A group of students from El Alferero. (SIM photo)
The autonomy charters will be given to local populations for approval. Those who support autonomy are in opposition to the constitutional reforms that will allow for consecutive, five-year presidential terms, increased indigenous rights, and the redistribution of wealth to the poorer areas of Bolivia.
Santa Cruz is the wealthiest region of South America's poorest country. They have large agricultural income and hold much of Bolivia's oil and gas business.
The four regions were unhappy with President Evo Morales' request for constitutional reforms, which are set to be delivered by the Constitutional Assembly in La Paz.
SIM has several projects in Bolivia, including one in Santa Cruz--the center of the dispute. El Alferero (The Potter) student ministry trains university students to be leaders who will reach out to those around them and build other mature disciples. Their new building will be located near the state university which now has more than 50,000 students.
President Morales has made it clear that the unity of the country is not up for debate, and there have been violent protests.
SIM asks you to pray that God will use their missionaries and the Bolivian church to point to Christ in this time of uncertainty and turmoil.