Recent de-escalation of social and political tensions in Bolivia has allowed International Ministries global servants to return to their homes and ministries in that South American nation. J.D. and Rhonda Reed and Sarah Nash temporarily returned to the United States in mid-November as civil strikes impeded their ministries and raised concerns for their security and safety. They have returned to Bolivia in time to celebrate Christmas with ministry colleagues and persons served by their partner organization, the Fundacion Esperanza (House of Hope).
Strikes and protests following a contested national election on October 20 had largely paralyzed Bolivia, severely restricting the ability to travel about the country and conduct ordinary business and interaction, leading IM and other mission organizations to temporarily relocate personnel outside of the country. J.D. and Rhonda returned to their U.S. home base in West Virginia, and Sarah returned to her family home in Washington state. In late November and early December, opposing parties in Bolivia agreed to the importance of restoring peace in the country and decided to hold new elections in which the former president and vice-president would not be candidates. This has led to the lifting of blockades, reduction of violence, and resumption of ordinary activities in most parts of the country. IM has now joined with other mission agencies in responding to these developments by returning mission personnel to their work in Bolivia.
IM leadership closely monitored and met with the Reeds and Nash throughout the weeks of the emergency situation, and appreciates the support of partnership networks extending extraordinary hospitality and help to their global servants. J.D., Rhonda, and Sarah enjoyed the unanticipated time with family and friends in the U.S. at the start of this holiday season, and are now pleased to be back in Bolivia to celebrate the remainder of the Christmas season with Bolivian colleagues and friends. IM encourages ongoing prayer for further peaceful resolution of cultural, social, and political tensions in Bolivia as well as for J.D., Rhonda, and Sarah in their ministry with the House of Hope.