Hey, this is Allie...
Today was by far one of the best days I have ever experienced. First off we got to sleep in, and although this is only our second day I can tell you that sleeping is a rarity. Berta, our wonderful cook, made us an awesome breakfast consisting of eggs, fresh fruit, and two different types of bread. We also had coffee which I have to say is reaaly good down here.
After breakfast we had some devo time and just spent time with the Lord. Then off to church. I have never been to a church spoken in a different language so it was pretty cool. They gave us little boxes with ear buds or headphones and Beth translated for us. The worship was incredible! They had choreographed dancing and everyone was super into it. It was nothing like Canada.
After church Morgan, Rachel, and I got into Beth and Rafa's car and we met the rest of the team at a restaurant outside the city on a mountain. On the drive out Beth told us about her husband's ministry and a little bit about Bogota. The restaurant they took us to had incredible food. We were so full afterwards, but there was more. They took us to a little town down the road and we got desserts. The desserts were phenomenal! The square was beautiful, but all in all Colombia is a beautiful country.
This evening we went to the Bartell's and made them tacos for dinner, played games and heard the story about their ministry and how hard it has been due to goverment regulations in the past while. We also heard the story of a guy who went through their entire program. His story and how the Lord has worked in his life is amazing. Overall being at the Bartell's was amazing to experience.
This city is amazing and I hope everone can experience something like this in their lives. I have fallen in love with the culture and the people, and if I am being honest, 10 days just is not enough.
Hola, this is Denise.
Usually one of the highlights for me every year is the day when we get to go out to the YWAM farm to visit Steve and Evie Bartel and see the minstry to kids that they are involved in. Kids that have been rescued from the street and other vulnerable situations live out there with them and integrate as part of the family, even though they are still considered to be foster children in the system. However, due to increasing regulations by the government during the last year and a half it became virtually impossible to keep the kids that were living with them. As I walked up to the house I was gripped by an incredible sadness. All the bikes were lined up in a row, no one was playing soccer or playing on the playground. Whereas before the sound of childrens' voices resonated throughout the house, today there was only silence. Both Sheila and I had a good cry with Evie and listened to her share her pain about losing the kids. The last bunch of kids left on January 5, which makes this very fresh for them. It was encouraging to see that even though the Bartel's are hurting that their faith is still very real and they are trusting God for the end result. I am asking God to do above and beyond what we could ever imagine.