Continuing Outreach to the Mennonite Colonies

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Verna is an EFCCM missionary serving in Bolivia. She provided this update for us.

What has been happening regarding the Mennonite work?

In many ways I have been rewarded. I have sat with my laptop, working on editing material that was translated into Plautdietsch (Low German) by someone else. There has been material such as SEAN which is a course of theological education by extension, and also “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. As of the beginning of this year, the church in neighbouring Villa Nueva is using the Sunday School Bible stories that I translated.

When education/administrative consultants, John and Naomi (faithful EFCCM Mission Associates) were here, they gave a seminar to SS teachers. And that was very helpful, as many SS have had very little training.

In church we have divided into small groups for our Thursday evening Bible Study. I am in charge of leading the study in my group, for which I chose to use the recently translated “The Purpose Driven Life”. At first I was quite apprehensive about the groups, but I feel that the group is adjusting and that we are becoming a ‘family’.

The most recent activity was the exciting arrival of the 9,800 Gideon Bibles in Plautdietsch. The tiring part of that was driving a group of Gideons from Canada to distribute those in the colonies. There were 11 of them who spoke Plautdietsch. It was hot, dusty and/or muddy. As many are afraid of outsiders bringing them a false doctrine, they are stand-offish or even refuse to come out to talk, especially the women if they are home by themselves. But I was pleasantly surprised that many came to talk, and even invited us to sit with them.

The Gideons also placed Bibles in hotels and hospitals in Santa Cruz where Mennonites stay.

Going into the colonies I again was impressed with the creative and mechanical abilities that we saw in their inventions of an ice cream maker, a hot water tank for warm showers, and the steel wheels on their tractors.

Please keep praying that those who received the Bibles would read them with open hearts and minds.

Mennonite Outreach in Bolivia (Video)

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We are involved in several methods of outreach to Mennonite colonies in Bolivia. Their strict emphasis on tradition has robbed them of a rich, vibrant relationship with Christ. In some colonies, this has resulted in significant problems, and the existing structure doesn’t have the mechanisms to correct them. In their desperation, they are starting looking for help from the outside community, and this is giving us an important opportunity to offer Christ’s healing and restoration.

Download video file to your computer (right click or option click to save):
BoliviaMennonites.wmv (should work with most PCs)
BoliviaMennonites.m4v (should work with most Macs)