Planting a new church partner

Compassion partners exclusively with local churches to implement our programs in the world’s poorest communities. We believe the church is uniquely called, commissioned and equipped by Jesus Christ to continue His mission of “proclaim[ing] good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18). Building relationships with more local church partners allows Compassion to open more child development centres and reach more children who otherwise may not receive the practical care and exposure to the gospel provided by Compassion’s holistic child development model.


Name of church plant:
Verdad Y Vida
(Truth and Life)

Location of church:
AZIRUMARCA URBANIZACION VALLE DEL SOL, on the south side of Cochabamba


Initial proposal

Community in need

Compassion Bolivia recently identified a need for a local Christ-centred church that preaches and lives God’s Word in the community of Azirumarca Urbanizacion Valle de Sol. It is only about 11 km from the city, but in a remote area difficult to access. The community is 510 families, of which 30% are children. It is a new community, consisting of migrants from different places of extreme poverty. The children have high vulnerability to infection from respiratory, stomach and skin diseases. It is at high altitude, bringing wind and cold temperatures. It lacks basic services such as drinking water, sewers, recreation areas and health centres. Homes are built of mud brick with tin roofs and cement or earth floors. The only work available to inhabitants are agriculture and construction.

Vision and opportunity

This church plant was proposed to Compassion by World Evangelical Church “Jesus es el Camino” Jesus is the Way”, which will serve as the “mother church”. The mother church is 9 km away from the proposed church plant site and currently cares for 403 children. They will support the church plant by praying, fasting, evangelizing, forming visiting groups, and preparing and discipling leaders. The denomination has 170 established churches, 18 of which are Compassion church partners in Bolivia.

Sister Concepcion Maita Pinto, who is currently responsible for child and youth education in the mother church, will be the pastor. She is married to Carlos. She will support herself as a teacher in a community 6 km away while the church is growing. They already own a plot of land next to the church where they will build a home.

The church already owns the land. The leadership of both the mother and daughter churches have cleared part of the land, and are pictured here. The elderly woman in the photo has donated the land for the church.

Progress Report September 2019

Church leaders and staff stand at the construction site.

Recent Activity

The church has been busy with construction of the church since August, 2019. The first step was to organize work teams and support. Before the work started, the group celebrated their first Thanksgiving service on the new land, where they gave thanks to the Lord for the blessings of the donation to build His Sanctuary.

They continued with quotations for the construction material and dug the foundation. The ground is very hard, so it was difficult work, but they succeeded in pouring the concrete foundation. The bricks were purchased and delivered to the site.

Workers carry stones to the property

Church community

Verdad Y Vida (Truth and Life) Church is holding a service the first Sunday of every month. There are currently 60 adults and 100 children attending. They have activities with children every Monday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. An age specific lesson plan has been implemented for the beneficiaries. They are also working with the mothers, by offering knitting classes.

In the first two months, two mothers accepted Jesus as their Saviour, and one mother reconciled with the Lord.

The church is recognized in the community and the leaders participate in local meetings. They have asked permission for a first outreach event in November.

A member of the church stands and talks with different members of the community.

Messages from the church

Pastor Alberto Coaquira of the Mother Church writes:

We were so happy to hear the news that the funds were provided to build a new sanctuary, classrooms and restrooms. Even with the confirmation, the leadership team continued praying so that we, as a team, continue doing our God’s perfect will. God told us that Azirumarca community was where He wanted us to reach His precious children. We have already worked in the community for almost two years. We know that God is leading this and we will do our best to continue reaching the children and their families. All happened so fast! God is so Faithful! At first the people in this community were afraid of us, and did not open the doors of their houses, but now I see how interested they are to learn more about God. They trust us so much that they are coming to help us in the church construction. We rejoice in the Lord that we received this blessing from you! May our God bless you in great ways and thank you so, so much!

Church staff pray together.

Challenges and Opportunities

The biggest challenge is the distance to transport construction materials and food when the team is working on site. Also, there is no water on the site, so the leaders have purchased a large water tank to store water which is delivered by a water truck.

The main road arriving to the property has just been paved!

Next Steps

Over the next two months the plan is to complete the walls of the first floor and pour the concrete for the second floor slab. If all goes well, they will also rise the columns of the second floor and build some walls.

Please pray for the leadership team from the mother church and the pastor of the daughter church.

Members of the church work with the engineer.

Progress Report November 2019

The construction site shows a concrete foundation and first floor have been finished.

Recent Activity

Since September of 2019 the team has continued building the walls of the first floor and then prepared the structure for the concrete pouring of the slab for the second floor. A team of 22 people worked on the days they poured the second floor. Teams have helped with lunch and snacks.

Another angle of the construction site showing preparation second floor joists and insulation.

Church community

Verdad Y Vida (Truth and Life) Church continues to hold a service the first Sunday of every month. There are currently 60 adults and 100 children attending. In the last two months, two more mothers received Jesus. Seven people reconciled with the Lord.

The children continue to meet on Mondays from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

A group of children sit around long tables and listen to leader speak.

Messages from the church

Tutor Martha Cruz de Maita writes:

First of all I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be part of this work and I also thank the donors, the church staff, the church committee and Compassion. May God bless you all! The construction is causing an impact in the community because many moms did not know about God. They could never have imagined that a project of Compassion would start in the community because of the distance from the city. I already can see how moms and children are interested to learn more about God. This eventually will reach fathers and then we will have families for the Kingdom. Additionally, we will teach moms how they can generate other incomes or reduce costs as they stay at home. I hope that more families get to know and follow Jesus and children will become men and women of God.

A group of moms sit in circle in a cinder block building and listen to center volunteers teach. Many wear traditional Bolivian garb.

Challenges and Opportunities

The biggest challenge over this last two months has been political unrest after the presidential election in Bolivia. Some people wanted to destroy government construction. Thanks to God they did not pass through the community, and the concrete was already poured. The situation has improved.

Next Steps

In the next 60 days they will continue with the walls for the second floor and perhaps even have the concrete slab for the third floor done too. They are building 4 classrooms, a kitchen, 3 restrooms for boys and 3 for girls, and a multipurpose room.

They will continue to visit the children and share the gospel of salvation with them. The families are open to the gospel and children are looking forward to the completion of the project.

Women men and children sit and stand under red, temporary awning, set up for an outreach program. A man stands in front of the them and speaks.

Progress Report January 2020

Photo of building with finished concrete and brick walls. Behind it a valley stretches out below.

Recent Activity

In these last two months, the team poured the slab for the second floor and raised the walls. They then raised the columns and poured the slab for the third floor, building the walls for this floor as well of gambote brick. Finally, the roof of the church was placed on so now the structural work has finished. Teams have continued to help with snacks and lunch provisions for the masons and the volunteers.

Masons work on the first floor of the structure.

Church community

Verdad Y Vida (Truth and Life) Church currently has 100 adults and 165 children attending the church meetings. The church organized an evangelistic campaign, more than 100 people attended and we received a visit from Pastor Oscar Yañes who is President of the District of our denomination. As a result of this campaign 11 people received Jesus as their saviour.

They are continuing to work with the mothers, visiting them in their homes to share the word of God and having services with them on Monday’s at 2:00pm. Every first Sunday of the month there is a “happy hour” for the children in the neighbourhood and every Monday from 2:00 – 4:00 pm we continue to run activities for the children.

Women gather in the unfinished church building to at church evangelistic meeting. They bow their heads and pray with the pastor.

Messages from the church

Tutor of the 6-8 year olds, Tito Ronalod Colque writes:

What inspired me to volunteer at the daughter church was to see the need of the children to learn more about Jesus. At the beginning when we started to work at the daughter church, I only went because I was curious, but when I saw so much need, poverty and the children coming down from the hill excited to get to the project, I was motivated to work with them. I realized that the Lord wanted to use me in this place so I asked the director to train me to teach and since then I am attending all the training workshops of tutors. It fills me with excitement to see how the children miss me from week to week, as if we knew each other for months. They run to hug me and call me brother and my hands are not enough to hug everyone at once, it is a beautiful job.

I felt challenged with the language since most of the mothers speak Quechua and the children also understand Quechua very well but I don’t speak it very much so I am also practicing speaking to connect better with the mothers.

The work belongs to the Lord and I am sure he is guiding and promoting this construction. I thank God first for touching the hearts of those who donated for this work to take place and for the opportunity I have to express what I feel.

Workers poor the concrete slab for the second floor.

Challenges and Opportunities

The biggest challenge we faced over the last two months was due to the rainy season. It was a little difficult to transport the construction material to the church since the river had grown and trucks could not pass to the other side, also due to the political conflicts, the price of construction materials increased a little, mostly aggregates, cement and iron.

Some other challenges were the strong winds in the area, which made the temple roof placement very complicated. We overcame this challenges by advancing one step at a time, the construction is now advancing as desired.

Next Steps

Our goal for the next two months is to complete the interior work of the rooms with plaster, we have built 4 classrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 men battery of bathrooms (with 3 toilets), 1 women battery of bathrooms (with 3 toilets), a multipurpose room and a temple already finished in structural work.

We ask for prayers for the members of the mother church to continue to be motivated at work. Prayers for the Board of the Foundation as this team of people is working voluntarily and faithfully, they are supporting the entire construction. We ask for prayers for parents to know and accept Jesus in their hearts. We ask for prayers for the children who will benefit from this construction, that they are truly blessed and above all, accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

West view of the church. The outer structure looks largely complete, minus windows and doors.

Progress Report March 2020

An eastern view of the church building. The exterior structure is largely complete, with roof drainage etc. But it still needs doors and windows.

Recent Activity

After finishing the structural work in January, we moved the focus to the start of the fine work with plaster, ductwork for electrical installations and plumbing. The work of covering the multipurpose room, kitchen, bathrooms and classrooms with plaster is 80% finished at this time.

A worker holds a plaster pallete and knife, preparing to spread plaster on the walls.

Church community

Currently, 100 adults and 165 children are attending the church meetings and 50 new children were registered for the program in early March so we expect 215 children will be attending the church in the future.

There were no baptisms these last two months.

On March 15th we made the official opening of Sunday services, previously we only met on Monday afternoons. The Sunday service will be from 8:00 to 10:00 am. This official service was a wonderful time. The leader of the community attended the opening service. We will continue with this Sunday service when the quarantine ends.

Over the past two months we were still working with moms at their homes, the centre staff visit mothers at their homes to share the word of God. We have been having services still on Mondays at 2:00 pm with mothers during the construction phase. The “happy hour” for the children of the neighborhood was still happening the first Sunday of the month.

The kitchen after plastering. The walls are completely plastered.

Messages from the church

Yolanda Flores, mother of the beneficiary Marcos Cuevas Flores, writes:

“I am very happy for the support that they provide us, people like us who live in remote areas suffer a lot, there are no job opportunities, there is not much public transport, health centers are far away and there are no evangelical churches in the area. But with this project there will be a church where we will be able to attend, so our children can hear the word of God. In addition, moms receive a lot of advice from the church staff, they speak to us every Monday, and since the worship service has already opened on Sundays, all families will be able to attend. We have also learned to knit and to make bread and some cakes. The sisters who visit us in our houses help us a lot even in cleaning because as we know they will visit us, we clean our house well, when they come it is a joy because we can share with them everything that happens to us, they listen to us and prays for our family. I am very grateful for the help the student center is giving us, I am sure that my children will be better than me and I hope that with this support they will become professionals when they grow up.”

Multipurpose room after it has been plasterd. The walls are complete, but construction materials still cover the floor.

Challenges and Opportunities

During this last two months the last rains delayed the start of the fine work due to the flood of the river, it was difficult to deliver the plaster bags to the project, but eventually we overcame it and started to work normally. Another challenge we are facing is the health crisis we are currently living, on March 13th the workday was reduced until 15:00, causing the construction to be paced, then on March 18th, the workday was again reduced until 13:00, and finally, on March 22th total quarantine was declared, so the construction had to be completely stopped.

Next Steps

Our goal is to finish the fine work of the 4 classrooms, kitchen, men and women bathrooms, multipurpose room and temple, with plaster and ceramic tiles.

We ask for prayers for:

  • All the children who will benefit from this construction, so that through them we can reach their families with the word of God.
  • The members of the mother church so that God continues strengthening their lives and they don’t give up when they face adversities regarding the construction of the new temple.
  • The Foundation’s Board of Directors so that God will give them wisdom to decide regarding the construction.
  • The parents, for God to have mercy and touches their hearts so they know and accept Jesus as Lord of their lives.
Classroom hallways before plaster was installed.

Progress Report May 2020

A Bolivian woman kneels down and prays. She holds a young baby and three other children kneel and pray beside her.

Recent Activity

In these last two months, no progress could be made in terms of construction due to the total quarantine decreed at the national level in Bolivia. Which prohibited all kinds of labor and productive activities and included exit restrictions, under the slogan “stay home”, we had no choice but to stop the construction. It is important to take care of our health and also of our neighbor. To date, restrictions and total quarantine have been maintained.

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic we did not have any joint meetings with children, but we contacted beneficiaries and their families through phone calls. During April and May we have delivered monthly food packages to all beneficiaries and 24 kits with hygiene supplies to children identified as highly vulnerable, this hygiene kit included: bar soap for washing hands, bar soap for washing clothes, hand sanitizer and two masks.

A Bolivan woman, wearing a traditional hat, holds a bag containing a hygiene kit. She stands outside.

Church community

Currently, 100 adults and 254 children are registered and attend the church when they have services or meetings. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the church has not been able to have services nor serve children as they regularly did during the last 2 months, because government has prohibited people gathering together.

The stay at home orders means the church has not been able to evangelize, have services nor baptisms. They could not carry out any group activity but they are maintaining communication through phone calls and WhatsApp groups. They are able to continue teaching about the word of God and are sending activities and challenges that families can participate in together. The children and their families carried out activities related to the program and sent us photos and videos, we delved into issues related to personal care and hygiene to prevent and avoid contagion with the virus. This was a great blessing not only for families but also for us as a church, we had more reasons to pray and continue learning to continue teaching to others.

A Bolivian woman, wearing traditional hat and scarf, as well as a surgical mask, holds a flat of brown eggs.

Messages from the church

Elizabeth Barrios, mother of four (Aliz, Nelly, Zila and Claudia) and currently pregnant with her fifth. Please pray for Elizabeth as she has risk of losing the baby, she and the project staff pray every day for the baby to be safe.

“I am very happy for this project that is being built, I am sure that God allowed it to start in this area because we have many needs. At this stage of quarantine my family ran out of food, we only had a few vegetables that we grew in the garden, but we had no rice, sugar, flour or meat, however I was hopeful that if I called the church asking for help they would not let me down and so I did. When I no longer had anything to feed my children, I called the centre director and she did everything that was in her hands to deliver groceries. I think she spoke with the store owner that is near the mother church and I went there to pick it up, when I got home with food, my little children jumped for joy and repeated “God takes care of us, as they taught us in the project!” and we thanked God for his provision. Later we knew that this help was not only given to us, but to all the families of the centre. I really thank God for this project and for the construction that is going to be finished soon.”

A Bolivian woman stands out side. She wears a surgical mask and stands behind hygiene kit layed out on the table.

Challenges and Opportunities

Due to the quarantine, the work was paralyzed. We hope that when the quarantine ends, the prices of construction materials will be maintained and there will be no increase in the price. We also hope that the vehicular traffic restriction will be eliminated in order to go to the daughter church, since it is more than 15 km from the mother church, and it would be impossible to get there in any other way.

Some other challenges were the strong winds in the area, which made the temple roof placement very complicated. We overcame this challenges by advancing one step at a time, the construction is now advancing as desired.

Next Steps

We hope that the health situation regarding COVID -19 can be controlled and gradually everything will return to normal. Once it is possible to reactivate the construction, we will continue with the fine work, which already has an 80% progress with plaster. Our goal is to finish the fine work of the four classrooms, kitchen, men and women bathrooms, multipurpose room and temple, with plaster and ceramic tiles.

We ask for prayers for the members of the mother church to continue to be motivated at work. Prayers for the Board of the Foundation as this team of people is working voluntarily and faithfully, they are supporting the entire construction. We ask for prayers for parents to know and accept Jesus in their hearts. We ask for prayers for the children who will benefit from this construction, that they are truly blessed and above all, accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

We ask for prayers for:

  • The members of the mother church, so that they continue motivated to conclude with the construction of the new temple. This pandemic affected everyone, it will cost a lot to get up and continue working to cover the local contribution, since all the members of the church stopped working because of the quarantine and the majority depended on the payment of their daily work to survive.
  • Parents, so that they are not discouraged during this difficult time that we are going through.
  • The beneficiary children, may the seed of the word that has been planted in their hearts grow day by day and that the despair of their parents for the situation we are living does not affect them emotionally, but they find refuge in God.
A Bolibian woman sits on a bed with her son and reads the Bible.

Progress Report August 2020

A photo of the church building. The exterior looks largely complete, but does not have any windows installed.

Recent Activity

Photo of the dining room.

Now that the city of Cochabamba is under dynamic (less rigid) quarantine, the church has resumed construction activities in August, the fine work of the classrooms and bathrooms has started up again. Electrical installation and plumbing work is also being done.

We are not yet carrying out face-to-face activities, we continue to maintain communication with the children and their families through phone calls, WhatsApp groups and other means of communication. We continue to implement and teach more and more of the word of God, sending and requesting that families fulfill activities and challenges. This was a great blessing not only for families but also for the church, since they were challenged to continue in constant prayer and fasting, to keep learning from the word of God and teaching others as well. We also continue to deliver food packages to beneficiary families on a monthly basis.

Church community

A few members of the church gather together for a photo holding signs.

Currently, no meetings are being held in the church due to the pandemic. All activities have been paralyzed due to the restrictions of the authorities. However, 100 adults and 254 children are registered and attend the church when they have services or meetings.

We are very grateful to our heavenly Father because through the phone calls and the sharing of the teaching plans (Compassion curriculum) with the families, there have been 2 families that were reconciled with God. We had no baptisms during the last 2 months due to the COVID-19 situation.

Messages from the church

A family stands together holding a sign.

Home-based tutor, Silvia Maita writes:

“I am grateful to God for the opportunity I have to serve Him and reach families with his word. I am passionate about helping, serving and praying for each of the families I work with. I really miss visiting families in their homes, even in this difficult stage of the pandemic I strengthened myself and went to visit a family that was on the verge of disintegrating due to the situation that is being lived (lack of work, restrictions imposed by the government and illness of the mother). My joy and happiness is always to share the word of God. When I call on the families I pray that they respond and listen carefully to the lessons I share with them. When I leave them a challenge related to what they have learned and they fulfill it, I feel satisfied and I see that God is working. Thanks to this Church Plant we can fully serve the community.”

Challenges and Opportunities

The restrictions due to quarantine are gradually being relaxed however, they continue to affect the church as they cannot carry out activities to raise funds for the local contribution to pay for the labour. Another challenge is price speculation of construction materials. In August there were social and political conflicts that caused road blocks in the southern area of Cochabamba therefore, the materials could not get to the sellers and there is a shortage.

Next Steps

The main corridor to the classroom.

We will continue with the fine work, especially covering the walls with plaster. The floor of the main room, kitchen and classrooms will be emptied with cement. The electrical installation and the plumbing work will be completed.

We ask for prayers for our leadership team, may our God give us wisdom in the decision making during this time. Prayers for Bolivia and the social and political conflicts that are occurring. Continued prayer for the parents and children, that they continue forward, that they be brave and courageous in this difficult time that we are going through.