Eben-Ezer: “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us” (1 Samuel 7:/12)
My name is Miguel Tello and I serve as the founder and director of Eben-Ezer – a brand-new boarding school and orphanage located in the Bolivian jungle. With many new and exciting developments taking place each day, we’ve created this website as a means of sharing with our friends and donors all the ways in which God is leading this project.
Though two other mission schools exist – one in Guayaramerín and the other in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia – insufficient space and a lack of personnel limits the number of students we can help. The heart-breaking dilemma of turning desperate students away has led us to seek a sustainable solution to this overwhelming problem. As such, we are in the process of opening this new orphanage and boarding school to provide for the growing need.
Eben-Ezer, set to open in February 2019, will be a place where children and young people can come as they are and experience the healing of Christ’s love. The grounds will include a church and dining hall in addition to primary/secondary schools, dorms, staff housing and family units. Due to the temperamental jungle environment (not to mention jungle critters!), we must have the buildings completed before the year’s end in order to meet our goal of opening by February of 2019. In addition to construction costs, we will need funding for transportation, appliances, furnishing, wells, and a solar power system to enable self-sustainability. Though the list is lengthy, we know that we serve a God who promises to “supply all [our] need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:19).
At Eben-Ezer, we will strive to provide a safe home and learning environment for those escaping situations of abuse and domestic violence. With nearly 80% of Bolivian children facing physical, psychological, and/or sexual abuse in their homes, (there is a dramatic need for such safe havens) the need for such safe havens is paramount.
About the project:
The facility will be built on approximately 95 hectares (209 acres) of land that we’ve purchased near the small jungle town of Ixiamas in the La Paz department of Bolivia. Ixiamas has a population of approximately 5,000 people and is only about 70 miles from Rurrenabaque (closest ATM, better hospital), but the trip takes nearly three hours by car and requires travelers to cross 12 – 13 rivers! While this is pretty doable during dry season, the trip becomes difficult or even impossible during the rainy season.
Between November and February, we added over 1,000 pineapple plants and approximately 600 fruit trees to the existing five-acre orchard of bananas and plantains. With one river and three creeks (one of which is spring-fed), the property offers several sustainable sources of water.
Our goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible, providing our students with vocational training that will help them in the future. To accomplish these goals, we plan to offer mentorship in the following industries: