“Everything is Possible when in God’s Hands”

December 19, 2012 by Open Doors in General

A graduate from the Children’s Center in Colombia recognizes the impact of Open Doors on his life; otherwise, “I could be a guerrilla today,” he says. This proud graduate is one of five students who graduated on Dec. 7 from the school at the Open Doors Children’s Center in Colombia. Coming from different regions of the country where Christians live in danger from illegal armed groups that oppose the gospel, 48 children currently live and study at this place of refuge.

Even with the joy of graduating still fresh in his mind, the graduate realizes that it is impossible for him to continue his education in Colombia. Due to the ongoing persecution that his parents suffer, and his limited financial resources, he is getting ready to leave Colombia to continue his studies in another country. For his parents, the Children’s Center has been a unique blessing, enabling their son to conclude his secondary studies. His brother also lives at the home, and is expected to graduate in a couple of years.

The boys’ parents, who have been Christians for 20 years and were leaders in their local church, suffered the brunt of the persecution against the church in their community. Living in a very difficult region, they persevered and continued to spread the gospel, despite threats from FARC EP guerrillas. Many Colombian guerilla groups fear and oppose the advancement of the gospel message because it changes the mentality of people.

The guerrillas also pressured Christian families to provide them “a fee for war,” meaning giving their children up to fight for the guerrillas against the government. Since the family refused, the rebels expropriated the family’s properties, and forbade them to preach the gospel, worship together, or be involved in prayer and fasting. Two years ago the family fled, leaving everything behind, and the brothers came to live at the Children’s Center.

The parents were forced to leave their children behind and move to another country to find work and begin a new life. Although in the beginning it was hard for them to face this situation, complicated by the cultural shock of living in an unknown country, with God’s help, and support from other Colombian Christians living in the country, they acquired the financial resources to open a business.

One week before their son’s graduation, the parents returned to Colombia to participate in the ceremony. His mother said that her heart was filled with happiness when she entered the auditorium on the arm of her son. Her happiness increased when she learned that he was recognized as the best student in the state test – an honor that also recognized the school of the Open Doors Children’s Center as one of the best in the Meta region.

It was a great help to them, they said, to know that their sons were not only being protected, but were also being educated and trained in Christian values and principles. “For us it is a blessing,” the parents said, “that in the middle of so many problems we have lived with in the last two years, our older son is a graduate! And our younger son has finished his primary studies successfully and will continue his secondary studies. This was not possible for us without the help of the Open Doors Children’s Center!”

The proud parents said it is their heart’s desire for their son to continue his college studies. For now they are planning to travel back to their new country, and live abroad for four more years while their son gets a university degree as an oil drilling engineer.

Before saying goodbye to the Children Center, the young graduate declared, “Here I learned that everything is possible when we are in God’s hands. The best way is to stay with Him, and in this way to strive for excellence.”

Father, thank You for the work of Open Doors Children Center in providing a safe haven for children to complete their studies in the context of the Word of God. Continue to protect and prosper this school as it not only educates these young people, but rescues them from the spiritual darkness around them, raising them up to love and serve God and to be godly leaders in their communities.  We pray for this young man as he leaves with his family to enter into a university degree program. We ask You to challenge him to diligence in his studies and to bring success. Provide for the family, financially and give them opportunities wherever they live to lead Your people in faithfully following You. In the name of Jesus, who invades this dark world with His light, Amen.

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