Establishing church projects for evangelization, expansion, construction and growth.
Describe the need affecting community
The IEMB is a poor church. The median income for a Bolivian Methodist is less than $2/day, the definition of extreme poverty by the U.N. The majority of the membership live in poor rural villages, and not in the cities. Therefore funds for church growth, church construction, and training must come primarily from sources other than the local church. There are tremendous opportunities for church growth by the IEMB, with its newfound national recognition which comes from our years of leading the movement for indigenous rights. Many rural communities are asking for us to plant an IEMB congregation in their community. In addition, El Alto is the fastest growing city in the Western Hemisphere, whose population is made up of rural émigrés. These former rural ‘campesinos’ often come from Methodist congregations back home and wish to start a Methodist congregation in El Alto, or whatever urban area they migrate to. The El Alto District receives 5-10 requests each year to start a church in El Alto. The cost of land, construction, and new pastors is greater than what the IEMB can afford. We have similar situations in the other large cities of Bolivia. There is also a need to repair and expand many of our older chapels throughout Bolivia.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
The only thing preventing us from starting more new churches or repairing older ones is the lack of funding for pastors, lay training, land, and construction.
Describe the primary goal of the project
To increase the number of congreations in the IEMB, and the number of Methodists in Bolivia. For there to be spiritual growth for the members over the next four years.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
A growing number of persons in the IEMB and their individual, corporate faith, and commitment to Christ is growing.