by Bill Dyck, CBM Field Staff in Bolivia
It’s now been about two weeks since we’ve returned from Bolivia, so we thought we should give a brief report before we head to Ontario for two weeks for a CBM orientation and to visit some churches.
Arriving in Bolivia, I soon realized that I remembered just enough Spanish to be confusing. We landed in Santa Cruz thinking we had hours before our next flight to Cochabamba. But we had just sat down for coffee when an airline worker found us and asked if I was William Dyck. She then proceeded to say, “Su vuelo es demorado” (Your flight is cancelled), which I understood to be, “Su abuelo es morado” (your grandpa is purple). I don’t have a grandpa but thought maybe she has an urgent message concerning one of our parents. I thought maybe “morado” was “murio” (has died). So I asked, “Es muerte” (dead). She said, “No, no, no. You can go on an earlier flight, if we hurry.” It turned out to be good news, so we rushed through security, with her help, and all was better than expected.
When we arrived in Cochabamba we hit the ground running, although not in the same directions. While Bruno Soucy (CBM Latin America Team Leader) took me to meet the President of our partnering denomination (Alberto Coarite) and other key leaders, Kathleen Soucy took Janice to the dentist. So, for the first few days I was on the planned schedule while Janice was experiencing some excellent dental care.
After a few days we were able to go to Sucre together and see some of the joint projects that CBM field staff, especially Tim and Kallie Hutton, are involved in. Many of the projects involve children—prison children, working children, children of prostitutes. There is always a conscious effort to involve and encourage the local church to lead, so that evangelism in word will also be evident in deed–when that happens there is a marked difference in the impact. Repairing homes to prevent Chagas disease, helps children, promotes health and well-being, and facilitates church planting.
What impressed me most was the level of poverty on the edges of the cities and especially in the countryside. When we pulled up to the home of one Quechua woman and her two grandchildren, I did not think there would be anyone living there—from our angle it looked like a pile of rocks in the desert. But there was life—her, two small boys, and some kids (goats). She had just slaughtered two kids because they were not getting enough milk to survive. I wondered how she survived.
Anyway, we were excellently introduced to relevant people, places, and ministries, so that we have a much better idea of the opportunities and challenges that await. Bolivian leaders welcomed us warmly and we can see how we could work as a team with the existing CBM Field Staff. We will be able to prepare much better mentally and practically. It was an invaluable visit and infinitely better than moving sight unseen, as we have done before.
One of the first events after the trip was a fundraising/information night that we called Back to Bolivia. Our challenge now is to get back to Bolivia. We need 80% of our support (estimated at $8000.00 per month) to return. Right now we are at about the 25% support level. We need to be at the 50% level to go on CBM salary. We have notified First Baptist that we will no longer be on the church salary as of the end of October. So we are taking a step of faith, trusting God to increase our support to at least 50% by the end of October. We would then focus all of our time on raising the final 30% needed to go to the field.
We are doing our part. On August 27th we had a fundraiser at our church (FBC Calgary) and last weekend we spoke at Greenhills Christian Fellowship here in Calgary.
In the coming weeks we will be at:
Weston Park Baptist Church in Toronto (Sept. 18th)
First Baptist Church, Red Deer, AB (Sept. 25th)
First Baptist Church, Penticton, BC (Oct. 2nd)
First Baptist Calgary (Oct. 9th)
Faith Community Baptist Church, Claresholme, AB (Oct. 16th)
Trinity Baptist Church, Edmonton, AB (Oct. 23rd)
Farewell Sunday at FBC Calgary (Oct. 30th)
Nov. 6—Swift Current Community Baptist Church
Nov. 7-10—Banff Pastor’s Conference
Nov. 20—Filipino Evangelical Church, Winnipeg, MB.
So we are doing our part in raising our team support, by visiting churches and individuals. We thank those of you who are already a part of our team through your financial support and prayers. We ask you to keep praying and consider supporting financially, in order to get us back to Bolivia, and to succeed there with God’s help.
Bill and Janice Dyck
CBM Office Contact: Barb Keys, Partners in Mission coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org