The people of Bolivia are no strangers to lack. They are the poorest in South America and they have been routinely oppressed by Colonial and governmental powers. There are those physically blind with little financial, educational, and medical resources and also those spiritually blinded by a Colonial representation of the church that sought to exploit and oppress them. There are those in bondage to a power structure that still oppress them and to demonic forces that seek to rule them through animistic, syncretistic, and superstitious beliefs that trick them into believing that they are at the mercy of forces they cannot see or trust but merely attempt to appease. Even those with the saving knowledge of Christ are often trapped by a belief in these demonic forces as if they are of equal power with God. Others are sold into a capitalistic expression of Christianity that promises escape from material poverty if they believe and reinforces their victimization with accusations of faithlessness when they are unable to escape the systemic poverty to which they are enslaved. The people of Bolivia are in desperate need of the good news of redemption and reconciliation to God through Christ.
Operation World Reports of Bolivia, “Evangelical Christians are growing in number and in influence, but face many challenges. Low literacy levels, lack of biblical knowledge and limited discipleship opportunities give rise to theological error and moral failure. There is a great need to raise the standard of discipleship…Evangelicals must be at the core of Bolivia’s battle against poverty, injustice and vice by demonstrating radical Kingdom values.” (From http://www.operationworld.org/node/129)
“Once part of the ancient Incan empire, Bolivia, in central South America, is a land of contrasts and distinctions. This landlocked country’s climate ranges from very cold to warm and steamy as the landscape changes. Two chains of the Andes Mountains in the west surround a vast highland plateau (Altiplano) where almost half of the population lives. In the east toward Brazil are the tropical lowlands of the Amazon Basin. The capital city, La Paz, sits at 3,630 meters (11,910 ft.) making it the highest capital city in the world. Bolivia’s silver attracted the Spanish in the 16th century, when they conquered and reduced the native population to slaves. Unlike other neighboring countries, Bolivia today has the most indigenous population in South America because its remoteness protected the Indians — Quechua, Aymara, Guarani and others — from European diseases. For the first time since independence from Spain in 1825, Bolivia has elected a president from the indigenous majority.” (from http://prayercast.com/bolivia.html )