Monday, February 02, 2009

There were a couple of things we really wanted to try as we awoke on our last day in Columbia. We wanted to try their empanadas and tamales. Our host family provided us with one of those for breakfast, tamales. They were delicious and totally different from the tamales we have had (which are also delicious.) These were a mixture of ground rice, vegetables, a boiled egg, and chicken which was wrapped in banana leaves. They pulled the banana leaves up around the mixture and tied it closed. This was then boiled. It was served tied up in the banana leaves. To eat it you just untied the leaves and ate. The taste of the ground rice mixture was very similar to the tamale. They served it with some sort of cornbread and cooked bananas with a sweet cream inside of them. It was all very delicious and way too much food for breakfast! They told us that in another part of Columbia they made something that sounded similar to our tamales but is called something different.
Jim preached in the church our host family attends and that the school is located in. The church runs about 10,000 to 12,000 people. They have 4 services on Sundays to get everyone in and each service is packed. The pastor there was awesome: he very much had the heart of a pastor for his people. We enjoyed the time we spent with him. The praise and worship was awesome and Dad did an awesome job sharing God's Word with the people. They were very receptive and responsive to the preaching. Dad preached a great sermon on not wasting your sorrows (that no matter what is happening Jesus is Lord and Jesus is Victor ... He is our Lord and He gives us victory in every situation. 21 people came forward to accept Jesus and the people of the church fully received the Word. The pastor left a wide open door for us to return any time to minister.
After church I found a fan. An older lady came up to me and through an interpreter told me she watches me every day on television and loves me. She stated that she is losing the channel I'm on soon and will no longer be able to watch and is very sad. I didn't know how to tell her I wasn't whoever she thought I was. I was really in shock and a little confused ... so I just nodded my head and smiled and gave her a hug. I can't believe I am a star and didn't even know it!
After church 2 daughters of our host family (our host, Julio, had became ill at the retreat and was home in bed), a son-in-law and his father took us out to lunch. They took us to a nice, little Colombian restaurant call Soups by Mama and Desserts by Grandma (of course it was in Spanish). It was a really neat place with wonderful food. We got to try the empanada and fresh fried pork rinds ... which were delicious. The fresh juices were awesome and Dad had one that was the best we had the whole trip ... not sure what it was though. After lunch they took us shopping to a normal souvenir type shop and another open air market and then to a more up end mall. We purchased a few things including some Colombian coffee (at Juan Valdez') to bring home with us.
Exhausted, we headed back to our "home away from home" to get out things ready for our trip back home. Later that evening we were expecting Dianna and her family to come for a visit ... which turned out to be a very special time and a great ending to a great week! I will tell you about that in my next post.

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