Colombia (ODM) — Terrorism is not new in Colombia, a country with a history of Marxist guerrilla groups, drug cartels, and right-wing paramilitary groups.
Those who oppose such groups are targeted, often pastors, church leaders and Gospel workers. Open Doors shares David's account of one such situation:
"One day my father was preaching, my mother was singing, and my sister and I were playing, when these illegal groups came and took my father. When I saw these people for the first time, I was afraid; my heart was filled with terror. I had never seen people dressed in black with weapons, small children with guns; I was very afraid. When they took my father, they told me they were going to kill him."
Anti-government rebel groups also force children to join their cause and will kidnap, attack and kill those who stand in their way.
David's story, however, represents the stories of many Christian children in Colombia. Though their situation would appear hopeless, there are seeds of hope.
Christians represent the light of Christ in these areas, and there have
been many cases of individuals leaving these rebel groups because of the
hope they have found in Christ Jesus.
Open Doors has a children's center for Christian kids like David, who come from extremely dangerous areas. Some of these children have experienced persecution first-hand; others have lost family members due to persecution from rebel groups.
The children's center not only provides a safe place for these children, but equips them with a Biblical foundation, an education, counseling, and life skills for when they become adults and leave the children's center.
Psalm 147:11 says, "The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love." Despite these trying circumstances, God has planted seeds of hope in these children's lives, so that they might grow in Him and be used by Him to shine Christ's light in these difficult places.
• Pray for Colombian Christians, as they are often the targets of violence.
• Pray that those in Marxist guerrilla groups will see the love of Christ in the Christians they are persecuting and want to know Him.
• Pray for those whose lives have been turned upside down due to violence. Pray for all who suffer from loss, that the Lord might meet their needs and that they might find in their Creator hope and restoration.