In 2018, Maranatha Volunteers International responded to a request from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Bolivia for churches, initially focusing near the cities of Cochabamba and La Paz. By the end of 2019, Maranatha’s commitment in Bolivia was nearly fulfilled, with a handful of remaining projects centered around the greater Santa Cruz area. Then, political unrest halted the work. Unable to continue, our crew left to assist in Peru, where hundreds of volunteers were expected during March 2020. Subsequently, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, preventing further work in either country for months.
Today, the political turmoil in Bolivia has calmed and there are very few COVID restrictions. In January 2021, Maranatha workers began trickling back into Bolivia to complete a handful of final projects.
They started at the Entre Rios Adventist School, where Maranatha previously built three structures that house a library, teacher workroom, administrative office, bathroom, and six classrooms. The third building still needed stucco, sidewalks, paint, and finished electrical and plumbing.
Crews are also erecting three churches, providing the foundation, steel frame, and roofing—local members will add the walls in the future. Construction started with the Gremial congregation, which will boast the only church in the area. The Cuatro de Septiembre church is also underway—its metal frame is nearly done. And the newly planted Pailón Sur congregation will soon have a sanctuary of its own, the last church Maranatha completes in the country.
When all of the projects are finished, Maranatha will have constructed 21 structures in Bolivia.