I am so thankful for the opportunity to work alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ at Food for the Hungry in Bolivia. Their strong faith and dedication to the poor is inspiring!  An experience I will never forget!


Don’t forget! Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 11AM is our team presentation on our trip to Bolivia. Join us at Blackhawk Brader Way in the Fireside room to hear about our experiences and the work is FH in Bolivia.

More Personal Impacts

This trip was amazing and life changing beyond words. I am so thankful for my Blackhawk and FH friends. God is great.



I was very impressed with the work of FH. They have a holistic approach to ministry with a focus on the poor, oppressed, and least of these: children. They address spiritual and emotional poverty along with physical poverty. They develop communities, not dependency. They love the people they serve.

The actual tasks we did were minor, but I was pleased to understand how much our presence was an encouragement to the FH staff and the Lajastambo community. They are not alone. They are not unknown. They matter to God. They matter to us. Please join us in praying for FH Bolivia and the community of Lajastambo.


Bolivia’s Impacts

This trip was one of the greatest events to occur in the timeline of my 37 year life. I was chosen at the right time in my life to go, and destiny, via this trip, came and chased me down at just the right time. First, this trip had an outside-in change on me. I have never completed a mission trip and I had presumptions about NGO’s and working overseas for the poor from a very westernized view. Going on this trip helped me to better understand poverty and how it is best alleviated. This is something I am working on conveying to others to better promote the FH program and to inspire others to help overseas as they are called. The second great change was from the inside-out. God has been nurturing the seed of change in me for some time and has encouraged me through the spirit to dedicate myself to the aid and help of others. This trip reaffirmed that calling and helped broaden my conviction and solidify my desire to work and serve others. I am so very grateful to have been a part of this trip with such an amazing team from the Blackhawk side of things as well as the team from FH which is unbeatable. A heart for God and serving the poor. What a combination!



What a beautiful experience. It’s true that money makes many things possible, but this trip showed me that people can also be rich without money. But then why do we bother helping those in poverty when they can be rich without money? A central objective of Food for the Hungry is to focus on the “invisible part of the iceberg of poverty.” Many people who live in poverty are not rich in any sense. As a “minority world,” relatively wealthy North American supporter, I can easily miss the difference between giving money to treat visible needs like lack of food and clothing and giving money to treat invisible needs like love, joy, and hope. After my week in Bolivia, I see that my child support money is first and foremost helping FH staff change worldviews by sowing hope. People are dropping the weight of generations of poverty and believing that they and their children can break the cycle.
I love that my family is able to support a child in Bolivia. I’m excited to watch her grow and see the impact of FH in her community.


Last day in Bolivia

Got a late jump on this blog but you never want to rush a good thing let alone a great thing, such as this very blog post.
Yesterday was our last full day in Bolivia with our great friends with FH. We started off by visiting the Food for the Hungry office for a morning devotional. Juan Carlos lead the devotional with such passion and gusto one could easily mistake the man for a prolific reverend. It was a moving and inspiring time. He ended with the scripture passages where Jesus had risen and is having dinner with Peter and the others along the shoreline. Jesus asks Peter 3 times, “do you love me?” Juan Carlos asked us all the question, ‘how many times would Jesus have to ask us this very question?’. In the other direction, we do not even need to ask Jesus, we know he loves us immensely already, hence the mercy and love poured out on the cross!
From this special time we visited a few FH sponsored children’s homes and admired the rain barrels provided by FH to the families. Back home, there is constant supply of water. However, in the area of Bolivia we were at, much of the water comes from rain run off from the Andes and is thus seasonal. With this unpredictability it becomes imperative to have a rain barrel system to capture water for times when none exists.
From these visits we headed to the Sucre airport where we had a lengthy and somber goodbye with FH staff. They are such an impressive and wonderful team and have a heart for the Lord and the poor which makes them so unique and a blessed group.
In the evening we went grocery shopping and had dinner and everyone called it a night for the long travel day ahead.

Camino del Inca

Today we got to put aside work and presentations and spend time with our sponsored children. We drove about an hour up into the Andes mountains to a beautiful nature park called Chataquila. Seven of the children were able to join the hike. The scenery was absolutely amazing–a testimony to God’s creation and grandeur. We walked in the same steps of the Inca centuries ago. The children loved scrambling along the rocky pathways. Many of the girls gathered wildflowers and gave us bouquets. Near a mountain creek we paused to splash in the cool water. Josh spoke to the children about God’s creation and taking care of His world. The mountain vistas were the perfect backdrop for such a discussion. At the end of the hike it was time to bid our sponsored children goodbye–the hugs couldn’t last long enough! Later that afternoon we boosted the local economy by visiting the market and later a chocolate specialty shop. Our day ended with a celebratory dinner with members of the Food for the Hungry staff. Dinner was wonderful and conversation even better.

Heartbeat of FH

Hi everyone! Thanks for reading about our adventures! Tonight at dinner, Francis read the blog comments people have made so far. We so appreciate all your love and support!

Today was a lighter (only 14 hour !?) day for team Blackhawk, or Halcón Negro, as we are sometimes called. We met with FH Bolivia director Marcio Oblitas Fernández, and he shared the “Heartbeat of FH” with us. Marcio used the analogy of an iceberg: the visible part is the obvious lack of resources such as food and clothing, while the invisible part, the more important part, is knowing the joy and hope provided by the gospel. FH knows they can leave an area when people have hope and when they are willing (wanting?) to help each other without compulsion.
Steve and Lea then did a wonderful job engaging Quechua Lajastambo residents while instructing them about hypertension and diabetes at the main clinic in the area. While that was going on, Leigh, Laura, and Alex led a group of kids around the clinic courtyard in a lively impromptu game of “let’s take a train ride.” James provided medicine to the two doctors at the clinic, and we all helped with making distribution packets for pills.
After lunch, we visited Rio Jordan church, one of the two churches Blackhawk has supported. James was impressed with the growth of the church building since his previous visit last year. The pastor was overjoyed to see us and expressed his love and desire to have us come visit again. We also noticed there was a thriving after school program at the church, including one child with Down Syndrome. This is a huge benefit to the community, as kids without guidance and direction in the community trend toward teen pregnancy and drug use.

We then split into groups and worked with homeowners to add roofs to three greenhouses. A large pig supervised the process, and we all gained more respect for FH agronomists. A thankful woman cooked some roots and served them to us out of appreciation for the work we were doing for her and for her community. The experience was significant in that, in order to get the roof on successfully, FH, Lajastambo residents, and Halcones Negro all had to pull together, side by side. We finished with prayer for the obviously grateful homeowners and their community, and, after saying goodbye to the pig and a kind woman spinning wool fibers into yarn with a hand spinner, we finally left around sunset to head back to Sucre.
Our group has bonded well on this trip, and we increasingly appreciate each other’s unique gifts and our two leaders, James and Steve. Unfortunately, Tupac’s revenge (Incan modification) has been playing out in grumbling stomachs among us. Tomorrow is our last official day, and it will include a long hike with sponsored kids and FH staff (and away from facilities). So if you’re praying, please include those whose faces have gone green that they can finish strong.

Self Esteem, Savings, and Soccer

We started off the day at the Food for the Hungry (FH) office in Sucre. There we met FH staff from all 7 districts where FH is working in Sucre. It was neat to see the maps of the different districts and learn about how FH is developing centers to help those in need in this city.

From there, our team split up and went to talk to high school students. We had the task of talking to them about self esteem, mental health, and teen pregnancy. In one of the classes they asked how to become saved. There were some uplifting and tense moments as some teens are already dealing with pregnancy.
In the afternoon, we spoke with a rural community in Lajastambo about the savings and loan group they had established with the help of FH. It was mutually beneficial for both our team and the women who run the “bank”. Good fellowship was had by all.

Rumors swirled the entire day about a soccer game with the FH staff. This culminated in a heated match at the local facility. We represented the U.S. and Blackhawk well and ending up losing by a tight margins of 4-6.


We all share the same God.

We were privileged to participate in an amazing morning of worship with Iglesia Emanuel today. Even with their limited resources they have created a beautiful place of worship to honor our Creator. We started with music led by their worship team prior to presenting the teaching we had prepared on the theme of Following Jesus for both the adult service and for Sunday school for the children. Josh, Steve and Leigh did a fabulous job and the message was well received. We were then entertained by the youth and children’s worship teams and watched a skit the children had prepared. The community was so welcoming, and their deep faith and the depth of gratitude was heartwarming.
Our afternoon was spent teaching families about how to show love to one another. The day ended with a family game that had them working together, smiling and laughing. We have so enjoyed interacting with these wonderful, gracious people. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Our hearts are full

Thank you to all who are following along in our footsteps through the blog. Your words of encouragement and prayers are more meaningful than you can ever know. Pictures and words cannot begin to describe how beautiful this place is, but we love sharing. We have already met so many amazing people with hearts generous beyond belief. We have shed tears and sweat. Our team is amazing and we learn more about each other, the people of Bolivia and gods plan every day.

An extra special thank you today to all military veterans who have sacrificed for our country and our families. We love you.

Keep following for more updates and stories!