Bolivia is wonderfully free of red tape and there are no suspicions about Christian outreach. On a number of occasions a friend and I went down to the local football pitches and had a great time sharing bible verses with the young people.
Bolivian culture is very relational. Opening up the Bible in informal settings was far more fruitful than offering a course like Christianity Explored.
There is much less structure to life – punctuality is unheard of and so having an open schedule and a willingness to be spontaneous is the best policy. You don’t have to worry about preparing the ‘perfect’ bible study. Bolivians are also much more hospitable. It has certainly challenged me to be more ‘people’ rather than ‘programme’ oriented.
What I did notice, though, is that so few Christians are in the habit of digging deep into the Bible and grappling with its meaning and application. There is a clear link between knowledge of the truth and godly living (Titus 1:1). In Bolivia I was encouraged by regular bible studies with both young people and adults, where we were able to go over some key doctrines together and become clearer on some of the fundamental aspects of the faith.
Here lies a challenge for any Spanish-speakers to consider visiting Latin America or Spain, as there are great gospel needs in both. Contact Crosslinks who would be happy to facilitate short trips to visit mission partners, or even countries where they have no workers but strong national links (like Bolivia).
Pray for Bolivia, which has strong government leadership. This could cause problems for Christians in the future, so pray that the Lord would raise up godly politicians. Pray too for my friend Hector as he continues to set up a new ministry there.
Read more about John's time in Bolivia.
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