Frank and I are wrapping up a mind-boggling time with the people of Casa Sobre la Roca in Bogotá, Colombia who have warmly welcomed and welcomed us as members of the Body of Christ in Colombia. We have been blessed by the friendship of our hosts, Ricardo and Diana Jalube, who lead Casa Sobre la Roca in South Florida. Diana is a gifted and energetic translator who invests herself in every word. She belongs to the Synergy Women’s Network.
This Colombian network of 30 churches (so far), including several in the U.S., gives solid evidence of how the gospel is surging in the Global South.
The Casa Roca movement was founded by the former leading Colombian political television journalist, Darío Silva-Silva, with a Bible study group that met in his garage. That Bible study group has mushroomed into a congregation of 15,000 in Bogotá. Pastor Darío is a leading advocate for evangelicalism in Colombia and a deeply beloved pastor/father figure for the Colombian church. His wife Esther’s heart beats for the poor and the homeless, and she is an unstoppable ezer-warrior for forgotten children.
Saturday, Frank addressed a men’s retreat of 800 men and a gathering of academics, while I spoke to a throng of 1200 exuberant-shouting-joyous-clapping-jumping women who arrived from all over Colombia for a one-day women’s retreat. (Those of you who know me will smile to learn that I was lovingly described as “muy stoica” compared to my Colombian sisters.) Despite my lack of rhythm, the ezer message has arrived in Colombia and been passionately received!
Sunday, both of us gave greetings at all four worship services (total of 14,000 people), and Frank preached at two of the standing room only worship services of more than 3500 people each. We were struck by the fact that the congregation was predominately young people and as many men as women.
Under the leadership of Esther Silva-Silva, Casa Roca now has an outstanding network of homes for children—11 homes to date—where children who were formerly homeless and without hope are receiving the best care, education, loads of love, and a bright future. Frank and I were blown away to see how they are flourishing and to hear them tell their stories of how the gospel is taking root in their hearts and they are becoming solid contributors to Colombian society as university educated professionals.
We have much to process, and I will be blogging more when we get home and I can hook my camera up to my computer. I have pictures to back up what I’m saying!
—CCJames from Bogotá