This is the fourth and final blog in our four part series about MCC Missions during the Covid 19 Pandemic; looking at how mission’s efforts are being affected and how we can come alongside to pray for, encourage and support these programs. Today we are focusing on our partners in Bolivia with Food for the Hungry.
Bolivia currently has over four thousand confirmed cases and 169 deaths associated with COVID-19. The pandemic is aggravating an already tense political situation with the current ruling authority postponing elections by at least three months. This has also led to concerns over the manner with which the lockdown has been implemented. Lockdown in Bolivia is significantly different than what we have experienced—only 1 person from a household is allowed to leave their home once a week to buy groceries.
Despite these severe restrictions, Food for the Hungry (FH) continues to serve their community by strengthening the promotion of health and hygiene practices in all areas of operation so communities can remain healthy and virus-free! Praise God that the men and women we support are still able to go out and share God’s love and encouragement while training the community on the best ways to stay healthy! Specifically, FH staff included COVID-19 materials provided by the Ministry of Health in the Cascade Group lessons related to handwashing and acute respiratory infections.
Jennifer Ward recently reached out to our FH contacts about how we can encourage and pray for the FH Staff, our FH sponsored children, and the people of Bolivia.
Fabiola Yanina Vargas (an FH interpreter that travels with Missions Teams visiting Bolivia) shared a few ideas on how we can encourage FH staff and FH sponsored children. She said,
“It would be great to have news from your church and some encouraging words! Another church we work with sent videos to the staff; 2 minutes videos sending greetings and advice for them to take care of their health during this pandemic. If you want to you can do the same. Just email me the note or video so that I can translate it and then send it to German.”
In addition, for those with sponsored children, you can do that same thing! Read Fabiola’s note below for an update on conditions in Bolivia and directions on how to get a video to your sponsored child today!
“Dear FH Ambassadors!
When borders are closed, Ambassadors are more needed.
We are really missing seeing you and your teams visiting our communities. Expending one week with each of your teams is something we look for all year long and by now it is not possible. Therefore, we want to update what’s going on in our corner of the world.
Since March 22nd all Bolivia is in quarantine, which means basically that everyone has to stay home. Only one person per family can go out to buy groceries once a week, according to the last number of the i.d. card. 1 and 2 go out on Mondays, 3 and 4 on Tuesday and so on, the week-ends everyone has to stay home. Farmers are allowed to transport their production and there are some other exceptions to the lock down.
It really made change life in general, it is hard in the communities as you can imagine and very challenging to us because we are forced to think in new ways to accomplish our mission. All the staff is working from home. One thing that we are doing thanks to technology is a contest for FH children and their families. They have to record short videos and write letters explaining why everyone is staying home. Our hope is to encourage them to express how they are feeling and to reflect why things are this way.
These weeks we are working on finding funding to implement projects to answer to this sanitary emergency. God willing, we will be able to help especially those that earn daily the money for the day with some goods that they need now and also helping them to produce their own income.
Please pray for food and health for all the families that work with us. Pray for restored relationships during the quarantine. Join us to thank God for this situation, we believe that He is in control of everything.
We would also enjoy to receive short videos from you to your sponsored kids, if you want you can send them to me and they will be shared with the kids.
Thank you for praying for us, and please let us know how can we pray for you, it would be our honor.
FH Bolivia team”
We hope you will join us in praying for the situation in Bolivia! And by sending encouraging notes and videos to the FH staff and FH sponsored children!
We are excited to announce that we will have an in-person worship service outside at 8:30am in the MCC parking lot! We can’t wait to see you! In addition, our Sunday live-stream (on Facebook and Instagram) will move to 10:00am for the foreseeable future for those who are not be able to join us.
We’ve chosen for our service to happen outdoors as there are still a number of requirements and protocol for indoor gatherings. So, we are not inviting you to join us indoors at this time. Instead, come for our outdoor gathering, or continue to join us online later from home.
Please read the Guidelines for Gathering to Worship Together at MCC in its entirety so that you know what to expect when you come to our outdoor service. This will help you and those around you navigate a very new situation, hopefully in a way that is as seamless as possible. We believe that our unity will be expressed and strengthened as we serve one another in Christ this week so join us in extending grace to each other, amid our differing perspectives, and different views about how to live in this time.
“... submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
“Outdo one another in showing honor.”
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Please know that we are making every effort for this gathering to be in full compliance with the protocols given by authorities. No single plan for our meeting will ever be the perfect solution in any one person’s eyes. We will all be making compromises. But as we defer to these guidelines set up by our elders and leadership, we will be serving our fellow believers, honoring Christ as best we can, and providing for a beautiful expression of worship to happen together.
Please stay home if any of the following apply to you:
- You are immunocompromised.
- You are feeling ill (running a fever, coughing, or showing other signs of sickness)
Please don’t put yourself or others at risk. Thank you for staying home and staying safe, because we love you!