[Empty highways in Bolivia’s largest city, Santa Cruz; photo taken by Zayit Clavel]
Bolivia’s lockdown and quarantine is currently set to last through April 30th. It began officially on March 31st and individuals have been permitted to leave their home on designated days of the week based on their government ID number. Each household is only permitted one person to leave their home per day, and they must travel on foot or bicycle as all vehicle travel has been banned.
In some ways, Bolivia’s nationwide strike last October and November prepared many for this event. While people could still leave their homes and congregate in the streets, there were blockades on every corner and vehicle traffic was heavily reduced. Even so, the church was united at that time in prayer and worship movements, just as she is united in these days to be generous and support her surrounding communities.
The Association of Evangelical Churches in Eastern Bolivia took up donations and made over 1,000 bread rolls to distribute to families in need. The SAM missionary team was able to send funds out to Bolivian partners in rural Santa Cruz to support team members and friends at the discipleship center. One of our missionaries has built relationships with women in the local prison in Santa Cruz and received donations from individual supporters to help provide food and medical supplies to the women, as these prisoners rely on help from the outside for their daily needs.
The generous spirit of those whose faith is in Christ and whose peace comes from God cannot be contained by fear. Though there is chaos in our world today, God’s people stand firm in His promises and bring light into the darkness. Pray for the church in Bolivia and our missionaries there as they continue under strict quarantine guidelines and seek to meet needs in communities where businesses and livelihood have come to a halt.