‘What we found in Bolivia was that there is abject poverty right next to extreme affluence,’ says Chris, a 26-year-old youth worker from Croydon. His role can mean anything from mentoring one-to-one, to teaching music production, running workshops, or just being with young people and creating a sense of community. So his placement in Bolivia with Tearfund was a big contrast to his daily life.
‘I got involved with Tearfund back in 2013. I went on a overseas placement to Bolivia to work with some of their partners. Once I was out there, I got a sense that this is somewhere God can use me.’
'THIS IS SOMEWHERE GOD CAN USE ME.'
CLOSER TO HOME
But he also found that life wasn’t that different to the UK. ‘Every country has issues. Every community has problems. You see broken relationships. For me, being able to make the connection to what's happening here and what's happening across the world inspires me. If I can get involved here, I can get involved globally as well.’
Being in Bolivia was a transformative experience for Chris. ‘It changes every aspect of your life because you can no longer pretend that your world is just you. We’re all connected across the earth.’
'YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.'
During the placement, Chris and the other team members saw how Tearfund works by inspiring local churches to transform their communities, and lift themselves out of poverty. ‘It’s a true partnership,’ says Chris. ‘You get to meet a bunch of incredible people who are doing an amazing job.’
And Chris has a message for people who want to help overcome poverty across the world, but don’t know where to start:
‘Don’t be overwhelmed by it. There are so many different ways you can get involved: prayer, donating, campaigning… Anyone, whoever you are, can do something to make a difference.’
We couldn’t say it better ourselves! What will you do to make a difference?