Colombia Mission Trip Report - By Rev. Milton Nunez-Coba
Saturday, October 11 2008, 12:08 PM EDT
Contributed by: Sam Stone
Our other goal was to visit with the Chimilas Tribe. The Chimilas are and indigenous tribe who are greatly affected by the social-economic problems in Colombia. They are among the poorest individuals in Colombia living in the camps. Those who suffer most are the women and the children whom are victims of generalized violence. This tribe lacks basic support services from the Colombian government in the areas of education, and medical care – in other words the basic living needs for an individual to have an opportunity, to have a normal quality of life they all deserve.
This picture was taken during our travels up the mountain where the Chimilas Tribe lives. The scenery was beautiful.
Our mission was a calling from God; in coming to this journey we considered describing our mission as purpose, vocation, duty, assignment, task, compassion. In the end, our final definition was God’s work; God working on those who are doing mission in a hard and dangerous area, as well as those who are visiting offering solidarity, companionship and support.
As tired as we were after an outing, the next day we woke up full of energy, looking forward to explore what God had in store for us next. Each day was completed with a sense of accomplishment in God’s work and the wonderful food we were enjoying kept us happy and energized. We all walked away with much more than we gave of ourselves, but you have to experience it to understand how the Holy Spirit transforms your life by encountering those less fortunate than we are.
The Serenity and Love experienced during our visit with these children filled our souls with patience and tranquility. They freely gave of themselves with enthusiasm and excitement. Everywhere we turned we had someone smiling and wanting to talk with us, asking questions about us and the United States. Their big questions was “…would we return?”
The Chimilas women cooked lunch. We donated the food & oil for them to cook with, and they created this beautiful feast as a gift to each family member. They were happy and thankful.
The conditions in which they lived broke our hearts. They had no kitchen, dirt floors, hammocks for sleeping. Most of the children slept on the dirt floors. Children had infections and had not seen the doctor because of lack of money. They later came to the shelter and Rev. Leal’ church gave them money for to visit the doctor and receive medicine. One of the ladies said to Nidia Lopez, “I am so glad for your visit and your promises to help us with clothing for our community but, I don’t need to be fed a fish, I need to learn how to fish. We need tools to build our home; we need to learn on how to make our own money so we can be self-sufficient. Can you talk to the people of your church, the ones that love Jesus like we, they will help us by giving us ideas, ideas on how to survive. Please teach us to fish, like in the bible”.
Our visit to the Shelter - Iglesia Reformada La Puerta; the church pastored by Rev. Jaime Leal was also an amazing experience. The music, the hymns, the children, the faith present by adults and children is contagious. The presence of the Holy Spirit is there in the children, in the church guests, and in the many individuals that take part in taking care of all attending. It is overwhelming feeling of love that brought tears to the eyes of those who participate.
Our Mission has just started; it is a way of life, doing God’s work on earth. It is rewarding to give of yourself, like Jesus did when he was on earth. We are His Apostles’ and are committed to continue His work in a loving and consistent way in order to create positive results in the life of others.
We are focused to do a Random Act of Kindness helping the poor and the oppressed, one at a time. God help us and those whom we will meet on our journey.
I hope you could go next year to our second mission trip to Colombia!
Kind Regards, Rev. Milton Nunez-Coba.