From a Covid outbreak at the girls’ home to looking for a new neighborhood with the Outreach Program
After Covid forced a transition in 2020, a stable 2021 followed serving in Rio Piraí. This is the main area where we develop our Outreach Program. We ended the year with a newly developed outreach model for Amparo we believe is replicable in other neighborhoods.
We sensed it was time to pray, present the idea to the board, and wait for the Lord’s answer, which was yes.
We started 2022 praying for a new neighborhood to in which to serve . We then started talking to people and other ministries we know. In addition, we started looking for data, research, and whatever available to help us make the best possible decision.
Would you please consider joining us in prayer? Currently we have enough resources to serve six months in the new neighborhood. We will need an increase in our monthly donations to continue serving in the new neighborhood. We believe the Lord takes us to places to serve long term, so we trust that after obedience His provision will follow and we will be there longer than six months.
We will keep you posted on how this process develops.
A couple of months into the pandemic I knew it was inevitable for a wave of sickness to wash over Amparo’s staff and girls. The question on my mind then was: how can we prepare effectively to care for the girls and staff? We decided to pray, get informed, eat well, exercise, take vitamins, get vaccinated and trust the Lord.
The Monday after Christmas half of the girls from the home had something like a flu. Tuesday two staff membermes tested positive. Wednesday the symptoms were not going away. Thursday another staff member tested positive and our volunteer pediatrician asked for one of the girls to do a test, since she was the one presenting the most ‘Covid like’ symptoms. On Friday, all the girls had some symptoms, so we got our first girl to test and she tested positive. I surprisingly tested negative. In a home where it’s not possible to isolate or quarantine a girl, things developed quickly. Even if we had the space, how do you separate a young girl from the rest to take care of herself? Following the advice of our pediatrician and with close oversight we decided to go through it together. Unfortunately half of our staff was on vacation that week. The rest of the staff was informed of the situation and shifts were only taken voluntarily through that time.
The Bolivian health system was over its capacity before Covid. Can you imagine? All the health services we needed were privately available. Thankfully the Lord provided. We needed around $100 per day for vitamins and medicine. Every Covid test cost $20. We have a volunteer pediatrician who works at the best private clinic in Bolivia. An appointment with her costs $50. But she did it all for free and donated with a group of doctor friends over 80% of the vitamins and medicine we needed!
It was a very difficult three weeks but we made it through the adverse situation. Overall thanks be to God nothing serious happened with the girls. They experienced extreme discomfort, physical pain and exhaustion. For the staff, Covid has been a much more difficult experience, including longer hours of pain and illness for some and longer hours of work for others. All the staff were affected. The husband of one of our aunts spent almost two weeks in the hospital, thankfully now he is home and recovering. Our pediatrician thinks it’s highly possible all of the girls and staff had omicron.
Praise the Lord for our health. Praise the Lord for staff who went to serve despite knowing the girls had Covid. Praise the Lord for the volunteers. Praise the Lord for the donations we receive.
It’s in the darkest nights light shines the brightest. It’s when there is no other option we recognize and experience the Lord’s provision.