In March 2022, a group from Grace Bible Fellowship Church, Harrisburg, PA, traveled to Bolivia to join up with BFC and International Tribal Ministries (ITM) missionaries Tony and Joanna Murrin and Haleigh Ott (now Vargas). The trip had actually been scheduled for 2021 but had been postponed a couple of times due to COVID. Our team was more than ready to go and was actually the first team to travel to Bolivia to support ITM since 2019. The team consisted of Pastor Steve DelDuco, Elder Richard Prensner, Elder Don Maurer and his wife Edna, Bob and Alice Finley, Nate and Alyssa Walls, Margaret Finley, Kathie Martin, Louann Bell, and Chris and Beckie Merrick (Grace BFC, Reading, PA).
After arriving in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the team regrouped and the next day boarded two small planes for the journey over the Andes to the remote village of San Lorenzo de Moxos and the Centro Bíblico Misionero (CBM). CBM recently opened with its first classes being held in 2021. It was started with a desire to disciple and train believers from remote villages in Bolivia, so that they could be sent back as church leaders and missionaries. While in San Lorenzo, our ministry was directed in three main areas.
Our team made needed repairs to the radio tower at CBM that broadcasts Christian radio throughout the region. Pastor Steve and the two elders (Richard and Don) taught lessons from Genesis 1-11 to students attending CBM. Thirdly, while at CBM, we wanted to minister to the children at CBM and in the village. To this end, members of our team put on a Bible school complete with Bible stories, games, and crafts. The children’s Bible School was a big hit with both the children and their parents. While at CBM, we enjoyed wonderful times of worship together with the students and the ITM missionaries and their families. We shared meals, worked together, and played games together. It was a wonderful expression of the universal church and a foretaste of that heavenly gathering when people from every nation, tribe, and tongue will gather as one to serve their great God and Redeemer. The team was greatly blessed by being allowed to serve with the ITM missionaries and were greatly encouraged by our time of fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Bolivia.
Here is the testimony of one of the team members: “I was humbled and blessed to see how God is working in Cochabamba and San Lorenzo, Bolivia. Families came by canoe from a day or two away to study God’s word at the Bible Institute in San Lorenzo. The men had a deep desire to learn the Scriptures so that they can return to teach in their village and take the Gospel to neighboring villages. The women also wanted to learn God’s Word. They joined their husbands in class or came to Bible classes with young children. This was my first short term mission trip at 63 years of age. I left a part of my heart in Bolivia with my Christian brothers and sisters.”– Edna Maurer, Grace BFC.
article by Pastor Steve DelDuco from Grace BFC in Harrisburg, PA.