Articles and thoughts by Steve Green.
On the morning of October 25th David and I met with 400 pastors and leaders for breakfast at The Tequendama Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Bogotá, Columbia . Rafael Afanador, our host, had asked that we schedule a day of meetings and interviews in preparation for the upcoming week of concerts being called The Reconciliation of Columbia.
As you may know, the US State Department has warned Americans about the volatile situation in Columbia . For over thirty years a revolutionary organization known as F.A.R.C. has used guerrilla warfare and acts of terror in an attempt to overthrow the government. Funded by drug trafficking, extortion, and ransom money, the revolutionaries have crippled parts of the country and exert control over much of the population through fear and intimidation.
The two questions I was asked repeatedly by the press were, “Why did you come to Columbia ?” and “Are you afraid?” My answer to the first question was that we had been invited by a local group of leaders who cared deeply about the spiritual condition of their country. They had spent two years planning and praying that God would touch the heart and conscience of Columbia through the four events. On a personal note, I spoke of the deep gratitude I felt for my upbringing in Argentina as the child of missionary parents and had come to Columbia out of appreciation for all the Hispanic community had given me.
When asked about fear, I spoke of the Sovereignty and Providence of God. Of course we were taking the necessary precautions, but we also were certain of His divine appointment and resting in the surest protection of all, God’s purpose and will.
As I addressed the pastors and leaders that morning in Bogotá, I detected a hint of the reservation I had felt in many overseas meetings. Americans are not much loved in most parts of the world. We are often perceived as arrogant and insensitive. Before any ministry can take place, the walls of suspicion and prejudice must be broken down by honest confession and humility. That can only happen by God’s Spirit. The Lord graciously helped, and by the conclusion of our meeting there was a tremendous spirit of unity and deep affection for one another. One highlight of the meeting was the moment I told them that we sincerely desired to help and refresh them by our visit. Our goal was to join what God was doing in their midst and add our effort to the Kingdom building work at hand. When I mentioned that fellow believers in America had underwritten the expense of our trip and sent us with their blessing, they were visibly moved.
Thank you for your generous and gracious support. Through you, God is giving us the confidence and joy to continue our travels, shining the light of the gospel in darkened corners of the world.
With deep gratitude,
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