Wednesday, February 14, 2007

COLOMBIA!!!

On January 28th Jorge and I were able to travel to Colombia for 2 weeks. We were in Bogotá for the first 3 days and then in Bocachica and Cartagena and then the last 2 days we were back in Bogotá before catching our flight back to Mexico City. We had a WONDERFUL trip!! We came back with our hearts full and excited about getting back as soon as possible! Here are a few highlights from our trip:





While in Bogotá we got to visit with our dear friends, Nelly and Lucho! We just love them, they are friends that we can just be ourselves with and we laugh and have fun together! Lucho and Nelly have brought many mission teams to work with us in Bocachica over the last 7 or 8 years.



We met up with Samy at the YWAM base in Bogotá!! Guess what! Remember in my last Bocachica update I mentioned that Samy was praying about doing his DTS this year? Well, he is now in Bogotá and has started his school! We have already seen God´s provision for over half of his school and we only need to raise $440 more dollars for him to be paid-in-full! Would you like to partner with Samy?? If so, please write and let us know and we will get you hooked up!




Our first night in Bocachica we were left speachless when the local FourSquare pastors and a group of 30+ from the church came to welcome us home with a beautiful flower arrangement and a serenade!!


Of course the biggest highlight was to see our staff!! Pictured on top are Robin, Werling, Jorge, Karen and Conny; on bottom is Erika, Astrid, Josefina and Marley. Martin hasn´t gotten back from Germany yet so we weren´t able to see him this time.


Also on our first night we had the opportunity to meet with the students from the first Mini-DTS and to hear them share about their experiences in the school! It was so encouraging to see them excited about their relationships with Jesus and with each other and looking forward to what lies ahead.


One of the main reasons we went to Colombia this time was to film a special ministry video to be able to share with all of you during our USA visiting tour. Wow! What an experience! God just totally blessed us with the way that He put together all the pieces of the puzzle! In this photo you see our Producer, Alejandro and our cameraman/editor, Alvaro (both are from Bogotá) hard at work in Bocachica. Later, back in Bogotá we spent our last day with them editing the video and we are really excited about the results! We can´t wait to share the video with you all! Both Alejandro and Alvaro really wanted this project to be anointed by the Holy Spirit so a lot of prayer and effort went into this venture!


We had a special visit by our very first team from Korea! This was a group of Christian University students from Seoul. They were only with us for about 24 hours but they were such a big blessing! I don´t think we have ever had a team that bonded so quickly with the community, they just totally opened their hearts and ministered, especially to the youth of the community.


Jorge reconnected with his special group of boys that he has ministered to over the years...they are nicknamed ¨the Apostles¨.


Jorge with some buddies, Werling, Luis and Humberto (and Humberto´s daughter, Shirley.)



We were TOTALLY surprised when DESTENI visited us in Bocachica!! Desteni was Jorge´s assistant during our first year in Ensenada and we have continued a special relationship with her ever since. We were so excited when God called her to Colombia!! Last year she did the YWAM School of Counseling in the city of Medellin and now she is working on staff at the base there! So her leaders there in Medellin, who happen to be friends of ours, let her take some time off and she flew to Cartagena to spend a few days with us! What a blessing!!



I have quite a few ¨special little friends¨ in Bocachica but Yorelis has had a special place in my heart for especially the last 3 1/2 years. If God and Jorge would let me I would adopt her in a heartbeat!



Our friends, Chucho and Gloria, came to visit us from Cartagena and then when we went to Cartagena we stayed one night at their house. They have been such a blessing over the years, always eager to use their resources to help and bless us (for example, using their pick-up truck to help us pick up people at the airport or transport cargo to the dock, etc...) When we return to Bocachica full-time they have agreed to be our advisers for our upcoming ¨small buisness venture¨ which we hope will help several local families to own and operate their own businesses. Chucho and Gloria have thier own scrap metal company and a furniture company and they do international importing and exporting so they will be a great help to us!



We were also blessed by the Hwang Family (John, Jonathan, Elliot, Drew and Monica) who invited us over to their house to spend the night in Cartagena and treated us to a delicious homemade Korean meal!! The Hwang´s are now on staff with YWAM Cartagena, heading up a ministry to University students.


A few of our staff girls came to the airport to see us off as we returned back to Bogotá. Here we are with Conny, Marley and Astrid. I already have my sweater on, getting ready for the Bogotá weather!



Back in Bogotá we visited with our friends, the Viera Family and a mutual friend, Irma Raquel. Here Irma and Vilma are making homemade Colombian buñuelos, one of my favorites. Yum, Yum! They are deep fried bread made from yucca and cheese. They are best when they are hot and spongy and they go great with hot chocolate!


The Viera Family used to live in Cartagena but 2 1/2 years ago they moved to Bogotá. Our other mutual friend, Irma Raquel (far right) also lived in Cartagena but is now working in Bogotá. They celebrated a belated birthday for Jorge and we had a great time catching up on the latest with them! Jairo and Vilma (standing in white t-shirts) are both civil engineers and when they were in Cartagena they were our advisers for the clinic construction project. Vilma´s sister, Sandra, (far left) also helped us with our bookkeeping for a year or so.



Everyone in Colombia has to have a Cedula, except for tourists. It is a government identification card that tells what your migratory status is in the country. Jorge and I were issued indefinite Colombian Residency back in 1992 and since then we have had to keep renewing our Cedulas every few years. One of the reasons we went on this trip was to renew them once again. Well, to our surprise we were issued INDEFINITE Cedulas!! So I guess the plan is that these should last a lifetime! Now is that confirmation from God or what?! :-)

1 comment:

Geoff Gentry said...

Jorge & Karen,
It is great to get your updates. I pray that the Lord does the same with Jorge's American citizenship as He has with your Colombian residency. I talked with Tom Southern the other Sunday. We want to come down and work with you all once you get settled back in to Colombia. May the Lord bless you both!