Colombia's approximately 49.4 million residents make it the third most populated Spanish-speaking country in the world, ranking only behind Mexico and Spain respectively. Originally inhabited by various tribes of indigenous Indians, Colombia was conquered by Spain in the early 1500s. Other European immigrants, Africans, and people of Middle Eastern decent all settled and melded in Colombia to create one of the most richly diverse cultures in all of South America. Colombians are a beautiful and spirited people whose perseverance and ingenuity have combined to form South America's third strongest economy.
Matching Colombia's ethnic and cultural diversity is its greatly varied ecology, cultivated and nurtured in the Andean Highlands, in the Amazon Rainforest, in the tropical grassland, and in both the Caribbean and Pacific coastal regions. Colombia is truly a land of utterly stunningly beautiful topography.
However, in spite of all her beauty, Colombia is one of the spiritually neediest regions in all of South America. For many years, this country was beset by serious problems related to drug trafficking, which made missionary efforts very difficult and even dangerous. Decades of rampant corruption and violence have ravaged the inner-city areas and many of the urban neighborhoods. Quite possibly it is these problems that have stirred a definite spiritual hunger in the hearts of the Colombian people who are now more open and receptive to the Gospel.
Colombia, once a country all but closed to missionaries, is again open in some areas. There are parts of the country, however, where danger and violence persist. The drug producing and trafficking culture have not been eradicated. Colombia still produces over 90 percent of the cocaine sold in the United States, but the Colombian people as a whole are tired of the drugs, the violence, and the corruption. They are seeking to reestablish their lives on a more meaningful and secure foundation. That is why we simply must act now—while the door is open—to bring to the Colombian people the Gospel of Christ, the one true and solid foundation upon which they can build their lives.
The arrival in 2011 of BIMI missionaries Mark and Katie Gerosin in the city of Medellín marked the first time in more than a decade that we have had missionaries living and ministering in Colombia. A second missionary family, Peter and Elisabeth Putney, arrived in 2013 and began working in the city of Rionegro. In October 2015, BIMI conducted a large-scale Bible distribution project in both of these cities where BIMI missionaries are working. Altogether, over 40,000 beautiful Spanish-language New Testaments were put into the hands of the Colombian people.
After two decades of violence and turmoil under the tyranny of the drug cartels, the mission field of Colombia is truly white unto harvest! Will you pray for Colombia? Will you ask the Lord to send more missionaries? Will you consider going yourself?