This past weekend we had the privilege of traveling with Pastor Carlos to visit a new work that has begun in his home town of Manizales. It was a 5+ hour car trip, through winding mountains, past the Cauca river, through small towns and acres of farm land. We past through pineapple and passion fruit fields and saw the coffee plantations as we arrived in coffee country, where Manizales is located. It is the capital city in the state of Caldas and is nestled in the mountains at an elevation of about 7000 feet.
We arrived Saturday and enjoyed a typical lunch with some of the leaders in this new work. Then we headed off to the meeting space where a group of 15 adults and youth gathered for a workshop on children’s ministry. The 5 hours together flew by as there was much participation, discussion, and collaboration. We talked about the importance of children in the church, their role and participation, the need of developing intergenerational ministry, and we worked together on developing formational teaching times using El Pacto con Dios, a Covenant curriculum for children’s ministry.
The next day we were able to gather again with this group as worship together. Youth helped lead singing and one of the young girls was learning how to play the tambourine. Julio was invited to share the message from God’s word and I was able to participate with the children as they delved into the story of the parable of the sower. Worship together was followed by a delicious and filling lunch and we spent a majority of the time listening to one another’s stories around the table.
As a family we enjoy exploring new places, meeting new people and hearing their stories. As people invite us into their lives and homes we are impressed that so many of the stories they share are stories of struggle and of God’s goodness. As we returned home Sunday evening through the same windy roads, we were met with an impressive mountain sunset and we gave thanks for God’s goodness exhibited this weekend through people and creation.