“Thank you for the opportunity of meeting with our people with such missionary spirit and sharing the message of Jesus Christ and Orthodoxy. We thank you for such opportunity!” – Fr Rafael Padilla, host Colombia Team ‘19

Cerete, COLOMBIA – The White Gold Capital awaits you! Known for its cultivation of cotton and cattle raising, Cerete is an area rich in tradition and culture and the place where a nascent Orthodox Church is taking root. From Cerete, outreach has happened to the communities of Cartagena de Indias and Manaura (Guajira). Offer the teaching of the Orthodox faith and help foster deeper understanding of Orthodoxy to these newly established communities.

A 2020 Team to Colombia was postponed due to the Covid pandemic and now we have been invited to offer catechism virtually because the faithful are thirsty for a deeper understanding of our Orthodox faith. Teaching will be offered to children, young people and adults. Many of the faithful are new to Orthodoxy. Fr. Rafael Padilla, the local priest, is very eager to advance the mission. His communities are mainly poor indigenous people, but very excited about the Faith.

Colombia is a country at the northern tip of South America. Its landscape is marked by rainforests, beaches, the Andes mountains and cotton and coffee plantations. Colombians are very proud of their rich history and natural reserves which are filled with beautiful flora and fauna. The cities of Cerete, Cartagena de Indias and Manaura (Guajira) are places with historic significance. Cerete, located along the Sinú River, became a center for regional commerce with livestock and other agricultural shipments moving through the city. Manaura is known for its arid plains with salt mines, and Cargagena is home to beautiful white sandy beaches. The country has moved toward stability since a peace process was initiated in 2004. Orthodox Christians have faced many challenges living among other religious groups.

His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Athenagoras of Mexico is the hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Mexico, Central America, Columbia, Venezuela, and the Caribbean Islands under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. His Eminence was enthroned in 1997 and in 2006, the Metropolitan established the Church in Colombia, which has grown to 15,000 Colombian Orthodox in cities and towns around the country. Such growth is all the more wonderful considering that Christians have often been targets of persecution and discrimination. The greatest growth has been within indigenous Colombian churches which have sprung up locally. The newly established communities of Cerete, Cartagena and Guajira have roughly 250 faithful. The community in Cerete is working towards building its first church.

Volunteer on this Team to build bonds between Orthodox communities in South and North America. Spanish-speakers are welcomed.

Dates:  January 30, 2021
Cost:  $45 registration fee

Fund raising – We have a list of requested items that are needed for this Team to be successful in Colombia. Team Members are encouraged to invite others to participate in this effort through prayer and tax-deductible donations. If you would like to contribute to this project, which is also supported by the OCMC, we are grateful for your support.

Share in a journey of faith… Orthodox Mission Team members are challenged to view the world with God's eyes and seek how He wants to use them to fulfill His plans. This cross-cultural experience, combined with outreach, offers participants a life-changing learning experience. This experience is about people, culture and missions. It is also about prayer, for you and others; it is about God, those you serve, and about yourself, as you serve Him.