Today we met with church planting partners in Villavicencio, Colombia. What a wonderful time! These leaders understand the need for a new paradigm of church planting, one that is both reproducing and self-supporting. Not only do they understand it, they are doing it. It is fantastic! Leaving Villavicencio, we took Highway 40 to Bogotá. Think “roller coaster” and you will begin to get a feel for our trip. Our driver must have been late for a date. He zipped along the winding roads regularly exceeding the speed limit by 40 KPH. Double yellow lines meant nothing to this kid.
If you look closely we are driving uphill--on the wrong side of the road--toward a blind curve. You gotta love the sense of adventure! I am writing from Cali so rest assured we arrived in one piece.
As exciting as our seat time was, the sights, sounds, and scents were even more invigorating. Soaring Andes mountains, farms staked out on near vertical terrain, vendors hawking goods at road construction stopping points, small roadside villages, wood-burning grills with fresh arepa waiting to be enjoyed, . . . and armored guards and TANKS! We are talking locked and loaded.We don’t have that in Florida!
The presence of serious fire power is the work of President Uribe. It is his strategy to keep the rebel guerrillas at bay and it is working. Roads that were once barely passable, are now enjoyed by many. That is called, "being on guard against the adversary," something Paul knew very well.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.(1 Peter 5:6-11 ESV)
Seeing the tanks today reminded me of God's restraining power. It also was a fresh reminder to be alert and to wage war against the cosmic guerrilla rebels of evil. Following Christ doesn't come without a fight!
MY PRAYER: Lord, help me to stand guard against the evil one today. Help me to resist temptation and to stand firm in my faith. Strengthen and establish me for your glory!
I am indebted to
for this photo of the armored carriers you will see along the highway. Alas, I was too slow to snap and missed the big tank -- probably because I was hanging on for dear life as we crossed the double yellow lines once again.