When Elvira moved to Tarija, she and her husband opened a church in their home.
Soon a number of families joined them and Elvira was excited to grow the ministry and serve their new community. Like Elvira, most of her neighbors came from humble backgrounds and struggled to provide for their families.
Elvira had previously served in a larger church and when church growth was slower than she expected in Tarija, Elvira began to become discouraged. Her family's income was minimal and she felt tired and struggled to find motivation for ministry.
When Five Talents visited her church, Elvira decided to form a savings group with several other members.
"I can say that a savings group formed in my church at the appropriate time and in response to my request for help to the Lord. [It has] encouraged me a lot and helped many women in my church."
Through the training they received, Elvira and the other members learned how to save small amounts, invest, and develop their own businesses. Each member was encouraged to identify her own talents while exploring available business opportunities.
In addition to ministry, Elvira had always been a gifted baker and with the encouragement of her friends, she decided to use her talent to start a cake-making business alongside her work in the church.
Elvira now specializes in wedding cakes and has purchased molds to make a wide variety of designs. She also makes cakes for anniversaries and graduations, and all types of occasions that bring people together.
Her business income has enabled her to expand her church's ministry and even to begin construction of their own church building. She says, "As I am a leader, my new income helped me to participate in the national meetings of my church; support the construction of the church; and provide social support for rural churches."
Elvira is glad that other women in her church are also benefitting from savings and business development. She has found new meaning and motivation for her work.
"I was animated to continue working in the church and in my business, because I understood that my motivation should not come from the number of people, the good motivation to work comes from God."
Learn more about Five Talents programs in Bolivia.