As I serve Alabama Baptists in the area of collegiate student mobilization, I am privileged to work with students across the state as they discern
COLOMBIA – Summer Sojourner: Venezuelan Refugees
Cost: $2,200 INCLUDES airfare, insurance & visa costs
**Special Price for One Mission Students because of an Alabama partnership.
After twenty years of mismanagement and extreme corruption, the South American nation Venezuela is imploding at a rapid rate, with hyperinflation set to hit ten million percent this year. A professional salary for one month will not buy even one carton of eggs. Food, medicines, and car parts are only a few of the many items that are either too costly or are no longer to be had. Venezuela also has one of the world’s highest homicide rates. Venezuelans are fleeing their country by the millions (4,3 million, with more coming daily). Those without funds come by foot across the Colombian Andes in search of a better life. They come without belongings, without money, and without preparation for cold mountains and life on the streets. This is a unique historical moment, an opportunity to share Christ at a time when Venezuelans are extremely open to spiritual input. Your ministry will be directly with these Venezuelan “caminantes”, as well as with displaced Colombians. You will live in the pleasant city of Bucaramanga, a scant number of blocks from First Baptist Church, where you will work with the Toque de Vida foundation, a ministry to this people group. The founders and directors, a young brother and sister whose hearts God moved as they saw the suffering of the Venezuelans, live on-site and will be at the foundation with you. Your daily job will include arriving at the church to set up for the morning group of refugees, helping to receive them, seeing they are served breakfast, and organizing items given for their morning showers, doing activities with the children or listening to the adults share their stories. During hours when the Venezuelans are not on site, you will be sorting and organizing clothing and other articles to give to the refugees, as well as other preparation. Spanish proficiency is a must, since a significant part of this ministry involves listening to people who need to be heard. Your Spanish needs to be at a level that allows you to carry on simple conversations and understand basic conversations. Please come prepared to share the responsibility of leading devotionals and Bible studies. You should be able to clearly share the gospel message and your testimony with people who have no biblical or Christian context. You will be working with people whose lives have been turned upside down, who have lost their country, who are in a state of crisis, and who have undergone/are undergoing great stress and trauma. You must yourself be emotionally healthy and mature, with a servant heart for helping people who elsewhere are treated as trash, with good listening skills, with the willingness to stand in front of a small group and lead a Bible study or teach children, and who shows the love of Christ in word and deed. Participants will receive orientation (May 25- May 29) and debrief (July 13 -16) with other students serving throughout the Americas. Orientation and debrief will be hosted near Memphis, TN. Students pay transportation to orientation in Memphis, round trip between Memphis and Bucamaranga, Colombia (BGA), and return trip from Memphis home.