IRE Mission and Work

Formerly called the Ayoré Holistic Ministry, this team is expanding their reach to include other indigenous and rural people along with the Ayoré. The IRE (Indigenous Rural Expansion) Team is committed to serving individuals and communities as a means of building relationships and following the example of Christ. We strive to minister to the whole person as a means of drawing people to Him. Through transformational ministry we also try to help believers move toward a quality of life that reflects His image and redemption and glorifies Him.

Some of our core values are discipleship, sustainability and mercy. Our vision is to see a truly independent tribal and rural church where believers take responsibility for their own and their neighbor’s spiritual and physical well-being.

Besides SAM personnel, the team includes many Ayoré and non-Ayoré Bolivian believers. In this inclusiveness we hope to reflect the Body of Christ. For administrative purposes we have divided the ministry into two main areas, Mercy Ministries and IRE Outreach, although they frequently overlap.

Mercy Ministries: This area includes most of what we do that pertains to touching areas of felt need.

  • Medical work, done in our free walk-in clinic and during most visits to rural communities, provides us with a chance to physically reach out and touch people in Jesus´ name. Our goal is to offer compassionate, excellent primary care to those who would otherwise be unable to obtain it. We also network with other medical practices and professionals seeking compassionate care for those who need the help of specialists.
  • Through agricultural projects, and individual micro-projects, we offer fair-paying jobs in the community, as well as other benefits such as the chance to glean after initial harvesting. This encourages the people to stay on their land and avoid the pitfalls of migration into the city. We believe that we can, in this small way, help reflect God´s redemptive work.
  • We encourage the pursuit of education by financially helping families who are unable to buy school supplies for their children to attend classes. Uniforms, certain school supplies and specific books are required by the schools. The average cost per child is around $50 – way more than most can afford.
  • It is important for Bolivians to have official documents necessary to function as citizens. We actively encourage and support those who need to do the necessary paperwork to obtain these documents.
  • Special projects, such as the nutrition and early child development center in Barrio Bolivar (see http://www.buildingbolivar.wordpress.com) seek to respond in compassion and mercy to specific needs as they arise.

IRE General Outreach: This includes most of what we believe is needed at a spiritual level.

  • We reach out to the Ayoré youth and young children through Sunday school classes, camps and retreats. The youth are at a high risk for involvement in drug and alcohol abuse and prostitution. The children are at risk for abuse and neglect.
  • We work alongside Ayoré Christians to reach out to more communities to build and strengthen the Church among this group and to maintain solid Biblical teaching in the churches.
  • We take children’s ministries and Bible teaching to isolated communities along the rivers in the Beni department of Bolivia. We also try to respond to whatever needs we see during these outreach efforts on the rivers.
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