From our very earliest days in Colombia, we have been shocked by the poverty we saw and determined to help transform the lives of as many families as possible. We have worked to eliminate poverty in several specific ways. First of all, the preaching of the Gospel helps to lift people out of poverty. Much poverty is causes or exacerbated by the vices endemic to a worldly life style. When a man becomes a Christian he conquers alcoholism and the other typical vices that absorb so much of his time and money. Women begin taking better care of their families and so disease and premature death diminish. So the simple preaching of the Gospel does much to eliminate or diminish the poverty in which people live.
But the preaching of the Gospel alone initiates a process that can be painfully slow. So along with our preaching, we have worked in coops that were designed to provide a dignity of life often not available to the average person in Colombia. These ranged from coops to purchase small amounts of grain from individual farmers to sell the larger quantity to industries which paid a much higher price. We established apiaries so that by selling honey people could have a much more stable and adequate income. We helped to buy equipment, such as outboard motors for fisherman with very low cost micro loans.
Perhaps our biggest additional ministry directed at eliminating or reducing poverty has been education. We have always worked in literacy training and in schools for the children of the poor. Education, together with the Gospel, form a two-sided door used by many to escape the poverty into which they were born. Today, Colegio Peniel is our flagship Christian school in Colombia. Our child sponsorship program keeps this first class education available to the children of the very poor.
By offering a values based education with very high academic standards, children who would have normally never been able to attend school, or would have been relegated to the lowest quality education normally available to the poor, are able to study and prepare themselves for the possibility to attend college. Once they have graduated from our school, we attempt to provide a college scholarship as well so that many of these children become not only the first high school graduate in their families, but the very first family member with a college education as well.
You can work with us in this very effective program to reduce and eliminate poverty in Colombia by partnering in the preaching of the Gospel and in sponsoring a child in our Christian day school or for a college scholarship. Check this website or our newsletter for additional information about specific ways in which you can help to transform the world by transforming the life of one child or family.
Here are a few of the faces of poverty in Colombia, South America.