This ministry’s purpose is to assist a key church association (INESB) in the department of La Paz that has requested SAM’s aid to help in the strengthening of its member churches. Their vision is to enhance the ministries of the Seminario Biblico denomination of churches (INESB). They desire that each church and advisory board be led by trained disciples of Christ and that their ministries be directed and supplied through God’s provision.
The Department (State) of La Paz has a population of 3 million people, with the cities of La Paz and El Alto accounting for 1.8 million of that total. Contemporary ideology and technology collide with age-old tradition in this region, with many of the older people speaking little to no Spanish, rather they maintain their Aymara language, values and traditional beliefs. Pantheism is the major belief system of the vast majority.
SAM has been asked to assist in pastoral and leadership training, construction of church facilities, youth ministry and missions efforts. The culture and climate in the department of La Paz are very different from the eastern department of Santa Cruz, where SAM’s ministry in Bolivia has historically been based. Many of the people are of Aymara or Quechua descent. The Seminario Biblico denomination ministers almost exclusively in the high plateau region of La Paz by way of their 50+ churches. The center of ministry is based in the city of El Alto, a mass of low income families and poverty mixed with a multitude of small businesses located on the plateau above the capital city of La Paz.
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