November/December: Through rain, sleet, and snow, through drought, dryness, and desert, God is always with us. We give thanks for His faithfulness in every season of our lives. We also give thanks to each of you who remain faithful to Him and loving to us during these times of challenges and changes. In our September/October journal we shared about the July trips to Cúcuta and the Global Baptist Peace Conference. Time to share now about our August trips to The Guajira and the XI Mission Lectureship in Puerto Rico.
In August we made our first trip to The Guajira to meet and be introduced to the leadership of the rancherías (indigenous communities) as well as those in the FBC of Riohacha. Ruth, our Wayuu sister in UNIBAUTISTA, organized our trip and guided us throughout. We arrived on Sunday and that same day we visited the first two rancherías: Sea of Galilee and Capernaum. For the second one we had to walk across the Ranchería River and ride on motorcycle to get to the ranchería. There we met the Pastor and community authority of that ranchería and the other two we would get to know. Pastor Manuel is well known and respected and his two nieces served as translators from Wayuunaiki to Spanish.
The rancherías are dry and desert-like, they lack running water and electricity, do not have WC facilities or showers, yet our Wayuu siblings welcomed us with such warmth! We are looking forward to our next visit. We were invited and driven on motorbikes through the dark rancherías to a vigilia (vigil) in honor of a quinceañera (a girl’s 15th birthday). With the help of a generator, they had two or three lights to barely see what was going on. There were songs, dance, and the Word was shared to encourage others to come to Jesus. Almost 300 people gathered to celebrate the young lady. A cake, a chivo (goat), and chicha (corn fermented beverage) were shared with the attendees. Being their guests, we were served first. That night we slept outdoors (in the balcony) in chinchorros (hammock-like). The sounds of the wilderness, the starred sky, and the moon were our company while the sun made sure we would wake up bright and early!
As we visited the third ranchería (Bethlehem) and FBC of Riohacha, we knew that more visits to The Guajira ought to be on our horizon. UNIBAUTISTA is invested in bringing the Word, discipleship, and Bible studies to this remote part of Colombia and as we begin our second year of this term, we are humbled, blessed, and honored to be the ones representing our American Baptist siblings in this beloved country. Look for our video on FB at BGs Et Al.
At the end of August, we traveled to Puerto Rico for the XI Mission Lectureship hosted by the Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico (IBPR). All of the global servants sponsored by this ABC-USA region were invited and even our colleague Ketly Pierre participated via video. Our beloved Mary Weaver is soon to retire as the administrative assistant to the Iberoamérica and the Caribbean region and our churches honored her for her faithful and extensive service with ABFMS. She has served with Víctor Mercado, then José Norat, and currently Adalia Gutiérrez. We will surely miss her and are praying the Lord will send the person who will support Adalia in the many tasks Mary performed so masterfully. We will miss Mary’s gentle spirit the most. She has taught us so much and is a dear sister.
The commitment to God’s missions that our IBPR expresses through the post-Hurricane María 2017 turmoil, is exemplary! Despite the island ongoing restoring, rebuilding, and renewing process (RRRPR via the ABHMS), IBPR remains committed and faithful in their giving to financially support their ABFMS global servants. They give out of sacrificial hearts that are invested in providing resources to let living water flow to the places where each of us is serving. Our global consultant colleague Kristy Engel was also invited to the weekend long experience. We are grateful for this short, yet packed full of love and encouragement weekend we spent in Puerto Rico, for the Latino Hear the Call experience on Friday, the XI Mission Lectureship on Saturday, the visit to BC of Las Cruces on Sunday, our host family (José Luis and Luz Mirian), and our very brief visits with Mayra’s Papi and heart daughter Verónica.
We began our second year of this term to Colombia from the USA. We left mid-August to rest on our 12th month of our first year. Sadly, Mayra’s Mami got ill to the point of being forbidden to fly. We have swiftly relocated in Florida and will continue our assignment as intended for the remainder of the term.
In November we fly to the Santanderes Region to introduce them to the discipleship and Bible studies that UNIBAUTISTA is sharing through us beyond Cali. Through rain, sleet, and snow, through drought, dryness, and desert; now more than ever, your new or increased commitment of financial support is needed and appreciated: https://portal.internationalministries.org/global-servant-support Our personalized support goals increased as of October to offset the mission support services costs. May God bless you as you bless us to bless the people of Colombia, the migrants from Venezuela, and the indigenous groups throughout the country… T H A N K Y O U!!!
Stretching further toward the goal “giving thanks through rain and drought”,
your BGs Et Al
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