by Carol Siebert, MB Church Main Centre, Saskatchewan
We have been in the Chocó Region now since Friday morning, Mar. 8. It was difficult to bid farewell to our very gracious hostess in Bogota that morning. Our ride came at 4:30 am. in order to catch the early flight at 6:30. A flat tire on a taxi and missing ID card added to the drama of the morning and challenge of arriving at the scheduled time!
Our flight over the Andes was smooth and breathtaking and my thoughts went to the first missionaries who came here. They were from my home province of Saskatchewan and I remember hearing stories in church about the work here in the Chocó. I was deeply impacted by the tragic plane crash that killed the Dyck’s on their flight from Cali back to
Today on our walk through the town we passed the building which housed the first missionaries as well as a medical clinic and school. Earlier in the day we had met pastors from the region- the fruit of those first missionaries. The churches and pastors here continue to reach out to the community caring for people in a wholistic way as those first missionaries had done.
I am overwhelmed, humbled, honored and privileged to be here. My heart is full.
by Dan Siebert, farmer, from the MB Church at Main Centre, Sk. Canada
The events of each day have exceeded my expectations and today that happened before breakfast was over.
Yesterday we caught an early flight from Bogota to Quibdó, the capital of the Department of Chocó which is home to between 150,000 to 200,000 of the 460,000 people in the Chocó. We were graciously received by the pastors and people of the MB church there and given a context of the region and walking tour of part of the city. Then we took a two hour bus ride to Istmina, where missionaries arrived from Canada in 1946 and established the first MB church in the region.
This gets me to Saturday breakfast in the Iglesia Jerusalén MB where we dined with a pastor and heard his story- one of violence and hope and how the church is being a witness to both victims and offenders. In these situations MCC partners with the churches to provide psycho/social counselling and help address resettlement needs.
It was a blessing to meet with pastors from all over Colombia, worship with them, and hear of their joys and struggles. It is amazing to see and hear how God’s people are being salt and light – both which enhance their object. The people are showing Jesus to the world.