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Cesar and Mirtha Surubi

Bolivia

Cesar

Cesar was born in a small Ayore community, Tobite, in 1972. He grew up in a Christian home. His parents were teachers at the local school and gave testimony of Jesus Christ to the Ayore people. He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior when he was 7 years old. At 14 he voluntarily entered military service for 14 months. During this time he fell behind in his high school studies, but was able to finish them at night school in Santa Cruz.

The Lord gave Cesar the opportunity to prepare himself to serve the Lord better. He began a 3 year missionary training program with New Tribes Mission to serve in rural areas. After completing the program the Lord gave him the privilege of serving as pastor for 2 years in a small church of about 60 members. Soon after he met and married his wife, Mirtha.

Mirtha grew up in San Jose de Chiquitos with her mom and grandmother. Her grandmother, a big influence in her life, led her to the Lord when she was 10 years old. From a young age she helped with children in her church where her uncle was the pastor. Eventually she was put in charge of the entire children’s program, organizing Sunday school, weekly kid’s outreaches, and Vacation Bible School. She also worked organizing the youth in the church and planning activities. Her life revolved around her studies and her church involvement. Meanwhile, she prayed for a Christian husband. In 1993 she attended a conference for church leaders and there she met Cesar. They fell in love and were married in December 1995.

Since Cesar already had 3 years of missionary training, Mirtha took one year to do a short program at New Tribes Mission. After their training they spent one year at a church plant and in 1998 decided to join New Tribes Mission. The next 2 years were spent as dorm parents for 14 high school students. Cesar was then asked to go back and teach at the same institute where he had received 3 years of training. He and Mirtha worked at ETNOS for the next 5 years, Cesar teaching and Mirtha working with the kids. During this time they were both waiting for God to open up an opportunity to work with an indigenous group in Bolivia. The closing of ETNOS provided the opportunity for the Surubi’s to begin looking for a group to work with. After considering several groups, it seemed that God was leading them to the Ayore. Cesar already spoke some of the language since he had lived with them until he was 7 years old. They decided to move to Tobite, the village of Cesar’s youth. Due to the nomadic nature of the Ayore, after only a year in Tobite, most people had moved on and their language helper had also left. Cesar and Mirtha decided to move to Poza Verde, another community where there were more Ayoreos. Even from the first few months of staying in Poza Verde, God made clear to them the need of these people and so and they decided to dedicate their time to the Ayore instead of ETNOS where other missionaries could work. They chose to retire from NTM to stay with the Ayore in 2008. They currently reside in Poza Verde.

Mirtha

Cesar and Mirtha have a passion for the Ayore people and a special rapport with them. They currently have various bible studies for kids and teens to attend, and a marriage group that meets twice a week. Cesar has also joined with several other Christian Ayore leaders to form an official Ayore Church Association in the hopes of promoting and creating opportunities for the Ayore Church to work together and support each other.

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