Brick by Brick

29th November 2022

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Samaritan’s Purse is helping a church in El Alto, Bolivia.

“The people from our community are hungry for the Word of God,” Pastor Eusebio said, standing on the unfinished second floor of his church in El Alto, Bolivia. The city of almost a million people spreads out around him in all directions, full of people he hopes will come to know the saving love of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Eusebio’s church is benefiting from the Samaritan’s Purse “Houses of Prayer” programme, in which we helped Bolivian believers construct new church buildings or improve current facilities.

“Our vision is to have more people come to the church, to reach out to others in our community, and to have people that are committed to the Lord and to the church to go further,” Pastor Eusebio said. “I don’t think we would be able to reach that vision if it would not be for Samaritan’s Purse. They have come to help us with materials, but most of all with encouragement and the Word of God.”

  • Pastor Eusebio is grateful for the assistance from Samaritan’s Purse.
    Pastor Eusebio is grateful for the assistance from Samaritan’s Purse.

The church body wanted to be involved in the construction of the building as well, so they are working on the first floor, while Samaritan’s Purse is assisting with the second. Each day, members of the church arrive ready to work on framing the building, laying bricks, and pouring cement.

“Some people will come Monday, and some people will come Tuesday or Wednesday. They come to help us build a bigger church because our vision is to have it full of people from our community that are coming to the church, that are coming to meet God,” Pastor Eusebio said.

Pastor Eusebio first connected with Samaritan’s Purse through an Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution seven years ago. Then during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we constructed a hand-washing station for the church. We’ve also provided church members with trainings in discipleship and evangelism, before working with them now to construct a larger church building.

Lives Are Changing

The Samaritan’s Purse ministry team in El Alto is focused on supporting and mobilising the local church to reach out to their community, especially the most vulnerable. They work with pastors and church leaders as well as ordinary men, women, youth, and children.

Many of the people who live in El Alto are Aymaran, an indigenous group from the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America. The Aymaran religion is animistic, with the belief that everyone must be in good standing with all deities including Pachamama, the Mother Earth.

The Samaritan’s Purse ministry team provides invaluable help to congregations in the construction process.

The Samaritan’s Purse ministry team provides invaluable help to congregations in the construction process.

“When Aymarans commit to Christ, it really changes their life because they leave all of the other false gods they were taught about,” said Gilvan Ramos, senior programmes manager. “They leave that all behind, so for them it’s really a big change becoming a Christian.”

Local church leaders in El Alto are seeing their congregations grow and people coming to have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. In 2022, Samaritan’s Purse will complete the construction of six church buildings to help local fellowships.

“If we as Samaritan’s Purse would like to bless the communities, we always want the churches to be our partners because we are only going to be in the community for a limited time, but after that, the church will remain,” said Pastor Severo, who leads the Samaritan’s Purse ministry team. “We want to empower the churches so that they can get used to evangelising, reaching out to their communities.”

This project in Bolivia is just one of the ways Samaritan’s Purse is serving the growing Church around the globe. In addition, we’re helping believers in Colombia, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo construct buildings where they can gather for worship, teaching, and discipleship.

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