Have you ever had that feeling?  You know…that déjà vu feeling, when something seems really perhaps it has happened before?  We’ve been experiencing that a lot lately as we participate in God’s ministry here in Colombia.  

This year, in addition to teaching at the seminary, feeding students, serving through women’s ministry, mentoring students, etc. we’ve committed to pastoral care and small groups, specifically within the Free Methodist family.  As you continue to read, we hope you’ll see why these ministries induce a bit of déjà vu in us.
Wesleyan Structure
Each week we meet via skype with all of the pastors and pastor’s wives in Colombia.  Ricardo leads one group of 5 and Beth participates in another group of 6 (led by country director, Libni Gasca).  Ricardo also leads a face-to-face, weekly meeting of 7 key church leaders here in Medellín.  Each of those people leads other small groups for the expansion of the Kingdom of God.   The purpose of these meetings is to provide a safe place for support, confession, healing and growth within the leadership team as we strive to participate in a movement of church growth and renewal.  (Pictured: Ricardo, John Jairo and Juan Ricardo meeting together.)  

We’ve chosen to begin by reading together…as a discussion starter…Howard Snyder’s book, The Radical Wesley.  (This also helps establish our identity as Free Methodists.)  As we read about Wesley’s organization of classes, bands, and societies we are encouraged to note that we are, in our own Colombian way, replicating that model which, as Snyder ascertains were evidence of Wesley’s “desire to recover the spirit and form of early Christianity” (p. 21, 1996).  Déjà vu!
Biblical multiplication
This year we’ve also had the privilege of working closely with one of those leaders, Juan Ricardo, as he leads a house church in a middle class neighborhood.   The group of twenty-five or so attendees outgrew his living room so they decided to multiply.  This week three families who Juan Ricardo has discipled are opening their homes within closed communities to their neighbors to begin the Alpha Course.  On Sunday they had their final training meeting (pictured above) before they go forth and multiply.    
Another key leader, Luis Fernando (pictured here), has started three groups in the southern sector of the city.  Both he and Juan Ricardo are working under Ricardo's leadership to plant churches using the Community Church Planting model and adapting it to work within the context of Medellín.
Likewise, the Camino de Vida Church, led by John Jairo, is starting several new, in-home groups and we believe that five or six of those groups will eventually become their own churches.  Rossemberg (pictured here), our first FM student here, has been leading one of those groups in a very populated apartment complex.    Last week that one group split into three groups…adults, children and youth.  One of the wonderful things about this is that new families who were not previously participating have opened their homes to host these group meetings!    

All of this reminds us of the church in Acts Chapter 2.  “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.  And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (v. 46b-47).  This is the déjà vu we are striving for! 
Global Partnerships
We ask that you will pray for God’s transforming power to flow through Medellín and indeed Colombia as the Holy Spirit fills believers here and adds to our number, even daily!   We would appreciate your prayer for all of the groups and leaders mentioned above...and for the kids mentioned below.

Thank you so much for partnering with us.    Isn’t it fun to know that just as He has been throughout all of history, God is on the move!  May you experience His Holy déjà vu in your lives and ministries too!  

Ricardo and Beth
Missionary Kids update
On the home front, we’ve had a bit of déjà vu too because Jonathan has been sick again.  As the air pollution levels rise in Medellín, not only are we reminded of our time in Santiago, Chile but Jonathan’s lungs protest.  He’s already been treated for walking pneumonia after which he was given a clean bill of health and is now back home from school with a viral respiratory infection.  

We are thankful that Juliana has been much healthier this year.  No migraines or dizziness.  She has gotten involved in a local youth group (attending with two other girls who live on campus) this year and is really enjoying it.
Commit, Give and Get informed
If you still need to make your 2017 commitment or would like to give on-line you may do so using the link shown here.  You can also catch-up on previous newsletters on that page.