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The Day She Stopped Running

Honestly, I understand why Ada was mad at God.  Misfortune and disaster seem to hunt her, and its hard not to blame it on an all-powerful father. Her own mother and father abandoned her early, and she and her brother and sister were raised by their grandparents in a squalor that belies description, marginally assisted […]

Vanessa’s Transformation

On a chilly Wednesday evening, a small team made its weekly visit to the red-light district, and met Vanessa.*  At 28 y/o, she had resorted to prostitution a few months prior to make ends meet for her two young sons. Lonely for fellowship, Vanessa visited the WMFB ministry center within the week. Over tea, she […]

Friends

You’re The One We’re Looking For

“You’re the One We’re Looking For” In the red-light district a block from our ministry center, there are 500 beds.  As we do every Christmas, we enter each of the fourteen brothels there donning Santa Claus hats and proclaiming the gospel through Christmas carols. The administrators were, as always, remarkably accepting; some even genuinely enjoying the cheerful […]

Analise's Story

Analise’s Story

Although she visited our ministry center years ago, she wasn’t quite ready for change. But when she hit rock bottom, she knew where to turn for help. Desperate, suicidal and scared, she came begging for help to pay for university studies. “I’ll do everything I can to study hard!” She sought out therapy, and began […]

WMF Bolivia

Let the Little Children Come

Word Made Flesh Bolivia Cares for the Young Ones My husband and I recently welcomed our first child into the world.  Soon after our little girl arrived, we found ourselves at a lively restaurant near Cleveland, Ohio (during a CAVS game!)  As we munched appreciatively I happened to glance up at the television above the […]

My First Trip To A Bolivian Brothel

It’s pouring rain. In a time of the most severe drought this country has known in decades, there’s no room for complaining about the wet and cold. We welcome the storm, although it does complicate our objective. We walk into the first brothel; only red lights illuminate the shadows of utter darkness inside. The heavy […]

Growing Up In the Red-Light District

Growing Up in the Red-Light District

When she was eight, Janis and her family moved into a simple home in downtown El Alto, a chilly urban outgrowth of Bolivia’s administrative capital, La Paz. Growing up, Janis and her three sisters loved the new neighborhood, where the streets were often jammed with public transportation and market stalls. They were a vulnerable household however; […]

Mother’s Day in Bolivia

Yesterday we celebrated Mother’s Day and the drop-in center was filled to the brim! Fourteen years after the official launch of the ministry, I scanned the faces of all who came and was struck by the layers of history and the stories represented. Weddings, births and funerals. Suicide, alcohol, rape. Redemption. Survival. Growth. Little ones […]

Meet Doris

A woman with kind eyes and a round face greeted me by name on my second day with Word Made Flesh Bolivia. I later learned that this woman was Doris Monasterios Quispe, the Coordinator of Administration. She stands at just barely 5 feet, but her confidence and warmth make her larger than life. Doris has lived in El […]

“Human trafficking,” she said, “that’s my thing,”

“Human trafficking,” she said, “that’s my thing,” as if it were a dessert affinity or a favorite dog breed, the selected piggy bank for her charitable thoughts or pennies – this was her proclaimed issue of choice, her thing. The comment struck me: a little scary, impersonal, sterile. A bit uninformed? We hear more and […]