Supporting Bolivian Families During the Pandemic

May 26, 2020 • Bolivia

Samaritan’s Purse is distributing food and hygiene kits, teaching about virus prevention, and sharing the Gospel with hundreds of low-income families in Bolivia who find themselves in greater distress because of COVID-19.

Emergency Medicine

Yhonny, a taxi driver in La Paz, is the sole wage earner in his family of eight. His wife stays at home to take care of their disabled son. Unable to work since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Yhonny has been encouraging his family to ration their use of essential items, including food, to try to make what they have last longer.

He was overjoyed when a team of Samaritan’s Purse staff members came to his door recently to bring him a bag of food and to pray with his family in the Name of Jesus.

We delivered emergency food to families in desperate need.

We delivered emergency food to families in desperate need.

Yhonny thanked the team for the food supplies, saying, “It is going to be of great help because we are using the last of what we have.”

Over in El Alto, Viviana too had been feeling dejected because of her family’s economic struggles. The oldest of seven siblings living at home, she lost her part-time job in the weeks after the pandemic prompted many businesses to close their doors for an extended period.

It was another devastating blow to the family, who had recently experienced profound sadness with the death of her father earlier this year. And, her mother has been unable to work while she’s been recovering from a recent operation.

So, Viviana was truly grateful when she received a package of essential food items from Samaritan’s Purse in partnership with a local church. As our staff prayed with Viviana and the pastor talked with her about being able to trust in Jesus Christ in the midst of dark times, her dejection lifted with the hope of the Gospel.

Meeting Physical and Spiritual Needs

Samaritan’s Purse is helping hundreds of families in Bolivia who’ve been struggling to provide food for their families since losing weeks of income due to coronavirus shutdown precautions. Many of these families depend on each day’s wages just to survive.

A family greets our Samaritan’s Purse team in Bolivia as they deliver a bag of food supplies to their home.

A family greets our Samaritan’s Purse team in Bolivia as they deliver a bag of food supplies to their home.

The packages of rice, flour, and other non-perishable dry goods have so far benefitted more than 600 people high in the Andes mountains. We are now in the process of distributing hundreds more food packages as well as hygiene kits to low-income families in El Alto and neighboring La Paz, the capital of Bolivia.

Our Bolivia staff has also provided important pamphlets on virus prevention alongside many of the relief packages we’ve distributed to families. And, we have been offering copies of the New Testament, so they can read more about the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.

In addition, our Bolivia staff has been working with local officials in the district of Beni, in the Amazon, to distribute about 1,000 of their food packages to families in need, with more efforts in the works. We also plan to distribute hundreds of our hygiene kits to Beni families.

Overall, through our projects in both Beni and La Paz, we anticipate being able to share the hope of the Gospel with more than 12,000 people in Bolivia over the next two months.

Staying in Touch

Using Sharing Hope in Crisis materials, our field staff has been teleconferencing with more than 40 churches in Bolivia to train them how they can help their communities during this challenging time.

A staff member prays with a grandmother caring for a 20-person household, including her grown children and grandchildren.

A staff member prays with a grandmother caring for a 20-person household, including her grown children and grandchildren.

And, within the past month, our staff has called more than 500 individuals who’ve participated in our regular ministry projects in Bolivia. As part of staying in touch, we are sharing COVID-19 prevention tips, such as information on social distancing and proper handwashing practices, as well as reading Scripture and praying with them.

“We have been sharing information about the prevention of COVID-19 and using this time as a way to share the Gospel, the message of hope,” said Beatriz, who works with our Children’s Heart Project in Bolivia. “While we share the information of COVID-19 prevention, I have been seeing God’s Word fitting perfectly in how He wants to show His love to the project’s moms and kids.”

Our Children’s Heart Project staff has given nearly 4,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, as well as water filters, dispensers, and 1,500 large bottles of clean water, to six healthcare facilities in Bolivia.

Pray for our staff in Bolivia and our ministry partners as they continue to help people in need in the Name of Jesus.

We began today receiving patients at the respiratory care unit.
Emergency Medicine Your gift will enable Samaritan’s Purse to provide life-saving medical care (including doctors, nurses, respirators, and other essential equipment) to hurting and vulnerable communities. We respond in the wake of natural and manmade disasters, as well as during outbreaks of infectious diseases. We also offer public health outreaches to prevent the spread of life-threatening illnesses. Most important, our teams bring the Gospel message of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and afraid.

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