This is Samuel!
It has been such a blessing to be experiencing Colombia these past five/six days with my team. There has been lots of laughs and lots of tears, but God has been uniting us together. Colombia is such a beautiful country with delicious food and warm people. However, as we travel from place to place, the spiritual emptiness and poverty is still obvious in the faces of the people. The darkness is great, but I believe that the light of the gospel and the power of our love and testimony will shine greater.
This time in Colombia has been filled with interactions with children. Honestly, it has been a joy to simply play with them, to teach them and to show them a little love and encouragement. However, to learn their stories is heartbreaking. In La Mesa, we met a 16-year-old boy named Samuel. He was a very talented boy with such a heart of worship and a passion for soccer. All of the other boys looked up to him in so many ways. However, when I asked to hear his story, his past of rejection, abandonment and abusiveness, it just left us stunned. We found out that his future was unpredictable as he needs to leave the safe haven of La Mesa. He doesn't know who he will be living with, but many times it ends up being a dark place. Our team has been partnering with him in prayer so that no matter where he ends up, God will protect him from evil and use him for his kingdom. You guys can join us in prayer!
Our first day of teaching in Funza went pretty good. There was a bit of nervousness and a bit of confusion. However, after it all, we realized there were still ample areas that we needed to improve in. For the high school grades, it was like English corner in China :) . We broke off into grades and forced them to practice their English. It was really interesting to connect with people our age and to understand the similarities and differences of cultures. In that school, my favorite class was grade 3. They loaded us with "I love you" letters, and their laughter was contagious. Jesus wants these little children to come to him and that is also my desire and prayer.
Hey everyone! This is Taryn.
It has been a privilege to come on this missions trip to Colombia. I have been so blessed by all the people we met so far and it has just been extremely overwhelming. My heart broke at the special needs orphanage but at the same time my heart was overjoyed. Seeing the kids smile from a simple touch was so special and unforgettable. La Mesa was absolutely incredible! I fell in love with the kids and they put so much joy in my heart. La Mesa opened my eyes and made me realize how much we take for granted. Teaching at the schools is very fun but also quite tiring. The language barrier is difficult but interesting at the same time. Its incredible how much you can understand them even though you don't exactly know what they're saying.
Anyways, to my point. I love this place and as much as I don't want to leave, I'm extremely excited to go back home and see my family and tell them all about my trip. God has already done such incredible things with our team and I see Him growing in each and everyone of us. We are not on this trip for ourselves but for Him. He has stretched us and us
ed us, as well as put us out of our comfort zones yet we have so many more days ahead of us.
I thank all of you for the prayers. I just ask that you keep praying for safety of travels and health.
Thank you and God bless!!
Hey Guys! This is David
Oh boy, I don't know where to start. Well first of all thank you so much for your prayers and support, it has been an amazing few days and God is doing some great work here. Its amazing to see the team grow in unexpected ways, for example, I never would have guessed that Reagan would be most amazing guy with children, but man Gods love just pours through him and he gets this unexplainable energy for the day. God is so amazing, he uses us in so many different ways, and the team just comes together and it would not be the same without any one of them. Thing about mission trips is people often get the assumption that you need to be "right" with God or 100% sure about every aspect of your faith, and that is true to an extent, but God requires nothing more from us than to act, do what He is calling you to do, and hopefully that is something I can take home with me, a faith built on trust, and on love, along with some really good coffee!
Today while we were teaching at Golden Rule, a few others and I got the chance to "teach" (talk) with the high school students, and boy that was amazing, easily the best day I have had since coming to Colombia. There is a love and passion that we are missing in Canada, something that impacted me in crazy ways. The people of Colombia are just like us, they do the same things as we do, they listen to similar music, play sports, and serve the SAME GOD. This place amazes me, day after day, and the coolest thing is, I remember the thought of being a servant and serving to the best of my abilities and loving unconditionally to no limit was my goal, and I fail all the time, but the people here, its their nature, to be friendly, to serve, to love, and they without a doubt have impacted me in a few days more than I ever could in a lifetime.
Little bit about the day. We got the chance to dance with the students! it was so great and funny, it was just... God... God made the connection, and even though there is a language barrier, even if its a different country, God broke it all down through love and made great things happen. I'm not much of a dancer, but how can you deny a group of people so loving and carefree for your failures, I'm actually a horrible dancer, but i somehow went out there, and had the time of my life, I would do it again any day.
Some things in regards to our teaching and plans have not been quite how I thought it would be and how it was planned, but regardless, God had a greater plan, and I'm just glad that I got to be apart of it. Nothing in life is going to go the way you want it all the time, but with God at the center, all you need to do is hop on for the ride, with a willing, open heart. God will make everything work out. Take it on faith! Even when you feel blind.
~Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.~
Please pray for the people here, God is really drilling at my heart. Some of these kids are so broken, and so lost, and have had so much hardships in their life. And praise God that they are in the place that they are, and that there are loving people around them. But nonetheless you never know where they will end up in a year, two years, maybe the next day. They live in fear, and have scars that only God can heal. So keep them on your hearts and in your prayers. Pray that God will be evident in their lives, and can grow as living testimonies for Christ.
Thank you so so so so so much for giving me the chance to talk just a little bit about my experience, the stories could go on, but time and space is limited. Even though we are here, it is fueled by God and you! The people who supported us and are praying for us! It is just as much your trip as it is ours, and none of this is possible without you guys. So thank you so much for taking the step and contributing in sharing the greatest gift we have ever been given. God. Keep up the prayers! they are very appreciated and its encouraging to know that all of you are with us on this incredible journey.
Thanks again! Ciao! ~David Kim