Last week, while in Villavicencio for our Learning Difficulty conference, we stayed out at the camp. That was a convenient location and we enjoyed their small swimming pool in the heat of the tropical evenings. But staying there had an additional advantage; I could watch the progress on the first cabin in our church camp development program as it progressed. Each night, by the light of a flashlight (there is no electricity back there yet), I would head out back to see the daily progress.
The work on the first cabin at the church camp is progressing slowly but surely. This week they workers poured the slab with locks together the foundation and provides the surface on which the block walls will be laid up. With that major step, they will now begin laying the block walls and we will begin to see something protruding from the ground. This is an exciting step forward and we are hoping to get the first cabin under roof by the time the rainy season hits. Rainy season will stop any work that involves digging as the ditches or holes simply fill with water and the sides cave in.
For the last three weeks we have been working on the first cabin we hope to build on the new property that we helped purchase at the church camp in Villavicencio with your generous help. While we still owe about $1,200 on the lot, the current owner has given up permission to begin working and someone very generously donated $4,000 to put in the foundation for the first cabin. We have been running water and a temporary electrical installation back there. That is now finished and we began site preparation for the foundation.
For the past week I was in Villavicencio working at the school in the mornings and at the camp in the afternoons. I was staying at the camp, since that made overseeing the work there more convenient. I traveled up to Bogotá yesterday to teach my class at the Bible College but hope to travel back down as soon as possible. The foundations for the first cabin are nearing completion and the next step will be to pour the slab that holds all of that together. It is great so see something sticking above ground after weeks of seeing only digging ditches and trenches in the soil.
For the last two weeks I hosted Gordon Clifford, of Christian Mission Press. He was here to bring in literature and to coordinate and work on various editorial projects related to books I have written or translated and that he will be publishing. We had a good time with him and it was a very profitable ministry effort where we are helping each other to do even more in the Lord’s work. He flew out of the country last Thursday and has since arrived back at his home base of Silver City, New Mexico.
This morning I did not attend church here in Colombia, where I am currently living. Instead, I attended and spoke at the Forest Dale Church of Christ, on the northern edge of Cincinnati, Ohio. Thanks to modern technology and specifically Skype, I was able to be present for the missions Sunda, along with Toby and Amy Hill, in Honduras.
For the last two weeks, I have had Gordon Clifford and a member of his church here with me in Colombia. Gordon publishes much of what I write and translate and then makes it available for us and others in Latin America to use in our teaching and leadership training through the Christian Mission Press. Shipping materials into Colombia has become such an expensive and difficult task that it is almost as economical for someone to bring it in.
I arrived back in Colombia on January 20th to begin this period of intensive work. Following my typical pattern of waiting until rates drop after the January 10th “Day of the Three Kings” holiday, which officially ends the Colombian Christmas season, I booked my flight and returned to Colombia. My first week here is always a dizzying flurry of activities, meetings, phone calls, errands, and the like. My first job is getting the apartment set up and supplied with food. I need to make sure all utilities and services are functioning and paid up to date.
This month I am celebrating an important birthday; for my car! It has been eighteen years this month since we purchased the vehicle I drive here in Colombia. The short version of the Mitsubishi Montero (this is a shortened, two door version of the small station wagon sold in the states). Due to the very rough roads I need a four wheel drive vehicle here and the little Mitsubishi has been a very good car.
One major focus of my ministry in recent years has been writing and translating books that will fill the need for training Christian leaders on a higher level. We have sufficient materials for training on the basic level but there has not been a lot available to use at the college level. Last year I finished up Jack Cottrell’s book, “Faith once for All” and then I wrote a couple of small Bible studies on the life of Christ. I have been working in this area because the need is great and there are few people who have dedicated themselves to this type of ministry.