After several months of praying and planting ideas, I (Anna) had the opportunity recently to co-facilitate a women’s training and discipleship group with our pastor’s wife. During one of our weekly Zoom meetings, the pastor appeared on screen, exclaiming his excitement and gleefully giving thumbs up as women shared their testimonies. They are acting in bold obedience to the Lord through inviting friends, coworkers, and family members to join them to study the Bible. It is thrilling to see the Lord bring together people and resources in His perfect timing to launch a Bible study movement among the women of our church.
Over the last six weeks, our goal was to equip 7 of the mature women believers in our congregation to be able to facilitate small group Bible study. Previously, the pastor’s wife had personally been in charge of the whole women’s ministry, which was neither healthy nor sustainable. We helped the women become comfortable with studying through the SOAP method used by Love God Greatly ministries (the Spanish branch is called Ama a Dios Grandemente). Using a 4-week study on the book of James, we modeled how to facilitate group study, and gave practical tips for common concerns.
Successful discipleship produces more discipleship, and I have been thrilled to witness 2 of our trainees already begin to facilitate small group studies on their own. Another trainee has decided to facilitate a study with her grown daughters after they showed interest in the James study. The remaining trainees will likely facilitate groups made of women from our local church. These women are excited to respond to the Lord’s call to make disciples, and it has been a personal joy for me to see their growth as Jesus-followers and disciple-makers.
COVID and Colombia
For 197 days, Medellín and its neighboring cities were under strict quarantine. Special permission was required to leave the house, and for several weekends we had a complete and total lock down. September 1st, Medellín lifted the heaviest restrictions, thus we are again able to move about as a family—which has been wonderful! Masks are required; going without one can result in a $300 fine. Like in the US, businesses have adapted or closed. Public schools are still using remote learning, though a few private schools are able to use a hybrid of virtual and in-person classes. Restaurants and malls are open with social distancing protocols enforced. In the future, we anticipate seeing additional permission granted for larger gatherings. Churches are allowed to re-open, but only with extremely strict protocols in place. The plan for our local church is to begin hybrid Sunday services starting in October. The church building is much too small to safely social distance the entire congregation, so online services will continue for those who stay home while the physical church hosts a smaller number of people. Praise the Lord, several new people have contacted the church for counseling or seeking membership as a result of viewing our Sunday morning teaching videos.
The economic situation throughout Colombia is difficult. Many people work in the informal economy, so they survive based on their day-to-day work earnings. Without work during the quarantine, many found themselves facing food and shelter insecurity. This continues to be a problem.
As we continue to adjust to updated government guidelines for in-person meetings, ministry opportunities call for some creativity. For now, we continue to use Zoom, WhatsApp, and phone calls to stay connected with others. The Bible study group in El Salado has resumed (it had been stopped as of March since meeting virtually was not possible for the participants). There is a large property that allows for social distancing during the meeting.
Other ministry updates
Kyu has continued to film and produce a video series with children’s Bible lessons. Descubriendo la Biblia Kids has been a fun way to get our girls involved in ministry, and we have been excited to hear that these videos are being used widely in both Colombia and Peru.
Loneliness and family and/or marital conflict have become increasingly common problems among both believers and non-believers during quarantine. As we see these themes occur frequently, both Kyu and I are taking some courses on Biblical counseling. Our vision for the future includes facilitating Biblical holistic health* workshops and providing support for Colombian pastors and their wives.
*Biblical holistic health covers 5 main areas:
spiritual, relational, emotional, mental, physical
Family Life As a family, we were blessed to have already been considering home education for our girls prior to the pandemic. With that in mind, we were able to get resources shipped internationally, and have just completed our first quarter of the 2020-21 school year. We will be enjoying fall break this coming week and will have the opportunity to visit some friends at their family’s country house for a few days. We are looking
- Ask the Lord to deepen our love for Him, and to grant us wisdom for life and ministry.
- Praise for the progress we’ve seen as Anna as she has been spearheading/managing/teaching/helping the girls with homeschooling
- Praise the Lord that Lucia and Noelia are progressing in their ability to understand and speak Spanish.
- Pray each one of us will develop deep, meaningful, long-lasting friendships here, despite social distancing.
- Pray for continuing insight as the community/economy open up, especially for church and ministry.
- Pray for the group of women as they facilitate their Bible study groups.
- Pray for Kyu as he has been able to restart the Bible study at el Salado.
Thank you partners
Thank you partners once again for your continued support. We know these are challenging times. Your sacrificial giving, prayers, and advocacy makes our work possible in Colombia. Your investment is enabling us to encourage the local church and walk with them through this crisis. We look forward to sharing the awesome things God is down in Latin America. Thank you for letting us be your hands and feet on the field here in Medellin, Colombia!
Investing in Mission
With the downturn in the economy, it may seem like a crazy thing for us to ask you to consider investing in missions. However, we also recognize that you may be one of the people out there that in your personal journey with God have felt a burning need to obey His calling for you to participe in Kingdom building. Therefore, we would prayerfully ask you to consider if He would have you support the work here in Colombia.
I’d like to give TeamKim a special gift or invest as a reoccurring financial partner:
You can give through our Avant website. https://avantministries.org/give
Missionary ID: 84815
Missionary Name: Kyubum and Anna Kim