Hope you are all doing well and are enjoying the lovely weather back in the UK (so I hear)! The weather here has also picked up since we last posted which is always good for morale and is closer to the South American climate we expected!Last week began with a trip to the Medellin Botanical Gardens on the team day off which was awesome. We got to see lots of wildlife you wouldn’t normally see in the UK and enjoy some time away from the busy streets! In the evening we got the cable car on the other side of the city but got caught up in a storm, meaning we were stranded on a mountain for about an hour!
On Tuesday we went back to the school for more English lessons. This was a tiring but rewarding day and we managed to teach the older lot the Lord’s Prayer in English. We’ve also been asked to teach the ‘chiquitas’ (between the age of 5 and 8) so we each have five lessons. On Wednesday, we visited someone else in the Loyola complex – this time a policeman who has undergone brain surgery to remove four tumours. His recovery was literally miraculous given he was walking after 3 days! On Thursday, we were again unable to visit the football group because they had important national training to attend, so it became clear that this was a closed door. But thanks be to God because he has provided another group for future Thursday mornings.Friday saw us visit the poor area of El Pacifico once again, praying for both Church members and non-Christians. One old lady who seemed very ill said she wanted to believe in Jesus and everyone accepted prayer with a happy and thankful heart. We also learnt a lot by witnessing the circumstances of some of the kids we work with. They are so warm and joyful despite living in a solitary room.Later on that day we led a kids’ work group which was a bit tricky as they are just so excitable! They’re great kids but we need more ideas for how to calm them down! On Saturday we had the kids’ group again but in smaller groups. Saturday is always easier because we don’t have to lead!
Sunday was our Church celebration. We got to church early to decorate it with flags and balloons and to help cook a lunch for everyone. We also had communion which is supposedly only an annual event here. Afterwards, we served the lunch for the church (roughly 60 people) with the help of the lovely Bety from the congregation. It was a great opportunity for us to bless the church and the wider community, as many had come because they knew of the celebration.
On Monday we visited a Christian charity who put on camps for children and teenagers, and provide many of the resources for us to use with the kids. It was great to get to know them and see how God has been changing the hearts of the youth in broken families. Yesterday, it was back to school for all of us and a full on day in store. Tuesdays are always the most difficult days but we have been told by many people that Christians have never been allowed to teach in a Catholic school before. In Colombia, the two are virtually different religions. Therefore, we should see this as a great opportunity and a God-send (yes, God has a sense of humour).The team are really getting on well – supporting one another and growing together. Considering we didn’t know each other at all before this, it’s quite amazing how God has formed our relationships.Please could you pray for a few things in particular.
Please pray for:
1) A smoother session with the kids on Friday – that means good communication within the team, new ideas, and lots of patience!
2) For more spontaneous conversations with locals, including chances to pray for people and tell them about the Gospel
3) For the team on the days where we struggle to see God working and feel a bit rough
4) Continued protection from sickness – Alice W has picked up a cold but other than that we have all been well
5) That we would continue to grow in faith and be ‘salt and light’ here in Medellin