Andy & Andrea Baker
Andy and Andrea arrived to Bolivia in 2001, committed to serving Jesus and living life among the poor. They came with innocent, but passionate dreams to change the world and honor the Lord in the process. Little did they know how Bolivia would teach and shape them, their family and their calling.
After researching the needs of the city, they identified a need in the red-light district of El Alto and began an outreach to prostituted women and their families.
La Palabra Hecha Vida is now a locally registered foundation that includes direct services to victims, a social enterprise providing alternative employment (www.sutisana.com), an after-school program and specific workshops to equip women and their children in their personal and professional growth process. LPHV values both depth and quality, as we accompany and equip prostituted women and their children in seeking abundant life.
We Bakers are an active family with 4 boys who enjoy
adventure, value justice and love family.
Thank you for joining us!
P.S. The video below shows a foundational element of our ministry -- and features both Andy & Andrea in the thick of it! It is password protected, just as a reminder that we ask you not to share the video on social media. Video password is Abundant Life. Check it out!
Posted a week ago
Hi all!Read More
Just in case you missed it:
Here's some news from our Sabbatical.
A short video from from our community to yours (you gotta see the cute kids)!
And our 1st ever WMFB holiday gift catalog for those last minute, but meaningful gifts.
Thank you for your prayers and partnership! Merry Christmas to you!
Posted a week ago
Our church in Bolivia recently hosted a Mission Expo, honoring missionaries and calling others to the same. They walked us down the red carpet and applauded. “You’re our heroes! We want to be more like you!” says Pastor Mauri. All week long we and others were showered with gifts, accolades and prayers. It was all quite overwhelming and humbling. Never have we experienced such a great outpouring of love and support, even more so from a Bolivian church.
I crashed on the couch Sunday afternoon exhausted from the week's activities and ready to binge-watch Netflix in my pj´s for the remainder of the day. Interesting enough, the Grey's Anatomy episode was about heroes, and Merideth´s closing thoughts caught my attention:
"Our heroes aren't special.
They're just people.
They're like us.
They're just trying to survive.
They're trying to be happy.
Trying to do better, be better, feel better.
Heroes aren't more special,
more courageous than the rest of us.
After all, they're only human.
They hurt, they break, they bleed….
A hero is only human, but that's the point.
If they can do it, so can you."
The small group meeting had just ended and everyone filtered away to their homes. The matron of the family gathers us together around the table and begins, "We saw your call for help for Wanda,* and we want to help.” All the family nods in agreement.
“We have a stove that was a wedding present from my father. I’ve kept it all these years and it still works great!” She beams, "I began my catering business with this oven!”
We can see the tension in her. This piece holds great sentiment. A family heirloom of sorts.
But she gathers herself and says, “And the Lord said that we couldn’t just give away the stove, but that we needed to provide the propane tank and fill it too. So that’s what we did!”
And so we loaded up our little car and rattled all the way home on the bumpy streets.
Wanda was in great need. She came knocking on the doors of our drop-in center, clutching the invitation she received in our Christmas outreach 6 months earlier. Subsisting in the middle of urbanity, no one knew how she and her 3 children were suffering: a single mother prostituting, pregnant from gang rape, cooking on an open fire, and all 4 sleeping on one small mattress on the floor.
Little Jorge*, starving from hunger, complained to his teacher one day, “I danced for them, and they didn’t pay me like they said they would.”
The kids gobbled up the food we served them, gnawing even the chicken bones. Wanda explained they had gone a full year without eating meat.
The Church came together, providing clothes and toys, a bed, food staples and more. And Wanda and her children took advantage of all the resources the ministry could offer. Delaying her C-section to complete our intensive 6-week training, Wanda will soon begin working as one of our newest SutiSana seamstresses!
"I didn’t realize there were so many good people in the world,” she reflects with deep gratitude.
The sacrifice of missionaries is just one piece to the puzzle of restoration. Obedience in any form - like small gifts given with great love - brings so much Glory to the Lord. And people like Wanda and her children are blessed and cared for.
How might the Lord be calling you to sacrifice and be a hero?
*Names changed for respect.
Highlights and News
Andy and Andrea recently enjoyed a 2-week trip to London sponsored by Rope. We shared in various venues and snuck in a bit of 20th wedding anniversary celebrating too!
It´s a busy time of year for us! And with less staff and a full workload, our community is busy. We'd appreciate your prayers and support.
We have 4 new artisans joining the SutiSana team! That means 4 more women are FREE from sexual exploitation! Check out their latest products and video below. Video password is: Abundant Life.
The kids are obsessed with soccer these days and recently got to see some of their favorite players in a world-cup qualifier game in La Paz. Mom and dad are glad for healthy outlets that bring joy to the whole family.
As Luke and Elias step into middle-school and high-school respectively, we're beginning to navigate the world of college-prep. It's scary and emotional, but the boys are stepping up the challenge!Meet the artisans of SutiSana in our newest video! See password above. https://vimeo.com/234102604
Check out SutiSana's latest collection! We're really proud of it! http://sutisana.com/
Read more here: https://us5.admin.mailchimp.com/campaigns/show?id=1359173
Posted a week ago
Hi there! We'd love to better keep in touch with you, but our records are sorely outdated. Every now and then we send out a little something through snail mail. We have a new photo card for your fridge! If you'd like to better stay in touch, please help us by filling out the link below.Read More
Posted a week agoI awoke this morning with an anxious prayer, “Lord please help me get through this day.” I know it will not be easy.The long bus ride to work is a gift for me. In part it keeps me close to our neighbors and the reality of life around me. It’s also a quiet time between home and office to reflect and collect my thoughts for the day. Today I’m remembering how God provided in response to Abraham’s obedience (Gen 22: 13-14). I am holding to that promise for myself. God tests and God provides.The bus driver is unusually kind. He greets each person with respect. "Good morning brother. Hello grandfather. Take care dear friend.” For all those he passes, he signals peace or a gentle hello. We crest the top of the hill and the glorious snowcaps come into view behind the conglomerated power lines. A sign of hope for me. Majestic beauty lies just beyond the mess of today. Mercedes Soza resonates deeply on the radio, “I only ask God, that the injustice wouldn't make me indifferent….” How I fight to not let my heart grow hard and protective.The day was trying, as expected and many tears were shed. But even in the midst of our mourning, there was comfort in our shared suffering. I am grateful for these people, with whom I’m learning to love more fully and selflessly let go.After difficult days, it’s my great joy to come home again to earnest hugs and big smiles. A home cooked dinner awaits and we share fellowship together around the table. Communion once again. Tonight my little one’s eyes sparkle as he crinkles his freckled nose and gloats in his game winnings. Just a bit earlier he had stormed away in anger when asked to wash the dishes. Some nights we leave our mess to crust on the table, and simply enjoy each other’s company, cuddling on the couch and recounting the days’ events.Jean Vanier says community is the place that reveals all the darkness and anger, jealousies and rivalry hidden in our hearts….a place of pain, because it is a place of loss, a place of conflict, and a place of death. But it is also a place of resurrection.I hold this gift - life together - carefully, gratefully, recognizing the Lord’s presence in it all and giving thanks.Read More
Posted a week ago
Recently while shopping in the open market, the boys bumped into the Captain of the Bolivian National Soccer Team. Andy complimented him on his winning game against Argentina, that he and Owen had attended. Later the boys asked, "Papi, who was that?" as they didn't recognize the national player.
That same evening, a lady carrying her baby on her back approached the boys on the street and asked if they would like to buy a package of Kleenex. After the exchange Luke said, "Papi, do you know who that was? She's the lady that sells Kleenex outside of church!"http://mailchi.mp/44f9905622ee/s782x1ustt-1299157
Jesus noticed simple people and gave his attention to those at the margins of society. Who we see and engage with in life matters. May we all have the eyes of a child.
Posted a week agoTo thank you for your partnership, we made you a little gift. Click HERE for a playlist of some of our favorite worship music. These are songs that sustain and encourage us. They’re songs we sing in Spanish at church, songs we play at home when we’re cleaning, or songs we need for the quiet refreshment of our souls. They remind us of our call. They lead us to intercede for those we love. They help lift our heads above the mess we see, in the world or even in our own hearts.We pray that you would be equally encouraged in the Lord’s love and care for you and His Faithfulness to equip you for whatever He may call you to do.
Posted a week agoDonald Miller in his book, Blue Like Jazz, recounts a story he once heard at a folk concert… that helped him resolve a thing about God. The story was about his friend, who was a Navy SEAL:
The folksinger said his friend was performing a covert operation, freeing hostages from a building in some dark part of the world. His friend’s team flew in by helicopter, made their way to the compound, and stormed into the room where the hostages had been imprisoned for months. The room, the folk singer said, was filthy and dark. The hostages were curled up in a corner, terrified. When the SEALs entered the room, they heard the gasps of the hostages. The SEALs stood at the door and called to the prisoners, telling them they were Americans. They asked the hostages to follow them, but the hostages wouldn’t. They sat there on the floor and hid their eyes in fear. They were not of healthy mind and didn’t believe their rescuers were really Americans.
The SEALs stood there, not knowing what to do. They couldn’t possibly carry everybody out. One of the SEALs--the folk singer’s friend--got an idea. He put down his weapon, took off his helmet, and curled up tightly next to the other hostages, getting so close his body was touching some of theirs. He softened the look on his face and put his arms around them. He was trying to show them he was one of them. None of the prison guards would have done this. He stayed there for a little while until some of the hostages started to look at him, finally meeting his eyes. The Navy SEAL whispered that they were Americans and were there to rescue them. ‘Will you follow us?’ he said. The hero stood to his feet, and one of the hostages did the same, then another, until all of them were willing to go. The story ends with all the hostages safe on an American aircraft carrier.
Donald continues, “I never liked it when the preacher said we had to follow Jesus. Sometimes they would make Him sound angry. But I liked the story the folksinger told. I liked the idea of Jesus becoming man, so that we would be able to trust Him, and I liked that He healed people and loved them and cared deeply about how people were feeling.
We meet a lot of people with good reason to distrust God. They’ve been hurt, abandoned - and some, by the very ones who claim to be followers of Christ.
I too find that I’m defensive, self-protecting, fearful and often with good reason too. Sometimes it takes a long while for me to uncross my arms and pick up my head. When I’ve finished kicking and screaming, I can slowly begin to see.
The One who made himself accessible, disarms me. He sets aside pomp and circumstance and gives me no reason to question motives. This One knows me, is willing to sit with me in the dank spaces of my heart and get a little dirty – even when my head makes no sense at all. With a quiet whisper an invitation is extended.
The Incarnate One bids me to do the same for my sisters and brothers, to bear witness to a loving and patient God who stands with us no matter what. He who certainly does bring rescue and redemption, first quietly and simply, enters in.
Posted a week ago
Read our latest update, highlighting so much to be grateful for!
Posted a week ago
A whirlwind trip and finally home again! Read about our summer extravaganza here:Read More
Posted a week ago
Read our latest ministry update here! http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=1933d3c2d9f8635a4ea1f4abd&id=bb98140585Read More
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