CONGREGATION IN VIA GRACIA
Dear brothers and sisters, we would like to share a brief update on the Lord’s work here in Via Gracia.
Two years have passed since we started our ministry here. Currently, there are 11 families living in Via Gracia, who also regularly attend the church services, 32 children, and 2 youth. In total, we are 56 souls in the congregation. As you can see, there are many children in the congregation. Extra effort is made to engage with the children with Sunday School, and on Wednesday evenings during Bible Study and prayer time, the children also have a Bible story time.
We have Youth meeting for the youth, and we have a women’s meeting once a month. Last year, we also had some evenings specifically for married couples.
We also have a school here where the children attend elementary school from the age of 5 and up. For the year 2021, we will probably have 26 students in various grades from Kindergarten to 7th Grade.
To ensure that the children in the school also get a better education, we constantly need more teachers.
We are thankful to God from the bottom of our hearts for His guidance, direction, and power. He has helped wonderfully, we are encouraged, and we trust that God will continue to help us and build His work also in Via Gracia.
Your prayers are, of course, very much appreciated.
Hans und Tina Klassen
CHILDREN’S HOME “HOGAR DE PAZ”
The children’s home “Hogar de Paz” (“Home of Peace”) was founded in January 2019 by the Mission of the Church of God in Bolivia. Until June 2020, the Henry Hildebrandt family from Bolivia was in charge and cared for the children responsibly and lovingly. In addition to some employees from Bolivia, the Marina and Roman Ped family (from Winnipeg, Canada) and Leo Grötzinger (from Eppingen, Germany) are currently working here.
The children’s home “Hogar de Paz” takes care of children from difficult homes, where alcohol, drugs, or other family problems are often present. To overcome these, the parents are offered a three-month stay in a German rehabilitation center, where they receive spiritual counseling and loving support throughout the day. The children spend this time in the children’s home.
Furthermore, Hogar de Paz keeps its doors open for those cases in which single parents lack the necessary time for the children or in which the parents are simply overwhelmed and do not want to seek help elsewhere.
As a rule, these children lack a school education. Therefore, we as employees try to provide them with an adequate school education at least during their stay at Hogar de Paz. The school lessons take place in the morning and include a daily devotion in which the children are taught Biblical stories and Christian principles.
After lunch, “quiet time” is on the program. The children spend this time in their rooms. There, they can sleep, talk, or play games. Afterwards, they work on their homework.
After completing their homework, the children have free time. During this time, the children can play indoors or outdoors. We often take them for walks or other excursions. If there is work to be done around the house, the children are, of course, allowed to help.
After dinner at 6 p.m. and the devotion that follows, the children are free to spend their time as they wish. From about 8 p.m., the preparation for the night’s rest begins, i.e., cleaning up, bathing, brushing teeth, etc.
Our goal is to teach the children the basic things of life, such as mutual love, respect, order, obedience, and discipline, which unfortunately have been neglected in many children. Often, this requires a lot of effort and patience, but always with plenty of love.
However, our greatest desire and constant prayer is to provide them with a pleasant, loving, and teachable home, hearing, learning, and coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ better, especially through deed and word.
Thus, we ask that you support both the children and us staff members in prayer.
NEW SPANISH ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD IN “5 DE JUNIO”
The year 2020 was without question, to say the least, a “special” year! But would it not be a pity if it were remembered by us merely as the “COVID-19 year?” Surely the Lord of the harvest had quite different intentions for this virus than the supposed intentions of politicians or the World Health Organization.
We were able to experience one of the positive effects of the Coronavirus time here in Shalom in June 2020. Of course, the quarantine and restrictions had its effects in our neighborhood. As a result, the youth decided to do an outreach by handing out about 500 hot meals with tracts and an invitation to church services in the neighborhood. Interestingly, we later noticed that the day the youth went out to our neighboring village named “5 de Junio” was “coincidentally” exactly June 5, 2020. The following Sunday, beyond our expectation, about 30 neighbors showed up at our German service. Of course, we didn’t have enough translation headphones and we were forced to improvise with translation for a few Sundays. Soon it became clear to us that the wish of the new visitors to start church services with them in the adjacent settlement, in a church building which had been empty for years, was really meant seriously.
So, on June 14 we began there, first with a children’s Sunday School and then from June 21 with a full Spanish service. Looking back on the past 6 months, we can say that the Lord has done great things, for which we are grateful. Right now, we are waiting for someone to come to do the Spanish church work full time and more effectively. Please pray especially that the Lord would bless this part of the harvest field abundantly as well.
Our Master said in John 9:4, “I must do the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” It is good that by “night” He did not mean a “virus!”
We sincerely continue to ask for your intercessions for the various branches of the work here and appreciate all your prayers that have gone up to the throne of God for Bolivia in the last 14 years.