Summer 2007 Rapport: Hands of Christ
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|Missionary Steve Potutschnig (M.A. 1992) and his wife, Lori, coordinate Latin America ChildCare (LACC) in Bolivia, South America. Steve is currently in the Doctor of Ministry Program at AGTS.
LACC Bolivia is a compassion and development ministry that provides hope to needy children through Christian education, medical care and nutrition. It integrates the biblical principles of evangelism, church planting, community building, education and social responsibilities for development of good health. Presently, LACC Bolivia has 6 schools with more than 2,800 children. One school is close to a prison: 220 children leave the prison and their parent(s) each day to attend classes. There they receive education and a hot meal, only to return to the prison to sleep at night. Another school, Light and Truth of Cochabamba, exists on a former garbage dump. Of the nearly 1,400 children there, the majority come from makeshift homes with no indoor plumbing. Almost 10 percent are orphans or street children.
Pastor Teófilo, of the church at Light and Truth School, grew up on the streets of La Paz, Bolivia. After a miraculous healing and conversion, Teófilo became a pastor and church planter. He subsequently started a school. I have worked with Pastor Teófilo, applying knowledge gleaned from my studies at AGTS to coach him and help him devise ways to reach more students.
LACC strives for transformational development. At the heart of transformational development is the local church. The goal is for the local church to develop into the center of the community.
For example, Light and Truth Church seeks to serve the community by establishing technical-training workshops. Presently, the church conducts computer, sewing and hair-styling workshops. Plans are to establish masonry, metal-work, carpentry, confection and microenterprising workshops as well. They are part of an integrated developmental plan that respectfully empowers the body, spirit, soul and social aspects of the individual. These workshops will be a tool to bring about holistic transformation in the people who attend the church.
Poverty is a complex problem. No matter where you encounter it, however, it exists as a result of broken relationships—in families, in communities and with God. We sense a special presence of God at the schools. Today’s challenge is to minister and love the whole person—spiritually, physically, socially and emotionally. LACC is a ministry that is rising to this challenge.
Thursday, August 9, 2007 5:02 PM