The Convention of Baptist Churches-Chilean Mission invited Barbara and Dwight to serve with them in ministries of economic and leadership development. Their primary focus is with Mapuche churches in southern Chile, most of who live on small farms in isolated rural communities. They struggle with severe poverty, lack of sustainable livelihoods, and the debilitating, culture-eroding effects of centuries of domination.
Barbara writes: Now and then someone we have worked with starts to do something new. It is a surprising delight when someone’s life starts changing because they have embraced the vision of the gospel and God’s dream of Shalom for the place where God has given them to live.
Elcira Cayuman is a 38-year-old Mapuche woman. She has never had a wage-paying job other than picking blue berries for $6.00 a day. All of those earnings she saved to buy a sink, with the dream that one day she would have a house to put it in. She is an amazingly talented weaver, and her weavings are in demand in the markets we are discovering through our Missionary Partnership Network. Her earnings are now consistent enough to allow her to build a decent house. It will be a simple wooden house with a living and dining area, a bedroom, running water, a bathroom and electricity. All are luxuries that she has never been able to afford before.
Elcira, like many of the women with whom we work, has no formal education and little if any employment opportunities. The weaving project gives them the means to earn a sustainable income and/or make substantial improvements to their standard of living. We are often asked what the women in our programs do with the money they earn. Elcira is one example of what God wants to happen when the Gospel is lived.
She is part of a weaving group which meets to study the Bible and pray together. We use those times to teach some practical skills to be productive stewards. God’s love for them is confirmed when they see that He has provided a means for them to care for their families and lead their churches.
• Pray for Elcira and other women like her who are becoming productive stewards and are learning of the power of the Gospel.
• Pray for Barbara and Dwight as they find ways to minister to the Mapuche people.
• Pray for their children Jack (9) and Will (3).
• Pray for their Missionary Partnership Team (MPT) as these committed believers who have come alongside the Bollicks assist them in their ministry.
• Pray for additional markets to be discovered through their Missionary Partnership Network – those congregations and individuals who have a special interest in and help to support Barbara and Dwight as they work for Christ among the Mapuche people.