Tag Archives: Bolivia

GLOW Update March 2016

GLOW Update – March 2016

Everywhere you turn you see hurting people: in your neighborhood, your church, your workplace and across the globe. Some are close and others are “strangers” who Jesus calls “neighbors” we should love, especially those he calls “the least of these.” But you may ask, “What can I do to make a difference?”

starfishThere is an old story of a boy walking along a beach filled with stranded starfish. The boy picked one up and then another, tossing them back into the sea knowing they would otherwise perish. A man watching told him there were so many stranded starfish, he couldn’t possibly make a difference. Looking at a starfish in his hand, the boy tossed it into the water saying, “I made a difference for THAT one!”

GLOW is uniquely positioned to make a positive difference in the lives of hurting people. And your partnership with GLOW (through gifts and prayers) makes you an integral part of changing the world for hurting people, even “strangers” you don’t know. GLOW is organizationally small and nimble, working with missionary partners we know personally and trust. Accountability is high. Last year GLOW raised $14,200 and spent $14,237. No salaries, insurance plans, cars, or buildings. Just money in/money out – bringing the hope of Jesus to change the world for people in desperate situations, one at a time.

A 10-year-old boy in Bolivia has his first pair of new $12.50 leather shoes because a 10-year-old boy here gave his Christmas money.

Syrian refugees who were sleeping on the cold cement in Athens, Greece have warm sleeping bags from GLOW donors and the caring outreach of our ministry partner there.

Aleka with childrencrop -jpgBulgarian gypsy children have nutritious meals and Christian literacy tutors because GLOW donors care. 50 children now have their own native language Bulgarian bibles because many people donated $10 to GLOW.  We are preparing to fund the building of a kitchen & dining area this year to expand the outreach to orphans who have no other support.

Herminia etc with Aunt FranciscaFive Bolivian children (Roberto, Herminia, Deysi, her baby Lucas, and Sabina – pictured here with their Aunt Francisca) were recently abandoned by their mother and stepfather. They know us and remember us from when we first met and prayed with them four years ago. Gifts from GLOW purchased shoes and outfits and backpacks for each of them. Additional gifts have been received to provide for school supplies, tuition, medical care, and food. Even now as their Aunt has stepped up to care for the children your ongoing GLOW gifts continue to enrich their lives.

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6) That’s what your persistent prayers and gifts do. They express your faith through love to “the least of these,” people you don’t yet know.

We also want you to know we’ve made provisions for the gospel ministries of Go Light Our World to continue, regardless of Bryan’s health concerns.

By praying and giving you DO make a difference. Please continue to PRAY daily for:

Roberto, Herminia, Deysi, her baby Lucas, and Sabina, abandoned by their mother and now adopted by their aunt in rural Bolivia.

Tiffany, Roxana, Maria, Mariana, and Sony who lead the Bolivian ministry for children at risk.

Moises and Kely who work to strengthen godly families in Chile.

Aleka who ministers to outcast gypsies in Bulgaria and boldly shares the truth and love of Jesus with all she meets, even at risk to herself.

Andy who pastors a small church in a hard neighborhood in Gracemount (Edinburgh), Scotland and his wife Sarah in her difficult pregnancy. Please pray also for former drug addicts they know who are struggling to know that the hope of Jesus is real for them.

Larry who daily brings the real hope of Jesus to those in prison.Mark and Lyndsey who minister to the homeless in San Diego.

Dawn and Willy who teach people with little to trust in God who wants to richly bless them spiritually.

Chris and Candy who are adjusting to living in Africa so they can reach the Digo tribe. They are dealing with water shortages.

Gary and Cristen who boldly equip college students to get real with Jesus, live fully for Jesus and reach their teammates.

Marcia and Bryan and the GLOW board of directors as we seek God’s continued guidance in all of this, and for Bryan’s full health recovery.

Thank you to our monthly donors and one-time donors. Your investment is well-placed! It brings the hope of Jesus to unreached people through practical ministries including literacy, food, medicine and health.

If you want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, you can make your tax deductible gift to Go Light Our World by

Thank you for partnering with GLOW in giving and in prayer to make a real difference in the lives of hurting people!!

Without God we are lost, BUT GOD intervenes. GLOW is excited to write the phrase, “BUT GOD…” onto the pages of people’s lives!

Because lost people matter,

2016 Go Light Our World Board Members:

Bryan and Marcia Thayer         Chuck Jackson

Janet Johnson                             Dawn Neudahl

Mary Lothe                                 Kathy Trotter

Val Wagner

Greatnonprofits top rated status 2015

Rather receive update by email or postal mail? Opt out? Let us know: thayers@GoLightOurWorld.org


The King asks


One of the games played by youth in Bolivia is called El Rey Pide. It means, “The King Asks.” In this game, one child is selected to be the “king” and sit in a special place of honor at one end of the room. The rest of the youth are divided into two teams of the king’s “subjects”, seated at the opposite side of the room. The “king” would scan the room with his eyes, keenly watching his “subjects..” Then he would pronounce, “El Rey pide…el cuaderno!” (The king asks for the notebook.) With great haste someone from each team would eagerly rush to find a notebook and bring it to the king. The first one to reach him “wins” that round. The game continues with several “el Rey pide” requests, each met with the enthusiastic response of the king’s subjects who are ever so eager to please their king. When we visited the Bolivian school where our Compassion child attends, they chose our sponsored child, Daniela, to take the place of honor and the game proceeded as “La Reina pide” (“The queen asks.”) We enjoyed watching the children laugh and play the game, each eager to please their “lord.”


Imagine if you were a great king looking down on the kingdom of this world. What would you see as your eyes roamed throughout your kingdom? Without doubt, your eyes would fall upon some always working ever diligently to build great monuments. You’d find others basking in the sun or consumed with their hobbies and games. You’d observe that some live in sumptuous comfort while others are scurrying around trying to scratch out a meager existence and merely survive.


“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a


Indeed, there is a king whose eyes are always upon us. What do you think he is searching for and what do you expect he finds? He is looking for those are fully committed, sold out, “all in the game”, devoted to the singular purpose of doing what the King asks and being the people they were called to be.


And what does the King ask? Qué pide El Rey? He asks us simply to be his people and to invite others into the protection of his kingdom. Love God and love others in his name. Feed the hungry, care for the sick, and visit those in prison. Be fully involved in his purpose, not distracted by other games and pursuits.  When you think about it, it’s not really as complicated as we sometimes make it to be.


But we read about wars and senseless shootings, about teachers and leaders who bring deception. It seems the world is filled with earthquakes, famines and disease, and even the persecution of believers. The King sees this. In fact he foresaw it and described it in Luke 21. He told us then and reminds us now to be careful that our hearts not become weighed down with dissipation (drunkenness, sexual debauchery, and the squandering of money and resources). The king cautions us to not be worn out with anxieties. And the king asks, “Be always on the watch and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen.” (Luke 21:36)


The King is watching. His eyes range throughout the earth to see who is fully committed to him, not just playing a game. He sees your faithful heart. His eyes do not miss your mournful cry. He takes notice of your weakness and sickness. And he looks to strengthen and encourage you in the hard places of your life. Be encouraged as you commit to responding to what the King asks. And be always on the watch yourself so you can encourage others also.


One dollar – Day Five


One dollar – Day five:
As you look at your one dollar, what food will you buy for you and your family? You have to be careful, because it needs to be both safe and nutritious. Your toilet paper and other essentials also come from that same one dollar. What if one dollar per person per day buys you only flour and grain, maybe rice and beans to cook over an open fire? One dollar might provide enough food to generate maybe 800 calories per person. You soon realize that at 800 calories a day you will lose 20-30 pounds in a month. You grin, thinking that maybe you could stand to lose some weight. But then you wonder, “What happens after that?”


Look at your one dollar and ask, “How will I keep going if I can only afford 800 calories of food?” I must have enough strength to work or my family will not survive!” You realize that you used to think of poor people as being lazy, but on 800 calories a day you find fatigue and lethargy to be constant companions. You learn that if you mash your beans and refry them in lard, you will increase your calories consumed per day. But on some days when there is not even a dollar, your children eat only salt and tortillas. In Bolivia, many children and parents chew on coca leaves to reduce the hunger pains. Usually they have smiles and like to play games. Days like these, they are too tired even to play.


I wonder if your one dollar looks different from how it looked just a few days ago. Mine does. I’m thinking more about the one dollars I spend that really change my life at all.  But I’m getting a better idea about how much one dollar COULD change the world for someone else.



Softening hardened hearts – Bolivia



Samaritan’s Purse tells the story of Luis, a young boy living in Bolivia. His mother left him with his aunt when he was only three years old. After that, he was passed around from one relative to another, often being left alone while the adults worked, or looked for work. He ended up living on the streets when he was 12 where he found trouble with disreputable friends. His seemed to be a hopeless life, hardened by tough circumstances.


We saw this story played out a hundred fold when we were in Bolivia. Young children were left in the care of barely older siblings or left all alone while the mother worked and the father, if there was one around, was off for weeks at a time working in the coca fields.


imageWe had joined the CMA church’s outreach program in rural Las Lomas (Ushpa Ushpa). It was a place of dirt and rocks, adobe houses with tin roofs and straw stuck in rafters to keep out the wind. Clothes were set on the few bushes to dry. Water drums set outside the homes as the only source of water, and an outside adobe artisan oven, the source for cooking. Many homes had only curtains for doors. But through the darkness of hopelessness and despair, shines the light of hope, Jesus.




The children we worked with were eager to practice their math, reading and writing skills in their outdoor ‘school.’ We communicated in our broken Spanish, but for many, the presence of a caring adult who cared for them communicated a special language of its own.


In addition to their academic work, the children sang bible songs, listened attentively to the bible stories.


And they prayed so fervently in their own words when we invited them to pray for their families and their future.



Luis was one of the fortunate ones whose life was touched by those who poured themselves into his life.  He says, “I didn’t have a relationship very near with God. Now I feel very close to God. I feel he lives in my heart.”


Will you take a moment to pray that Luis and the GLOW ministries with the other lost children of Bolivia will continue to pursue lives that honor Jesus, and not be hardened by harsh circumstances?  And will you pray also for our return to the Bolivian mission field this year?  Your prayers matter!



Thankful … for clean water!


This morning – and any time I want – I turn on the faucet in the bathroom and retrieve a glass of clean water.  Likely, you did too. In fact, even the poorest of poor in our country have access to safe, clean water. That’s not the case across much of the world.


The month we lived in Bolivia, we were told the drinking water had to be filtered. We washed our fresh fruit and veggies and dishes in a mild bleach solution and then rinsed them with filtered water. You might think this a terrible and backward condition, but when we traveled just a few miles out of the city to visit friends we had met, we found most of the people did not have access to running water at all. No bathrooms or kitchen sinks. Just a rusty metal drum outside that is filled up with a hose from the water truck…if you had money to buy water.  Looking into the barrels, we quickly decided we would not want to drink from them. But many of the people we worked with suffered stomach ailments due to the parasites, germs and bacteria in their water supply. The truth is that safe water is a rare resource in many parts of the world.


I’m guessing you don’t know anyone who has suffered from dysentery, typhoid or cholera. And yet these are all common to families living in many parts of the world. Imagine a population more than twice the size of the United States. That is a low estimate of how many do not have access to clean water in the world. Here, I get a glass of clean water whenever I want, from my home or any public drinking fountain.


And so I find myself extremely thankful – for clean water. When you think about it, I imagine you are too.


Does being thankful make a difference? I think it does. Imagine saying a word of thanks every time you take a sip of refreshing, clean water. I think our hearts grow a size or two every time we give thanks. Giving thanks has a way of shutting down greedy and selfish thoughts. It breaks down negative thinking. Giving thanks puts us in a right relationship with God. Being thankful for one thing tends to lead us to give thanks for so much more, including each other.


Who knows? Being thankful for clean water may be the very thing that makes your New Year an especially rewarding one!


“For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.” Mark 9:41


“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14



Thank you!



We want to thank those who have partnered with Go Light Our WorldTM to bring the light of Jesus to a dark world. Whether you gave a one-time or monthly gift of $10, $50, $100, or more, your generous gifts directly support vital gospel ministries in:


– Growing healthy families
– Providing literacy, nutrition, health, and worship outreach to children
– Vocational training for struggling moms
– (Marcia and I are preparing to join the Bolivian mission field in 2015!)


– Literacy training for rural outcast children
– Abraham’s Flock provides milk and eggs for needy families
– Christian education for children


– Bringing gospel hope to the lost in Athens and Corinth


– Bringing real hope and the power of Jesus to transform broken lives in the inner city housing projects


United States
– Supporting gospel church plants in New Orleans and San Diego
– Training and equipping college athletes to become Christian leaders and missionaries


Puerto Rico
– Raising up Christian leaders among college athletes


– Supporting a young family bound for the mission field to bring the gospel to the unreached Digo people


There is still time to join our prayer and financial support team. Visit our giving page at www.GoLightOurWorld.org/giving to learn more.


Go Light Our WorldTM is a tax-exempt nonprofit ministry. There are no paid salaries so your donations go directly to the mission field. Thank you for living a life marked by giving to others. It matters!



Partner with GLOW in Bolivia



Josias swim day lunch Go Light Our World (GLOW) is excited to support a vital gospel mission to the poorest of poor in Bolivia, South America. Our ministry brings the practical love of Jesus to those in need through programs in literacy, nutrition, and health. Those with emotional and spiritual needs are supported by caring counselors and friends.


Marco Young boys like Marco find reason for hope and opportunities to serve others. Marco cares for his own siblings and is a youth ambassador and leader to other youth. His growth as a godly leader is evidenced by the respect of his fellow youth.


bolivia 235Can see the joy and contentment in this little girl’s eyes? Children find love and hope when someone acknowledges and welcomes them in the name of Jesus. Marcia and I are excited at the prospects of returning to the Bolivia mission on a full-time basis next year as my health recovery progresses.


How about you? YOU too can make a difference in others’ lives by praying for the Bolivia mission, for children like Marco and families you won’t meet until you get to heaven. We believe nothing lasting happens without prayer. Will you partner with us to pray regularly for the GLOW ministries?


Another way to partner with GLOW is to make a one-time or monthly gift. Even $10-20-50 gifts go a long way in poverty-stricken Bolivia. We have no paid staff and our administrative costs are covered by one donor, so 100% of your tax-deductible donations go directly to the mission (See Giving page www.GoLightOurWorld.org).


You can also partner with us by spreading the word. Follow us on Facebook! ‘Share’ us on your Facebook page. Subscribe to the blog (it’s free), tell others about Go Light Our World.


Finally, you can partner with us by intentionally welcoming others in your own neighborhood and town, sharing with them the good news that offers hope and joy. Be a positive influence on our world!


‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40



What did you say?



P1020852 I walked upstairs and into the office, asking the receptionist, “Cheem?” (Korean for acupuncture.) She didn’t understand so I pointed to a photo I had thought to take of the business sign downstairs and she nodded her head affirmatively. So in my best practiced Korean I asked, “Uhl mah eem nikkah?” (How much does it cost?) She responded, “I no speak English.” Now I thought I was speaking Korean but evidently didn’t quite say what I intended! After a bit, we come to the understanding that a session costs $10. Again trying to speak the native language, I asked how long until my appointment. She answered one hour. I bowed politely and turned to leave but she waves for me to come to the back room, evidently meaning the session lasts one hour and they are ready for me right now.


Before I went to visit the acupuncturist, my son spoke from experience: “Usually it doesn’t hurt, but sometimes it might hurt a little if they misplace one of the needles. In that case you want to know the Korean word for pain: “apayo.” I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t the acupuncturist get the message if I just yelled, “OWWWWW!?” None the less, I learned the word ‘apayo’ but I didn’t need to say it. It was an entirely relaxing and beneficial experience.


They say that whenever two people speak there are really six people talking. There is WHAT I said, what I THOUGHT I said, and what you HEARD me say. And of course, there is what you said, what you thought you said, and what I heard you say. No wonder communication is sometimes difficult! Like the time I went to exchange money in a Bolivian bank. The Spanish word for dollars is very similar to the word for pain. So while I thought I said ‘dolares’ the teller heard me say ‘dolores’ and hence she snickered when she heard me say I wanted to exchange my pain for Bolivianos. (Actually, I could get pretty rich with that kind of exchange! 🙂


Communication is a tricky thing even if only one language is involved. So I reckon it best to laugh at our own mistakes and try again to get the proper message across. It’s well understood that the answer, “Fine!” when spoken between two people can have a number of meanings, including “definitely NOT fine,” depending on the tone of voice and facial expression. So understanding is not just a matter of hearing what was said but how it was said and with what expression. Communication is hard work and easy to mess up even in the best of relationships. Let’s slow down, especially when clear communication most matters and make sure an accurate and respectful message gets across.


“Be careful what you say and protect your life. A careless talker destroys himself.” Proverbs 13:3



Teenage Ambassador – Bolivia mission update

marco 3MARCO is a born leader. The oldest of three children, 16-year-old Marco lives in an extremely poor community outside the metropolis of Cochabamba, Bolivia. He cares for his younger sisters, cooks for them and takes them to school. His mother and stepfather leave for work very early in the morning and they come back late at night. So Marco takes care of the house. He’s been having some difficulty in school due his caring for his siblings. Marco left school for four years and started working to earn a living due to the extreme poverty in his household.

Marco came to the Alliance Church’s Josias Project, sponsored by GLOW, three years ago. A sullen, quiet, observant, shy teen. He started to make friends and was notorious from the start his sense of solidarity towards the little ones and his willing to help around. He was elected leader a year and because he did it so well with many initiatives and ideas, he began to earn the respect of the older kids. He now is the leader of all of them, big and small. He has earned their respect. He is quiet and firm.

marco 1His capacity to serve and empathy has made him shine over the rest. He was elected Ambassador last year. He is very creative, dynamic and proactive. He has proven his commitment to the Lord. He attends a Church close to his home.

Praise to the Lord, he continues his studies at night school along with his mother, who has been encouraged to also finish her high school. He is doing very well and still has the desire to work for the kids at the Project and in his neighborhood, because he can see the need to have someone guide those children at risk. He sees himself reflected in them when he was a child.


Isaiah 58:10 …and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

Finding goodness – Sharing goodness



We are made for goodness just as we are made to breathe. – John Eldridge


The Cedar Rapids Gazette ran a recent article encouraging local folk to share what makes them proud of their city.

My sister shared wrote what happened on Valentine’s Day when our mother had car trouble on First Avenue in Cedar Rapids:
“Within minutes, not one, but two, kind citizens pulled over to help her, moved her car safely out of traffic, and stayed there with her until I could get to mom,” Elizabeth wrote. “They were such a comfort to her rattled nerves. This is a big SMALL town where strangers reach out to help, even during their busy morning commute. And even though it made them late to work. “I’ll take Cedar Rapids any day over a big city,” she wrote.

When we traveled to Bolivia, South America for a month, we lived in the mountain valley town of Cochabamba. With a metropolitan population of 1 million people, it was much noisier than our small town of 15,000. But we both were impressed that it was like coming home for the first time. I thought it funny when people at the local church referred to their sprawling metropolis as a small town. But when we both became so sick someone we hardly knew brought us homemade chicken soup. And when we moved on to Santa Cruz de la Sierra (2-3 million) for additional recuperation, a person we had met just once, also brought us homemade chicken soup and helped us get to an English-speaking doctor.

If you experience such compassion, you will not likely forget it. And if your heart is open, hopefully it encourages you to share that same goodness with others. Goodness is all around us. We only have to stop complaining to see it, exercise our grateful heart to grow, and share that same goodness with others.

There’s nothing quite like celebrating goodness. Let’s reach beyond ‘random’ acts of kindness. Let your actions be purposeful and deliberate. Let your compassion help someone up when they fall, forgive a mistake, and bring a light of truth and encouragement to a dark world.

In good times and tough ones, go light our world with goodness.
May it be said of you…”surely goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6