Michelle Cazas – Bolivia
At a young age, I felt compassion for the abused and imprisoned by cultural and social structures. I saw such hopelessness. As I became a Christian, I realized my responsibility to love others as I would want to be loved. This meant helping orphans, underprivileged, and women.
My background volunteering in different organizations since age 14 allowed me to align the desires of my heart for justice towards women and child victims experiencing extreme poverty, sexual, psychological and physical abuse. It also helped me realize how little I can affect change without preparation, so as to provide long lasting result.
Therefore, I seek the opportunity to reside in the United States and receive a Justice and Mission Degree from Denver Seminary. A degree from the U.S. will provide social standing in Bolivia and allow the ability to implement programs with my acquired knowledge and resources to make positive and effective change.
This degree will impart tools to correct injustices to women and children. This is my desired mission, to be a voice for those that are forcibly mute and be successful where others have not been. Understandably, to change a culture and correct injustice takes the ability to grasp social, emotional, historical, and political situations.
I feel my life and experiences in Bolivia combined with a seminary degree will help me be that person.
I grew up in a Catholic and Taoist family with a mix of many Bolivian traditions. In my country faith is very important, however there is extreme idolatry. Pacha mama (mother earth), Tio (satan), Ekeko (God of abundance) are some examples of false gods that are worshiped and the actual recognition of the Christian God is limited.
Since I was a little girl, I had the conviction that these types of worship were wrong. Eventually while I was attending university, I had a boyfriend that gave me a Bible and months later after getting very sick, I started reading the Bible. I was trying to find an answer from God for why I was unhappy and why my life seem so difficult. I read the entire Bible and finally converted to Christianity. Then I found a small group and started attending church.
Since then the hand of God has been incredibly present in changing and transforming my life.