VIM Bolivia 2012 Trip Report #1 – Sunday Evening, June 24
This is the first report of the 12-member VIM Bolivia 2012 Team, a small but mighty band of loving servants from Connecticut (Rachel Bird, Rev. Bill Pfohl, Cindy Svensen), New York (Dennis Angle, Chris Freeman), Pennsylvania (Diane Hetrick, Kathy Silva, Ginny Stevenson, Mary Thrush), New Hampshire (John Borchert, Rod Wendt) and even Minnesota (Anders Svensen).
For 3 of us, this is our first Bolivia VIM experience.
Summary: we arrived Friday safely and without incident; Saturday got right to work on construction work and Vacation Bible School preparation; Sunday
worshipped in THREE churches; and are gelling into an amazing Team!
The Bolivia Mission Initiative of the Susquehanna Conference is partnering with its counterpart in the New York Conference to form a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Team to work
with our brothers and sisters of the Bolivia Methodist Church Central District. You are invited to be part of this exciting opportunity to spread God’s love.
Encounter with Christ in Bolivia - Cochabamba, Bolivia
Date: Dates for the 2013 trip will be established shortly. In keeping with past practice the trip
will be 17 days in length with departure in mid-to-late June and return in early-to-mid July.
Cost:To be determined depending upon movements in airline prices and inflation in Bolivia
(expected range of $2,500 to $3,000)
Total cost includes: Airfare to/from Bolivia, visa, in-country transport, room & board, other
It does NOT include: Passport cost, inoculations, transport between home & departure airport,
Deposit Required: 10% of fee (The deposit holds your place and is refundable until March 30)
If you have any questions, contact the Bolivia Mission Coordinators:
The Bolivia Mission Initiative
Has declared that the month of May 2012 will be known as
MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE MONTH
During this month, please Make a Joyful Noise as often as possible and help us to
CHANGE THE WORLD
For the people of the Methodist Church of Bolivia Central District (Cochabamba and Cotani)
How can we Make A Joyful Noise?
It only takes a few simple steps:
• Designate one or more weeks (or the entire month) as your congregation’s JOYFUL NOISE time and advertise the event to
• Get some large metal pots and label them saying “Please make a Joyful Noise and Change the World for disadvantaged
people in Bolivia” and “Drop Your Loose Change Here”.
• Let people know that the Joyful Noise of the coins dropping in the pots is the laughter of Bolivian children. (Also let them
know that currency and check are welcome—the immediate noise they make dropping into the pot is more muted, but the
children’s laughter is just as real.)
• Display these pots around the church and/or circulate them through the congregation during worship immediately after your
regular offering. (Letting your children and youth pass the pots is a great way to get them involved in this mission.)
• Send a check for the total collected, payable to Susquehanna Conference and designated for Conference Advance # 63654-
Bolivia Mission Initiative, to Bob & Ginny Stevenson, Bolivia Mission Coordinators, 714 Ash Court, Lebanon, PA 17042 or to
the Susquehanna Conference Treasurer. Unless indicated otherwise with your submission, funds will be split where needed
most between the School Supplies and Mustard Seed programs described below.
How will this Change the World?
For the Children
• Funds are used to purchase school supplies for children in Methodist Church daycare, Sunday-
School and after-school mentoring programs.
10 years ago, poor Cochabamba families considered themselves fortunate to have a “family pencil”—one writing instrument shared by all the children striving to learn to write, as well as their parent(s). When the first Encounter with Christ Volunteers in Mission team arrived in 2002 and led a VBS, Ginny Stevenson put a white paper and crayon in front of a young girl. The girl simply stared, having no idea what to do with these items, until Ginny marked a spot on the paper. What followed was the dawning of whole new world for this girl, who spent hours happily filling the paper with “pictures” only she could produce. Each of the 15 Encounter VIM teams going to Bolivia since 2002 collected from congregations here at home and carried with it school supplies and other materials for use by Cochabamba’s children. However, this year the airlines are charging a fee of $70 for each suitcase of these items the team might carry to Bolivia. Faced with this excessive cost,
the Team will not collect school supplies here at home but is requesting contributions of funds that can be used to purchase these important items in Bolivia.
For all the People of the Central District
• Funds are used for the Encounter with Christ Mustard Seed Program, to start or expand self-help programs that will improve
the economic and social situation for members of Methodist Churches and surrounding communities.
Funding for this program has grown from about $600 in 2002 to approximately $4,000 in recent years. Recently funds
were used to:
- Support three indigenous young adults from Cochabamba Methodist Churches studying at seminary in Argentina.
- Purchase of playground and nursery equipment for daycare programs at two of the Churches.
- Support the evangelism, children’s and women’s programs in the newly organized and rapidly growing Luz de Vida
(Light of Life) congregation.
Programs to be supported in 2011 will be determined during the VIM Team’s trip (June 21 – July 7) and depend upon
Central District needs and fund raised.
For more information about this program or other aspects of the Bolivia Mission Initiative, please contact Bob & Ginny Stevenson at
THANK YOU FOR
MAKING A JOYFUL NOISE
CHANGING THE WORLD
FOR THE PEOPLE OF BOLIVIA