The altitude in Bogota is undefeated. We spent a few days amazed by the lack of symptoms that we were experiencing as a group. Then, the altitude felt the need to remind us of her reign as champion. The last day or two, as a group we’ve started to experience more and more symptoms: headaches, nausea, fatigue, muscle cramping, etc.
One of our youth, Jeffrey, started having severe neck pain on Thursday. We deduced it to be a muscle cramp as part of his altitude sickness, but sought some medical help to make sure. Then this morning, Sol Izquierdo, the mom of one of our translators, David, is a nurse. She came to us early Friday morning before going in to work, to check on Jeffrey. She verified that he was suffering from a muscle cramp, and helped us outline a plan for treating it. What happened next was incredible. She asked if we could be faithful to what Scripture and our God asks of us – she asked if we could lay hands on Jeffrey and pray. So we did. And it was incredible – it is so humbling to come to serve and then to be served and ministered to. I’m happy to report that Jeffrey had a great day today – and seems to be back 100%. Our God is so good!
After being blessed and ministered to even before we began our day, it was easy to be excited about Friday. We started off at Nuevo Nacimiento, a ministry to teen mothers here in Bogota. Some of our group was able to entertain the kids, which freed up the young mothers for our two classes: a basic English language class, and Bible class where we talked about hopes and fears, Mary’s probable
experience as a teen mom, and how God loves and protects, guides us
and is always present, and has dreams for us bigger than even our own dreams. We were blessed to meet these young women, hear their stories, serve and connect with them.
Our afternoon was spent at Hogar San Rafael Retirement Center. It was good to see our group in this setting. It was such a joy to meet these saints, and to hear their stories. A few were happy to give members of our team a tour of the facilities. Some were very gracious to talk with us and play some table games. My personal favorite was an older lady who told us she liked to sing. This was begging for an invite she couldn’t wait to oblige – and she sang for us original songs that were weathered with a long life lived and a sweet love held on to.
Our next stop was The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, a modern marvel with an amazing story. The rock salt mine was discovered by the pre-Colombian Muisca people and served as part of their economy. During the 20th Century, the Colombian miners carved out a sanctuary as a place for daily prayers for protection. Renovations to this old cathedral, and construction of a new one has left this a marvel to be seen if you’re ever in Colombia. One highlight was the Station of the Cross – 14 “chapels” created to illustrate Jesus’ last journey. It is amazing that miners doing one of the most dangerous jobs in the world – created a space to worship. It’s amazing that, today, this architectural marvel is both inspiring and very much a pilgrimage and prayer site that’s able to bless our group from the other side of the world.
We ended our day enjoying fellowship and a delicious meal with the Aviles, a family with close ties to ECA (EL Camino Academy). We learned of how they have been students and also staff at ECA. Señor Aviles is a pastor in Chia (neighboring city to Bogota, and not the pet) who has been very instrumental in church planting all across Bogota. It was a great ending to a very full day, and an even better reminder that we can all bless one another by opening up our hearts and our homes for fellowship.
Tomorrow we will be spending our day at The Jungle – a ministry in downtown Bogota that serves the children of prostitutes and drug addicts here in the city. I trust it will be a very heavy day, but I’m grateful for this team, their hearts that God continues to mold after His, and our blessed opportunity to love, bless, and serve.
As always, thank you all for your love, prayers, and support. Please continue to pray for us. Pray that we may be so filled with God’s love, that it overflows on to all we serve; please pray that we continue to shine our lights for God’s glory!
We remain so very grateful to God for each of you, for your love, prayers, and support. We serve together, and we are all doing this kingdom work together. Thanks you all again!
God bless and take care. Dios te Bendiga (God bless you)!
Youth Missions Team