Monday, September 15, 2008

Bolivia Update


Hi, readers. It's with a heavy but hopeful heart that I tell you a source at the US Embassy said it's definitely "time to get out." With a mandate like that, M, my dear friend and full time Bolivia missionary, has received orders to evacuate the country within the next two weeks. She's given her life to the Bolivian people for 10+ years, so to be forced to abandon them at an uncertain time like this is truly devastating. I'm going to call her tonight so I'll have updates to share...

Since my first visit to Bolivia in 2005, the country has experienced political unrest… often coming nearly to a boil, but then simmering back down again before ever having an official meltdown. Never before have the Americans been evacuated, so we know it's become grave. According to one of my 2007 trip members, "(M) said that at this point no one knows what is going to happen, or what the 'plan' is – including Evo (Bolivia's president) and the governors of the opposition states. There’s no precedent for this in Bolivia, and the leadership doesn’t have a good enough grasp of how similar scenarios have played out in other countries. That’s the most unsettling, and potentially dangerous thing. Both sides have dug in their heels, and neither the administration or the opposition are willing to budge, despite what we might be hearing on the news."

For all those who pray, please lift up my Bolivian friends today. Pray for safety, food and level heads. Pray especially for my darlings, E and I and the rest of their family - they've opened their home to me numerous times, cooked me some of the most delicious meals I've ever had and shared my life's ups and downs for the past four years. Pray for the church and the neighborhood where all my friends live, that they'll be insulated from any violence and that the food supply will not be cut short. Pray the country reaches resolution before civil war.
Do let me know ASAP if you're interested in contributing to the emergency food fund. We anticipate M will leave the country in less than a week, so we have only that long to wire her the money and ensure it's distributed to the church and surrounding neighborhood. Thanks, BAA fans!

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