Here am I. Send me!

My name is Christine, and I can’t wait to walk alongside of the organization, Food for the Hungry  to Lajastambo, Bolivia.

I have been far across the oceans before, in Russia. Where I worked with a team who was involved with college students – serving, learning, developing, teaching and sharing God’s Word. Also in Mexico running a crew to mentor wiring a building. That was a wonderful experience since I am only 5’2” and do not look like I know what to do with tools, but I do. These are just a few that God put on my heart to be his hands and feet.

Each one of my servant-based trips, have been a blessing in my life. God has orchestrated what his plans are and how he will use me to be one small part of his Master Plan. We leave in 2 weeks and I wait with anticipation of what God has planned for this trip. Your prayers will be greatly appreciated for safe travel, staying healthy, building relationships and God’s will. What a blessing it is to be part of Blackhawk Church Bolivia Go-Team.

I will leave you with one of my favorite Bible verse:

Isaiah 6:8   Then I heard a voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said “Here am I. Send me!”

Fostering Relationships

My name is Laura and I feel honored and blessed to represent Blackhawk Church in Lajastambo, Bolivia. I am excited to join Food for the Hungry in what they are doing in the community. I am looking forward to fostering relationships there and helping them to achieve their goals.
I am a retired special education teacher.  I am married and have 2 grown children and a grandson.  In my retirement, it has been a blessing to encourage others through the One to One ministry. I also volunteer in Disaster Services through American Red Cross.
I would like to thank all of those who have supported us in this endeavor. Please continue to pray for the team, the relationships that are formed and God’s work that is being accomplished there.

What God is doing


My name is Francis, and I’m excited to see what God is doing in Lajastambo, Bolivia. I’ve been interested and involved in missions most of my life, seeing God working around the world. This will be my first time to Bolivia, and I’m looking forward to working alongside Food for the Hungry. I want to learn more about their servant-based, incarnational, and holistic development. We depart in two weeks! Please pray for our final preparations, safe travel, and effective ministry.

In addition to this Go Team, I help facilitate a men’s Bible study group at Blackhawk, where I’ve been a member since moving to Madison 15 years ago. My lovely wife, Glynis, will enjoy some introvert time with our dog, Pepper, while I’m away. When I’m not traveling, I work sales operations and process improvement.

An Honor to Serve

My name is Josh. I am 37 and am married to an amazing fellow dreamer, wife, and best friend named Jenny. We have been married for 10 years and have three exceptional kids named Isla (7), Alaina (5), and Ian (1).

In my career life, I am able to live out my purpose and destiny by serving others through my job and my gifts. Currently I am a principal for Verita Energy, LLC, a company focused on energy savings best practices and a heart towards philanthropy. Beyond this, I work in another small business I founded called MEP Solutions where we help folks reduce their utility costs.

My life has been a great blessing on many fronts. I find it a privilege and a honor to thus serve others in need wherever they are. I enjoy coming along side those who need some extra support, particularly in men’s ministry. My role model is Jesus Christ and believe he alone holds the keys to our purpose and destiny. He provides and equips me with the resources, means, and spirit of charity, even if it means leaving behind those I love and care about most for a while. It is privilege to be a part of Blackhawk Church, the Bolivia go-team itself, and come alongside and work and learn with the wonderful friends we have in Bolivia.

We’re home!

The team returned to the U.S. in the wee hours of Friday, April 20. On behalf of the team, we can’t thank you enough for your prayers, encouragement, and support.

This was my second trip to Lajastambo with a Blackhawk team, and I’m once again amazed and humbled by the hospitality shown to us by the staff of Food for the Hungry-Bolivia and the people of Lajastambo. Wherever we went, people welcomed us with broad smiles and open arms, and they wouldn’t let us leave without sitting down and having a meal together.

I’m so glad over half our team had a heart and a passion for children’s ministry. These team members embraced the throngs of children that followed us everywhere we went. They played with dozens of children for over three hours straight while my wife Anne and I led a marriage workshop with about 30 couples. The children absolutely thrived when our team members focused on them and played with them. They loved the attention!

Food for the Hungry (FH) is doing a great work in about eight communities surrounding Sucre (which includes Lajastambo). When community leaders invite FH into their community, a variety of activities start happening on a 10-year calendar. Church partnerships are formed, greenhouses are build, community centers are constructed, health and wellness clinics are held, and groups of women learn how to bake nutritious meals and form savings clubs. The dedication, passion, and professionalism of FH staff is remarkable.

While we were there only a week, the relationships we formed will leave lifelong impressions on all of us. The time many of us were able to spend with our sponsor children was unforgettable. The money you invest in child sponsorships is making a profound difference in the lives of children and their communities.

Please join our team for a “show-and-tell” on Sunday, May 6 at 11am in the Fireside Room. There might even be a sampling of Bolivian cuisine! Thanks again for all your prayers and support. This doesn’t happen without you!


Back to “real life”

Here is a special guest blog post by Abi Barrou of Food for the Hungry.
We love traveling because it is like dreaming or being out of our reality. When we travel we are open to learn and appreciate things without the pressure of routine.
Almost two weeks ago we at Food for the Hungry were about ready to receive the Blackhawk team in Bolivia. We had a lot to do with them and the people in Lajastambo during the week they planned to be in Bolivia. The days were filled with activities, emotions and encounters of people very different from each other.
As teams coordinator for FH Bolivia I love to experience these brief periods of life with so many people from American churches. It is exciting to visit sponsored children and their families, besides other moments that we get to enjoy.
With this visit a moment that warmed my heart was the evening service in Kuchutambo. I loved to see the faces of some children while worshiping the Lord who unites us. When I was translating Tom’s sermon in front of the church I could see how interested these children were to find the Bible verses in their own Bibles. It gave me hope to see young men involved in leading the church to worship and one of them as the secretary of the church. The sky full of stars was beautifully showing unknown constellations to those who were coming from the Northern hemisphere. As in the past, the church offered to us a cup of herbal tea and buñuelos.
Paul encourages us to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought. It is hard to do so when we are close to very vulnerable people. In Kuchutambo the simplicity of people revealed to me my lack of it.
I hope to enjoy more visits like this with Blackhawk teams.
Back to real life I hope each team member has the time to chew on this experience of visiting Bolivia.
Abi Barrou

Bittersweet Goodbyes

Today we started our travels home by flying to La Paz. We were met in the airport by the Lajastambo team to say our last goodbyes. Though we only had six days with the team, the goodbyes were still so hard. The Lajastambo team was incredibly friendly and hospitable, providing us with an indescribable experience. At the airport they gave us the welcome banner, which had now been signed by the FH staff. It was a bittersweet goodbye.

After landing in La Paz, we made our way to the hotel, stopping on the way to admire the incredible view of La Paz and the mountains. After arriving at the hotel and eating lunch we had a chance to check out the tourist market area and buy gifts for friends and family back home.

Though we have had an incredible time here in Bolivia (and would rather not come home to April snow), we all look forward to reuniting with friends and family at home. We are all very excited to share more pictures and experiences with loved ones.


Sent from my iPhone

What Could Be Sweeter Than Chocolate?

In case you didn’t know, Sucre (where we are staying) is the chocolate capital of Bolivia. Of course this made all of us excited…and we had hoped to try the chocolate at some point. Today was that lucky day! We met the Food for the Hungry staff at the chocolate factory “Para Ti”, but they gave us a treat sweeter than chocolate…they brought along our sponsored children! It was so wonderful to have a special activity with the children and have extra time to spend with them. My own sponsored child is pretty shy, but she lit right up when the chocolate samples came out! 

This afternoon we were invited to a women’s saving group meeting. While they typically have smaller meetings, this was their first meeting with representatives from all of the local communities. Each small group of women shared information about their own neighborhood group and then a Food for the Hungry staff member facilitated a conversation about what challenges groups may have had and how they have worked through their challenges. Many of the groups have only formed in the last year, but the communities of women have created fairly elaborate systems for saving money as a group. It was so wonderful to hear the women speak about where the group was a year ago, how they work together to save money, how they encourage new women to join them, how their numbers have grown, and how they will eventually be able to spend the money they saved for the year. Their system was impressive, BUT the joy and pride in their faces when they shared what they have accomplished and how it has improved their well-being was what touched me most. In a culture where they may not otherwise find sense of purpose or hope, we witnessed a room full of women who are now in charge of their family finances, are setting and achieving goals, and are creating more hopeful and joyful lives for their families and children.  

Today was our last trip into Lajastambo, the city which now holds a special place in all our hearts. We will miss the people, the children, and witnessing the way Food For The Hungry has and continues to pour into this community. Food for the Hungry’s vision is to reach the most vulnerable. It was among the most vulnerable of Lajastambo that we found the warmest welcome. We will miss the open arms, easy laughter, and genuine generosity that came so easily to people that have so little. 

The hardest question we are asked is “When will you come back?”. Although it breaks our hearts to hear it, we can confidently assure the people and children that other representatives from Blackhawk will continue to come along side Food for the Hungryand will continue to support, encourage, build relationships and assist with work God has called them to.


Sent from my iPhone

Good Habits for a Healthy Life – and More

Wash your hands before you eat and after you go to the bathroom. Kids grow faster and are healthier if they eat healthy foods. Playing with your children helps them learn. These are simple truths, but because Lajastambo is a vulnerable community facing malnutrition, poverty, and a lack of education, FH staff focus on educating children and adults on some of these healthy habits that lead to a higher quality of life.

Today our team visited the nutrition/community center built with funds by Blackhawk. While this building works as a health center focusing on growth charts and consistent check-ups for children, it serves as an education center for their parents and community leaders. One of the great things about FH is that as an organization, it prioritizes creating leaders from within the communities who can then educate their neighbors.

We were able to see this first-hand as we helped mothers create toys for their children out of recycled materials. A fishing game made of shoe boxes, cardboard fish, and yarn encouraged children to develop fine motor skills. While these mothers made games, another group of women cooked nutritional food from local ingredients (All the dishes were delicious!). After each group finished, they shared their different activities and how to duplicate them in their own homes.

Later in the afternoon, we worked with children and focused on developing good habits. Our team split in two. While one group helped children learn how to brush their teeth properly, the other went to a class focused on recycling. We reused plastic bottles by turning them into pencil cases, learned why a healthy environment is important, and practiced washing our hands before eating a snack.

While it would be easy to say FH does good work by helping children develop a proper hand-washing routine, their gospel-centered focus goes so much farther. As our quality of life is defined not only by our physical well-being, but also by our emotional and spiritual wellness, FH staff explain that we want to be healthy because our bodies are gifts and our lives are sacred. Also, by educating adult leaders who can then reach out to their neighbors, FH helps build community that reflects a humble, loving God who serves others!

Feeling blessed,
Pearl (Leah)

Sent from my iPhone