A friend recently wrote to me, “It seems unreal,” referring to the announcement that peace in her country—Colombia—would, after more than 50 years, finally be a reality. “So many generations, including my own, were born and raised in a country with an armed conflict…and we don’t know how to live in a country without war but the fact that we can imagine the beginning of a new chapter in our history is motive for hope.”
My heart smiles to know that she and many other Colombians are hopeful of what is to come, despite not being exactly sure what that will look like.
A group of missionaries from Zootown Church recently went to Bogota, Colombia, and in this month’s issue, one of them shares the hope she witnessed in a place many believe it could not possibly exist. The pastors of the church there persisted for nine years in faith, whether that involved waiting, moving forward, taking steps back, waiting, moving forward. Today, they have a physical space from which to do God’s work in one of the city’s most impoverished sectors. They had hope.
This doesn’t surprise me. The Colombian people have never let the direness of a situation—even the 50-plus-year civil war—affect an opportunity to share with one another, to smile, to teach, to learn, to give, to be. Having lived in Colombia for more than two years, I know the people to never shy away from change nor fret when it doesn’t come soon enough.
Hope is ever-present because God is always there.