Bolivia Day 6
Greetings Purcellville and all our readers. It is day 6 and we enjoyed a rare mostly cloudy day in Cochabamba which was a blessing. After breakfast and morning devotions, we headed back to the “Piedra Angular” which translates, “Cornerstone”, for another day of construction. With less full sun and cooler temperatures, everyone shook off fatigue, and great progress was produced. On arrival, Joe had planned for us to finish 8 walls in five days, as of tonight, we have 10 walls under construction, and should finish all of them tomorrow. (in only 3 days) Praise the Lord, for strength, safety, and incredible team work. Our team has been blessed with a Holy Spirit given unity, cooperation, and mutual support. We’ve seen this on every event of the trip, from VBS’s, to the Evanglistic campaign, to rich times of sharing and encouragement, and now to construction. We have grown so much in love and appreciation for one another.
You may be asking why this construction work on the church is so important and appreciated by our Bolivian brothers and sisters. It really comes down to TIME and FINANCIAL resources.
The average wage of the poor Bolivian is 1-2/hr B’s (Boliviano’s) which is $0.14 -$0.28 US. So a “good day”, a man might make 10-14 B’s or around $2.00, which is $10.00 per week.
When a church starts it usually begins in homes or an open field. Then it takes a very long time for them to save enough to build a structure that can hold 20-35 people. Many times, the land is donated by a church member.
Now, one positive aspect of Bolivian culture is that they don’t believe in debt for building. So unlike in the US, where we buy a house with a mortgage and pay it off for 30 years, once they have a plot of land they only build a little bit of the house at a time when they have saved enough money. It is the same with the churches.
So to build a church they have two issues. Financial resources to be able to purchase materials, and time for labor to use the materials to actually construct the building. Through your generous giving to PBC of which 10% goes to our World Mission Budget, plus any designated Mission giving, we are able to purchase the needed materials.
However, they would just sit there for a long time, if we didn’t come and use them.
Imagine if our church was given all the raw materials to build a new sanctuary, but our ONLY resources for construction labor were the members of the church who would volunteer spare time for a few hours each Saturday. Think how long that would take. It’s even more so here, because each person first needs to work to provide food, housing, etc for his own family.
So here’s an example, we give $3,000 for materials. That’s equal to 21,000 B’s or 10,500 Bolivian working man hours or 1,050 days of work.
Then our team of 12 contributes 282 man hours of work to build walls. Joe Holman estimates that what we do in a week, would take the Bolivians over 5 years.
One other side benefit is that our work greatly encourages our Bolivian brothers and sisters, as they see God’s hand in sending us, and that they are not alone or forgotten in His Kingdom. So the whole project gets a BIG boost to move forward.
Bottom line is that, if we and others didn’t come from the US with your gifts, this church project to get a Compassion site that will serve over 600 children in the area would most likely never get completed.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We really feel it. Please pray for health, strength, and also continue spiritual growth for each of us as we serve.