Thank you, Redeemer Church! Your gift to provide support to vulnerable families and pastors in Bolivia during the pandemic has impacted 1,599 families affected by COVID-19. By providing food to those in quarantine, you have shown these communities that God’s love reaches the sick and the suffering. In the photo above, Pastor Concepción and his wife receive a food relief package and hygiene supplies, along with encouragement from the church.
This report includes updates on the implementation and impact of this intervention, a testimony from a pastor, an interview with a beneficiary and photos of the implementation process.
After Bolivia’s first reported case of COVID-19 on March 10, 2020, the government quickly declared a countrywide state of emergency and imposed a lockdown on all public gatherings. Churches and child development centers stopped gathering for services and center activities. However, because of the generosity of people like you, churches found new ways to minister to the children and families in their care. They began to focus more on meeting the most urgent, pandemic-related needs.
“Thanks to your support, we were able to reach homes with food and the gospel. Your help was such a great blessing for us that we can only say thank you, thank you, thank you!” — Pastor Julio
When the pandemic struck, Compassion Bolivia staff quickly mobilized to develop a comprehensive response. In addition to providing families with virus prevention information and medical assistance as needed, the plan included distributing packages of food and hygiene supplies to the most vulnerable families, those with members confirmed to have COVID-19. The original number of families anticipated to be served by this distribution was 780.
The plan also included food assistance for families of the pastors of Compassion Bolivia’s 231 frontline church partners. Lacking the financial support of their members, who were struggling to meet their own families’ needs, these faithful pastors and families were facing food insecurity.
When a church would learn that a child’s family was affected by COVID-19, a package of nutritious food was assembled and delivered to that family. The package was designed to provide three meals per day for 15 days for a family of five. They also received hygiene supplies to help prevent the spread of the virus.
It was originally planned for these distributions to run from October through the end of December 2020. However, with a second wave of the virus in January and a third in the spring, distributions were extended through June. In total, 1,368 families of beneficiaries received this critical assistance.
231 pastors and their families received three rounds of supplies from October through December. Each package contained enough food for three meals per day for seven days, as well as hygiene supplies.
In total, 1,599 packs of food and hygiene supplies were delivered to families in serious need between October 2020 and June 2021.
A Successful Partnership
This intervention has been a shining example of true partnership between supporters like you, Compassion Bolivia and the local frontline church partners. Your generosity came together with a solid national office plan and effective implementation by the local church to relieve the suffering of nearly 1,600 families.
In addition, churches took the opportunity to provide spiritual and emotional encouragement during these exceptionally difficult times. As a result, according to Compassion Bolivia’s final report on this intervention, “Many families were converted. It was very timely for the families to receive the food packages at a time when they were going through this disease with one or more members in their home. It was a blessing for those who received emotional support and prayers for the family as well.”
Also, Compassion Bolivia reports that this intervention has encouraged partner churches in their ministry to the community, and many are planning additional activities to help local families through the pandemic.
A Testimony From Pastor Julio
“The intervention impacted the families in a very beneficial way since it brought hope to the beneficiaries who were helpless and vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease. Many families lost their jobs due to the pandemic and, because of the lockdown, they could not go out to look for another job, which was very tragic for them. In addition to all this, the fact that they became ill with COVID-19 complicated their situation even more. That’s why the help offered by the church, thanks to the support of the donors, was an immense blessing.
Thanks to this intervention, the families most affected by this worldwide pandemic received the support they needed so much. It also allowed the church to connect in a timely manner with them, resulting in them feeling known, loved and protected by God through the church. Additionally, the community recognizes the church as a place that helps people in need.
This experience has been an honor for my life and the church since we were able to serve many beneficiaries and their families. It has brought satisfaction to my life to hear the testimonies of recovered cases, and I am grateful to God.”
An Interview With Eva, a Beneficiary
Eva is a Compassion-assisted teen in Bolivia who contracted COVID-19. Thankfully, because of your support, the church was able to provide help and hope to her and her family.
What was your life like before this intervention was implemented?
My worst fear at the time I found out I was sick with COVID-19 was my family. I knew that I was putting them at risk. Those were very sad and dark times. I felt I had no hope and no way to care for myself. With these feelings of uncertainty about what would happen, my family’s finances were dwindling just as our medical needs were rising. There was a lot of fear from our neighbors, so they isolated us. They did not come to visit us.
How has your life changed since the intervention?
The church appeared like a light in a dark tunnel, like fresh water, an embrace of love and warmth. Just feeling better physically and knowing that the church was praying for my family and me was really comforting. Even more comforting was receiving food and hygiene supplies and, above all, the love and company of the church members.
My family and I are a testimony that God is faithful and that he never forsakes us in the midst of the difficulty. Thanks to all the support we received through the church, we know even more closely the love that God has for us. Thanks to all this, I recovered from this disease.
What will this change mean for your future or the future of your family?
It has strengthened our faith in God and my understanding that he has a purpose for my life. It has allowed me to value my relationship with all my family members much more. I missed everything that my parents and brothers did. It was very difficult for me to be apart from my family.
This experience as a family changed our future. Now we know that everything depends on God’s will, and we are a testimony of his love and will give testimony of the wonderful works he has done.
Images of Help and Hope
Thank You for Your Support
Thank you for partnering with Compassion International to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. May God bless you abundantly!
When asked what she would like to say to those who supported this intervention, Eva expresses the sentiments of all the families in Bolivia touched by your kindness. She says, “Thank you very much for the support. I never imagined that when the church called me, they would bless me with food and hygiene supplies. At this moment I raise a prayer for all the people who have helped. May God always keep them from any disease! I do not know them, but they have a place in my heart.”