The Fighting Spirit of Colombian Women

 In Rehabilitation Programs, Volunteer

By Blanca Garcia | Summer Intern & Summit Int’l School of Ministry Alumni 

So often cities are sealed and marked by their past, and as history has it, Medellin, Colombia is one of the many cities that is well documented for having a horrid past, where individuals looked out for their own rather than the community. But, this is not the present Medellin, this city despite living in the rhyme of the past has grown tremendously through organizations such as City of Refuge.

I came to volunteer at this organization because I wanted to see this community effort in action, and since being here I have seen it played out daily. It’s time for class, and as the women begin to trickle into the classroom with their Bibles, pens, and notebooks, I am greeted with beautiful smiles and laughter. Knowing that they have had a long work day it’s amazing to see that they are ready and willing for class. As the class progresses we discuss the attributes of God, their personalities are displayed as they make jokes with each other, and team up to answer my questions. Towards the end of class, we transition to learning some English. As soon as I say this they start throwing phrases “Jesus es mi amigo, Padre, Hijo, y Espiritu Santo, como estas.” As I give them the English translation, some repeat the phrases and those that are shy are encouraged by the others, by the end everyone is shouting and looking at each other laughing because what they are saying sounds so foreign to them. The joy that exudes from these ladies strengthens me so much and allows me to see why it is necessary to have an organization such as City of Refuge.

In the short time that I’ve been here I am privileged to be able to see the heart of the women in this rehabilitation program, they come with a strong desire to change, not only for themselves but for their loved ones, their sons, daughters, and mothers. They don’t only desire to change their circumstance, but their outlook in life. And for that they look towards the cross of Jesus Christ, who continually has provided them with the strength that they needed to push through the dark thoughts, thoughts of quitting the program, of returning to what ate at them. As I sit down with them to talk, I can hear a unanimous cry of desperation to change, to not want what their body most desires, if only they could celebrate their birthday sober and serving the Lord. The lives of these women have unexpectedly made their way into my heart, they have a beautiful and joyful spirit mostly attributed to the new life founded on Christ and the rest to the passionate Colombian spirit.

I know that God has placed me here to witness His heart and compassion for people and to experience what true life in Him is all about. I have many more weeks to come and I am eager to see what God will have in store for the ladies and myself.

Recent Posts