Stories

When Darkness is Light

Carolina “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

Psalm 139:9-12

It is natural to think that when things are going wrong, God must not be aware of what is happening. It is sometimes difficult to believe that He would allow such circumstances in our lives. Carolina, a woman from Colombia, has lived a life wholly devoted to the Lord. Her life has not been marked by perfect circumstances, but by a heart enthralled with God and His purposes. Although the darkness of the world seemed to be closing in on her with despair, she knew that if she was faithful, He would use even the darkness for good. The world’s great darkness is less than a speck to the Almighty God! Her incredible story shows us just that: As Carolina stood in the doorway of her home, she stared at the wreckage surrounding her. The sight was painful, yet not surprising. As Christian leaders in their community, Carolina and her husband Eduardo had known it was only a matter of time before they caught the attention of the indigenous authorities. As she stood, observing the authorities’ handiwork, she wondered what would happen to her family now that they no longer had a place to live. “You must leave,” the authorities had told them. “If you return to this area, we will do more than destroy your home- we will kill you.” Carolina and her family fled to another region in Colombia, leaving all they knew behind. They found short-term refuge in a home in La Plata, but the owners of the home soon told them to leave because they disapproved of their Christian activities. Once again, they were left without a place to live. Their experience mirrors that of hundreds of other indigenous believers who have been displaced from their communities due to religious persecution. Christians are despised and rejected in indigenous groups. The persecution is often so strong, that Christians are forced to flee, as in the case of Carolina’s family. These believers are left without a place to live, and forced to construct makeshift homes out of plastic and bits of wood. Seeking to find a solution to these problems, Carolina became involved with the Christian organization OPIC. Established in 2009, OPIC supports projects related to education, health and work opportunities for indigenous believers. Her involvement with OPIC and strong leadership qualities soon drew the attention of Open Doors. With OD’s help, Carolina was able to open a safe house for believers who have been displaced and need housing. Her large, dark eyes light up as she speaks about this project: “This house is a place for sharing the gospel. I want to reach people who have not experienced the love of Jesus,” she shared. “Since I came to Christ, my ministry has been to help and serve people. Now, I understand why God created me in this way.” The safe house also provides an opportunity for Carolina to use her gift of teaching. Thirty-nine children participate in classes held in the safe house. For one week per month, the children receive housing, food and education from Carolina and Eduardo. The students travel from several locations to attend the school, some walking for up to 2-3 hours. All of these children are drawn to Carolina, who showers them with the love of Jesus and teaches them biblical principles. Join us in praising God for women like Carolina, and all that she is doing in Colombia to extend His glory. Click here to learn more about the persecution going on in Colombia.

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