Every Christmas, our Bolivian church group and the Rumi Rancho staff travel to remote mountain villages in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, taking with them gifts, food, and medical supplies for needy children and people. Our church has a vision to reach these people and start churches where there is no gospel witness.
Last year, after three days of hard work, our group was exhausted and ready to go home. They waited patiently for the rickety old bus that would take them back down the mountain road where hot showers and a warm meal awaited. But the road was washed out by a torrential rainfall. They were stranded. The youth pastor and young men decided to walk for help. They left the women and teen girls safe in the village. After walking five hours in the pouring rain, they reached the main road where they called for help. Two men from our church headed out in a four-wheel drive vehicle to rescue the women.
Meanwhile, after waiting for many hours, the ladies began walking down the mountain hoping to meet a bus or car to take them to the main road. After a few hours of slipping and sliding in the mud, a small car stopped. Gratefully, they accepted a ride. But after a short distance, the road was washed out making it impossible to continue. They were left standing alone in the rain. Except for the birds tweeting and the rain pouring, silence loomed.
In the distance, a house stood alone in a field––the women ran for shelter under an overhang. The man of the house saw them and invited them inside. He offered hot drinks, food, and shelter. He built a roaring fire and began telling his story. After receiving Christ on a trip to the city, he believed God directed him to construct a large room onto his house for church meetings. But he had no one to teach the people who came. He prayed that God would send a preacher. It was not a coincidence that the road washed out at this location. It was God's stop sign.
Help finally arrived from the city. Hugs were exchanged, and plans were made for the beginning of a mountain ministry year round. God prepared a way to begin a church. The gospel is being preached where it never was preached before.
This December, we will be headed to a different mountain area. Children's eyes will light up as they receive their only Christmas gift this year and hear the Christmas story for the first time. Unreached people are waiting for us this year in another remote area where we can minister and bless many with gifts, food and medical help, and the most wonderful gift of all––Jesus.
Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish;"
This mountain man had a vision. Our Bolivian church has a vision. God brought us together so the people won't perish.