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Colombia 2015 Trip

Partners

Mari Beth Poor

As the Colombia trip comes to a close, I am reminded what a gift it is to partner with people around the world. There is something so special about seeing how God is moving everywhere.

Manuel and Sandra Zarate (two of the missionaries we support in Colombia) and the church they have planted- Vida Bogota- need our prayers. As we have shared, part of their outreach is to community leaders in Bogota. In a place where the church is known as being terribly corrupt (to the point that one minister has his congregants call him Jesus...I'm not kidding), change needs to happen. 

As these leaders are changing...as their influence is used to honor God in a good way, in a God way....the reputation of the church in Colombia CAN and WILL be changed. We watched on Sunday as 11 people at Vida Bogota got baptized- their lives have been changed by Jesus and they have experienced the freedom that God provides. And then on Monday morning, they will go into their workplaces and share with their family and friends that God is REAL, that He is TRUE, that he is NOT corrupt...and the Gospel spreads and other lives are changed.

So, continue to pray for the Zarates, for Vida Bogota, for Colombia-  and consider going on a short term trip with us next year so you can taste and see what God is doing there. Ciao.

 The Colombia 2015 team with Manuel, Sandra, two of their boys- Matt and Felipe (and their grumpy cat :))

The Colombia 2015 team with Manuel, Sandra, two of their boys- Matt and Felipe (and their grumpy cat :))


We Saw God....

Mari Beth Poor

....so many times today. Here's just a few:

Betsy saw God in the joyful spirits and sweet faces of the children at La Montana- an "at risk" area. She was moved by their joy in the midst of desperate circumstances.

Amy saw God through Marilyn and Hairo, a couple who have spent the past 20 years loving displaced families at La Montana. They are holistically ministering to the single moms and their children through education, food, and spiritual feeding.

Ron saw God in Juan David- a 30 year old man who decided success couldn't be found in money and has found his greatest treasure in faithfully ministering to the community at La Montana. The people absolutely adore him, and his commitment to the families was moving. 

Jeff saw God in the ways the children at La Montana take care of each other and how they have an "others first" attitude. 

MB saw God when Marilyn (who leads the ministry at La Montana) said that though the people from La Montana are incredibly poor, THEY are reaching out to an even poorer district and ministering to them. Such love!!

John saw God move during the business seminar he gave today- 15 people who came to the seminar are going to give church a chance tomorrow. Vida Bogota's commitment to reaching the leaders in the community is changing lives!
 

 Precious angel!

Precious angel!

 "What are these crazy Americans asking us to do?"

"What are these crazy Americans asking us to do?"

 Amy and Jeff taught the kids to Whip Nae Nae. They loved it!!

Amy and Jeff taught the kids to Whip Nae Nae. They loved it!!

 Amy's buddies

Amy's buddies

 Pure joy

Pure joy

 Juan David- faithful minister to La Montana

Juan David- faithful minister to La Montana

 New friends- they wanted to know everything about America and loved that MB liked One Direction (which she is embarrassed to confess...)

New friends- they wanted to know everything about America and loved that MB liked One Direction (which she is embarrassed to confess...)

 Jeff was impressed with how these boys looked out for each other

Jeff was impressed with how these boys looked out for each other

 It thrilled the girls to learn that Betsy had seen the Statue of Liberty. :) It's the simple things.

It thrilled the girls to learn that Betsy had seen the Statue of Liberty. :) It's the simple things.

 Beautiful Mafe (a volunteer from Vida Bogota) and the little girl who has stolen her heart.

Beautiful Mafe (a volunteer from Vida Bogota) and the little girl who has stolen her heart.

 "Off the Mountain" Mountaintoppers serving with "Off the Mountain" Vida Bogota volunteers at La Montana

"Off the Mountain" Mountaintoppers serving with "Off the Mountain" Vida Bogota volunteers at La Montana

Hola!

Mari Beth Poor

Author: John Gaskins

Greetings from Bogota! We have all acclimated to the altitude and are enjoying the people and delicious food here in Colombia.  At our team devotion this morning we all reflected on how we felt the team has hit a rhythm with each other and our interactions with the great folks of Vida Bogota.

How we see God’s hand in our interactions here so far.....
- John spoke to a little over a hundred college students and faculty at Universidad EAN
- Team met with staff and key lay leaders of Vida Bogota’ Church to encourage them and share what we have been learning at Mountaintop
- Our team in pairs participated in three in-home Small Groups
- Sightseeing, Conversation & Fellowship with key church staff

“Leadership for a New Generation”....
During my talk called “Habits of Highly Productive People”, I tried to subtly weave faith in, and challenge the students that truly being a high performing individual is not just about business success.  The talk was well received and over 10 students asked about coming to our next business community event this Saturday morning. The event is hosted by Vida Bogota and will hopefully be the next step towards people attending the church.

"Encouragement"...
This has been the topic we’ve started each morning within our team devotion and prayer time.  Betsy has blessed us with some phenomenal context and stories coupled with scripture to help us start our day off remembering what we are called to do.  Betsy closed our most recent session with a challenge to "notice" opportunities to encourage as we go about our schedule. 

God Using Stories....
Jeff and Amy Freels visited a High School small group and found themselves surrounded by over 25 youth.  The Freels both had a chance to share their testimony and encourage these “leaders for the next generation”.   Amy was able to speak directly into the lives of the young ladies about respecting themselves and honoring their bodies. 

Jeff connected with one young man in particular named Santiago who was struggling with anxiety.  Jeff and Santiago had a one-on-one conversation where Jeff was able to share about his relationship with Christ and how he confronts anxiety with prayer. After Jeff shared, Santiago said “now I know why I came tonight”. Santiago was encouraged and Jeff was encouraged by a God who would fly him across continents to share his story with a young man who was struggling.

PRAYERS NEEDED FOR:
- Our words and the follow up conversations from the event bear fruit and serve as one more nudge down the attendees spiritual journey.
- John speaking twice at a Business Community event Sat morning
- Ron, Jeff, Amy, Betsy and MB will be loving on Single Moms and Kids at Risk in a poor outlying area of town.
- Mari Beth preaching both services at Vida Bogota
- Amy's upcoming training for the Vida Bogota children's volunteers

 Praying over John before his ministry to college students

Praying over John before his ministry to college students

 The university students loved John's presentation on the Habits of Productive People

The university students loved John's presentation on the Habits of Productive People

 Amazing small group time!

Amazing small group time!

 The women's small group Betsy visited

The women's small group Betsy visited

 Overlooking Colombia

Overlooking Colombia

 Praying God will be the God of this beautiful city

Praying God will be the God of this beautiful city

Twas the Night Before A Mission Trip...

Mari Beth Poor

Tomorrow morning at 5:30am, a team of 6 will get on a plane heading to Colombia. While in Colombia, we will partner with Pastor Manuel Zarate at a church plant called Vida Bogota. Be sure to check back regularly for updates. Our prayer requests:

Safe travels
Flexible hearts
Quality time and new friendships with our friends in Colombia
For the trainings we are leading to be clear, effective, and faithful
For us to encourage Manuel and the people at Vida Bogota

The team members:
Amy Freels
Jeff Freels
John Gaskins
Betsy Kopecky
Ron McVay
Mari Beth Poor

We love you and appreciate your prayers!

 

 And we're off!

And we're off!