Greg Morrison, Collin Schofield, Jason Scofield, and I are looking forward to our trip to Colombia that begins next Sunday. This visit has been in the works for well over a year — maybe two years. Presently, Kettering Church of Christ assists in the support of nine men and their families who live across Colombia. We have had relationships with most of them for six years, while others we are just getting to know. Our preachers cover a wide range of ages and experience – some in the early years of service, while others have been laboring for a couple of decades or more. Two of them are fluent in English and assist us in translation while we are there. They are all very dedicated to their work.
Beginning in 2011, our shepherds determined that this congregation would become more involved in overseas evangelism. While Kettering sent funds around the world in the years prior to this, we wanted this part of our work to become more than the more typical practice of “receive-a-report-and-get-a-check.” We wanted to know our men, their families, and their work personally. We wanted to experience what they experience … to know it, feel it, and to understand it. We also determined to focus our efforts on one country, easing our travel, lodging, and expense commitments. As we have moved forward over the last eight years, several of you have joined us in assisting our work abroad. A few of you have gone with us to help in the work, including Jason/Sadonna Schofield, Greg Morrison, Collin Schofield, and Emilea Allen. Besides money contributed out of the treasury, literally tens of thousands of dollars have been given individually, countless items of clothing, worship supplies, computers, projectors, and other teaching aids have been donated. Our involvement in Colombia is so concentrated, that our shepherds have even tasked a deacon (Jason Schofield) to have his entire area of focus on the work there. From what we know, there is no other congregation in the United States more involved in the work in Colombia than Kettering. Again, you are to be commended for this.
This year’s trip will mainly focus on two important needs. First, we’ll be visiting local works in Lorica, Villavicencio, Acacias, Cali, Villamaria, and Manizales. Second, we’ll be holding a 4-day conference in Cali with all nine of our men in order to teach and encourage them in their preaching efforts. Jason and I have been working hard to get ready for this part of the work. Over the coming week, we’ll reveal more specifics about what our visit will look like.
You can help. We need your prayers every single day. In fact, we’re very dependent on them. And, finally, prayers for our families while we are away are also appreciated. There is always a special burden placed on Sadonna, Becky, and Doneitta when we travel. And thanks for your encouragement as we assist in taking the gospel to South America.