Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Letter from a child of Bolivia


Dear brothers and sisters of the Oklahoma Conference,

Thank you for all the Sunday School materials that have arrived so that the Sunday School children can learn more about the Word of God.  

My name is Ashly and I accompany my mom to the Curriculum Writing Workshops. I can see how they strive to develop and complete the children’s lesson books. Before, we didn’t have any materials, but since there have been these week-long workshops, whether in Cochabamba or in La Paz, I have seen many things. From the devotionals to the snacks, and how the brothers and sisters sometimes don’t sleep so they can finish the material.

Thanks to you, this material arrives to each child in each Methodist church. From the children of this country, thank you for sharing with us your offerings.

May God bless you … a lot!

(Translation by Susan Waite)


By Holly McCray

The Children’s Curriculum Project links the Oklahoma Conference and the Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia. Among other connectional projects are: an unusual hotel restoration mission in December, multiple Engineers in Action works, and the First International Women’s Encounter in September.

Oklahoma clergyman David Stephenson has been appointed full-time to coordinate these ministries.

His title is mission interpreter for the Bolivia-Oklahoma Partnership, a ministry of Volunteers In Mission. The level of commitment to this work is evident in how it is funded. Private donations are fully supporting Rev. Stephenson.

  • Stephenson is available to speak at churches, sharing the faith of Bolivia’s poor and promoting the many levels of interaction through the Partnership. He is based in Tulsa.

GIFTS FROM BOLIVIAN CHILDREN—Greeting cards surround Cathy Childers, left, and Ardell Graner during a mission program in July at OKC-Chapel Hill. Young Methodists in Bolivia created the cards as gifts for Graner, a UM missionary, to deliver as she visited Oklahoma churches this summer. Childers is from Yukon’s Church of the Good Shepherd.

To contact him: 918-346-5181, tulsadstephenson@yahoo.com.

  • In July, he introduced UM missionary Ardell Graner when she visited churches in Oklahoma. Her work in Bolivia includes coordinating the Curriculum Project. Vacation Bible School offerings by Oklahoma children largely fund this.

Now Oklahoma UM Christian educators and Bolivian Sunday school teachers are writing uniquely Bolivian Sunday school materials for four age groups of children. Adult-level studies are desired.

Bolivia’s indigenous people speak dozens of languages; Spanish is taught in public schools.

"You-all got on board with us," Graner said, tears in her eyes.

  • The hotel restoration project in La Paz is being led by Doug Valley of Stillwater. The Bolivian Methodist Church purchased the hotel, renamed it the John Wesley Guest House, and seeks to renovate it for church conferences and to house the headquarters of a new university.

Valley is assembling a team with skills in the construction trades—electrical, plumbing, engineering, etc.—as well as in hotel management, to evaluate the building in December and design a comprehensive plan, which the Bolivian Methodists will implement.

Don Crawley, of Stillwater-First, and Susan Waite, of OKC-Chapel Hill, model bracelets woven by a Bolivian. When homeless, the man was helped by United Methodists, and the gifts express his thanks. Crawley and Waite are members of the Bolivia-Oklahoma Partnership council.

To contact Valley: doug.dvllc@gmail.com, 405-747-8580.


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