Faith flows from Asheville to Bolivia and Back

I didn’t attend any services in Asheville this week.  The sad loss of an old and beloved friend required that I make a trip to GA instead.

Even so, Grace provides and I am able to share with you a wonderful story of faith that springs from the center of Asheville and flows south all the way to Bolivia.

Carrie Brown grew up in church.  Her father, Rev. Rob Blackburn is the pastor at Asheville’s Central United Methodist Church.  She’s married to Gavin.

Gavin and Carrie Brown

Both under 30, Carrie and Gavin founded the Kory Wawanaca Children’s Home for orphans at the foot of Mt. Illimani in the village of Tacachia.

Carrie and Gavin have lived full time in Bolivia and worked tirelessly to construct a home that provides a safe and loving environment for abused and abandoned children in  Bolivia.   The home started in Tacachia with a handful of children and has now expanded to a second location in La Paz with over 20 children being provided a new chance at life.

The home grows much of it’s own food on its own small farm, but the main thing that is growing there is family, community, security and love for these children, each one a Light.



This short video contains one of the most moving instances of community ceremony I’ve ever witnessed.  With the simplest of shared gestures this community dedicated their efforts to their highest vision of Love.  The presence and power of Spirit can be felt even on video.

Last Thursday, On Feb. 17, a group left Asheville with Carrie and Gavin to travel to Tacachia to spend some weeks volunteering at the Kory Wawanaca Home.

Marty Lewis of WNC’s popular band Sons of Ralph will be on this journey to share his music and labor along with Jay Coble, best known for his gorgeous portraits, who will document their journey in images.

I’ll be following this journey of faith in Asheville traveling abroad on their blog at and also on Facebook at  If you’re inspired then please do share their story with your community.

My best,


Michelle Smith, Minister and Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant


About themichellesmith

Community enthusiast from the Blue Ridge Mountains of western NC who thinks globally and acts neighborly. Inter-faith Minister and Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant. Founder and Lead Celebrant, Asheville Celebrant. Willing to work for more peace, more joy and more beautiful places to share stories, food, music and dancing, Unwilling to work for raw survival of our species. Prefers dialogue to debate. Believes fundamentally that Duke's is the only mayonnaise worth eating.
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