SEJANAM and Leaders Receive Recognition in Bolivia

August 27, 2008

SEJANAM, the Southeastern Jurisdictional Agency for Native American Ministries, received special acknowledgement and honor as part of a celebration of the Red Cross Center in Montero, Bolivia.  Other leaders also receiving special tributes and recognition for outstanding leadership and contributions were former SEJANAM Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Robert Mangum and wife Neila and the SEJANAM Mission Work Team coordinator, Wade Hunt.  Invited to take part in the ceremony were Montero City and Red Cross officials as well as the press.

Presenting the awards to SEJANAM and Wade Hunt was Dr. Chavez. Tributes were made to SEJANAM for the vast amount of work that has been completed at the Red Cross Center over the past eleven years, including the emergency room addition and economic assistance to bolster work efforts. 

 SEJANAM has also provided immense support with other projects at the Methodist School, Cochabamba Medical Clinic, and Methodist Churches. Today, this center treats almost two hundred people a day for a variety of problems.

 “The recognition truly came as an unexpected blessing and magnificent surprise,” stated SEJANAM Executive Director Darlene Jacobs.  “Dr. Dardo Chavez possesses enormous forethought, passion and perseverance, which is contagious.  SEJANAM is blessed to be part of his vision and dream.”

Wade Hunt was honored for his leadership of the work team construction projects, which began from the foundation of the medical clinic.  “You are part of the foundation of this facility and have given unselfishly and generously of your time and talents to  the Red Cross Clinic, as well as other building projects within the greater area of Montero.

“We greatly thank you Mr. Wade,” hailed the President of the Montero Kiwanis Club and member of the Board of Directors.   “It is because of the kindness and love of people like you that the people of Montero can receive medical care, emergency services, dental care and hopefully maternity care.”
The final award was given in honor of Rev. Dr. Robert Mangum and his wife Neila.  The Bolivia Mission Ministry began under the direction and leadership of Rev. Dr. Robert L. Mangum.  Rev. Mangum has been recognized by the Montero City Council, the people of the Guarani Village, the Red Cross Center, and SEJANAM with many gifts and plaques.

 The foyer of the Red Cross Medical Clinic will now bear the name ‘Rev. Bob and Neila Mangum’ in honor and deep appreciation of their humanitarian efforts and for having started the construction of the Mother’s Birthing Center for ‘the service of the people that need it the most.’ 

In its eleventh year of ministry, the work team headed for Montero, Bolivia July 25-August 8.   Of the 16 team members, five were new.  The work-team represented three denominations.

Work-team members hauled dirt, rock, and mixed and poured cement for the flooring and structural beams for the third floor of the Red Cross Center.  Other work included laying brick for interior walls and painting.

 Another exhausting but rewarding project was erecting a home in the Guarani (Jungle) Community.  Under the strong leadership of Erickson Jacobs, Taylor Deese and Wilbur Harris, the team poured mixed concrete, laid bricks for erecting the walls and laid brick for the flooring.  Funding for this home came from St. Mark’s UMC – John Ayers Sunday School class.

A new component to the Bolivia Mission Ministry was oral hygiene.  Trenette Deese provided examinations, cleanings, tooth brushes and tooth paste to each client, consultation with other dental professional and hygiene education at both the Red Cross Center and Cochabamba Clinic.

A group effort was also made to distribute food, clothing, educational expenses, and housing assistance for targeted families. 

The SEJANAM Bolivia Work team had wonderful and glorious opportunities to learn and to share in the culture, fellowship and worship with local churches. 

This year’s team members included:  Ava Bland, Circle of Christ UMC, Dr. Jesse Lamm, Chestnut UMC; Wade Hunt, Wilbur and Angela Harris, Peggy Hunt, Patricia Locklear, Carrie M. Jones, Fedelia Locklear, Taylor Deese- all members of Prospect UMC; Trenette Deese and Jordan Deese-members of White Hill Baptist Church; Kaye Brown and Paula Garrison, Daubs Chapel UMC; Erickson Jacobs, Sandy Plains UMC; and Darlene Jacobs, Circle of Christ UMC, Lake Junaluska.

SEJANAM is the advocate for 23 Native American congregations and three other ministries in the Southeast Jurisdiction.

For more information, contact Darlene Jacobs, SEJANAM Executive Director, at 1.888.825.6316 or send your emails to