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When he doesn’t find a job for the day, he works for God

LA PAZ, Bolivia (BP)–Pasqual Quispe rises early and walks to the park near his house in La Paz, Bolivia. He waits there with dozens of other men hoping one of the trucks passing by will hire him for the day. Jobs vary, when he lands one. Most days he returns home unemployed.

His wife, Justina, leaves home shortly after 5 a.m. She takes a bus across town to buy butchered chickens and various beef cuts. She returns by 7 a.m. to a tiny booth in a market to sell the meats. After a short break in early afternoon, she works until 9 p.m. She eats, goes to bed, and then repeats the grind.

Every day living is hand to mouth. It is faithfully hoping for daily bread.

“It is very difficult because we make little money, and in the afternoon we hope we will have food to eat for supper,” Pasqual says. “We trust in God that he will provide, and he always seems to.”

It’s a hard life — a sacrificial life — the Quispes live, but they don’t see it that way. They are simply trying their best to passionately share the bread of life among the Aymara (i-MAR-uh), an indigenous people group living in the mountains surrounding the Altiplano (High Plain) of Western Bolivia. Pasqual and Justina themselves are Aymara.

Pasqual actively participates in planting Baptist churches among the Aymara.

On days he doesn’t find work, he uses the time to visit church members, share the gospel or train younger leaders.

“Sometimes I wish he’d find steady work,” Justina says. “But I also know that he is doing what God wants and I support him in that.”

Much work remains to share the gospel. More than 2 million of the 2.3 million Aymara have no personal relationship with Christ. Thousands of Aymara move each year to metropolitan areas hoping for a better life than their antiquated farming techniques can provide. During their settlement, the usually suspicious Aymara are open to relationships. These moves provide a strategic opportunity to share the gospel, especially with another Aymara.

“I see the heart of the Aymara and know their heart,” Pasqual says. “Right now there are only a few who are willing to go to them and share Jesus with them. We have a desire to do that. We want to minister to the immigrants new to La Paz where there are no churches.”

Pasqual has been working with International Mission Board missionary Kent Shirley to train believers to be missionaries. They encourage the new missionaries to plant multiple evangelical churches where they have yet to be planted.

Justina has her own ministry in the market where she sells meat. At one time, she was the only believer working there; now there are several.

“Because so many worship Pachamama [Mother Earth], they don’t know anything about Jesus,” she says. “They have never had anyone to tell them.”

Justina believes the Aymara are so entrapped by spiritual darkness that it takes extraordinary intercession for them to understand the message of salvation. She spends hours fasting and praying that the people she witnesses to will accept Christ as Savior.

“God never leaves us alone, and we always have blessings when we do his work,” she says. “Jesus has done so much for us that we want everyone else to know him.”
During the 2001 International Missions Emphasis, Dec. 2-9, Southern Baptist congregations across the United States are focusing on the cause of extending God’s kingdom to every people group. This year’s theme — “The Unfinished Task: Planting with Passion” — emphasizes the passion for planting churches that comes when we understand God’s heart for the lost nations. The goal for this year’s Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is $120 million — every penny of which will go to support missionaries and their ministries. The International Mission Board draws 36 percent of its income from the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists’ unified budget. The Lottie Moon offering provides 46 percent.