I haven’t written anything about my recent trip to Colombia so I thought I’d include a bit of that tonight. Here is the letter I wrote in reflection and thanks to my prayer and financial supporters:
Wow! My summer is flying by! Our family was going non-stop from the day school was released (June 9th) until the Sunday after July 4th. We are finally normalized in a schedule and I have the much needed time to sit down and write out my thoughts and thanks for my time in Colombia.
The week in Leticia, Colombia was absolutely amazing. God taught me so much through this mission journey, my team, and the people we ministered to in South America.
One thing God taught me was to slow down and enjoy the moment. As a mom of two young children that is not always an easy thing to do and for a type-A personality like myself it is even more difficult. Not only experiencing what I like to call the “south-american way of life”, living by your own time schedule, but also seeing that IN this way of life they valued each other, their time together and would take extra time to spend in conversation or worship (regardless of what was on the schedule next).I was profoundly impacted to take that same intentionality in relationships back home with me.
We were able to spend a portion of every day with the children from LaAjaba (the Orphanage) and I was so grateful for the ability to share God’s word with them. We completed two days of VBS and in those two days were able to share stories and Biblical lessons that I pray will stay with them for many years to come. We also had a once-in-a-lifetime experience as we watched Colombia play Ivory Coast in the World Cup. As early as 8 am there were celebration fireworks going off all over this little community. The game was at 11 and we gathered with the children at LaAjaba to watch the match. When the final point was scored and minutes later the game ended with Colombia as the victor, kaos ensued. There was an immediate flood into the streets for a celebration parade (which actually went all the way into Brazil). It was amazing to see their joy and celebration in that moment and it was also a reminder for me of the celebration that happens in heaven each time a soul is saved. I’m sort of convinced that the angels must do constant parades through the streets and there will be fireworks every second in celebration.
We also completed a full day of training with Eye Doc In a Box for a team from a local church and a missionary family on the ground in Leticia. On our final full day in Leticia we held an open clinic for the public at a local church. We estimate we saw close to 250 people that day and that we made and handed out approximately 80+ pairs of glasses. The locals that we trained were a huge support to us that day, as many of the locals do not speak any English. God was so good to us in the development of our team. We spread out, each took over an area of the clinic and went to work. We were so overrun with needs that we actually had to close the doors 45 minutes prior to the scheduled closing time. We were able to leave all of our supplies with the local church members who were trained and with the local missionary family. Our prayer is that they get much use out of the materials and that it is a tool for His glory.
May the Lord bless you and your family for blessing and being a part of God’s transformation of not only my life, but the children of LaAjaba and people of Leticia. Please do not stop praying for the people of Colombia. Pray that they would hear the truth and accept Christ so that He may be glorified in all the work being done. Also please pray for the local missionary family, Travis and Beth Burkhalther. They have been on the ground there in Leticia for 4 years. They have four children and Travis spends many days at a time on the Amazon River ministering to local villages. They are in the trenches of ministry and were a huge encouragement to our team.
My life will never be the same because of this trip and I want to say thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and/or financial support. Without your partnership my mission trip might not have been possible. Thank you for investing in my to bring God glory in Colombia.
The immediate parade that ensued after the Colombia win against Ivory Coast in the World Cup
Daniella…my river buddy on our first day.
Me and my river buddy
The Amazon River
The Amazon River from Peru
Me and the monkeys
The whole team in Bogata
VBS Bible Jeopardy
Main Building at LaAjaba
A view of the dorm building at LaAjaba
Eye Doc in the Box training time
Public Eye Clinic at the church