Thursday, December 31, 2009

Merry Chritmas from Pesca, Colombia

We rumble over streets and stop in front of a white stucco building.
A woman with grey hair and tanned skin steps from the entry way to
welcome us to our new home.
Our team arrives in Pesca, after a four hour bus ride from Bogota . . .


The Christmas lights lit the town square down the hill from the balcony view.

The next morning, we awake to the sound of roosters and the Catholic church bell ringing.

Pesca is a beautiful, rural community on green hills resting under fresh air, blue skies, and gigantic clouds.

I know I will like this place.
It looks like Bethlehem. We even have a sheep.

Our role in Pesca is to encourage the local Christian church and help
pioneer a youth group.

We arrived Tuesday, December 22, and left Wednesday, December 30, 2009.

Highlights:
1. Washing dishes with teammate Sharon (S.Korean) in the moonlight at the stone water well.
2. Seeing teammate Sisi (Chinese) pray at 6:15 a.m. each morning on the grassy hill in front of the house.
3. Talking to teammate Taylor (California) while he was sick in bed w/ a stomach problem and fever. Almost the whole team was affected - diahrea and some throwing up, stomach pains.
4. Christmas day we prayed for a lady in the church who couldn't walk or move her arms. The woman said her heart became much lighter and full of peace, depression left her, and she could move her arms and legs with greater motion and strength. It was a powerful time.
The 15-year-old son, Santiago, received fresh faith after walking away from God the past year.
A visiting friend received joy and freedom in her heart in her relationship with God.
We prayed the words of the song, "Let it rain, open the flood-gates of heaven, let it rain." That night it rained. Wonderful family Christmas with the team. Opened gifts sent by my parents. Received prayer from Julietta, our beloved 70-year-old hostess.
5. God kept me and Sisi free from sickness. He taught me about praying for health.
6. Powerful prayer-time for the lady who delivered potatoes. We asked God for a miracle baby because medically she couldn't have children.
7. First youth group meeting in Pesca. We invited the local kids from the church, including Santiago, to our house, and taught them how to listen to God and gave ideas for how to start a youth group. All the kids are really excited. I believe this is one of the main reasons why we came; to encourage and pour into the youth of Pesca. Strong prayer times to impart/pray for different gifts for the kids.
8. Team fun and unity and love. Each of us adds a unique contribution to the team.
Zach - Texas, leader, funny, zainy, easy-going, loves youth.
Sean - California, assist leader, chill, big heart, pure love, 'older brother', big love for God.
Taylor - California, great mind, tender heart, wants to grow in faith/prayer.
Julian - Texas (Mexican-heritage), hears from God, speaks words to people to encourage and truth to them from the Lord, warrior.
Sharon - S.Korea/America, sweet, loving heart, helper, speaks words of encouragement, prays with passion.
Sisi - China, great helper, funny, big love and trust in God, strong prayers, big faith.
Cathrine - Norway, administrative, keeps things on task, fun, friendly, tries new things, dedicated to the Lord and his plans for her.
9. Yesterday (Tues): Rest day. We went to a hot springs, named Piscina Erika (Erika Pool). I got to share God's love with a girl I met, and prayed with the whole family. All in Spanish! When I talk with someone about the Lord, I understand and can communicate. It's amazing.

I loved being in rural Pesca.
My Spanish improved. Now I can listen to someone talking and distinguish individual words, even if I don't know what they all mean.
And I can piece-together words that may not be grammatically correct, but the people understand me (most of the time).

Tomorrow we leave our 'home base' in Bogota to stay and help at a new, local church in Bogota. I'm not sure what we'll be doing. It's nice to be back to Internet for a day, even though I miss the beautiful weather and countryside of Pesca.

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