God Works in Amazing Ways to Help the L’Esperance de Bolivia Orphanage


Van with kids and Marco

God was definitely at work in the story of how miseJe was able to connect with an orphanage in Villa Tunari in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where we could enrich the lives of 60 children and their caregivers. 

The story began thousands of miles away from Villa Tunari, when Marco (miseJe’s founder) was watching a sermon on YouTube one Sabbath afternoon from his home in Aberta, Canada. At the end of the sermon, a new video appeared about L’Esperance de Bolivia, an orphanage. Since Marco is originally from Bolivia, the video immediately got his attention. 

Interested to see if there was a way that miseJe could help the orphanage, Marco took note of their contact information and called to learn more about them. After a few minutes of chatting, Marco realized a cool connection – the organization running the orphanage was part of the same worldwide church that Marco and his family attend here in Canada. 

Marco asked them what their needs were and was told that their urgent need was for blankets. Winter was coming and none of the 60 children had a blanket to keep them warm through the night to protect them from the chilly, humid air. Marco pledged to fill that need for them and continued to ask if they had any additional needs. 

The man explained to Marco that they also needed appliances. The children lived in groups of ten with a family who provided them with all of their meals, but not every group had a stove, fridge or blender. The estimated cost of their appliance needs was $3000 USD. 

The call ended with Marco assuring the orphanage that he would pray about the funds needed for the appliances. He knew that miseJe would have no problem covering the cost of the blankets, but they would need to find additional donors to help to cover the cost of the appliances. 

A few days later, Mrs. Anderson, the grade 4 teacher at Chinook Winds Adventist Academy, saw Marco and asked, “Do you know of a project that our class can support? I’m trying to teach my students how to save money to help others.” 

Her timing was perfect, but Marco wasn’t sure that their class could help him with such a big need. Marco told her all about the orphanage in Bolivia and their need for appliances. At the end of the school year, Marco was thrilled when Mrs. Anderson presented him with the funds her class had raised – $3000 for the project. The exact amount they thought they needed.

Everything seemed to be falling into place, until Marco landed in Bolivia ready to purchase the appliances. He went into the city to shop for the appliances and discovered that their estimated budget was too low. He had only 48 hours to purchase and deliver the appliances, but he was running out of time quickly as every store he visited turned out to be more expensive than they could afford. 

After an exhausting day, Marco felt utterly discouraged. He stopped to pray and felt God impressing him to go back to the very first store he had visited. He went back and a new person was there ready to help him. He said to her, “I have to be honest with you. I have $3000 and I need some appliances. I know it isn’t enough money, but I’m wondering if there is some way you can help me.” 

The woman asked him to tell her more about who he was and why he needed the appliances. After he explained, she responded, “I am the owner of this store. A long time ago I made a commitment to God. He healed me when I was dying and I promised God that I would honor Him with my life and if anyone who was doing the work of God asked me for help, then I would help. So tell me, what exactly do you need?”

Marco explained that he needed four stoves, three refrigerators and three blenders for the orphanage in Villa Tunari.

Without hesitation, the woman said, “The combined value of those appliances would be worth $4000, but because your are on a mission for God, I will give it all to you for $3000.”

God worked many miracles for this project, from the random YouTube video getting the attention of Marco, to the support of Mrs. Anderson and the grade 4 class at Chinook Winds Adventist Academy, and the generous appliance store owner. Now the 60 children at the L’Esperance de Bolivia orphanage have warm blankets and every host family at the orphanage has the appliances they need to provide the children with nutritious, home-cooked meals to enjoy.