I learned about a country that is as beautiful as America, with mountains, rivers, coastlines, plains, and weather that is virtually perfect every day. The hospitality I received was as delightful as it was startling. I met natives and travelers of all ages.  I went from being someone with over thirty years of experience in my work to a complete beginner who hadn’t conjugated a verb in a foreign language since high school.

I listened to the heartbreaking stories of life lived under the chaos and violence of narco-traffickers and heard the hope that comes with the progress that has been made the last fifteen years.  In many ways, life in Colombia now has parallels to life in Germany after WWII.  How to continue the recovery, in all aspects, is on the mind of every native.  Avoiding the high profile night life that attracts some tourists to Medellin, I never felt any more at risk than I do here at home.

Because of convenience and my obvious deficiencies in Spanish, I attended a Catholic Church while I was there.  I met scores of people who were ready to help me with my new language and wanted me to know of their love of their country.  I also got to watch a couple of World Cup wins with Colombians, a nationwide ecumenical event, often viewed with four generations.

You will ultimately determine how this experience has changed me.  From my vantage point, I know that my perspective on life and God grew each day I was there, as did my gratitude for life itself and friends who make it possible to experience this kind of adventure.  Special thanks to Nadia and Rod and the entire Christ Church staff for all of their extra work.  Though taxing, I know this was a rich time for them as well.

I hope to see you all at church this Sunday and throughout the rest of the season.