While the Powells were serving in Bolivia, they began to see how much more they could do if they weren't there. Yes, that sounds strange, but let me explain. The Powells fell in love with Bolivia and doing ministry there - and God was (is) so very faithful to bring lost people to a wonderful savior. They saw lives changed and people come to know and treasure Jesus. However, they also saw great need. Churches with no money for rent or utilities, bi-vocational pastors suffering under the stress of managing both the church and securing income for their families, families with great needs and no one to provide aid, sincere believers with aptitudes for leadership with no place to be trained and equipped, young men wanting to study and serve the church with no money or time to do so because of basic needs. The Powells began to consider what could be accomplished if they invested their support budget in stipends for local pastors rather than rent, in leadership training rather than internet access, resources for ministry rather than weekly groceries. Bolivia has plenty of mature, godly, passionate followers of Jesus that can be used to further the kingdom of God. Bolivia doesn't NEED the Powells, Bolivia NEEDS Jesus and God can use anyone to accomplish his plans in Bolivia. For the Powells, through prayer and counsel, the choice became clear. God led them to minister in Bolivia in different way. This is how Mission Bolivia was born and is the foundation of our vision - to proclaim the Gospel in Bolivia and see the Church there grow strong and healthy. How will it be done? Here are some basics:
1. Pastor Stipends - Money given to 1 or 2 pastors to help offset personal expenses in order to give full attention to the work of the church, without placing strain on their families. This would be a temporary stipend, and would be decreased over time as the churches grow and become more self-sustaining. We do not want to create dependency, but rather provide a healthy supportive "boost" where there is greatest need. The length of time and amount of stipend will be determined by two governing boards (the board of directors for Mission Bolivia as well as the local council of elders in Bolivia).
2. Evangelism - Funds used for mission trips, outreach events, and evangelistic campaigns - including print materials and other resources deemed necessary for effective outreach. Many faithful churches and church members long to participate in missions, however funding the travel is nearly impossible with all the other financial strains on most churches and individuals. This budget item would help provide a financial supplement to make these trips more feasible. This budget item will also provide funding for specific outreach events and evangelist campaigns, planned and organized by the local ministries in conjunction with the council of elders and MB Board of Directors.
3. Pastors' College - Provision of books, print material, and collaboration with area ministries/projects for leadership/missions training. The Church En Su Palabra operates a Pastors' College that works to disciple and train church leaders for Christian service. The goal is for this ministry to grow and train missionaries to be sent out to unreached and under-reached areas.
4. Educational Scholarships - Awarded to college students each year to pay monthly tuition and materials for students who plan to use their field of study to advance the gospel. The number of students to receive this support and the amount received will be determined on a case by case basis, as funds are available, by the local council of elders.
5. Administration - A small portion of funds will be set aside each month to cover the cost of administration. This includes travel 1-2 times a year for one member of the Board of directors to visit with the council of elders and provide oversight and encouragement to local ministry partners. This will also include tax filings, preparations, etc to comply with federal requirements to maintain our status as a 501c3 (non-profit) organization.