What has impacted me the most on this trip is all the wonderful coffee that I've been able to drink! Just kidding! Though the coffee has been wonderful, this trip has really impacted me in many ways. The hearts of the people who are serving God and their other fellow Colombians is probably the one thing that has impacted me the most. Steve Bartell, who reaches out to those living in the slums of Bogota has one of the most genuine hearts ever. He fearlessly enters into areas dedicated to drug addicts and prostitutes in order to take children living in that area to a children's center, where they can play safely and learn about Christ and His saving grace. Steve and his wife, Evie have personally taken in over fifteen kids into their home, have sent them to school and has taught them about Christ. I hope that one day I can have a heart half as genuine as this man.
And from Denise
For the past three days we have had the privilege of going into two different National Christian Schools to teach English. For me, my favorite school is Golden Rule. From the moment that we arrive we are treated as one of them and the staff remind me often that "this is your school". While the students are teaching, I take advantage of the opportunity to walk around and talk with teachers, people in the finance office and those who clean the school. Being able to speak Spanish does have it's advantages. When I first started coming on these trips I wondered what lasting impact teaching English for two days in a school really had. What the Director reminded me of again was how it motivates the kids to want to speak English and how important it is for the Colombian kids to hear English spoken by native English speakers. Over and over again the teachers, some with tears in their eyes, would tell me, "You Canadians are such a blessing to us!" I have a sneaking suspicion that they bless us more than we bless them but it's obvious that the feelings are mutual.