Sunday, December 11, 2022

Children's Ministry Around the World - Colombia

As we continue to look at Children's Ministry and the lives of children from around the world, today we "journey" to Latin America with our first "stop" in Colombia.

When you hear the word, “Colombia”, if you are like me, you think of coffee and drugs. While Colombia is known for its coffee and does have serious problems with drug cartels, this country is far more than these things. Colombia has 49 million people and is the third most populace country in Latin America (behind Brazil and Mexico according to Wiki). The country itself is very beautiful and diverse with Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, Andes Mountain highlands and the Amazon rainforest.
According to Wiki; “The National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) does not collect religious statistics, but they say about 90% of the population adheres to Christianity, the majority of which (70.9%) are Roman Catholic. However, 35.9% of Colombians reported they did not practice their faith actively.”
Children in Colombia are required to attend school, but one in ten do not since so many Colombians live in poverty, leaving many children living on the streets of big cities such as Borgata or working to help support their families. According to humanium.org, sexual exploitation of children is very prevalent as are child marriage, children being used as soldiers, and being impacted by landmines, kidnapping, suicide and violence.
Ministry to children in Colombia is not without its challenges. Violence is very real; pastors have been assassinated and churches closed due to the violence. Colombian people are taking the Gospel to the Amerindians which are closed to foreign missionaries; 4% of Colombians are unreached (OperationWorld). Rural churches are small and since poverty is high, there are not funds to pay full-time children’s ministers. However; ministry to street children in the large cities and ministry which provides Bible clubs, camps, food, shelter, medical care and other outreaches for poor rural communities are reaching children and families.
As you think about Colombia, please pray for –
  • The safety of children – so many are exposed to violence, exploitation and despair.
  • God to draw believers to Him while they serve in places where violence has developed a stronghold.
  • Laborers to go and help nationals learn to serve children.
  • Children to see the hope available to them from God and be willing to believe the despair they experience every day does not have to be all they know.
  • The Colombian church to grow in a place where there is so much darkness and be able to be a light to their communities!
Colombia is a beautiful country with children and families who need to know God loves them! While you may not be able to travel to Colombia to serve the church, you can pray and, “When a believing person prays, great things happen.” (James 5:16 NCV) Let’s pray and trust God for great things in Colombia! 

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