In our continuing desire to create partnerships in ministry here in Colombia, we will soon, like next week, be putting to the test what could be a good move forward. We are receiving a group of 11 men from Sacramento, CA, (part of the Men’s Ministry at the First Covenant Church of Sacramento), together with a group of 5 men and two women from El Centro, CA, whom I understand are extended family of Jeff Koons, the leader of the group and Pastor of Adult & Men’s Ministries at Sacramento First Covenant. Our partnership with Sacramento First Covenant isn’t what we are putting to the test. In our more than 20 years in Colombia this is the ninth time that we have partnered with Sacramento First Covenant in receiving a ministry/work team. Our partnership with the group from El Centro, CA, is combining something new—allowing an established partner (First Covenant) to bring in a new partnership (El Centro). This is always good because no one partnership can do it all, but each one is very important.
With so many people coming (18 total) we are once again being stretched to our logistical limit and beyond. And we are stretching our Colombian partners the same way. The Colombian Covenant partners we are working with have proven to be quite resourceful in making the logistics work. We are going to an area of Colombia, the Department of Cordoba in the northwestern region of the country, where none of our Mission staff lives. We are more dependent on our Colombian partners in this partnership than when a team visits a city where a missionary lives and can be more involved in the logistics. We try to keep our teams to a maximum of 10 people, although we make a few exceptions. This time it is how it worked out because of adding in the new partnership aspect.
We are also adding in a new partner on the Colombian side—the Covenant Church of La Ye de Sahagun, Cordoba. We are excited about this possibility since we have never been able to get a team to this pueblo of Colombia before. La Ye de Sahagun is a bit remote, (the name of the town stems from the fact that La Ye is literally situated at a Y in the road) but it is where a Covenant Church is looking to partner in order to extend the Kingdom of God.
So 1) area of the country is new in La Ye; 2) new partners on the Colombian and the North American sides; 3) size of the team to this area is new; 4) the First Covenant of Sacramento and the Colombia Covenant Mission partnership is solid. What will God be doing through all of this during the next week, January 14-22? We will let you know. (After the 22nd of January you can check out our blog at www.pactocol.org)