Greeting from beautiful but very cold San Diego.
Patty and Glenn arrived in the states on February 15 and on Feb. 20 (drum roll please), Patty became a US citizen, along with about 1500 other new citizens. Several of our friends came to watch the event. Then on February 25 we picked up her first US passport. I am not sure, but I believe I heard the theme song from Rocky playing somewhere, or it may have been my humming it, to the strange looks from the Home Land Security Guards.
We almost didn’t make the trip. For nine days before the trip Glenn was hospitalized with pneumonia (4 days in the clinic and 5 hospitalized in the house – nurses came to the house three times a day for IV infusions of antibiotics). An hour before we were due to leave for the airport it was still up in the air as to whether Glenn could make the trip. Since we know God is in charge and in control, we made the trip and Glenn continues to recuperate.
We had hoped to visit Resurrection Church in Bakersfield, CA, but the doctors in Colombia advised against it. Next time for sure. We have been staying with our daughter, Candy. It has been a great blessing for us to be able to spend this time with her.
We had another first for Patty. We were able to drive to nearby snow. It was the first time Patty had been in snow! We didn’t spend much time (10-15 minutes) playing, as it was very much colder than the three of us are used to.
The church in Santa Marta has been in very capable hands while we’re away. We now have three others to give the message in the Sunday service: Roberth, Alejandro and Moroni (both in their early 20’s and Pecos (a worker at our mother church in Bogota). What a blessing to know while we are gone the teaching and preaching will continue.
There are many, many Venezuelans living in Santa Marta. The exodus from Venezuela, due to the repressive actions of President Maduro, is impressive. By some estimates as many as 1/3 of the population has left that country. The reports we hear are that there is no food, medicine, and an inflation rate of 1 million (the highest in the world). We recently did an outreach for the Venezuelans begging near our house. We invited them to have breakfast in a park, where we shared the salvation story using the Evangel Cube. Thirty-four people prayed to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. One of the Venezuelans, Jose, was baptized at a retreat outside the city.
After our return to Colombia on March 5th we will have a conference on the 2nd phase of our new discipleship program we have begun using. Our goal is to have the entire church body actively sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with family, friends and co-workers who do not know Jesus. A few weeks before we came north, we did the first training session and some of the people are actively using the material to disciple others. Praise the Lord.
We wanted to thank everyone involved during this time. To our family at Valley Bible Church, as well as all our friends who came for Patty’s Naturalization celebration. For all the prayers over the past three and a half years, as well as financial support. Picture to the right is our worship team. The youth have grown up in the church.
Prayer request: Health and grow of the Santa Marta church.