Saturday, May 10, 2014

Almost home

The gates to YWAM

The blessing of staying with YWAM included our supper and breakfast. We arrived only slightly late, walking from one building to the other with a Colombian government official who preached revivals on the side. After the meal, we decided to join the four or five young YWAMers on the patio attempting to use the internet. I say attempting because the internet was not working well for any of us that night, and it certainly wasn’t working well for ALL of us. Awaiting a page to load, one of the young guys, probably just out of high school, started a conversation. Where were we from, were we family, why were we here, how did we know YWAM?

I answered and the Spirit of the Lord shined in the conversation. The young man had come to work full time for YWAM for awhile after completing his Discipleship Training School. Like other staff, he had to raise his support himself, but, like many Colombians, the churches in his home had little to offer. He was from Manizales, however, and that was coffee country. His brother-in-law processed coffee for the Cooperativa (the farmer’s coop that sells products without going through big coorporations). Would we be interested in buying some?

And so it was that we bought Colombian coffee of the finest quality, grown by family farms and processed only 2 weeks prior. And we had the blessing of supporting a missionary while spending less than the cost of coffee in the U.S.

Our last morning in the Amazon was uneventful. Tyrel bought machetes and we visited our taxi friends again for a ride to the airport. Initially surprised by the long line in the airport for the only outgoing flight of the morning, I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly conversation with the ticket agent, who prepared us for security and arranged for us to be seated together on the plane, apologizing that he had no window seats left. 

The flight to Bogota was restful and we enjoyed another bag of potato chips that  even looked like a sliced potato and wrapped arequipe. I did, however, have a moment of distress at the airport.

When we emerged, I realized that the “airport certified” taxi line as about 100 people long. I KNEW I was not interested in standing in that, but it had been so long since I’d spent time in Bogota, that I was clueless as to what bus to catch and not entirely sure how to get from the airport to the main streets. A businessman nearby noticed my look and offered, “There’s a camioneta (like a van/SUV) service with a much shorter line. Let me arrange a ride there for you.” I agreed to ask, knowing it would be slightly more expensive, and he consulted with a driver to confirm the address. The driver was only too thrilled to take us, but as he started to take our bags I asked, “How much?” “48,000.” 

You might say I overreacted. “No seƱor! Este no queda tan lejos, no vamos a pagar eso!” I motioned to my friends and we set out walking toward town. I tried to call my friend Jessica, as we were headed to her house and I knew she could tell me what bus to ride. No answer.  

But God is good. We were right at the corner of the turn-about for the 26th Street, the thoroughfare for reaching the airport, when I realized other taxis were passing. I waved one down. It was small and we were smooshed, but the driver was fair and even very patiently turned around so that we didn’t get soaked in the downpour when finally arrived and paid our 14,000 pesos.

The man with the llama thought we'd pay him if he pushed his llama into our picture.
As the downpour finally slowed and we set out on our tour of Bogota, I couldn’t believe how much we’d done. We saw the main city square, learned some history, visited the guards at the capital, made a few policemen smile... The Botero museum was a first for me, though I’d often played on the fat Botero horse in the park near my house in Bogota. You’ve never seen so much fat art...

The guards are required to be stoic, but.... they almost laughed.
It was a good trip. It was good to see how blessed I am. Good to know the things of which I read. Good to have friends to share the Colombia I’d come to love and the Colombia which I was meeting. Good to arrive safe and sound.
Because I serve a good God and He delights in our enjoyment of His goodness.

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