World Vision Helps Internally Displaced Bolivians

( [email protected] ) Oct 17, 2003 02:00 PM EDT

Bolivia – Political conflict within the Bolivian borders opened a new door for ministry to World Vision. As anti-government demonstrators marched around major cities, demanding the resignation of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, World Vision workers have fed and nurtured those who were displaced by the conflict.

The capital city has been paralyzed by three weeks of protests in Bolivia. Workers have been demonstrating against the government and its free-market policies. Clashes there have left more than 60 people dead and dozens of others injured. Violence peaked Sunday and Monday during protests against a government plan to export natural gas to the United States and Mexico.

World Vision's Andres Vera, who is stationed only eight blocks from the conflict, reported that he and his fellow workers have been " food and medicines to approximately 300 people that have been stranded on the bus station. They've been there for about eight days; helping the main hospitals in La Paz and El Alto (with medicines, medical supplies and oxygen), and we are trying to talk to the leaders in both sides to sign a peace treaty."

Vera says the deadly clashes opened a door for a different ministry. "We are showing people God's mercy and God's love through the things we are donating, through the hope we are giving and telling them that God loves them."