Colombia (ODM/MNN) – With widespread issues such as poverty, lack of quality education, and human trafficking, Colombia can be a tough place to grow up.
It can be even more difficult for children of pastors and church leaders. They are often violently harassed by guerrilla groups, and their parents are the targets of violence because of their faith.
But through Open Doors USA’s Colombia Children’s Center, these children have a place to thrive. It was started in 2000 and is a key part of Open Doors’ Women and Children Advancement ministry. It can’t solve every problem–children still miss their parents and worry for their safety; but they receive love and opportunities they most likely never would have otherwise.
Open Doors recently interviewed a few Colombia Children’s Center alumni about God’s redemptive work in their lives.
At eight years old, *Sofia was orphaned when guerrillas murdered her parents for their ministry training. She describes the love she found at the Children’s Center:
“They were real role models. Our teachers were the parents I never had.” As she developed personally and spiritually under the guidance of loving teachers, she felt God calling her to be a missionary.
Another alumnus, *Santiago, realizes that his time at the center was not a coincidence, but God’s plan to give him a future: “I would be nothing today…. They always had time for us.”
*Ferney, an alumnus who is one of the country’s ethnic minorities, hardly ever attended school as a child. His family was expelled from their village after accepting Christ. His parents worried about his safety and were relieved when they found the Children’s Center. It was there that he discovered a passion for Information Technology (IT), and he now studies at Bogota University and serves part-time for Open Doors Colombia.
His friend *David says, “When I entered the Center, I knew nothing. It is only there that I learned to gain a perspective on my own life.” He now studies linguistics and tutors students at the Children’s Center.
These children urge others to follow Jesus and pray that the Open Doors Children’s Center will become a training ground for many other Christian children. Other children like them only thrive at the Children’s Center because of prayer and financial support.
Here are ways you can help give children in Colombia a better future:
- Pray for the Children’s Center, that it would continue to refresh young lives and equip them with faith and purpose in the name of Jesus Christ.
- Financially support the Open Doors Children’s Center and other Women and Children Advancement programs, showing Christ’s love to the least of these.
- Click here to see how you can share words of encouragement with a child at the center.
*Names changed for security.