It’s the time of year when members of Mechanicsburg Christian Church prepare for a mission trip to an orphanage in Bolivia, where they help make the holidays merry and bright.
Unfortunately, Covid has put a halt to the annual trip for church members, but Pastor Tom Maurer still plans to visit. He leaves Dec. 1 for a two-week stay. Before he leaves, he hopes to raise $1,500, or $15 per child, so each child will be able to shop at a local market for a Christmas present.
“They usually buy a pair of pants or a shirt or shoes, stuff they need,” Maurer said.
Maurer hopes this trip goes better than his last trip to the orphanage in June when mechanical difficulties with his plane and a false positive Covid test stranded him in Bogota, Columbia, for a week.
“It was pretty scary,” he said.
While in Bolivia, Maurer will have Bible studies with the children and celebrate high school graduations, which are in December.
“We are looking to raise at least $1,500 and are just asking for people out of the kindness of their hearts and their own generosity to donate,” Maurer said. “The community-at-large helped us last year with this same thing, and we certainly appreciate those who had a heart last year and who have a heart this year.
The church has been helping and visiting the orphanage near Santa Cruz since 2017.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the church is unable to hold typical fundraisers like bake sales and special dinners. As a result, Maurer is asking for donations that will be earmarked for the trip.
Donations can be mailed to Mechanicsburg Christian Church, 10744 E. Blue Grass Trail, Bland, Va., 24315.
“We want these kids to know that God loves them, and there are people who love them,” Maurer said. “They have all been, in some fashion, abandoned or abused, and it speaks volumes when they know Americans they have never met care about them. It’s huge.”
To reach reporter Millie Rothrock, call 276-228-6611, ext. 573, or email email@example.com.