Gail and Jim Krampien
New Hamburg Residents Jim and Gail Krampien didn’t realize how much their lives were about to change when they decided to go on mission trip to Bolivia in 2006.
The couple and about a dozen others from their congregation at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church were inspired to go on a mission trip after a field coordinator from Missionary Ventures in Guelph came to their church and did a presentation on the organization. That field coordinator happened to be stationed in Bolivia, so the church members decided to go there since they already had some information on the work being done in that place.
Since then, Jim and Gail have been back in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and again this past December. Their team members have changed slightly each time.
“After that first trip we felt connected with the people, and we kept returning,” said Gail. “As you keep returning, you develop these long term relationships.”
They have done all of their trips through Missionary Ventures, where Gail actually started working in 2012. They are partnered with a pastor named Casiano Mamani the city of Cochabamba. They do all kinds of work alongside him and his church, including supporting church construction, children’s ministry in orphanages, providing medical care, and more.
As of late, they have been focusing on forming relationships with people in villages in more remote areas of the Andes Mountains. They are partnering with these villages and focusing on what their long term development goals are, such as skills development, for example they hope to teach sewing and electrical skills.
Jim and Gail have been active in fundraising right here in New Hamburg. They have done all kinds of fundraisers from barbeques to car washes and more.
Their main fundraising activity includes collecting aluminum pop cans and wine and liquor bottles. They return the wine and liquor bottles for a refund, but with the pop cans they crush them and ship them to London where they get a better return.
They regularly come home to bags of cans sitting by their garage door from people who have donated. They have people who live in Kitchener who go out on blue box day and pick empties out of the boxes. They themselves are regularly out in town collecting from people.
“The collection process continues to grow and evolve,” said Jim.
Since they started fundraising in 2006, they have cashed in almost $50,000 from collecting empties. They crush and ship 2 tractor trailer loads a year just of crushed pop cans; that isn’t counting empties that they bring to a beer store. 100% of the money raised from this goes to the work being doing in Bolivia. Team members must pay for their own airfare, food, accommodations, etc
Anyone interested in getting involved can email Jim and Gail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regarding the experience as a whole, Jim and Gail are extremely thankful.
Jim summarized, “I’ve told lots and lots of people that going on the first mission trip was one of the best things I’ve done in my entire life.”
New Hamburg Residents Build Deep Connection with Bolivian Ministry
By Justine Alkema New Hamburg Independent February 3, 2016