Cookbooks offer hope for Bolivian women

“My heart was crumbling to the ground, hearing what had happened to mothers and girls about what they now have to deal with in their lives,” says Helen Funk about the Old Colony Mennonite women in Bolivia. But the Family Life Network radio host also has good news from the region.

After two weeks among the colonies this summer, Funk and her husband Jacob, radio producer for FLN, are “encouraged by what is happening there.” A women’s shelter opened in April, an addictions centre for men is in production, and the school at Villa Neuva Colony has expanded to Grade 12, allowing graduates to meet university-entry requirements.

The 100 Low German cookbooks, Met Helen en de Kjaeakj (With Helen in the Kitchen), she brought were snatched up in the first week. North American churches sponsored the total cost of the cookbooks full of prayers and meditations.

The Funks also distributed some 2,000 Low German daily devotionals and 100 MP3 gospel players for people who are preliterate.

A two-week Bible school was the focus of the trip with 310 adults and children attending, and some 500 at the closing program. Fifty families came by hired truck from Tres Cruces Colony.

“There are at least seven evangelical churches with whom we work closely whenever we go to Bolivia,” says Funk. These churches can follow up with students.

Leona Dueck Penner, freelance writer

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