Andy and Andrea arrived to Bolivia in 2001, committed to serving Jesus and living life among the poor. They came with innocent, but passionate dreams to change the world and honor the Lord in the process. Little did they know how Bolivia would teach and shape them, their family and their calling.
After researching the needs of the city, they identified a need in the red-light district of El Alto and began an outreach to prostituted women and their families.
La Palabra Hecha Vida is now a locally registered foundation that includes direct services to victims, a social enterprise providing alternative employment (www.sutisana.com), an after-school program and specific workshops to equip women and their children in their personal and professional growth process. LPHV values both depth and quality, as we accompany and equip prostituted women and their children in seeking abundant life.
We Bakers are an active family with 4 boys who enjoy
adventure, value justice and love family.
Thank you for joining us!
P.S. The video below shows a foundational element of our ministry -- and features both Andy & Andrea in the thick of it! It is password protected, just as a reminder that we ask you not to share the video on social media. Video password is Abundant Life. Check it out!
almost 48 years ago
Our church in Bolivia recently hosted a Mission Expo, honoring missionaries and calling others to the same. They walked us down the red carpet and applauded. “You’re our heroes! We want to be more like you!” says Pastor Mauri. All week long we and others were showered with gifts, accolades and prayers. It was all quite overwhelming and humbling. Never have we experienced such a great outpouring of love and support, even more so from a Bolivian church.
I crashed on the couch Sunday afternoon exhausted from the week's activities and ready to binge-watch Netflix in my pj´s for the remainder of the day. Interesting enough, the Grey's Anatomy episode was about heroes, and Merideth´s closing thoughts caught my attention:
"Our heroes aren't special.
They're just people.
They're like us.
They're just trying to survive.
They're trying to be happy.
Trying to do better, be better, feel better.
Heroes aren't more special,
more courageous than the rest of us.
After all, they're only human.
They hurt, they break, they bleed….
A hero is only human, but that's the point.
If they can do it, so can you."
The small group meeting had just ended and everyone filtered away to their homes. The matron of the family gathers us together around the table and begins, "We saw your call for help for Wanda,* and we want to help.” All the family nods in agreement.
“We have a stove that was a wedding present from my father. I’ve kept it all these years and it still works great!” She beams, "I began my catering business with this oven!”
We can see the tension in her. This piece holds great sentiment. A family heirloom of sorts.
But she gathers herself and says, “And the Lord said that we couldn’t just give away the stove, but that we needed to provide the propane tank and fill it too. So that’s what we did!”
And so we loaded up our little car and rattled all the way home on the bumpy streets.
Wanda was in great need. She came knocking on the doors of our drop-in center, clutching the invitation she received in our Christmas outreach 6 months earlier. Subsisting in the middle of urbanity, no one knew how she and her 3 children were suffering: a single mother prostituting, pregnant from gang rape, cooking on an open fire, and all 4 sleeping on one small mattress on the floor.
Little Jorge*, starving from hunger, complained to his teacher one day, “I danced for them, and they didn’t pay me like they said they would.”
The kids gobbled up the food we served them, gnawing even the chicken bones. Wanda explained they had gone a full year without eating meat.
The Church came together, providing clothes and toys, a bed, food staples and more. And Wanda and her children took advantage of all the resources the ministry could offer. Delaying her C-section to complete our intensive 6-week training, Wanda will soon begin working as one of our newest SutiSana seamstresses!
"I didn’t realize there were so many good people in the world,” she reflects with deep gratitude.
The sacrifice of missionaries is just one piece to the puzzle of restoration. Obedience in any form - like small gifts given with great love - brings so much Glory to the Lord. And people like Wanda and her children are blessed and cared for.
How might the Lord be calling you to sacrifice and be a hero?
*Names changed for respect.
almost 48 years ago
Hi there! We'd love to better keep in touch with you, but our records are sorely outdated. Every now and then we send out a little something through snail mail. We have a new photo card for your fridge! If you'd like to better stay in touch, please help us by filling out the link below.
over 47 years ago
over 47 years ago
Recently while shopping in the open market, the boys bumped into the Captain of the Bolivian National Soccer Team. Andy complimented him on his winning game against Argentina, that he and Owen had attended. Later the boys asked, "Papi, who was that?" as they didn't recognize the national player.
That same evening, a lady carrying her baby on her back approached the boys on the street and asked if they would like to buy a package of Kleenex. After the exchange Luke said, "Papi, do you know who that was? She's the lady that sells Kleenex outside of church!"
Jesus noticed simple people and gave his attention to those at the margins of society. Who we see and engage with in life matters. May we all have the eyes of a child.
about 47 years ago