Last night, I finished my last class for this semester at the Bible College. With that, I ended my ministry commitments for this trip down and I am now busy packing and getting ready to head back up to the States to visit family and our supporting churches. In fact, as I write this, I have half packed suitcases sitting around and I am receiving a constant line of visitors as the Colombian Christians stop by to say goodbye and to wish me well on my trip.
My students all said goodbye last night and expressed their regrets that I would not be with them for the next two months. Many choose to continue studies all year in order to finish more quickly. But I work such long hours and get so tired, I need to occasionally take time and rest up a bit.
This semester has been a very busy one as I worked to cover all of the material that I could in the time I had available. Altogether I taught six different classes on this time down here. I taught two classes in Old Testament Survey, two classes in New Testament Survey, one psychology class, and then finally one class relating to practical issues in the church and ministry.
That is a total of 18 hours taught this semester. Considering that 12 hours is often considered a full time teaching load, I was well above that amount. But I enjoyed the work and was thrilled as the students became so excited about the simplicity and beauty of clear Biblical teaching.
But teaching is not the only thing I do while down here. I have never ceased to do my work with the churches in the form of preaching, teaching, and calling. So each week I spend several days a week in that aspect of ministry as well. I still consider my primary ministry to be my work with the churches here in Colombia and so I both enjoy and look forward to my time sharing with them.
Since I enjoy working with the churches, my only regrets have been the lack of funding to be able to travel and visit many of the churches in other regions of Colombia. But I make it a point of being deeply involved with the local churches and spend as much time with the different congregations as I possible can. This year, that has been with the different churches here in BogotÃ¡ and in Villavicencio.
Along with these two previous ministries, I also continue to work with our school in Villavicencio. I enjoyed working with the school and the kids there for many years and so I still look for opportunities to head back down. There I make it a point of putting in at least forty hours each month in working with children who have some problem and then later with their parents.
On each trip down, I find myself swamped with work as so many of the kids and their parents are waiting to talk with me. As a rule, once I get there and get started, there is not even time for meals. So I make do with a pop and an arepa as I meet with students and parents and just keep working. So a week per month is about all I can handle as the time there is hectic and demanding, but very enjoyable as well.
So as my time here in Colombia on this trip draws to an end, I pause and look back on my time here to take inventory and to make certain I am giving the Lord and you your moneyâ€™s worth as I work in the missionary ministry here in Colombia. I appreciate your prayers and support and I want to do my best with every opportunity for you and for the Lord.