This is the second year our Bolivian team has had the opportunity to host this dynamic program representing Masters Students from the West to East coasts. To help facilitate cross-cultural learning, several Bolivian Baptist leaders from four distinct regions of their country, were selected to join the Canadian for the duration of the trip. The diversity of this group allowed for lively discussion and a lot of laughs as we learned together.
While we had regular class lectures and public symposiums, we also had the chance to get our hands dirty. We partnered with a local church called Nueva Esperanza, and together with its members we walked through their neighbour-hood picking up garbage. We finally congregated at an arid plaza nearby the church and planted trees and bushes. For sometime this congregation had been planning to undertake an urban gardening initiative and bless their neighbours. When we heard of their plans to start creating a green space, we thought it would be a great opportunity to work alongside the local church in creation care.
There was also an opportunity to travel to La Paz and connect with RedMonica, an initiative that works with municipalities around Bolivia to monitor air quality. We were able to see their lab, have them explain the different ways they measure pollution, and also learn what factors most affect the quality of the air we breathe. The data from this project has helped push cities in Bolivia to rethink legislation around issues causing air contamination. Factory regulations, vehicle emissions, and forms of transportation are all becoming more actively discussed amongst citizens.
For many, this is where their faith has begun to intersect with today’s environmental realities. They hold both a passion for Christ and desire to care for His good earth. Please pray that the Praxis experience continues to be a catalyst for both Bolivians and Canadians who are committed to reconciling environmental stewardship as an integral part of obedience to the Gospel.