When she started inviting neighbourhood kids into the church for food and school support, the building had a dirt floor and no glass in the windows; Betty felt it was more important to prioritize serving the community than to invest in the physical building. The project has been running for over three years now and provides support to over 60 children and youth on a given day. CBM has helped build a bathroom, purchase tables and chairs so they don't have to sit on the floor, a range of other furniture and school supplies, and a computer. The computer, which the youth do not otherwise have access to, has been significant in supporting their education and creativity.
We were very encouraged by Betty’s drive to serve others and talked with her about where she found the inspiration to start a community service project. She shared that while she was going to seminary in the city of Oruro, she started volunteering at a church-based project—a project CBM is now also supporting. During her time there, Betty learned the important role the church has to play in the development of its community, and also how to run and manage a project. When she came to her new job posting and saw the local needs, she realized she had to do something and already had the skills to get started.
Throughout Bolivia churches are finding ways to respond to needs in their own communities and inspiring others to do so as well. As Betty has shown: one of the best ways to learn is through experience and one of the best ways to teach is by example.