Tuesday, August 23, 2016


We are back in Colombia, and back at work full swing. I spent last weekend with the leadership group (ProFILE). If you heard us speak over the summer, you heard me talk about the importance of lay leadership, and lay leadership training. For this year, 2016, the ProFILE training will be 4 retreats, this was the 3rd. 

There is so much I could write about. The theme for the weekend was Liturgy and Diakonia, Pastor Jairo Suarez was the lead speaker, and just like last year (and please do read to refresh the ins and outs and more technical parts of the retreat) he did a great job. 

Saturday evening, every congregation brought a Luther Rose to gift to another congregation. Part of this gift also says our congregation is praying for your congregation. This was such a special night, and during this exchange I saw transformation happen. I watched the whole Colombian church get smaller, closer together, and become more of a family. It was beautiful to watch. This group had taken so much care in the gifts they brought. 
The ProFILE 2016 group with their gifts, Photo credit: my camera taken by someone from the retreat center
This retreat was in Villavicencio. This is one of the cities that is without a pastor, and has been for almost 2 years. For our Sunday closing worship, we invited the whole congregation to come and worship with us, break bread, and after worship share a meal together. 

The whole congregation from Villavicencio along with the participants from ProFILE
One of the requirements to graduate from ProFILE is to attend all of the retreats. Julian missed the 3rd one last year, so he came this year to fulfill his requirements. At the close of the worship he graduated, it was very special, extra special because he is from Villavicencio and therefore graduated in front of his family and church. He proceeded to tell the congregation about the importance of ProFILE, and thanking them for the opportunity. 
Pastor Ata presenting Julian with his certificate