Planting Seeds of Hope In a Hopeless Place
The hope a children’s center brings to Christians in Colombia
“Let the children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14
“One day my father was preaching, my mother was singing, and my sister and I were playing, when these illegal groups came and took my father,” said David. “When I saw these people for the first time, I was afraid; my heart was filled with terror. I had never seen people dressed in black with weapons, small children with guns; I was very afraid. When they took my father, they told me they were going to kill him.”
David is from Colombia, a country where Christians face a great deal of violent persecution. This comes as a surprise to many, since Colombia has such a prevalent Catholic population. However, anti-government rebel groups have violently taken over parts of the country. These groups force children to join their cause and will kidnap, attack and even kill those who oppose them.
Christians represent the light of Christ in these areas and there have been many cases of individuals leaving these rebel groups because of the hope they have found in Christ Jesus. This has caused the rebel groups to see Christians as enemies and to persecute them because of this. Pastors, like David’s father, are especially targeted.
David’s story represents the stories of many Christian children in Colombia. Though their situation would appear hopeless, there are seeds of hope.
Open Doors has a children’s center for Christian children like David, who come from extremely dangerous areas. Some of these children have experienced persecution first hand; others have lost family members due to persecution from rebel groups.
The children’s center not only provides a safe place for these children, but equips them with a Biblical foundation, an education, counseling and life skills for when they become adults and leave the children’s center.
Psalm 147:11 says, “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Despite these trying circumstances, God has planted seeds of hope in these children’s lives, so that they might grow in Him and be used by Him to shine Christ’s light in these difficult places.