La Paz, Bolivia – A City on a Hill

by Bart Daniel, HOPE worldwide

“One by one, will we run away? With our made up minds to leave it all behind as the light begins to fade in the city on a hill?  And the Father’s calling still “Come home to the city on the hill come home.”

 Casting Crowns

La Paz, you take my breath away…. La Paz you are truly a City on a Hill. I know that growing up, Bolivia has had a certain “mystique” about it. Bolivia was where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid went.  Bolivia was where Ché Guevara went to start a revolution.  In my young mind, Bolivia was all about adventure, and a place that I wanted to visit!

I have just spent the last week in La Paz and I am left breathless not just from the altitude of being at 12,000 feet, but from the excitement and energy of the HOPE team in La Paz.  I came to La Paz to review HOPE worldwide’s work this last year with Hospital Arco Iris and to encourage our team, but the reality is I go home being far more encouraged and given to than I can ever begin to give.

A significant part of my review this last week was meeting with many different professionals at the Hospital Arco Iris.  I am extremely grateful for the hospitality that they all extended to me.  Dr. Ramiro Narváez, the hospital director for Arco Iris, was incredible and he gave me complete access to all areas.  Hospital Arco Iris has a big job working to meet the healthcare needs of La Paz’s street people; the job they do with limited resources is incredible.  While Arco Iris is doing an incredible job, it is also obvious that there are ways that HOPE worldwide can contribute in significant and tangible ways.

It was also great to spend time with the HOPE team in La Paz.  Dr. Kevin Broyles along with his wife Noelle have left an incredible career with the Duke Health System to lead the work in La Paz.  Kevin and Noelle have such a passion to help the poor; they are also a set of parents for so many in the Church there!  I had many opportunities to see up close and personal just how much of a mother and father that Kevin and Noelle are!  They continually had people in their home non-stop!  It was also great to get to spend time with John Basilio and his wife Migdalia.  During the day, John humbly serves as Kevin’s assistant, while all the other times he serves as the Evangelist leading the La Paz Church. I was struck by John’s humility…he is so talented and capable, yet he serves as Kevin’s assistant because that is the need.  Finally, it was great to get to know Gwen Ellis.  Gwen has served in so many places, like Cambodia, yet she is so humble in her service.  I was also impressed because Gwen ran a 10K at 12,000 feet in elevation…not a small thing!

The HOPE team along with the brothers and sisters at the La Paz Church were incredibly encouraging and giving to me the whole time!  They completely out gave me!  Thank you so much for your hospitality!

I look forward to being able to visit again in the future and see the incredible work that they are completing there!  For me, I want to go back to the City on the Hill!

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