and worked mightily in their lives. May He be powerful and in all things this week.

For Him. Just Him.

Angela

PS – I will update here as often as I can. Hopefully after one plane ride, I will have learned how to load pictures into these posts!

 

 

Midnight prayers 2012-06-25T00:06:26+00:00