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Colombia Mission Trip

More Than Coffee

By Martha Young, Mission Team Leader

Colombian CoffeeCOFFEE!!! Dark, rich, aromatic, hot coffee! This is what I have always associated with the country of Colombia because I truly enjoy coffee and find comfort when my hands are wrapped around a steaming mug.

A year ago, I was asked to travel to this coffee country on a fact-finding trip concerning orphan care mission trip opportunities. I had no expectations, so I was open to totally experiencing the country. At the end of our short trip, I left eager to return with a team to serve in this beautiful country. What I discovered were amazing people eager to help orphans and at-risk children. So this March, I traveled with an amazing team to Bogota, Colombia, to walk alongside these orphan champions.

We spent our first day in a home for girls who have aged out of the system and are attending college. It was a beautiful home with dorm-style rooms and homey areas to study, eat, and relax. We painted, played games, ate, and even had our professional photographer team member do a photo shoot with each girl. They loved it! One of the older gals commented that she wanted one of us to adopt her now. Honestly, my heart broke because it reaffirmed how everyone longs for family, no matter how old they are or how independent they’ve become.

Painting Nails in ColombiaThen, we spent two days at orphanages interacting with some incredible children. We did crafts and painted the girls’ nails. Some of our soccer-loving team members played soccer and basketball with the boys. It was a hit! We also met some of the children who are available for adoption. Our prayer is for all of these children to soon be placed in loving Christian homes. As I pushed two little girls on the swing set, I prayed over them. When on a trip, it is never lost on me that I might be the only person who ever intercedes for a child by name. This is one of the reasons why these trips are so important!

Organizing in ColombiaWe spent one day organizing a room used for music, art, dance, and a library. It had become quite disorganized and needed some love. We spent several hours going through books, rearranging the room, and organizing the art supplies. This was a task that would not have been done because of the size of the job and lack of staff. During the day, staff members would peek in and get excited to see our progress. We walked away knowing we had helped lighten the burden of the staff so they could focus on the children.

We spent our busiest day with an organization that helps foster children and at-risk children and provides therapy/medical care for orphans. We played games and did crafts with foster children who had come for therapy. Even though there was a language barrier, we communicated love and acceptance.

We spent the afternoon at an after-school program for at-risk children in a very poor area. This area is known for gangs, drugs, and prostitution. The organization teaches these children there is a better way. As I sat with a group of little girls, I heard their hopes and dreams for their future. One wants to be a pilot and is so bright; another wants to be a police officer; another is working hard on her English so she can go far and maybe attend college. This day was all about making these children feel seen and heard and encouraging them to reach high. They also have a music program in which they have a choir. They sang for us after we presented them with new guitars to learn to play. One little guy was so excited he jumped up and down. Such joy and love these children showed to us.

Did I enjoy dark, rich coffee while there? Absolutely! Did I bring home several pounds of coffee beans? Absolutely! Most importantly, I brought home a love for a country and culture I had never experienced before. A love for the beautiful people of Colombia and a deeper desire to help the orphans of this country find a home.

What About You?

Are you ready to meet some of Colombia’s precious children? Visit our Colombia trips page to learn more about upcoming opportunities! See some of the children you may meet in our Waiting Children Photo Listings.



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