School in Bolivia reaches out to community

By November 20, 2008

Bolivia (MNN) — Reaching lost children in a Christian school may be what's needed to see transformation in the country of Bolivia. That's the motivation of a missionary with The Mission Society who's using chapel services in a Christian school to help change hearts.

Missionary Betsy Phillips works at the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center, operated by World Gospel Mission. She's in charge of the elementary school chapel. "I'm in charge of preparing and sharing chapels with pre-K through the sixth grade each week, helping them with discipleship, getting to know the students, trying to get to know their families to help share the Gospel with them in a clear and simple way."

While the school was started 30 years ago for missionary kids, that's not the case anymore, says Phillips. "It has grown since then, though. It now has an outreach to families there in Santa Cruz. Half the student population are missionary kids from a number of different mission organizations, but the other half comes from the area in Santa Cruz, Bolivia."

According to Phillips, this is an incredible missions opportunity. "Some of the students obviously come from non-Christian homes. Many of them come from middle or upper class families. So we have an opportunity to impact them with the message of Jesus Christ and see them take that home to their families."

She says the goal is to see society transformed for Jesus. That happens as these students turn to Christ, grow in their faith, and eventually become leaders in their communities.

Phillips says while 95-percent of the population in Bolivia is Roman Catholic, few people have a relationship with Christ. She says the goal at the school is to help students develop that relationship. It's done with more than words. "The teachers, the staff there, have a tremendous opportunity to model what it means to live a life in relationship with Jesus — not just to teach and preach it, but to live it out daily with the students."

While there has been a lot of ethnic and racial divisions in Bolivia, Phillips says the school can be a source of healing in that area. "We as Christians can show a love and unity that is just impossible if your heart has not been transformed with the love of Jesus Christ."

Pray that the school will have the funding and personnel needed to effectively run the school.

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