My primary intention with this blog is to extend community, to give you a better understanding of what our goals are, and how we’re going about achieving them. To that end I want to pass along a link to the website of on EFCCM couple. We are very pleased to have Jake and Mark serving with us in Latin America.

They’ve been keeping up a blog, and have regularly added updates and pictures. Check it out by clicking here. Take a look at the story of the construction of the new church building they’re working on with a visiting team. I’ve been enjoying watching it rise up, almost right before my eyes!

I invite you to take a look at what they’re up to, and if you do, be sure to drop them a line to say “Hi!”.

The radio ministry team in Bolivia was proud to host this summer’s Low German Family Bible School (also known as vacation bible school, or VBS). A rather large team of leaders came from North America to offer education uniquely tailored to kids, youth and adults. There was also a strong partnership with many local churches and schools who shared their facilities. The VBS were rewarded with a great turn out, serving dinner every night to more than 250 guests, and the closing night was the biggest with well over 500 in attendance.

Several fixed-tuned radios were handed out which will allow their recipients to tune into RTM broadcasts which include music and gospel broadcasts. And we hope that the many decisions and recommitments that were made there to follow Christ will flourish and be nurtured.

What mental image gets conjured up when you hear the term missionary? I’m willing to bet that we’ve come a long from a pith-helmeted David Livingstone hacking a path out of the African bush with a machete in one hand and a Bible in the other. Right? Well in some important ways we have, but in some important ways we haven’t.

Let me introduce you to Jake and Marg. They are a couple serving in Bolivia. Deep in Bolivia. Like right smack-dab in the jungle. (Below is a picture of a road that was flooded, and workers are clearing away the mud by hand.) They are teaching sustainable agriculture techniques, and are currently planning to add chickens and guinea pigs into the mix. This will improve the lives of the Quechua people, providing a more healthy and sustainable diet, while also teaching good stewardship of the land. The people of the village are often baffled by the foreigners’ ways of planting, and even more baffled when they demonstrate how successful (and delicious) the results are. This is causing exactly the type of curiosity that Jake and Marg were hoping for, and conversations and relationships are developing from it.

We’re starting to hear a lot about social justice in our world, and here is a practical example of it playing out. Jake and Marg have been very involved in agriculture in Canada for a long time, and recently decided to use their gifts in a missions context. Their work in Bolivia is rough adventure type stuff. They are facing the harsh realities of conditions in Bolivia head on, and God is giving repeatedly giving them new ways to help.

This is the humility of our faith tied tightly to the audacity of our calling. It’s old-school missions at its very best!

I was searching through our picture files for something specific the other day (can’t even remember what anymore) , and I happened on this picture of Steve, our Latin America Area Director.

When I showed it to another colleague here at Home Office, she joked matter-of-factly, “Oh, he’s killing him.” Mercifully, that’s not what’s going on at all! Let’s call this a ‘dry run’.

Taken at Nueva Belen (the Quechua church in Bolivia that was included in our recent Year End Projects), Steve and Pastor Diego are demonstrating to a number of candidates what to expect in the upcoming baptism service. This is an example of the creativity we celebrate here: with the language barrier between Quechua and Spanish, it is far easier for them to show this than to try to explain it.

But it sure makes for some rather unusual photo ops!