Marsali Campbell prepares for ministry in Bolivia

A missionary who is a member of Smithton Free Church in Inverness has spoken about her call to mission and upcoming ministry in Bolivia. 

For around 20 years, Marsali Campbell served God with a Ugandan Christian ministry called Dwelling Places, reaching street connected children in Uganda. This was through the organisation Africa Inland Mission (AIM). Now she is set to take up a role up helping street connected children in Bolivia through the missionary organisation Pioneers International. 

Marsali said: “This is a new season of ministry with Pioneers International to Quechuan (Indigenous Inca descendants) street connected children in Bolivia, South America – so many new things: new organisation, new continent, country, team, people group, language, blessings, and challenges!  

“However, it’s wonderful to be reminded of what is always the same and constant – God! His same gospel, mission, his same heart for children, and the poor and marginalised, the rejected. His same love to every tribe, language, and nation. Therefore, I consider it an amazing privilege to serve this great God.” 

Marsali has spoken about how God’s hand has been at work in her life. She was brought up on the Isle of Lewis then the Isle of Skye. She trained and worked as a nurse in Glasgow.  

She said: “After becoming a Christian in the spring of 1992, the following year God called me to serve him in a rural mission hospital in South India. Following that, I was able to do post-graduate training in paediatrics and worked at Great Ormond Street in London.  

“On returning to Glasgow again I worked in the paediatric emergency department for a few years. I was also involved in volunteering with Open Doors on the streets of Glasgow, reaching homeless, those with drug and alcohol issues, and sex workers. It was a training ground for me. God called me to Africa at the Millennium and then, in September 2001 to begin what became 20 years as a missionary with AIM, working with a Ugandan ministry called Dwelling Places, reaching out to street connected children.  

“After stepping away from ministry in Africa, I came back to Scotland in the spring of 2021 into quarantine in Aberdeen and then to Portree in the Isle of Skye where my dear mother was staying with my sister. To share those final months of her life, to be able to be with her and help care for her in a very different time and season, it was such a privilege to be a part of that. It was dark and difficult at times and yet God’s light most certainly was shining and there’s so much to be thankful for in that.” 

Last January she had a strong sense there was a new season ahead. Although initially thinking she would be going to a new country in Africa with AIM, she was led by the Lord to a new organisation – Pioneers.  

“As we were exploring possible ministries with Pioneers, it was so helpful to have this new opportunity confirmed by the Missions Committee and the elders of Smithton Church,” she said. “I’m very thankful that God has continued to bring unity with regard to these options, confirming and affirming that this is the Lord’s leading. Through Pioneers, we were exploring a variety of different ministries around the world, but God was leading in particular to Bolivia.” 

There was the opportunity to partner with an existing Pioneers team and a partner church, the Evangelical Baptist Church of Bolivia, to reach out to the Quechuan children on the streets of the capital, Sucre.  

“It was quite an adventure, with a mixture of blessings and challenges, to be able to carry out a field visit to Bolivia in November and December, followed by a variety of debrief meetings and discussions,” said Marsali.  

Marsali, who is being sent by Smithton Church, has spoken at events, churches and groups to share her passion and her calling for this upcoming role. Following a time of rest in April, Marsali has been more focused towards ministry in Bolivia. This has including reading vital resources and undertaking various courses, including security training. Latterly she has been doing a cross-cultural course.  Marsali said: “I’ve had the privilege of doing this course with a Bolivian couple who have helped bring great insight into what is involved in cross-cultural ministry in Bolivia.” 

She has spoken about the importance of partnership, saying: “Scripture teaching on Biblical partnership in mission is vitally important to be upheld. I hope and pray we can be mutual encouragers. There is partnership in being sent by a Home Church and in being upheld in prayer. Partnership is exhibited in love and care. I am so deeply thankful for so many partners in ministry over decades – those who have given financially in partnership, written to me with encouragements and care.” 

Marsali is also pleased to share that there are now sufficient funds for her departure; however, if anyone is able/willing to give, do contact Marsali at [email protected] 

Do take a look at the prayer requests as she takes the next step in the journey.  Marsali’s Commissioning Service is set to take place on Sunday 3rd September. Departure flights to Bolivia will be around 13/14th September. 

Prayer requests 

Individual Prayer Cards are available, but also please pray: 

  • Giving thanks to God for all he has done and continues to do in this new season 
  • That God will receive all the glory and honour 
  • For finance to meet the budget for missionary support complete – thanks 
  • For all the plans for ministry in Bolivia – flights, visa, setting up a home, etc.  
  • For learning the Spanish language and Bolivian and Quechua culture  
  • For building relationships within the Pioneers Team and the Bolivian Church 
  • For opportunities to reach out to street connected and vulnerable children