Today was my first church service back in Colombia on this trip. Fortunately, I did not (yet, anyhow) come down with a cold or anything else from my plane trip back into Colombia. So this morning I was excited to be heading to church to see many dear friends and brothers. I really enjoy the Colombian services as well. I was anxious to see how everyone and how the churches were doing.
I was up at my normal rising time of 6 in the morning. I worked for a while in the office (putting old newsletters online) and then showered and dressed for church. I left here walking at a little after nine. It is only a couple of miles to the church building and there is a real shortage of parking. So I walk so as not to take up parking needed by those who come from a significant distance.
Upon arriving, everyone jumped up to greet me and I spent my first fifteen minutes there greeting every one of those who were already present. After that, each person who arrived would see me and come over for a big hug (for the men) and a kiss on the cheek (for the women) in keeping with the traditional Colombian greeting.
Soon, both of the sanctuaries were full as the deaf church filled nearly every seat in their small sanctuary and the hearing church filled their larger sanctuary as well. I was pleased to see that both congregations had done well in my absence. The churches here are maturing and so need my presence less and less as time goes on. As a result I have been shifting much of my efforts to areas where there still are needs, such as the advanced training of our leaders. But it is still a joy to share with them in the excitement that is involved with being a Christian here in Colombia!