Missionary work, perhaps more than most ministries and professions, requires adaptation and flexibility. Over the years, I have traveled on foot, used a bicycle, rode on local buses, driven a four wheel drive vehicle, and flown a light airplane. We use whatever means we need to use in order to take the Gospel to the people.
The same is true in the types of ministries in which we are involved. In the early days our work was pure evangelism. Soon we became more involved in leadership training. The need for teaching materials led me to write and translate. I would do what needed to be done to win people to the Lord, establish churches, and then train the local people to lead them.
In recent years, we have been challenged by the rapid decline in the American dollar in relation to the Colombian peso. The U.S. dollar has lost a full third of its purchasing power in the last five years while inflation in Colombia has been double digit. Add this to the occasional church problem that dictates a cut in mission support and you can see the need for flexibility, creativity and new sources of support. These circumstances have meant we have been forced to eliminate many ministries when there was no longer support for them. In spite of this, we continue the core ministries such as evangelism and leadership training.
It also encourages us to partner for continued progress. We partnered with Universidad FLET for the accreditation of our Christian higher education. I teach and they provide the accreditation for what I do in that field. Recently, Dewayne Liebrandt, of Deaf Missions International was down for a two week visit. He and I checked out the possibility of beginning a work among the deaf here in Colombia. We hope to begin church services for the deaf and offer the only Christian higher education for them in Colombia in the very near future.
With the falling value of the dollar it became much harder to offer college scholarships for our graduating seniors. In some cases it took ten times the funds to support a single student as it did a few years ago. So we have been unable to help most of our recent graduates. To help remedy this situation we recently partnered with FAME to offer a scholarship to one of our bright young graduates from Colegio Peniel who wants to study medicine. Otherwise this fine young lady would have never been able to dream of study.
Partnership is the key to the continued growth of Christâ€™s church here in Colombia. Others have stepped in because they see the potential here in Colombia. Maybe you are being called by God to partner with us as well. In order to make the most of the many doors God has opened for us, we also need to increase our regular support in order to offset the devaluation of the dollar and the occasional church that is unable to continue supporting this exciting and growing ministry. If you feel God is calling you to partner with us in mission here in Colombia, contact us today for exciting opportunities to share in this dynamic ministry!