“Colombia Report #1”Categories: In the Bulletin
It’s been quite a first week in Colombia. Jason, Greg, Collin, and I have appreciated your prayers. Thus far, we have been able to visit with four of the preachers we support. Our journeys have taken us to the far northwest of Colombia and now SE of Bogota, on the Colombian plains. We’ve been humbled and encouraged at the same time. And, it’s been so wonderful to serve and build up others.
Many of the brethren we’ve visited are very poor. But their dedication and willingness to sacrifice is evident. On Tuesday, we visited a new place, Cerete. A small congregation meeting in a brothers home. Some of the people present that day drove 5 hours each way for an 11 am service on a Tuesday morning! On Wednesday we were in a difficult and dangerous area, Guayabano. But the hospitality and kindness we received meant so much. Just getting out to that village was an adventure in itself. Carlos had difficulty finding a driver for us because they were all too scared to drive out there. The unspoken rule is that any visitors to that area need to be out before nightfall due to lawless guerrillas who live there. We did leave after dark, because the Christians were determined to serve us with hospitality after the service ended. Let’s just say the driver drove twice as fast out of there as he did going in. The churches in these isolated areas are small and any outside teaching they can absorb is always well received. In my judgment the risk going out there is far outweighed by the encouragement they receive.
On Thursday we traveled down to Villavicencio and worshipped with the church there. It was my privilege to see Greg and Jason deliver two excellent lessons that night. On Friday, we were with the church in Acacias and we spent yesterday about 100 km south of Villavicencio in the village known as Fountain of Gold. The small group here began five years ago when a family from Spain moved to ColombIa. They found Jaime Restrepo’s website and began asking questions. Jaime and Wilson drove down here, began to study with them, and a local church was soon formed.
We are all doing well. It was good to have Greg and Collin with us. They both did an excellent job. Jason and I fly to Cali tomorrow morning where we begin the preacher conference on Tuesday. We appreciate your prayers and kind words. God bless!
—- Matthew Allen