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Sandra Jaldin

Bolivia

Sandra Jaldin

Though I grew up in a Christian, it was only when I was 16 years old that I realized that the life of a Jesus follower went beyond just putting my faith in him for salvation. I remember one specific service when the visiting speaker, using a soccer analogy, invited us to become active players on Christ’s team and to stop just watching the game from the sidelines. After the service I prayed, "Father, I don´t know what being a player means, but I want to be one."

My dreams growing up were to have a family, become a respected professional and show the love of God. Some of my dreams have remained the same, but God has changed some of them. In my last year of my medical school, I realized God was speaking strongly to me about missions – not usually a career track that leads to prestige! One of the battles I had concerning this call was what my family would think. They really do love God; in fact, I would say I learned to love God through my parents, but I know that their plans for me did not include missions. I joined with others in praying about my call and after finishing my hospital internship, I decided to do my rural rotation in an indigenous Guarani community to test myself and see if I actually had a call from God to work in rural areas. My call was confirmed in spite of the difficulties I faced during my three month stint.

Getting back into Santa Cruz with a clearer idea that this was God´s calling, I spoke with the Mercado family, who already had an established ministry in rural areas and began actively pursuing missions.

Years have slipped by and I have seen God’s hand in my life, leading, correcting and providing. Currently the focus of my work is with young girls of the Ayoré ethnic group. I continue to work closely with the Mercados and am one of the founding members of the Raphá Bolivia Foundation, an organization dedicated to loving, serving and sharing Christ’s heart with rural and indigenous people. I also work very closely with another organization dedicated specifically to the prevention of trafficking and prostitution, a huge issue among the Ayoré. I also continue to use my profession to touch people at their felt need.

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