May was filled with sunny days and rainy nights! That is how it will be for the next few months; but that does not stop the ministry going on in Colombia. We just pray harder for the Venezuelans as their days of walking are hot and evenings are wet.
Here is an update on the crisis in Venezuelan and how it impacts Colombia.
In early May, we woke up to the news that Juan Guaido announced a coup was underway which had the potential to change a lot of things. After a few hours, and definitely after a couple of days, it was clear that it was similar to February 23rd where a lot of excitement happened but then quickly fizzled. For us, it is a reminder that things rest in the hands of the Lord. Our ability to share Christ and help those in need are not dependent upon who in is power or what they are doing, it is in the doors that the Lord opens in sometimes miraculous ways despite who is there.
Last summer, the Lord called us to Colombia to faithfully minister and share with those around us, and that is the task we are called to. Continue to pray for Venezuela as the situation worsens, and many of those we know who live across the border suffer through terrible hardships. When we first came, there were food and medical shortages which were leading to major problems. Now however, since April, there are widespread power outages that regularly last three days. Having been through a couple of ice storms myself, it doesn’t sound too bad and maybe even a bit rustic. The stories that are coming out are absolutely horrific and truly heart breaking, if not unbelievable. The lack of electricity is total outages, including hospitals, clinics, and homes, which translates into no medical equipment working (if available). So now people are passing away from dialysis machines not having electricity, NICU incubators not having electricity, and so on. Last week, a pastor sent me photos of a 7 year-old who was slowing dying of malnutrition. She weighs only 30 pounds, the same weight as Benjamin who just turned 4. Her parents are reportedly responsible for ensuring that the government food parcels are distributed throughout their town to prevent this. Please, please keep praying for the Lord to work in Venezuela.
During the month of May, we were truly blessed to have the opportunity to share with our IMB president, Paul Chitwood, and his team, what Samaritans Purse is doing. Being part of SBC in North America and in Colombia was exciting for us. Dr. Chitwood has a heart for understanding the human toll that this crisis is taking, and looking to see how the IMB can become more involved with the crisis and sharing Christ in the midst of everything that is going on. He spent a lot of time talking with the SP staff that work at the shelter and the Venezuelans that were being helped. Kevin had a chance to talk with him one-on-one which was very exciting to discuss strategies for ministering directly to the hundreds of people walking every day, fleeing Venezuela.
Honestly, no matter if it is a local vendor or the IMB president, we are excited to share what Christ is doing through the workers on the field; not just SP but IMB and other organizations. Many hands are working around the clock to provide for the needs of those Venezuelans fleeing their country.
Kevin was with part of the team sharing the journey that a Venezuelan takes and how we are helping meet their needs. Karen was also able to spend much time with another small group, including Mrs. Chitwood and their daughter, sharing information about the shelter along with answering questions.
Friends of ours who are missionaries passed out items to those coming and going such as hats and gloves and long sleeve pants and shirts. The walkers just do not understand how cold it will be at the top of the mountain.
Kevin’s favorite story is telling how the Lord has worked through so many connections since last February to make it a reality. From an after-church lunch with Pastor Eric and an IMB rep which planted the seeds; to reaching out to an IMB missionary that Kevin worked with in Venezuela 20 years ago; who knew a Colombian living in Texas with property in Berlin that has been vacant and was burdened to use as a ministry point for the caminantes. These IMB missionaries are a true blessing in our lives. Two different organizations serving many people for the One and True God.
SERVING + SHARING IN JESUS' NAME