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Bolivia mission trip participants are ready to go

While most of Eastern’s student body will be settling into the comfort of their own homes on May 14, a group of 16 students will be boarding a plane for Bolivia for a two-week mission trip.

This will be the second year a team from Eastern has gone to Bolivia over the summer. Beyond this, team leaders and seniors Jada Ingalls and Brisa De Angulo hope to make it an annual occurrence. In addition, they hope to develop a partnership with Medical Assistance Program International, which De Angulo’s parents founded and run.

Team members will spend most of their time volunteering at an elementary school or the sexual abuse center De Angulo helped found for children.

The team will also help build houses without bricks for the townspeople in an attempt to prevent a deadly disease called chagas, which has no known cure. Chagas occurs when a person is bitten by the vinchuka bug, which lives in the bricks of houses and comes out at night.

However, even though the team is going to Bolivia to help, their main focus and hope is to reconnect with the lives they touched last year.

“We want [to show] that this is not something where you just show up for a little and then leave,” Ingalls said.

Five team members will be making their second trip to Bolivia, and several will stay beyond the first two weeks. All members of last year’s team continue to stay involved and to help support the ongoing mission.

The individual impact is huge for the team leaders, who hope to open up the minds of their team members to the different aspects of missions.

“It [missions] doesn’t have to be evangelism,” Ingalls said.

The team tries to help out the young women at the sexual abuse center by selling some of the jewelry they make to Eastern students, with all profits going directly to the women.

All funds for the trip must be raised by the team. The total amount needed is $25,000, but as of April 3, the team had raised all but $9,000. Several fundraisers are in the works.

They have already held a concert that featured the groups Tracing Caleb and Bishop Green and Lego, which helped the team raise around $400. In addition, the team sent out donation letters and went door-to-door in the dormitories collecting loose change.

Despite their need for more funds, the team is excited to finish school and board the plane for Bolivia.

“I’m so ready to go,” De Angulo said. “I want to [leave] tomorrow.”

Anyone who would like to stay updated about the Bolivia missions team and to receive prayer requests can visit their website at http://eubolivia.blogspot.com.

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