November 13, 2019

In South America, Leaders Pray in Wake of Political Unrest in Bolivia

Jefferson Paradello, South American Division, and Adventist Review

International news reports have daily shared the civil and political unrest that 11 million Bolivians are going through lately. According to news reports, most problems began after a contested election on October 20, 2019, even though residents were already experiencing instability.

After the election, the unrest extended to the whole country, affecting the lives of the nation’s residents, including thousands of Seventh-day Adventist church members.

In a special report on November 11, 2019, during the South American Division (SAD) year-end meetings at the regional church headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil, Bolivian Union Mission president Hiram Kalbermatter shared some details about the current situation across the country and how it is affecting church members.

Bolivia Union Mission president Hiram Kalbermatter prays for Bolivia, its residents, and the thousands of Adventist church members living in that nation. At year-end meetings, Adventist Church leaders in South America emphasized the need for praying without ceasing for government officials, church leaders, and members. [Photo: Gustavo Leighton, South American Division News]

“Members are facing difficult times in Bolivia,” Kalbermatter said. “There are restrictions to going to work and attending church meetings. Classes in many of our [Adventist] schools have been suspended.”

United in Prayer

In the wake of the latest events, Adventist Church leaders in South America are requesting church members to pray specifically for God to intervene.

“It was clear the situation did not have a human solution,” Kalbermatter said. “Three weeks ago, church members across the country began to pray, asking God to help their country’s leaders to find a solution.”

Kalbermatter shared that on Saturday (Sabbath), November 9, 2019, thousands of church members spent the day fasting and praying for their nation. On Sunday, November 10, a breakthrough was apparent, even though the situation, it is believed, is still far from ideal.

Addressing SAD leaders and delegates at the regional meetings, Kalbermatter encouraged everyone to keep Bolivia in their prayers, as the country moves to an uncertain future.

SAD president Erton Köhler seconded Kalbermatter’s request.

“We are facing challenges in every single one of our countries,” he said in reference to the eight South American nations comprising the SAD church region. “Let’s remember that when we take God’s things seriously, honestly, and prayerfully, the Lord takes care of our problems.”

Köhler also encouraged delegates at the year-end meetings to keep trusting God, because He is in control.

“God is still in charge,” Köhler said. “Let’s get up and show that we are a people of peace and hope.”

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.