During our four-day stay in Capurganá, I got to do a lot of hiking and exploring. We got to explore some other small beaches, hike, visit a waterfall, and stay in a house close to the beach. It was a beautiful place to experience God’s creation and be away from the city. One day we walked to a beach in Panama, so I could say I was in Central America and in a new country. I remember being in awe of God as I watched the sunset on some rocks by the ocean. One of my favorite things to do is take pictures of nature, so I was in heaven there.
I got to share the Bible and my faith with a lady I met there from Oregon. It didn’t seem to make a huge impact on her as she firmly believed everyone has his own truth, but I pray God will open her eyes to the Truth. At the place where we walked to a more private beach there was one house with a family living in it that was so isolated from everything. I talked to a little boy and girl there and my heart broke for them because they have no friends and almost no opportunities for anything. I told them that they were very special and that God loves them. I also met a very interesting man named Oscar on the beach whose Spanish I could understand very well. We talked a little each time we saw each other in the following days.
On the way back I was dropped off in Medellín, a beautiful city about 10 hours from Bogotá. I spent a little over three days there exploring the beautiful, warm, sunny city known as the city of eternal spring. The first day I talked and played with some kids I met at the soccer ministry/stadium we stayed in overnight and then hung out with some guys named Mitch and Manuel who went to college in North Carolina and spoke good English. We played some soccer and they took me out to lunch. They even helped me get a bus and showed me where to go. I had a great conversation with one of the guys as he opened up about his life and all he has been through. He said the soccer ministry has changed his life. I learned a lot about Colombia culture and ministry needs and opportunities as well.
I stayed in a hostal during my time in Medellín and got to meet people from different countries. People there were so friendly and were eager to help me out with many things. The city is set in a valley with mountains all around. Many houses and communities are built on the mountain slopes. It was definitely one of the prettiest cities I’ve ever seen. I also got to ride the cable cars up the mountains, visit Arví and Pueblito Paisa, and meet some cool people. In Arví, I met a guide named Carmen Rosa and her friend Rocio. Carmen was so excited to find out I was a Christian. We had a nice conversation, and I left there feeling encouraged.
I also spent a day in a half in Guatape, a famous town about an hour and a half outside Medellín. The town and the whole surrounding area were absolutely stunning with lakes, mountains, hills, and trees. On arrival at the hostal in Guatape I was asked to go on a day trip to do some hiking, see a waterfall, swim in super clear water, and visit the town of San Rafael. I got to get to know three others (two Americans and a Brit) who spoke English during the trip and got to talk about spiritual things with one of the girls. The next day I visited the famous El Peñol, a huge rock with amazing views of the area. I had to walk up almost 700 steps to get to the top! I then explored the area and enjoyed the beautiful weather and scenery. The whole trip was topped off with one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen.
The most amazing thing that happened during this trip actually came at 4:30 in the morning on January 8th as I was sitting in the bus terminal after returning to Bogotá waiting for daylight to take the bus back home. I ended up sitting by a Colombian man named Carlos God sent me to. He spoke great English and we struck up a conversation. We talked about faith and religion and I got to share the gospel and spiritual things with him. As I was talking about God’s love for him, he started to cry. He then opened up about how difficult his life has been lately, that he is homeless and sleeps at the terminal almost every night, and that he had even tried to kill himself the day before. As we walked to the bus he told me he felt so relieved to finally tell someone the truth about his situation. It was so clear that God has a plan for his life and is working in him and drawing him to Himself. He came to church with me the next Sunday. I asked him how he felt since our meeting and he told me he has felt so different and that he now has hope. The sermon that morning was about the gospel which was explained even better than what I told him a few days earlier. Praise God for his surprises! We are keeping in contact. What a blessing this has been!
The whole trip was one great big adventure that I won’t forget. I am amazed at God’s care for me throughout the whole trip and His surprises each day. My heart and vision for Colombia has grown even bigger through these experiences. I am thankful for God’s provision for me to go on the trip as school bonuses and Christmas gifts almost covered all my expenses. One of my secret dreams is to travel, take pictures, write articles, and do ministry. Taking so many pictures and experiencing the beauty of God’s creation gave me so much joy. I hope and pray that God used me to be a blessing and light to others during this trip.
Bogotá a Medellín, Medellín,
and Puente de Occidente
Medellín a Turbo y Turbo
Boat trip to the mouth of the river
Turbo a Capurganá
Puente de Occidente
Guatape, El Peñol, y San Rafael
Wow, that is amazing about Mr. Carlos! AND he came to church with you - PRAISE THE LORD!!
Dude, what an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing your journey with us, and some unbelievable pictures! Praying for Carlos, and all the people you touched during your travels. The Lord is awesome!