We had an awesome trip to Columbia, South America! God's presence was very awesome as we taught His Word and ministered to the people.
We arrived at the home we stayed in late on Tuesday evening. It was a long day of traveling and we were exhausted! We had a little snack and juice and visited with our host family before passing out in bed. Julio and his wife, Leila, both work for the Christian school that brought us to Columbia. They actually started the school many years ago. They had one daughter currently at home.....Laura. We took the family gifts of peanut butter, chocolate and sculptor/stonework by Carruth.....the artist in Waterville.
On Wednesday morning we slept in a little, had breakfast.........eggs, bread and peanut butter toast........with fresh juice. The juices all week were wonderful.......made fresh and we had so many different kind........papaya, orange, pineapple, mango, tangerine..........and some that I don't even know the fruit but they were great! After breakfast we did some touring of the church and school........meeting the teachers and staff of the school and the pastors and staff of the church. The church runs between 10,000 and 12,000 people each Sunday and they have outgrown the building...........they have 4 services on Sunday to get everyone in. They are currently looking for land so they can enlarge. Also, the school will need a new building in 2 years because theirs will no longer pass safety inspections to be used as a school.....it is several stories tall and within 2 years all schools have to be only one floor. They are trusting God for a miracle!
After leaving the school we went to visit a salt mine.........it was very interesting. The interesting thing to me was that now that although it is a working mine, they have made it into a cathedral.........they even have masses in it. So we are down in this mountain/cathedral and it has the 14 stations of the cross like we saw in Jerusalem...............places set up representing the different things that happened as Jesus carried His cross.
After visiting the salt mine we went for lunch/early supper..........we were starving because we had only eaten the small breakfast that morning and it was around 4:00 p.m. We went to a small local restaurant in the village we were in. It felt like we were sitting in a movie like Romancing the Stone wondering when the drug dealers were going to burst in and we would have to turn the table over and jump behind it on the floor for protection! And the owner looked the part of the drug dealer! But the food was wonderful! Dad had fish...........a whole fish split open with still the head.....and eyes but he enjoyed it. (OK, he really DID NOT eat the eyes.) We let our host order for us because the menu was in Spanish. Mine ended of being a huge steak with potatoes, some type of bread made of corn and fried plantains. After dinner we headed back to Bogotá.....the city we were staying in. We were really surprised by how large of a city Bogotá is and the traffic was crazy...........and there were small motorcycles everywhere, swerving in and out of traffic..........I don't think they obeyed any laws, as a matter of fact, I'm not so sure there were much of any traffic laws because those in cars didn't do much better! By the way Bogotá is (high above sea level) like being in Denver, Colorado so we were sucking for air a lot of the time!
On Thursday morning they added a cooked hotdog to our breakfast menu and we left to go up the mountain................mind you that Bogotá is built on the top of a mountain plateau already and we are going much higher.............it was like being in Breckenridge, Colorado. We were really sucking for air! On the top of this mountain they had built a Catholic Cathedral where they have regular masses. They also have a restaurant. We took a train straight up the mountain and a cable car straight down the mountain......a little scary! It was a beautiful cathedral which also had the seven stations of the cross leading up to it. It was a beautiful view of the city and the other mountains and countryside. The flowers were beautiful! We even saw a hummingbird..........a very big one!
After leaving the mountain we went for lunch in downtown Bogotá and met our hosts other daughter. We ate lunch a a very "muslim" restaurant..........the food was very good but it felt a little strange with all the writing that was on the wall regarding the muslim religion.
After lunch we did some shopping in an open market type place. They had all of the normal tourist things..............and they also had some beautiful poncho's, scarves and sweaters that were made in Columbia.
We returned home for a short rest and we prepared to leave for the retreat. We were told we would be speaking at at "retirement" at the "farm". I will tell you all about that later.
What an awesome trip and what an awesome God! We are thankful for His anointing, His favor and His protection of us and of each of you! We are very honored that He allowed us this privilege!