Around the beginning of the year (2012) Rudi expressed to me that he felt that our
family was ready to get out of our box and go and serve in Central or South America.
That began a chain of events that has already broadened our horizons, hearts, and
vision... When Rudi was researching where we should go and serve he knew that it
would involve children. While looking on orphanages.org two ministries stood out to him.
One was Bolivian Youth Ministries that Jonathan and Linda Baker started. We were surprised
to see that the Baker's address in the U.S. was in Sweet Home, Oregon on the very same
road as our friends the Darlings. We called the Darlings and asked if they knew the Bakers.
They replied that they knew them and they lived on the same shared driveway! They also
told us that Jonathan was in the U.S. for a short furlough and gave us his phone number.
We were very blessed to have Jonathan down for a short time one morning in February.
He told us about his and Linda's ministry to girls that originally began when the Bolivian
Government decided to not allow mothers that were imprisoned to take or keep their
children with them in the prison. Through him we began to learn about the great need that
Bolivia has for its youth. 40 % of Bolivians are 15 and under with an estimated 72,000 children
on the streets. The pictures he showed us of the beautiful girls in their care, pricked our hearts,
and we began to picture how we might be able to be a part of helping these children at risk.
While we loved meeting Jonathan and would have loved to work with them they really did not
see a place for us to serve with them....