Our objective for this mission trip was designed to work alongside missionaries Jamie and Susan Ramge, supporting them and their work with the indigenous Quechua tribes residing in the Andes Mountains. However, the work we did there far exceeded these established parameters. We worked, rested, and developed relationships with the people living in these remote villages. While helping the people build churches for their ever growing Christian communities, we were able to get insight into the fundamental cultural differences that set the Quechua people apart. We were encouraged by their pure devotion to their faith in Christ, while at the same time giving them encouragement by helping them to build their churches. This was an otherwise very difficult process without an excessive amount of people devoted to the same constructive goal.
The first few days of our trip were spent in a village called San Jacinto, where we worked to construct a church in order to move a growing congregation out of a dirt walled room to a larger, more structured sanctuary. One of the most incredible experiences was attending the church services in San Jacinto. Although the room that they currently have to worship is small and dark, people from the whole village pack in to celebrate their faith in God. It was amazing to see the joy on the faces of those in the congregation. It made the whole service remarkably impacting, even though we couldn't understand the language of the sermon. We were excited to see the enthusiasm and be a part of God's work in this villag
The next few days, we spent time in an even more remote, poverty stricken village in the Andes mountains, known as Villa Pampa. In this location our team divided, four of which worked on excavating the foundation for a church that will be constructed, and the others worked with kids in the nearby school by teaching lessons about bible stories and dental hygiene. The work was physically demanding, but the gratitude and looks of encouragement far outweighed any strain. We found it incredibly humbling that although these people live in extreme poverty, they always offered us their best and fed us first. They are currently worshipping in the house of the leader until this new structure is completed and we witnessed four people accept Christ the evening that we went to the church service there.
Jamie and Susan Ramge have been evangelizing to the Quechua Indians for more than twelve years. They work closely with an indigenous Quechua Christian leader named Julian whose strength and compassion help to reach this unreached people group. In the short time we were in Bolivia, we were able to witness the great impact that these leaders have made in sharing the good news of Jesus. The new Christians are excited to begin their changed lives and the enthusiasm is contagious. With the money that Gateway church donated from the past Christmas Eve service, there five church plants that have been started. It will be exciting to see the progress and Christian growths that continues in this region in the years to come.