By Chris VanDevere
This has been the most fascinating spring break of my life! La Paz, Bolivia is a treasure tucked away in the heart of South America. While the city has breath taking scenery and wonderful weather… it is the people who make La Paz truly beautiful.
My college friend Joenesha and I were able to serve and encourage the poor children in La Paz in many ways. I will always treasure my time helping Noelle in Hospital Arco Iris’s Sala de Juegos. I played games with a 10 year old boy who was undoubtedly going to become an orphan soon due to his mother’s severe alcoholism and declining health. I was in tears as I thought about his future… a young boy either living in the streets or in a tiny shack taking care of his baby sister.
Joenesha and I were also able to accompany Dr. Sergio in the HAI ambulance to bring medical support to women and children in prison.
I went with Matt Daniels (a one year volunteer here) to do a home visit with a sweet elderly Bolivian woman. She is a single mother of three. She treks 2 hours a day to get to work, where she washes clothes for $2 a day in order to support herself and her children. They live in a one room house with a dirt floor, 2 beds, and a stove.
It amazes me how much I take the things that I have for granted. Each day I was teary eyed as I witnessed the many levels of the people’s pain, which is so prevalent. There are so many people that go unnoticed. Just a simple smile can brighten someone’s day. It is very clear that God is using the HOPE Team to have an incredible impact on the city. La Paz is a forever memory in my life. I hope I will return here again one day.