It’s All About Loving People
As I continue reliving my recent journey to Colombia as part of a five-person team who worked with the Colombian Christian Mission for 12 days, I want to concentrate on some of the people we met. I will still write about the food, accommodations, a couple of side trips, and our final day which was spent in Bogotá.
But today, I want to concentrate on the people. I have already written about Dale, and what a truly humble servant of God that he is. Today, I want to introduce you to Nohelly, Lizeth, Thalia, Daniel, and Samantha. I will also discuss Julio, and Omar.
Nohelly serves as the camp cook at Villia Peniel, and is assisted by her two oldest daughters, Lizeth and Thalia. Please keep Nohelly in your prayers. She had several doctor’s appointments while we were in Colombia. Lots of tests were run, and she is facing potentially serious medical issues. This single Mom and her wonderful family serve the Lord Jesus well through cooking at the camp and for various events at the church. Daniel and Samantha are both enrolled at Colegio Peniel, and Thalia celebrated her 21st birthday while we were there. This family has a huge piece of my heart.
I have to tell you a couple of stories about Daniel. He RAWKS! A 9th grade boy who still has a “little” middle school attitude (fearless), Daniel provided some of the highlights to our trip. 1) On the first Friday night, we were in the pool, playing “Marco Polo” when Daniel slipped out and started running around the edge of the pool. Until he found a construction nail with the big toe on his right foot. I mean that nail was stuck through the end of his toe and did not wiggle around. It was in there quite solidly. Before we could get out of the above-ground pool to assist, Daniel hopped on one foot across the campus to the cabin where his Mom was. The nail never wiggled while he hopped. Bottom line: nail was removed, no trip to see a doc, and the next day he wasn’t even limping. 2) Another evening saw a congress of monkeys moving through the trees behind the camp. See, a finger of the Amazon Jungle boarders the camp property. Daniel again jumps out of the pool, runs to our cabin where some bananas were on the table, and ran to the edge of the jungle to try to temp a monkey to come get the banana. He had no takers, but we all had a good laugh. I would tell you about his adventure with a ladder which he rode down while standing on the very top, but I said I was only going to tell a “couple” of stories.
Younger sister Sara doesn’t speak English quite as well as Daniel, who does fairly decently. Sara obviously bonded with Emily, and they were quite the pair throughout our time in Colombia.
When we were asking her about the mountain peaks visible from the road leading to the camp, we were trying to find out if they had a name. Apparently they did not, so we proudly named that peak, “Mount Sara.”
Getting to throw a birthday party for Thalia was pure joy. Dale told us that it is quite the status symbol for a Colombian to have an American at their party. Well, she had six (including Dale) throw the party in her honor! Cake and ice cream, gifts (including some Juan Valdez Café), but no breaking of the egg over the birthday girl’s head. That is apparently a Colombian birthday custom. We were too nice to do that.
Please remember Nohelly and her family in prayer. They are fantastic servants of the Lord Jesus. The ladies of this family lead by example, and I am praying that Daniel and Sara will be leaders in the Church in the next generation.
Please join me in praying that Omar and Julio will both be obedient to the Gospel!
I also want to mention two non-Christian Colombians we had lots of interaction with: a worker at the camp named Omar. He is a great guy, hard worker, and he needs Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Please pray for him with me each day. Julio, our bus driver is a “sympathizer” but not yet a Christian. Join me in praying that he soon comes to accept Christ as Lord. May the waters of baptism be stirred soon by both of these men.