Hola! Bienvenidos a Bolivia! We have had an exciting last few days in the town of San Ignacio in the rural eastern region of Bolivia. Following our day with college students in Santa Cruz on Monday, the GO Bolivia 2012 team boarded a bus destined for San Ignacio around 8:00 p.m Monday night. The bus far exceeded our expectations. The bus was a double decker with all the luxuries of an American tour bus…air conditioning, televisions (playing Spanish movies, of course), lights for reading, and a complimentary soda and snack (similar to Nilla wafers). It was a far cry from the school bus-quality bus without air conditioning that would get stuck in the mud throughout the night that I was expected. Although it did not meet expectations, it was probably for the better. J
The team appreciated the comfortable ride, but it was difficult to sleep with the many bumps along the way. The road was paved for the first half and then became unpaved as we approached San Ignacio. There were several roadside “towns” with small marketplaces showcasing various items for sale (especially a lot of beverages for passing drivers). As we passed through several of these roadside “towns,” my heart really beat for the Bolivian people. This life is likely all they know, and especially for the people who live in these areas, there is very little (if any) true Christian witness. Like most of the Bolivian countryside (and South America in general) most people have no personal relationship with Christ and have either never heard the entire truth of the Gospel of Christ, or the Gospel has not penetrated their hearts. Beyond these towns, San Ignacio shines as a beacon of hope, as there are some churches proclaiming the truth of Christ and individuals intentional in both evangelizing and discipling. There is great hope in this area as the few believers’ passion for Christ and sharing the truth is contagious and a beautiful reflection of God love.