Why Antioquia Colombia
Starting our new life and pioneering a new work here is off to a good start.
After arriving here, the Lord spoke to my heart in an extremely sobering manner. He said, “I know you are busy getting started as you should be, but I want to tell you why you are here.” I responded “ok”. Then I heard Him say, “Genesis 4″. I turned there and I began to read the story of Cain and Able. I read verse 10 which says- And He said,“ What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.” An indescribable feeling and emotion hit my heart. I began to weep. Within the same moment, I simultaneously recalled some statistics that I had read the week before. This resulted in an encounter that has left my heart burning with a fresh fire for evangelism. Let me explain. Currently the Colombian Government has launched a nationwide campaign for peace and reconciliation. When we arrived to Bogota a friend who works for a large NGO gave us a copy of a government publication entitled “Reconciliation Colombia”. It contains among other things statistics of victims from the armed conflict for every department (state) within the nation. After The Lord spoke to me, I again read it and then compared the victimization statistics for the Department of Antioquia, with all the others. I am shocked and realize now we have been set up. God has sent us to the center of Colombia’s bleeding heart. The statistics for the human pain and suffering here are staggering.
I want to share with you the statistics for Antioquia with a population of 6.6 million as compared to the city of Bogota and the surrounding departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá (having a combined population of 11.8 million). The first number in each set is for Antioquia and the second is the combined numbers for Bogota, Cundinamarca, and Boyacá. From 1985 until March 2014 reported cases are as follows: Displaced refugees: 703,888 vs. 109,028.
Homicides:143,721 vs. 20,250.
Injuries/deaths from land mines: 2,154 vs. 0.
Kidnappings: 5,474 vs. 1,635.
Children forced into armies : 290 vs. 80.
There were no statics to compare but also listed for Antioquia are: Terrorist Acts: 4,748, Forced Disappearances 12,455, and Tortures 771.
I began to think about the fact that these Statistics do not reflect the unreported cases. Also they only go back to 1985 and do not cover the entire length of civil war which has now waged on for more than Fifty years. I cannot describe in words, the emotion of God’s heart concerning the blood of mankind that is crying out to Him from the ground here. I suppose He has only allowed me to feel a slight amount and only for a few moments because the fullness would be humanly unbearable.
Most all of the large national and multinational corporations and government organizations are behind the peace and reconciliation campaign called “Soy Capaz” which means “I am able.” Each advertisement starts off with “I am able” “Soy Capaz “and then adds their own idea such as “I am able to forgive”‘, “take a step forward”, “dignify a woman”, etc.… I think this is great and I am 100% for it. Although, something is bothering me and it causes my heart to ache for this people. Maybe it is the blood that is crying from the ground. Perhaps it is the difference between such slogans, created in the minds of the Madison Avenue style marketing departments of Coca Cola, Exxon, or Toyota, as contrasted with the unexpressed pain in the victimized hearts of millions of common Colombians. Their unseen struggle to move forward with daily life is not profiled nor portrayed in the cosmetics of political and corporate ads. It is not my intention to wax heavy or negative. All I know is that slogans on billboards and restaurant placemats, or in slick TV ads, cannot heal and restore nor bring peace and reconciliation to such broken lives. But I know Jesus Christ can! I believe with all my heart His blood will eclipse and silence the blood that is crying from the ground. My prayer is that soon, the only voice heard crying here will be the voice of the blood of Jesus. May it cry over this part of earth called Antioquia, Colombia as it does now in Heaven; “Redeemed” “Redeemed.”
As we preach the gospel, the blood of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of all the world, will wash Antioquia. I know Jesus will heal and restore those who are broken. Finally she and all of Colombia will have the true peace and reconciliation that every heart is longing for. Because Jesus lives in his or her heart, the once victim will in reality be able to say “Soy Capaz”.
This is why we (you and us) are here!