Spring 2022 BOLIVIA INDIGENOUS MINISTRY
Mirta and Cesar Surubi are directors of an indigenous ministry that represent 5 low land people groups. Our first contact with them was through the Ayore girls prostitution prevention ministry. Because of the pandemic, those retreats had not been able to take place with large numbers of girls. Even so, they had committed to discipling young girls from the first retreats we had. Six girls from the first 2 retreats had pledged themselves to pursue bible college training and to go to other indigenous people to minister the word of the gospel. These girls, who were not allowed to go to public schools, because they were not accepted in the community, had now 10 years later arrived at a point of going to bible college training. Girls who had no hope of a life outside of prostitution, were now pledging themselves to full time ministry. Mirta and Cesar had taken them under their wings and nurtured them up to this point and were committed to seeing them through. Mirta and Cesar, with no children of their own, desire to continue to work with the prostitution programs. Their vision is that they would develop a discipleship center that is surrounded by Ayore villages. Not having used funding over the last 2 years due to the covid pandemic, we were able to contribute money to help them continue building a home at the discipleship site. We continue to see benefit in the further development of this discipleship, retreat, and training center.
A number of years ago, a young man from India contacted Gather through our website. This young man’s father and mother were part of a ministry in India with many Indian pastors, and they were very poor. They were seeking support and we explained that we do not take on families for support, but rather try to provide a way for them to earn a living. They wrote a proposal to purchase a vehicle to start a taxi service. Over the course of a few years, we got to know them and felt that this was worthy to present to Family Bible church to provide funds for a vehicle. Through all of this, we kept asking for Sunny to pray for God’s will for their lives and their ministry. We prayed with them through social media. Within a year, Charlie Storms who was the mission’s director at FBC, agreed that this might be an interesting entrepreneurial mission effort.
GATHER and Family Bible Church collaboration to help them establish a taxi service to support the family as they minister among these people has proved useful. One of the young family members who we know as Sunny has a very tender heart. Over the last 3 or 4 years it has become evident that he also has a deep and trusting faith that has led him to depend on prayer and God’s leading. He has had such a heart for homeless children and their moms over the last years. Raising funds for blankets, shoes, and food as they lived by the roadsides and endured the COVID epidemic. It was terrible in India. In the ministry group 7 pastors with young children died of the virus. Sunny increasingly monitored the homeless families by the roadsides and noticed more children who had been orphaned. He began to ask for prayer that the Lord would reveal how he was to minister to them. We prayed together by facebook and messenger. There were long chats earnestly asking God’s will to be revealed and done. Over the course of a year Our faithful Heavenly Father began to open doors.
Two lots became available on which a childcare and Bible training facility could be built. Each lot was $4500. We were informed by a GATHER team member that they had “found” a forgotten account that had $4500 in it and it was donated for the purpose of buying the first lot in Sunny’s vision to help feed the children. In only 1 month we got another call about $4000 in an account dedicated to Emergency funding that was interest bearing. This was money earned in that account. We counted it as God’s “store house” money and sent to purchase the 2nd lot.
Sunny, whose faith expected that these things could happen was bolstered hugely and the dream began to materialize. The rest of the story is as only God can do narrative. In a matter of a few weeks a GATHER board member called to say that the company he works was offering a matching grant of $10,000 to organizations who were feeding poor children. He agreed to raise the matching $10,000 to secure the grant and soon we got a positive response. In the meanwhile, a relative of Sunny who was an architect in India had designed a building and estimated the cost of it, to be between $30,000 & $40,000. This matching grant would meet half the need. The money was sent and the building began. Sunny and Ginna continued to pray together daily for God’s leading for the storehouses of His treasure to supply and for His will to be done.
Soon another call came from a dear supporter who had benefited from a great farm harvest and wanted a place for a $10,000 donation that would be significant. We shared Sunny’s story ,the money was donated and wired to India. We are getting regular daily picture reports via messenger on the progress of the building. This meant that the building was almost fully funded by the power of prayer and faith and reading God’s leading. There was a need for between $7000 and $9000 remaining.
Sunny’s younger brother became ill and had to be hospitalized. We sent money from our benevolence fund to see that he got good care. Within days we got a call from a young person who had seen a GATHER newsletter and was interested in supporting impoverished children, especially in the area of nutrition. We had a phone conversation and soon a check arrived that would finish the feeding center. God is So So Good. We give HIM all the Glory in the supply of the need to finish this place of Mercy and the Food of the body and soul! Here in this building, food, sanitation, clothing bank, and BIBLE training will be ministered by our sweet family of this story and their ministry partners.
The rest of the story is found in the preparation and collaboration of the teams that will sense and support these needs.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE POTENTIAL OF A GATHER NUTRITION SECURITY MEETING HERE IN EVANSVILLE, INDIANA IN SEPTEMBER OF 2022.
We are entertaining the possibility of bringing some of our network partners to Indiana in September to share in roundtable meetings that highlight sustainable and regenerative food production for family and community nutritional enhancement and small cash return. We also will encourage various methods of protein production from small animal sources. Please pray for visa clearance, travel logistics, volunteer help, and adequate meeting spaces.
Dan & Ginna Grimm