The Convention of Baptist Churches Chilean Mission invited Barbara and Dwight to serve with them in ministries of economic and leadership development. Their primary focus is with Mapuche churches in southern Chile .
The Mapuche are the indigenous people of Chile and Argentina. Most of them live on small farms in isolated rural communities called "reductions." They struggle with severe poverty, lack of sustainable livelihoods, and the debilitating, culture-eroding effects of centuries of domination.
The goals of the Bolicks' ministries with the Mapuche churches and communities are, first, recovery of identity as a people made in the image of God; and second, discovery of vocation as productive stewards of God's creation.
Barbara and Dwight, with the Mapuche churches, pursue these goals through various programs, such as recovering the use of the native language, Mapudungun, in worship, evangelism, and service; entrepreneurship training in a rural context (beginning with the production of traditional weavings, and beekeeping/honey production); and theological education. Rooted in Bible study and reflection, these programs equip Mapuche leaders to serve their communities through economic development fully integrated with a proclamation of the Gospel grounded in their culture and context.
The Bolicks also serve in equipping leaders among the Convention's other churches. They both teach and preach in churches from Santiago to the Lake District . Barbara helps churches develop ministries to women and children and Dwight focuses on stewardship, helping churches grasp their potential to create and sustain Christ-like ministries in their communities.
Languages used in ministry: Spanish and Mapudungun