Monday, October 10, 2005

Beams Bytes – October 2005

Dear Friends and Family,

As Christ followers, we are called to be Christ’s “hands and feet” here on this earth, bearing witness to His love and helping the less fortunate. I’m sure your heart goes out to those in need, but it seems in these times there are more tragedies than we can possibly respond too. I’m sure everyone of you knows someone who was affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Tsunami, and now an earthquake in South Asia are tragedies too big to even comprehend mentally. I would encourage each one of you who receive our letters to think about how God has blessed your lives spiritually and financially and how you might be able to invest your blessings in the lives of people around the world who do not have even one percent of the income that we have in the United States.

While Bolivia may not have recently been hit by a colossal storm or earthquake, the majority of its citizens live in chronic poverty. The unequal distribution of wealth is extremely noticeable here. The upper and middle class who live in urban areas live a comfortable life. When you fly into Santa Cruz you see large houses, shopping malls, and new Land Rovers. You don’t see the poverty until you get out into the fringes of the city where families with six kids live in one small rented room. Where every time it rains their yards and streets fill with nasty flood water and trash. In rural communities children often do not go to school because it is too far to the nearest school and they do not have the extra money to buy shoes or school supplies. Bolivia has one of the highest levels of poverty and inequality in Latin America. The wealthiest 10% of people in Bolivia earn an average of 25 times more than the poorest 40% of the population. In rural communities, fully 60% of the population is categorized as “extremely poor,” meaning they do not earn enough money to meet their most basic needs of food and shelter. Most people working in rural areas earn less than $2 a day. And believe me, that is not enough money to feed a family. How would you like to eat only rice, beans, and noodles every day, or sometimes go completely without?

Vanessa and I have chosen to be God’s “hands and feet” here in Bolivia. We chose to work as missionaries with World Concern because World Concern focuses on integrated or holistic ministry, meaning that we share the love of Christ through “word and deed,” addressing the spiritual and physical needs of the most poor in Bolivia. While it may not be as glamorous as helping storm victims, the work does have a long term affect on the fight against poverty. If we can introduce a family the importance of living a healthy Christ-centered life and can help them begin to generate enough income to support their families, we can have a positive impact on their lives and their communities for generations to come. We want to show them that they are loved, and respected, and cared about as equals. Becoming educated, their children will have a hope and a vision for a better future that does not include chronic hunger and misery. Bolivia is not a basket case, there are opportunities here for financial progress and it is World Concern’s mission to help share Gods love and to help reduce poverty through long-term economic development projects that will help raise income in a sustainable fashion.

And we are asking you, our friends and family back home, to journey with us in this ministry and to invest in God’s work here in Bolivia. You can become God’s “hands and feet” here in Bolivia through investing in our ministry. I hate sounding like a broken record, but we are significantly behind in our support this year. Since the beginning of the fiscal year in July we are $4,400 behind our budget. We need to raise approximately $3,800 a month for living expenses, insurance, and ministry funds. So far this year we have raised an average of $2,300 a month. We are extremely grateful for the sacrifice many of you are making for this ministry. God is blessing your investment. For others, the enthusiasm of supporting a new missionary family may be wearing off. Our prayer is that many of you would make a new or renewed commitment to supporting our ministry on a monthly basis. If you would like to set up an automatic monthly payment that is debited from your bank account please let us know and we can arrange it with the central office. Even $10 or $25 a month would a tremendous blessing. If your church or someone else you know might be interested in supporting this ministry, please share our prayer letters and our website with them, or let us know their address and we will put them on our mailing list.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

In His Grace,Danny

Mailing address:

Daniel and Vanessa Beams
World Concern
Parapeti #146 -- Casilla 3681
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Office Telephone: 011 591 3336 3664
Home Telephone: 011 591 3352 9156