Bolivia: Journey to the top of the World—
Jen Robertson travelled to share the Bible with Aymara-speaking children in one of the highest places on earth.
Long day of travelling. After a few stops at various airports, we flew overnight from Miami to Bolivia and landed in Santa Cruz.
We stepped off the plane and out into a big, bustling and noisy international city.
As Santa Cruz is so flat, we needed to start here before moving to higher altitudes, so that our bodies acclimatise slowly. Spent five days in Santa Cruz and met lots of fantastic Bolivians who welcomed us warmly to their country.
Travelled to Cochabamba, a beautiful city in the Bolivian Andes. We saw an amazing statue of Jesus, bigger than the one in Brazil!
During our five days here, we attended a local church where a baptismal service was being held – such a privilege to share in this. Felt quite emotional singing ‘I have decided to follow Jesus’ in English as our Bolivian Christian family sang in Spanish. A special memory.
Flew to Oruro today. So amazing to fly over the Andes and land on the altiplano - a very barren and wide expanse of land at very high altitude. I have no altitude sickness but am finding it difficult to sleep. Went to church in Oruro and builders were putting in windows during the service. An interesting experience! There are areas of Oruro which are very poor and run-down, however the people are lovely, and we have had meals together with many of them; hospitality is very important in Bolivia.
We met up with Rolando from the Bolivian Bible Society before travelling to visit a number of Bible Society projects.
Along with local pastors, the Bible Society have been working with Aymara schools and many others for several years, to help strengthen local languages in Bolivia.
When we arrived at the school, Rolando and the local pastor asked the children how they had been getting on with the activity workbooks. They also showed them the beautiful children’s Bibles they had brought with them to give to those who had done well in their workbooks.
The local pastor speaks with the children in Aymara which is really important to the project. The Bible Society produce the resources and partners with the local churches who work with the children.
Throughout the day we visited three schools, and it was great to see Rolando and the pastor as they spent time chatting to the children and encouraging them in their reading, writing and speaking of their own language.
Whenever someone had done well they were gifted their own Bible Story book. The children held these high in the air and were desperate for us to take photos of them holding stories from the Bible in their own heart language.
There is a sense of living at the edge of the world in Bolivia. It is a remote area, with a lot of poverty. Providing indigenous language Bible resources is not enough, they also need pencils and pens as schools cannot afford basic items.
You can be a part of strengthening the Aymara language in Bolivia by donating to this appeal. By doing so, you will help many more children learn Aymara through Bible resources.