Right before my short trip up to the States for Lake James School of Missions, I had the privilege of receiving two interns here in Colombia. The first person to express interest was Sasha Gilson, a second cousin of mine, who is finishing up a Master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language). She has inquired about coming down and teaching for the summer. We had actually been praying for this and I had written to other people and to schools that offer this program to no avail. Then one day, out of the blue, Sasha wrote and expressed her interest. I was thrilled for the interest and began to make the arrangements at our Christian school for her to teach English for two months this summer.
Her interest then channeled the interest of another second cousin, Kim French. She then wrote and asked about coming down at the beginning of Sasha’s stay. She is a nurse and asked if she could help out using her nursing skills. Again, I was excited as we had been attempting to set up a small infirmary at the Christian day school and did not have the funds for the equipment or the detailed knowledge of what would be needed. So in one month, two long term prayers had been answered and two specific needs had been met. The Lord was blessing us in a special way. Kim even offered to try and purchase the equipment that we would need in the used market and bring it down with her. What a blessing!
Both Ladies arrived at the end of June. I picked them up at the airport at five in the morning and we headed out to the church service a couple of hours later. We organized things here that day and headed down over the mountains the next morning. Both ladies found my driving on the mountain roads to be entertaining, to say the least. We arrived in Villavicencio about noon. After a typical Colombian “greasy spoon” lunch, we settled in and got right to work. The Colombians had organized English classes to meet the next day and Kim and I got to work cleaning out the storage room so that we could set up the clinic.
For the rest of the week it was a blur of activity as Sasha taught her English classes and Kim and I worked to clean and organize the room and then set up the equipment. This took a while as Kim was doing check ups on the kids from the school and in many cases their parents as well. We set things up in the infirmary during the rare short breaks between these check ups. Sasha was in a nearby classroom teaching English during the entire day. Sasha’s classes lasted till fairly late at night but the medical work would usually end around five or six. We managed to squeeze in a visit to the nearby village of Restrepo and do some calling.
Sunday we attended church there in Villavicencio and I preached. The afternoon was more English classes and medical work. Both interns were rapidly becoming very popular and so demand was increasing. Sasha had to limit the number of students so she could work effectively with the ones she had. Monday morning the room for Sasha was ready so we moved her in and got her settled and said our goodbyes. She will be teaching at the school for two months. Kim and I headed back up the mountains to get her on a plane the next morning. It had been a great time and God has really blessed the work here with these two great summer interns. Please thank God with us for them and their work and keep Sasha in your prayers as she will be here for the rest of the summer.