A ministry looks to change Bolivia one child at a time.

By April 28, 2006

Bolivia (MNN)–Bolivia is threatening to leave the Andean Community economic bloc. They’re trying to force Peru, Colombia and Ecuador to shelve free-trade deals with the United States, calling them a form of ‘economic domination’ of Latin America.

Long one of the poorest and least developed Latin American countries, Bolivia is now coming into its own after having partially reformed its economy roughly two decades ago.

However, the changes, while moving in the right direction, have not led to independence from foreign aid. As a result, the people are still struggling with the scourges of poverty, unemployment and hopelessness.

Compassion International in Bolivia has an ambitious goal: to change their nation, starting with the children.

Sharon Gieger joined Compassion on a recent visit to the country. “Bolivia is a beautiful country, home to the towering Andes mountain range and lively people. But, much of the nation is poverty-stricken, not only economically, but spiritually.”

Even as the governnment attempts to address the issues, it’s clear that the solution is long-range and financially distant. The hope for Bolivia, Compassion International’s Jannie Blanco believes, is in transforming lives, one child at a time. “We really think that our country’s pure, because we didn’t know the Lord. Because we have ‘lives’, instead of turning our lives over…but if we really let them know the Lord, our country would change.”

Gieger adds that the ministry of Compassion helps foster change through finding sponsors for needy children. “The money,” she says, is “paying for a program that first teaches them about the transforming power of Jesus Christ and provides food, healthcare and education.”

If you want to help a child in Bolivia, go to: http://www.compassion.com.

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