Update from Colombia – July 2016

Greetings from Medellín!

I’m sending this update from Medellín, Colombia where my daughter (Caroline) and I have enjoyed our visit so far.

I have been busy prepping for two upcoming classes: 1) The Book of Revelation through our virtual program and 2) the World Mission of the Church through Gordon-Conwell’s Hispanic Ministries program.

Caroline’s Travelscaroline-travel

Caroline is returning to Colombia for the first time since our departure.

She has enjoyed reconnecting with friends and visiting a local girls’ home where a former seminary couple ministers. She’s also been busy with with a little shopping for arts and crafts jewelry.

colombia-shoppingGive peace a chance…

This week the Colombian government reached an historic peace agreement with the FARC paramilitary groups.

As you might know, the government and the military groups have been fighting for decades creating a culture of violence that has touched all of Colombia.

This civil upheaval has lead to the second largest population of internally displaced people (IDPs or refugees) in the world behind only Syria.

Please pray for this peace agreement. It is a fragile process as the government tries to navigate between justice and restitution for the victims and a return to a productive life for the members of the militia.

Studying Colombia’s IDPs

Last month, the Biblical Seminary of Colombia received a sizable three-year grant in order to spearhead a major research initiative on the forced displacement in Colombia. The research project will involve professionals from the fields of sociology, psychology, economics, political science and theology. It seeks to help the church minister to Colombians who have become refugees as a result of the armed conflict.

Girls’ Homegirls-farm

During our time, Caroline and I were privileged to visit the Mercy and Service girls home (MAS) located in the foothills of Medellín.

The home houses 50 girls ages 2-18 and provides a safe environment and loving house parents for girls who come from very troubled contexts.

Manuel Ramos and Loida Barbosa, former SBC students are the house parents / directors.

If your youth group or short-term team is looking for a wonderful opportunity to serve underprivileged kids (through programs, donations or construction teams) feel free to contact Manuel Ramos (ramosmanuelalejo@gmail.com).

Thank You

Thank you for continuing to pray for this ministry of leadership development in Latin America and for continuing to support it with your generous donations.