Dear Friends and Family,
A few Fun Facts about Bolivia:
- Bolivia has the highest navigable lake in the world Lago Titicaca, on the border with Peru sits at 3810 meters (that's 12,382 feet above sea level). Santa Cruz is only at about 1000 feet, but we rode motorcycles up to 17,800 ft on the side of a volcano.
- The largest deposit of salt on the planet is also found in Bolivia. The Salar de Uyuni contains over 64 million tons of salt! The Salar de Uyuni is also the world's largest deposit of lithium and Bolivia could soon become a strategic player in the world market to supply battery manufacturers.
- Bolivia is located within one of the wettest zones on the planet. We get over 8000 millimeters (8 meters!) of rainfall per year.
- Bolivia has 23 major eco-regions, and is one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet—containing 40% of all known plant and animal species.
- Bolivia has over 30 different native indigenous groups and is one of only three countries in Latin America to have a majority indigenous population.
- 59% of Bolivians are Catholic, 15% Andean spiritualists, 12% not religious, and 11% Protestant or Evangelical Christians.
While most Bolivians have been exposed to the Bible through Catholic traditions, and may say they believe in God, the vast majority mix these beliefs with other cultural traditions and do not have a personal relationship with their creator as is modeled for us in the New Testament. Bolivia is a beautiful and diverse country with a rich history and many economic and cultural resources. Missionaries, pastors, Christian leaders are sharing the gospel throughout the country, but we cannot reach everyone with the Good News unless we are backed in prayer and financial support from other Christians around the world. Please pray for Bolivia and consider what your part should be in reaching Bolivia for Christ.
We are having a good Spring (actually, it's Fall here). Many folks are visiting from our EFCC home mission office and churches in Canada. We also recently hosted a group from our home church, Crossroads Christian Church in Kentucky. They brought a team of youth and adults who worked hard building furniture and painting at two orphanages in town, Talita Cumi (http://www.talitacumi.org/index.php) and Judah Quy (http://judahquyhome.blogspot.com/) a new home for babies with special needs. Lindsey, our intern from Crossroads, was adjusting well and working hard, but unfortunately right after the Crossroads team left she found out that her grandmother passed away so she quickly returned home for the funeral before your scheduled time with us was up. We miss you Lindsey!
Ruth and Noemi Transition Home for Girls: We moved the girls to their new apartment about a month ago. We still have three girls, Juanita, Marina, and Fernanda. Pray for each of these girls specifically. Each one is struggling with finding their place in the world and understanding that they are truly daughters of a loving God.
Agua Yaku: We have been retooling this month, rebuilding our motorized drilling rig so we can drill more quickly and efficiently in the hard clay soil in the area around Pailon. We have had to drill up to about 60 meters through extremely hard clay and with our light rig it takes almost two weeks to complete one well. We hope that with our recent modifications we can reduce the time to drill each well and thus punch a few more holes in the ground.
Regrettably, the funding we thought we would be receiving in 2010 to move forward with our SODIS water disinfection program will not be forthcoming. This puts our project in a real financial bind because we have been hiring extra staff, training, and purchasing equipment with the expectation of this promised donation. We would love to continue with our plans to implement SODIS but we will need some new donors to come onboard quickly so we can continue our project. If you have been thinking about making a donation and would like to encourage us, this would be a great time to do so! We are also gearing up for a number of well drilling mission trips this summer. There is still time to put one together with your church or other group, or if you don't have your own group let us know and we can attach you to another group already planned. Just let us know.
I want to give a special thanks to all our long time supporters who have stuck with us through these hard financial times. We could not be here your prayer support and backing. It is wonderful knowing we have such a great team behind us.