I really must apologize to all my readers for the lapse in recent blogs... Let me sum up some of the past three weeks' events: First Eliana started teething! We had a rough couple of days with fevers and general grumpiness. Just when she was feeling better, she caught a nasty cold bug. It stayed with her for almost a week, resulting in nights with a humidifier and mommy in the room to try to help her breathe and sleep and exhausting clingy days. Thank the Lord she is all better now. Three teeth are showing every time she grins.
We have finished the visiting phase of our orientation process...
having visited all of the churches in the federation. Daniel had the opportunity to preach in several of them. It has been a blessing for us to get to know the national pastors and see the works they are doing. We have so much to learn from them concerning how "church" works in this country. Many things are different from our churches in the states. Learning things that work best in this culture helps us adjust more quickly.
Also, we now have friendships in the churches and good relationships with the pastors. This will be very helpful to us as we seek to work with these churches in planting new works.
One of the exciting new developments is the possiblity of working with a campus ministry as part of our strategy for church planting. The National Univerity is here in the heart of Bogota. Nearly 70,000 students are registered from all over Bogota, different parts of Colombia and even foreign countries. To our knowledge, there is no gospel outreach to these students. As we are looking to possibly rent a home near the university, we began to wonder if the Lord would have us work on building relationships with some of these students. We know of several students who are members of the churches in the federation. We are hoping to start some sort of Bible study with them that will encourage them to invite unsaved friends. We pray that God will give us wisdom in this. So far He seems to be opening doors to us. We met a Christian lady who is an English professor at the university. She invited us to come watch a presentation her class is giving and then to come again and speak in one of her classes. As we walked across the campus the other day, both of us felt our hearts being moved by the need. Smoking, drinking and doing drugs could be seen everywhere. Too much intimacy and not enough shame is rampant. The campus itself seemed jaded with communistic or revolutionary messages graffitied all over the campus walls. Even inside buildings along the classroom walls you could read the angst-driven words. Apparently every Wednesday there is some kind of riot or planned demonstration that sometimes gets out of hand and teachers and professors have to evacuate. Just this past Wednesday the riot got out of hand... something about students being upset about surveillance cameras being placed all over the campus... and the angry students donned masks and hoods and started throwing rocks and even stopped, stoned and smashed up a local transit bus. We saw one of the snack shop windows that had been smashed in by the rioters.
As you can see, there is a lot of need in this area. And there is a lot of need for wisdom on our part to know what the Lord would have us to do to build His church. Please pray with us concerning these developments. If He would have us to start a small group here in this campus, it would need to be done carefully and wisely... and it could have an amazing impact. Most of the students are from Bogota... and will graduate as professionals who could help us in starting new churches in different areas of Bogota. Others are from outside of Bogota, who could take the gospel back to their hometowns and cities. Please, please pray for us as we seek God's will in this matter.