Stories

Children in Colombia Learning True Religion

June 16, 2015 by Brett Tarbell in ,

It’s Not Easy.

For Christian children in Colombia, life can be hard.

Being aggressively and violently harassed at your guerrilla-controlled school? Hard.

Having your parents murdered by guerrillas? Crippling.

Children – especially orphans – need a safe haven to grow, learn and thrive in.

Open Doors’ Children’s Center is a ministry to the weak and the fatherless, the afflicted and the destitute. Since 2000, the center has been a key part of Open Doors’ Women and Children Advancement ministry. Women and Children Advancement is all about true religion (James 1:27):

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…”

Hear Their Stories

We recently interviewed some Colombia Children’s Center alumni who are excited to tell you about God’s redemptive work in their lives. Their stories are rough, but magnify the sovereignty of Christ beautifully.

At eight years old, Sofia* was orphaned when guerrillas murdered her parents for their ministry training. Her face speaks volumes as she describes the love she found at the Children’s Center:

“They were real role models. Our teachers were the parents I never had.” Under teachers who cared about her spiritual and personal development, it became clear to Sofia that God wanted her to be a missionary.

Another alumni, Santiago*, realizes that his time at the center was not a coincidence, but a testament to God’s wise foresight. “I would be nothing today…They always had time for us.”

Ferney*, an alumni who is one of the country’s ethnic minorities, hardly ever attended school as a child. His family was expelled from their village after accepting Christ. His parents worried about his safety and were relieved when they found the Children’s Center. It was there that he discovered a passion for Information Technology (IT), and he now studies at Bogota University and serves part-time for Open Doors Colombia.

His friend David* chimes in, “When I entered the Center, I knew nothing. It is only there that I learned to gain a perspective on my own life.” He now studies linguistics and pays forward the blessings he has received by tutoring students at the Children’s Center.

Know Their Hope

After hearing from just a few alumni, it is clear that they all – formerly without perspective, traumatized and fearful – have grown into self-confident young adults. They courageously urge others to follow Jesus and pray that the Open Doors Children’s Center will become a training ground for many other Christian children.

Join Their Cause

Children like Sofia, Santiago, Ferney and David thrive at the Children’s Center because of your prayer and financial support.

1. Pray for the Children’s Center, that it would continue to refresh young lives and equip them with faith and purpose in the name of Jesus Christ.

2. Give to support the Open Doors Children’s Center and other Women and Children Advancement programs, showing Christ’s love to the least of these.

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