(The following is an excerpt from Bruce McDowell's report of his recent trip to Colombia. I'll get Jonathan to report as well for the Olsen family.)
While Jonathan and family were in Bogota and Santa Marta, I traveled to teach in Medellin, Cucuta, Barranquilla, and Santa Marta. I think I spoke about 27 times, including translating a devotional for presbytery and preaching by Jonathan from English to Spanish.
When I arrived in Medellin I gave a Bible study for a MINTS group at the home of my host Ruben, a lay pastor-engineer, with a group of professionals. Then Friday night and Sat. morning I taught a course on a theology of missions at a Baptist Church to which about 60 came on Fri. and 50 on Sat. morning.
In Cucuta I was hosted by a Christian Missionary and Alliance pastor and family. I preached in the church on Sunday morning and taught my course in the afternoon to about 20 and Monday morning (10) at the downtown mother church.
On Monday evening and Tuesday evening I taught in Barranquilla. A good size group of about 50-60 came. I was able to bring tools for their workshop, as well as for the workshop at the Providence Children's Home in Santa Marta. I also brought with me 100 copies of Roger Greenway's book, "Vayan y Hagan Discipulos!" which were sold in each of the cities.
On Wednesday I went to Santa Marta and we met as a presbytery. Three candidates from Bogota and two from the coast were interviewed and had a sermon evaluated. On Friday we spent the day at the beach together and then the gold museum in Santa Marta. The next meeting will be in Bogota, probably in January. Then there will be 11 people to be examined!
The teaching time in Santa Marta all day Thursday was better organized this time with a rented air-conditioned large room that was filled with about 70 people. A musician also led in some singing. Lunch was provided for everyone.
Friday morning I went to the Providence Children's Home and met with the
architect. We looked at the work being done and the plans. The
adjoining lot was purchased and they were building a wall around that part. It will be used for a workshop for teaching the children trade skills. Friday evening we met with about 15 of the kids from ages 12-16 who are among the more committed to the home. Most of them will move into the home in July. I heard from them about what the home means to them, about how they are growing in knowing God there, and it a place of protection, learning, and growth for them.