Friday, March 19, 2010

Getting Involved

We've almost completed two months of being involved in the Bible Institute again. It has been hard work, but enjoyable. Such a blessing to be able to serve and encourage Christians here in Bogota.

This picture shows the house where the Institute meets. It is a rented property that is mostly used by a church for their meetings, but loaned to us on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings. There are seven classes this semester with about 165 students in attendance.
Bill teaching Old Testament Survey on Thursday night - 44 active students from 14 different churches in Bogota.
Bill's smaller Discipleship class, using Matthew as their text, on Saturday mornings - 10 students (only 4 pictured)
Romans class on Saturday morning taught by Ovidio (he's the teacher who is sitting near the middle with a mustache)
Bible Doctrines class on Saturday morning taught by Gilberto

Last Sunday we went to church in a neighborhood called "Berlin" (northwest Bogota). It was our last scheduled visit to one of the other churches in the city. We've enjoyed the opportunity to see how God is working in other parts of Bogota. They are a smaller group with lots of children, as you can see below. Also in the picture is Mario, one of the main leaders there. Together he and his wife serve the churches in Bogota by volunteering their time to help with administrative tasks at the Bible Institute and Emmaus Correspondence School office.

Starting this Sunday we will regularly attend just one church, Aposento Alto J.Vargas, instead of visiting and speaking at other churches in the city. This is the building we meet in. The first floor is a bank and the top floor is the owner's apartment. We have the middle three floors. Our largest space is on the fourth floor and currently we are squeezing approximately 140 adults and 40 children there on Sunday mornings. The search is on for a larger place to meet.
Prayer is an important part of our Wednesday night meeting.
Once a month a team of about 20 meet to pray, study and plan together.
Here's our church mission statement:

SER UNA IGLESIA QUE EVANGELIZA EN TODO TIEMPO HACIENDO DISCIPULOS DE CRISTO, CAPACITANDO INTEGRALMENTE A LOS CREYENTES PARA EL MINISTERIO Y DONDE JESUCRISTO SEA SIEMPRE EXALTADO”.

In English: "To be a church that evangelizes at all times, making disciples of Christ, thoroughly equipping the believers for ministry and where Jesus Christ is always exalted."

Come Visit Bogota!!

My parents came to visit us this month. We had a lot of fun being together and experiencing some of the beauties of this country. Be encouraged to come visit us too, here in Colombia!

Street sights in our neighborhood
Downtown Bogota - Plaza de Bolivar
The Cathedral (my first time inside!) - lots of statues and religious stuff
Government buildings - we found out that the ants on the building are an artistic way of getting people to think about "the theme of migration and population movement [that] has particular relevance for Colombia, where there are an estimated 2 to 4 million displaced people, most of whom were forced from their homes by the country's ongoing armed conflict."
Downtown streets

We also visited Villa de Leyva about 3 hours drive north of Bogota
Trying to sell stuff to the tourists :)
Bill enjoying an escape into his book
We stayed at a quaint, little hotel owned by this ladies' family. They're Christians who used to live in Bogota attending the church that gave birth to our current church. It was neat to reconnect with her.
A traveling curiosity: at the bus station in Tunja the women's restroom was out of order so they converted the men's room to serve all!