In Colombia there is a tradition that many people participate in beginning December 16th. Las novenas are gatherings that take place the nine days leading up to Christmas. They are a tradition within the Catholic church that has become a part of life and culture in Colombia, especially in Medellin. People gather with their families or with friends to celebrate the novenas and they follow a little guide that is printed with prayers, songs and readings. They usually share special Christmas treats. We have been invited for years by neighbors and it is always a special time to prepare for Christmas.
While the evangelic churches don’t typically celebrate las novenas, many people will join in with their families. This year we were invited to participate in a special novena celebration with Fuente de Salvacion Covenant Church in Itagui. They partnered with community leaders in a nearby community where they have been building relationships and were invited to help lead the novenas for the children in the community.
A team of leaders and many others from the church have participated each day leading the songs, a devotional teaching, and celebrating with the kids. On a typical day they have had 100+ children participate. This community is one that is way up in the hills and the majority of people living there have been either internally or internationally displaced. People have had to move from the countryside or other regions of Colombia, or Venezuela and this is the place they have settled. The church community has been building relationships with people in the community and the hope is to continue to find ways to serve the community, particularly the children.
Please pray for the community leaders and those from the Covenant church, that they would clearly communicate the hope of Christmas to the children. And pray for continued relationships and partnerships to develop for the good of the community,