We were privileged to be able to take a small trip for part of Semana Santa or Holy Week. Two sets of friends live in Armenia which is in the coffee region of Colombia, 6 hours due south of Medellin.
We drove on decent roads most of the way but through some seriously high mountain ranges. Colombia and Texas couldn’t be more opposite in their topography!
Not only was it lovely to spend time with our friends but we were also very blessed to participate in a Good Friday service and an Easter Sunday service at our friends’ church. An amazing silent drama, with scripture readings, all interspersed with songs was the hallmark of the Good Friday service. The entire “cantata” captured the somberness and seriousness of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us.
On Sunday morning there was such praise! Over 800 people in attendance all singing praises to our Lord for “He is Risen” and “Victor’s Crown”. A friend of ours from Medellin was the guest preacher. Not only was it good to see him and his family in another context but we also were thrilled to hear his poetic words and poignant challenges. If I can generalize, Latin America typically focuses on observing Good Friday and sometimes Easter is just another Sunday. How wonderful that we were able to truly rejoice on Easter Sunday with fellow believers!
We stayed with Matt and Shelley Actis and their four daughters, Lindsey, Kennedy, Chloe and Sophie. What great hosts they were!
Although Armenia and it surroundings were lovely to see, we especially were touched by their dedication to a very special ministry. Matt and Shelley have started a foundation to work with displaced Colombians including a group of about 100 indigenous people.
Due to guerrilla warfare, many families had to leave their homes in the country and flee for the cities. With no money, no homes, and few skills, the families are struggling to survive. Matt and Shelley are teaching Bible Studies and helping them with small economic development efforts in order to provide these families with hope and a possibility of income. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/actis.mission?fref=ts
Driving home, we were struck with the overwhelming needs in all of Colombia and throughout the world. More workers are needed to throw themselves into holistic ministries that help those with the very real physical, emotional, spiritual and economic needs – needs that are addressed through the saving grace and abundant love of our savior, Jesus Christ.