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News Article Title Location Date
(mm/dd/yyyy)
Steve Apr Update #3
Wilmore, KY, United States
2020-04-10
On our second Colombia team (February 15-25) we did some of the same things as the first group. We also stayed at the Biblical Seminary of Colombia, an institution that OMS started 75 years ago, that is still preparing many for Christian service, and where I serve on the Board of Directors.

We painted the 3rd and 4th floor of the Prison Fellowship office building. Went in and encouraged the prisoners in the Bellavista prison who meet in a patio church there, and visited a soccer ministry reaching out to more than 2,000 kids. We then spent two days out in Concordia the little town in the coffee country, where the church is being planted. We helped put on a Valentines dinner for the couples in the church, and Mark Grubb shared a little reflection on God’s plan for relationships/marriage. Between the three couples we have more than 100+ years of marriage experience, so we figured that was a good start!

We improved on the one day of avocado picking that the first group had done, and we picked avocados for two days. It is hard climbing, picking, and placing the avocados in the crates, since the trees are on a steep slope and you have to try to stay on your feet and not roll down the mountain!

Canadian Colombia team

Steve and Pam, Kevin and Penney Willms and Mark and Devra Grubb

Canadian Colombia team

Both pictures are at the avocado farm. The second one shows us between all of the avocado trees, on the STEEP driveway up the hill.

Finally, we ended our trip in Cucuta, Colombia. A city on the border with Venezuela. We went all the way to the little suburb outside of Cucuta that is by one of the bridges between Venezuela and Colombia. You may have heard how difficult things are in Venezuela at this time. Being at the border, and seeing the situation first hand is really sobering and sad. One of our ministries, Soy Satura, is making lunches every day for 200 Venezuelan elementary children that cross the border every day and attend a Colombian school. This snack made of soybeans is full of nutrition for them, since they are not getting complete meals at home due to the shortage of everything in Venezuela. A couple of the Venezuelan ladies who assist at Soy Satura, travel over an hour each way to get to the Soy Satura house every day and make the food for the kids. Many of the kids travel an hour or more to get to school as well, so most of their moms have to wait around the school for those 4 hours, since they don’t have time to walk home and get back in time to pickup the kids. Soy Satura staff is helping the moms by teaching them sewing, and cooking classes each week, while also sharing the Gospel with them, during the hours the kids are in school.

We heard the testimonies of the Soy Satura staff, who are all Venezuelans, and it was tragic to hear how bad things are economically. A professional teacher, or nurse, working full time, is now earning between $6-20/month in Venezuela. As you can imagine that will not provide for anything. Everything there operates on having US dollars or you can hardly buy anything with that amount of money. To make matters worse the government pays them in Cordoba which is now practically worthless. The Cordoba (Venezuelan currency is about 85,000/$1. It was hard to see Venezuelan families, with kids, all loitering about at the border, trying to find work, trying to figure out how to cope and provide for their families. Pray with us for that situation.

To God be the Glory: We had a chauffeur who drove us in a van to Concordia for those two days. His name is Juan Camilo. It was about a 4-hour trip, and then he spent the night with us there in Concordia. On Sunday morning, before we returned to Medellin, we invited Juan Camilo to join us for breakfast and church. Mark, Kevin, and Steve gave the sermon as a team. Juan Camilo sat in the small house church and listened. I had no time for discussion with Juan Camilo on the trip back to Medellin that afternoon since I was sitting in the back with Pam and the others. We gathered our luggage at the seminary and Juan Camilo drove us the 45 minutes up to a hotel by the airport for our departure early the next morning.

While the others checked-in I decided to talk to Juan Camilo. I asked him where he was in his relationship with the Lord. His response was, “I’m sort of like those lost sheep that you guys talked about this morning in church”. I suggested to him that he should get that relationship with the Lord in order. His response was, “Your right, I need to do that some time”. I suggested that he should take care of that now because the Enemy would like for him to get busy and forget about the matter. He said, “You mean, right here, now, in front of the hotel?” I said, “Sure”. He nodded his head in agreement and proceeded to pray a prayer of repentance. Wow! That was exciting to see the Lord use us. You never know when and how much people are watching what we do and say. It was exciting to see God use our team, and I always like to remind you that since you are a significant reason why I am serving as an intercultural missionary that can go on these trips, that you had a part in this decision for Christ that was made!

Below you can see some of the soybean snacks that are produced every school day by the Soy Satura staff. I must say that while the snacks are full of good nourishment, they are also very good. I am also providing a picture of us with the Soy Satura team. We helped pass them out to the kids at the school.

Canadian Colombia team

Canadian Colombia team

Canadian Colombia team

Blessings,

Steve and Pam Rehner

Steve Rehner, Business Development Director
Men for Missions United States

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