From February 3-13 I was in Bogotá, Colombia (along with my friend Ray Demich – chairman of the elders at ACC) visiting Brian and Sharan Killins. The Killins were sent out from ACC over 30 years ago and they have been faithfully and effectively sharing the gospel and planting churches ever since – and still going strong! We had many opportunities to teach the word of God and fellowship with some excellent brothers and sisters in Christ. It was tiring but very rewarding.
It was a very rich experience. My mind is spinning with all that we saw and heard. Therefore, here are 12 random thoughts and observations about it all:
- God has is doing a great work in Colombia. 40 years ago evangelical Christians were almost non-existent; now on any given Sunday morning the majority of Columbians actually attending church are evangelicals. The Killins have been instrumental in planting over 20 churches themselves!
- The particular congregation that the Killins serve includes a wide variety of people – just like ACC!
- Their worship band rocks! And they are loud too – real loud! The enthusiasm and joy are contagious.
- Yogurt there is very thin. You drink it – no spoon needed. They pour it on their breakfast cereal. I tried it. Not bad.
- Each car owner in Bogotá has two assigned days of the week when they are not allowed to drive their car. Fortunately the public transportation system is accessible and cheap and taxi cabs are EVERYWHERE!
- Bogotá is 8,612 feet above sea level. (Denver – the “mile high city” is at 5,280 feet.) Upon our arrival Ray and I carried our luggage up the five flights of stairs to the Killins apartment. By the time we reached it we were bug-eyed as we huffed and puffed like severe asthmatics! Throughout our stay the slightest exertion left us breathing hard. The air is very thin!
- Traffic is intense. Crowded. Fast. Four lanes in what was designed for two lanes – and the motorcycles / scooters then fill in all the crevices. I could never, ever drive there. Yet we never saw an accident. Never saw any road rage. Brian Killins driving? Well, let’s just say that he is fully acclimated to Colombian culture.
- I wish I had paid more attention during my two years of high school Spanish.
- Preaching using an interpreter is a challenge. It requires you to speak in 5-10 second bursts. It is difficult to establish a good rhythm. Humor is even more of a challenge. A 30 minute sermon turns into a 50 minute sermon. Yet the people graciously dealt with it and were always very attentive.
- You tell a cab driver that you are from Chicago and the first two words out of their mouth are “Al Capone”.
- Their portion sizes are much smaller than ours. Their large coffee is smaller than our small. You can actually eat the entire serving in a restaurant without feeling like blimp. No wonder us Americans struggle with our weight.
- The Killins church is very “missionary-minded”. They understand their responsibility to take the gospel to those who have not yet heard. They set the example for us.
Please pray for the Killins and their ministry. God is using them to advance His kingdom. It was a privilege to have a very small part in their work.
This trip has heightened my excitement for ministering in Honduras this August 1-8. Have you been prayerfully considering joining our team?