Our adventure started off on a dark, rainy evening at Heathrow Airport. With our mountains of luggage and teary eyes, we made our way onto the flight to Bogotá, Colombia. It wasn’t the ideal start with a faulty door causing confusion and a change of seats. Nevertheless, we arrived to the safe hands of Abi and Pipe.
Our orientation focused on the history and culture of Colombia, and specially Medellin: the location of our project. We came to learn of the dark past of the city but also its radical transformation in the last two decades that has seen Medellin become one of the most innovative, vibrant places in the world. We finished off our time in Bogotá with an epic climb up Monserrate – over 3000m above sea level and host to some amazing views.
We then flew to Medellin, which provided us with several downpours to soothe our sunburn from Monserrate! Upon arrival, we were met by the beaming smile of Pastor Arnoldo who took us back to his home in Santo Domingo. His family were so excited to see us; there were balloons and ‘welcome’ signs everywhere! Santo Domingo is a neighbourhood nested near the peak of a mountain, accessible by cable car, meaning we have more breath-taking views each day.
Our first Medellin church experience was certainly one to remember. We took a taxi at 6am up roller-coaster-esque hills to El Pacífico, where we helped set up for the service. We were definitely thankful to be on flat ground again! We were all involved in a variety of ways and also got stuck in with Spanish! Mel and Beth led worship superbly; Jordan and Alice P went down a treat with the kids; Alice W read the passage of the day and Josh and Zack welcomed members, young and old. Immediately we felt like we were part of the family.
Monday was our day off so we visited the famous statues of Botero and visited a local museum. Luz and Arnoldo then cooked us yet another wonderful traditional meal, which was followed by frantic planning for Tuesday’s cultural presentations.
With God’s help, we managed to put a PowerPoint together which outlined important features of British life. Yet again, we were greatly received by the director and then cheered by 1000 excitable school girls. By the end, they were wanting selfies with everyone!
As a team, we are all so privileged to be able to serve God here in Colombia, and thankful that Latin Link have helped us to settle well. We are all working well as a team and praise God for good health so far! We appreciate your continued prayers and support. If you’d like to pray for any specifics, here are some suggestions:
1) Energy for the team amidst a busy schedule
2) For Edith, the mother of our host Luz, who is suffering health-wise and has feelings of loneliness
3) Good and engaging conversations with the people we meet about God
4) The means to be able to do this – i.e. Spanish!
5) For our own spiritual development and new encounters with God