Mission Resources International

Placido and Toni Mercado

Bolivia

Toni and Placido Mercado

February 2009

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your support and prayers. It was such a pleasure to visit with some of you during this past month, though we’re sorry we missed visiting others and hope to see you next time.

This past year has been challenging for us. The Washington Post recently commented that Bolivia has repeatedly teetered on the edge of the precipice of civil war, and then stepped back at the last minute. Sometimes we have felt our very foundations being shaken by tension, frustration with limitations and uncertainty regarding the future, but Psalm 103 has reminded us that “when the foundations are shaken” God is our refuge. As of January 15, 2009 we have a new Constitution that promises to further test our commitment to trust in Him in the midst of change.

Because of the aforementioned changes and limitations, we were unable to make some trips and hold certain events we had planned, but welcomed other unexpected opportunities. For example, we had the chance to step out in faith and start building a nutrition and early child development center in the squatters ´ camp of Barrio Bolívar. A generous donation provided about half of what we needed even though we had grossly underestimated what it would actually take to build this. Through the center, children five and under are already (even though the building is not complete) receiving a daily solid meal and several snacks as well as help with hygiene and educational activities. Most of these children would receive neither adequate care nor food were it not for this place. The Barrio Bolivar camp is an urban camp. Because of limitations in traveling outside the city, we were spending more time there and God put this on our hearts. Please take some time to visit http://buildingbolivar.wordpress.com to learn more about this project.

During our time in the States a fellow missionary, Ken Massey, did an amazing job of keeping things going with the Poza Verde agricultural project – no easy task. More hectares have been cleaned and planted. These will bring us closer to the government requirements for social use of land and help avoid expropriation. Please pray for the new crops of corn and soy – that they would grow and be a blessing to the people and that God would continue to provide the funds necessary to keep the project going. If you have questions about specifics regarding this project, please feel free to contact us at ptmercado@samlink.org and put “Agricultural project” in the subject line.

There are so many plans and projects for 2009: a small church building for one of the Ayoré communities, camps for boys and girls, Bible studies, a new medical office (we had to move out of the one we’d been using for the past five years), river trips, research regarding a possible purchase of land for camps, exciting things, sad things…I could go on and on. Please pray for each of the items I mentioned and I will try to write again soon and update you on what’s gone on and give you new things to pray about. Please pray with us, also, regarding our vehicle situation. When we returned to Bolivia, our old clunker joined a large segment of the Bolivian population by going on strike. A kind fellow missionary has temporarily lent us hers, but the situation is a concern. Please pray that God will either heal and renew our vehicle or provide another one.

Thank you again for everything you do for us.

Love,

Toni for the Mercados

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