I can honestly say that the highlight of my recent trip to Colombia was the half-day we spent at Colegio Peniel in Villiavincencio. This Christian school is run by the church there and is a big part of the outreach established by the Colombian Christian Mission. Some 170 students 1st through 12th grade are getting a top notch education, including Christian values.
Tuesday morning, Julio drove us to the school. We were told that we would be visiting different classrooms, and the students in those classes had to ask us questions in English. So, I guess we were the “English Show and Tell” crew. It was a blast! We were asked the deep, probing questions like: “What is your name?” “What is your favorite color?” (The correct answer is Wildcat Blue, but I just said blue for these students). “What is your favorite movie?” (Had to say “Captain America,” I mean, come on!). It was pretty much the same in each classroom. Elliott, Alex and I were grouped together and toured the older age groups, while Cody and Emily toured the younger grades.
Not gonna lie to you, I was swept off my feet by a precocious 5th grade girl named Franchesca. She had a smile that captivated, and she asked all the questions above and more. She noted that Elliott, Alex, and I all wore glasses. She did, too. The bond was on!
As we ended our time in her class, she came running over to me and gave me a flower sticker. I keep it in my glasses case and every time I see it I pray for Franchesca. She is my girl friend in Colombia, and Peggy is okay with that.
While at the school, we also met a college student named Edison Aubrey. Edison goes to Johnson University, Tennessee. He was interning at Colegio Peniel this summer. In one of those seriously cool, “it’s a small world after all” moments, it turns out that Edison knows Nathan Martinelli, who is a member of Vero Christian Church where I serve as associate minister. Nathan and Edison are both on JU’s extreme frisbee team. Yeah, traveled over a thousand miles to find someone who knows someone who grew up in the church where I am. Edison was also extremely happy to see some people who spoke English as their native language. We got to hang out with him at the school, and again the following Sunday in church. So cool!
Some of the other members of our crew played basketball and volleyball with the students at Colegio Peniel. I am too old and tired (and fat) to do much of that, so I watched and cheered from the sidelines. lol
So, the church in Villiavincencio serves as a “home base” for Dale and the Colombian Christian Mission. In addition to running the school, that church has helped plant numerous other churches in surrounding villages. Again, the model is: train up Colombians to lead the church/school, and equip them to spread the Gospel. What a joy to see this plan in action, and to put faces to the plan.
Posted on August 31, 2016, in Colegio Peniel, Colombian Christian Mission, Equipping, Mission Trip and tagged Christian School, Colegio Peniel, Johnson University, Small World. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.