This week I have been leading a leadership training seminar at the Lucero Church in southern BogotÃ¡. This church has grown to more than 120 members in the last three years and all of the people are new Christians. So there is a lot of work to do as we work to train them in the basics of Christianity and to begin their development as leaders in this new and rapidly growing church.
These meetings take place in the early evening as this section of town is considered to be one of the most dangerous and violent sections of a very violent and dangerous city. Normally when I go to that area of town the Colombians make sure someone travels with me. They are not comfortable with me heading down there by myself. But this week my meetings there were taking place when the church in Normandia also had Bible studies and meetings going on. So I have been making the trip by myself and simply putting myself into the Lordâ€™s care.
As I drive into the Lucero section of town, I pass the last police presence as a few uniformed officers peer out of the bullet proof windows in their blast resistant bunker. They are there only as observers and if things were to get too far out of hand, they would not make any attempt to deal with the situation but would call in the army. The church is located a dozen blocks further up the mountain into no-manâ€™s land. It is truly a light in the darkness of this crime-ridden area of the city.
The meetings have been well attended and each night the church building has been packed. The teachings have generated significant interest and the brethren have shown there appreciation with a boisterous and extended applause each evening. Normally we end before nine so that people can make it home before the streets become even more dangerous. If this church is to continue go grow, we must help develop a stable and well trained leadership. So we make certain that the needs of the work are met and the ministry is fulfilled, because that is why we work here in Colombia!