El Jordan’s workshop for boys

The boys all come to El Jordán after school to get help with their school work.

The boys all come to El Jordán after school to get help with their school work.

For many years we have supported El Jordán, which calls itself “a crossing ground for those who desire to change and find freedom from the daily struggles of life on the streets.”

These struggles include drug addiction, delinquency, abandonment, and abuse.

Initially the ministry reached out primarily to “street moms” and their children in Santa Cruz. These women could come to El Jordán, take classes in practical skills like baking or sewing, and get medical and dental care for themselves and their children.

In recent years Corina and Marco have added a center which focuses on boys from ages 12-16. Until this trip, Yoli and I had not been able to see this boys’ ministry. But Monday, Marco took us out there.

Marco showed us around El Jordán's facility for boys.

Marco showed us around El Jordán’s facility for boys.

The boys facility is a little bit farther out from the center of Santa Cruz than the main campus. There is more land available here, so they have built a property with many rooms for volunteers to stay, and workshops where the boys can learn skills like metalworking or woodworking.

There is also a nice cancha (soccer field) with artificial turf, bleachers and a concession area. They rent the soccer field to neighbors, which provides some income.

The cancha (soccer field), where the boys play. They also rent the field to neighbors, which provides some income.

The cancha (soccer field), where the boys play.

The cancha (soccer field), where the boys play. They also rent the field to neighbors, which provides some income.

The cancha (soccer field), where the boys play. They also rent the field to neighbors, which provides some income.

Each day, boys come to the center when they have finished school to get lunch and help with homework. They can also learn woodworking, metalworking, and other skills in the workshops, or get some exercise playing soccer.

Marco explains division to one of the boys.

Marco explains division to one of the boys.

Euologio helps one of the boys make a sculpture of a flamingo for art class at school.

Euologio helps one of the boys make a sculpture of a flamingo for art class at school.

They have some volunteers now, but they need more. Marco says their biggest need is for committed Christians who would partner with them to teach in the workshops. For example, they want to find a metalworker. They would pay him a stipend and allow him to use their fully-equipped metal shop for his business, on the condition that he teach classes a few times a week and use the boys as apprentices.

Marco lamented that despite what they’re offering, it has been hard to find people. This is their big need and prayer request.

A flower holder the boys are making in the wood shop.

A flower holder the boys are making in the wood shop.

These wooden discs will be used to make keychains.

These wooden discs will be used to make keychains.

If you are interested in learning more about El Jordán and their ministry work, check out their website here: http://kidsinbolivia.org

About Josh Renaud

Josh Renaud is married to Yoli and together they have four beautiful niñitos. Find him on Twitter (@Kirkman) or Google+.
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