STRUGGLES IN COLOMBIA

The word struggle means: make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint, constriction or resist attack.

Colombians have been living in violence for the past 50 years, and for fifty years there has been blood running down through Colombian soil. You can understand this only by living here, when you see the conflict that goes on daily, and death unexpectedly visits the young men or young women that you had just talked to yesterday and today there are no longer here. Struggle is what they do, struggle to be free from violence, free from drug traffic, free from economic restrain where a normal laborer earns less than 300 dollars per month. I feel their struggle, I see their efforts, I hear their attacks on the most difficult times of their life’s.

I have been here in Colombia on and off for the past 19 years. My family and I (wife and three Children) came to Colombia in the early part of 1995, where the violence was at its peak; Pablo Escobar had just been killed a couple of years before that, and his organization was having a mayor reconstruction and reorganization to find out who’s going to be the next boss. We came here just in time to be able to experience all the good things missionaries experience, though ours was not with snakes and tigers, it was with the sound of tires on cars squealing while the sound of gun fire and the fire coming out from the cars and motorcycles chasing after them, great movie, you missed it, you should have been here. But God open the doors for us on the northeast side of the city of Cali, an area closed to the Air Force Base, that did not make us any safer, it put us right in a red target area, where the guerrillas often would target this air base, by putting car bombs, motorcycle bombs or even as they used a horse and carriage filled with bomb artifacts.  Our first month in the country, we lived with my uncle(my mother’s brother), about 5 minutes away from where we started the church.  In that first week, we (my wife , my son Andrew and my uncle) were walking to the drug store to buy some medicine for my son that was a little sick, as we approach the drug store, we saw two guys on a motorcycle that were coming faster than evel knievel jumping the grand canyon, these guys were shooting at a car (a person in that car as was supposed to be their target) but to their surprise, the guys in the car return fire towards them, hitting one of the guys on the bike while the other guy escape in the moonlight. Where were we at the time all this movie was been recorded? We ran inside the drug store just in time when the exchange of bullets begin to happen. My wife said nervously as I tried to calm her down “I knew t his was going to happened, they told me in the states that this would happened and sure enough it happened”, of course I was trying to calm her by saying, ” this happens all the time in America, and she said, “where, where does this happen in America”, I said, “New York, Los Angeles, Miami and other unknown areas that they don’t even call the cops”. So we were introduced the first week we arrived to the Colombian struggling  way of life at the time.

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