Carlos and Mayra, “the BGs,” have been used by God in discipleship formation and training in churches in Chile, Spain and Nicaragua. UNIBAUTISTA has invited them to continue this work with ethnic groups in one of the most neglected areas of Colombia, the Guajira Northern Region. The BGs have been long-term global servants since 2000 through International Ministries, registered as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society.
They write – … Looking at these 22 months [that it took to move from Nicaragua to Columbia] and now in Colombia, how are we not going to be grateful to God, to our family, and to you? We look forward to what is already starting to brew in Colombia. Here is a glimpse of what we have experienced thus far, since our arrival on September 27…
Our temp quarters are not exactly what we had envisioned based on the website pics, so we are living out to our word and letting time go by while searching for other options. We have the airport’s runway, literally, in our backyard. So, we hear each plane landing and each plane departing from as early as 3.00 a.m. some mornings and until 1.00 a.m. most of the nights. Yes, as if they were in our apartment. It is so close that on our first trip to visit our partners in Cali a couple of weeks ago, we walked with our backpacks to the airport!
We walk a lot or take taxis most everywhere. And in between taxis … you get to meet and talk to a variety of taxi drivers. Overall, they are kind and welcoming. … But, what has caught our attention is the negativism, pessimism, and sense of resignation that is evident in most of these male taxi drivers (haven’t seen a female taxi driver yet). And we ask ourselves, are we salty enough to season these lands?
We already met with our partners in Cali and planned our first year in Colombia where our main assignment will be to adapt to Colombia, meet lots of people, and support the Global Baptist Peace Conference that will take place at the UNIBAUTISTA next July 15-20, 2019. Registration is already open! We also met with our first Wayuu sister, a seminarian from the Guajira who is studying and serving her own people. We were able to connect with her for future ministry opportunities. In Cali, we also connected with an associate global servant candidate who has been serving through the UNIBAUTISTA for many years. We visited two communities south of Cali where another of our partners serves with the indigenous in the region and is preparing a shelter for the many families from Venezuela that are arriving to Colombia. So many are in need and seeking jobs and doing whatever they can to feed and shelter their families. Pray with us and these in need. This month we will be visiting in Bogota with the general secretary of the Colombian Baptist Denomination as well as another associate global servant candidate who has served for years in these lands with her family with the support of the Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico.
As our search for another temp quarters continues, we are reaching out to our partners, visiting places where we can relocate and from where we can continue serving to provide salt, water, and number our days… It is our prayer that during the time we get to be in Colombia we can be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5.13) that provokes such thirst that only the Water of Life can quench (John 4.13-14) so we can continue numbering our days to get wisdom (Psalm 90.12). And that, as we travel through these lands, the people God allows us to be in contact with, can get to feel positive, optimistic, and with hope as they meet the Person who brought us here, encourages us, and sustains us.
If we are here in Colombia after those 22 months of transition, it is because of God, our family, and you. Will you journey with us through your prayers without ceasing, encouragement, and ongoing financial support? All combined will allow us to concentrate on the tasks at hand. As we write, there is still a 15% gap that we are praying God will fill soon with support pledged (any amount and frequency you are able to commit) so we can truly concentrate on the tasks at hand. We deeply appreciate your tender loving care… God bless you!