Bucaramanga — Nov. 8, 2022

He’s trying to kill me! Colombian style!  So, we check into the hotel, a boutique sort of hotel in a very busy area of town.  Don asks if they have anything available higher up thinking that it will help with the noise, especially at night when the bar starts hopping and you can hear the music 5 blocks away.  There are not a lot of hotels in this area, it’s more local/commercial. Think m21 in Flint. Bucaramanga is a huge city. We are staying in this area because it is near Diego’s house who is graciously serving as our taxi and interpreter.  They give us a nice, large room on the 5th floor.  

Don doesn’t start teaching until 6:00 this evening so we decide to take a walk and try and scope out some other hotels perhaps not across from a disco.  I head out wearing  my leg brace as honestly, my knee has been taxed on this trip- lots and lots of up and down and steps.  When we got back from the walk to get ready to go out,  the front desk attendant informed us that the elevator (which only goes to the 4th floor), is out!  No worries, it should be back in action in 20 minutes.  I decide to stay in the lobby, Don takes the steps. An hour later I rise from my seat and ask when they think it will be fixed.  They put up their fingers – 4.  Is that 4:00 or 4 hours?  Guess it doesn’t matter. I have to get up stairs, so I head up, get to the 5th floor with heart beating only to discover that this area does not connect to our room.  Oh, I can see it over the open area.  I can even see the open window. But I can’t yell over the traffic enough for Don to hear me. And what can he do? Fix the elevator?  So back down I go.  The attendant understood right away. Did my red face help with the translation?  He then proceeds to escort me back up the stairs to the 4 th floor.  We walk across some sort of mezzanine, and there I see the steps to our unit.  

So we are here. All I’m going to say at this point is: avoid Viva air at all costs.  Flight changes (you book great times that will work for everyone and then they change them so you have to get up at 3:00 am). They change the gates (and you know how great those messages come across in the airport).  Actually, we don’t because we never heard it. Their site doesn’t always come in English.  But we always get suckered by the times and cost (they are always cheaper).  

Diego picked us up with Pastor John and we had a great time sharing their vision for Colombia. If God honors it, it will be so very good.  For that reason Pastor John  is moving to Bogota where he has intentions of planting a church.  We had been under the impression that it was for financial reasons but that was not correct. I must say that I am impressed with his willingness to uproot his family and with very little financial support, more to Bogota.  He is aware of the culture and dynamics of Bogota and has a heart for the lost.  He is well thought out. He’s not flighty, not in the least. With three very young children, I asked how his wife felt about the move. He said that she has a missionary heart and was eager to move.  In Bucaramanga he will leave behind 3 well established churches.  Don will be preaching for those three churches on Sunday.

Beginning tonight Don will begin teaching sessions for Elders of the three Presbyterian churches here in Bucaramanga. He is then going to meet individually with the Elders of each of the churches in the afternoon.  Saturday he will be doing a sexuality seminar and preaching on Sunday. Sunday afternoon I will be meeting with the ladies for a couple hours.

So that’s it from Bucaramanga. Our love is with you.

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