To be read on Sabbath, September 24, 2011
The Special Sabbath School Offeringwill be gathered on October 1, 2011
Located in the middle of the South American continent, Bolivia covers 1,098,581 square kilometers (424,164 square miles) and has a population of 9,427,219 million. The country is politically very unstable.
The Reform message entered the country in 1939 with Pastor Carlos Kozel’s visit; and one year later, in 1940, two Peruvian missionaries (Brothers José Carmen León and Heraclio Begazo) were sent to work in the country. By 1943 there were 30 interested souls attending church services. After the first church was organized in the capital city of La Paz, the message was taken to most cities. On December 23, 1963, the Bolivian Field of the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement was legally registered as a missionary fields of the General Conference with its headquarters in Germany at the time.
In 1975, the General Conference put the Bolivian Field under the management of the Peruvian Union; and then in 1986 Bolivia once again became a missionary field under the General Conference.
From January 1992 to 1995, when there were already 324 members, the church had a collapse that brought about great difficulties. Only 205 members remained firm in the true faith. Due to this problem, the work started over with three churches, one vehicle, and 10% of the publications of the publishing house. The situation was very precarious.
But now, thanks to God and the sacrifices made by local and foreign Bible workers and pastors, the Bolivian Field has 317 members and was recently organized as a Union. Although it is weak financially, some donations and the cooperation of our brethren have made it possible for the Union to purchase a piece of land measuring 1,700 square meters (18,299 square feet) in the city of Cochabamba for the purpose of constructing a headquarters building.
We appeal to all the believers in the world to help us carry out our construction plans, for we cannot do this by ourselves. As it is written, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35. “Self-denial will bring into the treasury of God the means necessary to advance His work. Thus we may act in copartnership with Christ.” –In Heavenly Places, p. 300.
May your offerings be very special for the work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We pray that He will multiply what you generously give for His cause in this place.
–Alfonso Reto Rueda
General Conference Regional Representative for South America