La Paz Ministry

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The La Paz Ministry in Bolivia exists to assist a key church association (INESB), which requested SAM’s help in strengthening 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 have leadership by trained disciples of Christ. Likewise, they want to see their ministries directed and supplied through God’s provision.

The Department (State) of La Paz, home to 3 million people, sees the cities of La Paz and El Alto contributing 1.8 million to that total. Here, contemporary ideology and technology collide with age-old traditions. Many older people speak 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’s role involves pastoral and leadership training, constructing church facilities, and engaging in youth ministry and missions efforts. La Paz’s culture differs significantly from the eastern department of Santa Cruz, where SAM’s historical ministry in Bolivia is 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. El Alto, located on the plateau above the capital city of La Paz, serves as the center of ministry. This city includes a mass of low-income families and poverty mixed with a multitude of small businesses.