What is Happening in Bogota?
For almost 12 years at the Beehive, we have been taking care and protecting around 47 minors between 5 and 18 years old, little ones who were daughters of parents with alcoholism problems, drug addiction, prostitution, etc. They were exposed to verbal, physical, emotional and in some cases sexual abuse. These were wonderful years next to each one of them, leaving us incalculable learning however we turned the project around, during the first 6 months of this year we offered shelter to 9 girls, but we wanted more, we wanted to expand our vision and impact more lives. We made the decision to close our girl´s shelter, yet this was not the end because before taking this turn, we made sure to contact a new organization in which our little ones could have everything they needed and we verified that they will clearly take care of their spiritual growth.
So now they are in a new place called Salvemos a Cristian (Let's save Cristian), it is beautiful and has spacious facilities where they are also surrounded by the most important thing, love, because there the caretakers of the girls are people who also convey the love of Christ through their care and loving attention to each girl. The best part is that, given the love that grew between the girls and us, we continue contributing financially so that all their needs are met. We visit them once a week, and then once a month they spend time with some of our church members who decided to adopt a girl for a weekend, allowing us to continue cultivating the DNA of our church in them. It has been a big change, but it was an appropriate decision since our girls keep in touch with us. They are happy in their new home and now we have managed to expand our help to another sector of the city.
Bogota is a big city characterized by dramatic differences in social status and living conditions. In the north you find people with lots of money who enjoy many benefits, but at the other end of it there are people living with many needs, without water, places with no light, even families of almost 8 members sharing a bed. It is precisely in these places in the south of Bogotá where we have put our hearts and we have started to touch the lives of children, teenagers and young people. This place where we are working now is called Usme in the neighborhood of Santa Librada where we have started a project that has given us the opportunity to impact the lives of 25 more children. So now with God’s help, we have under our care 34 children who are being transformed by His love.
One of the transformation testimonials I want to share is from one of our new girls who we will call Samantha. Samantha is a 14 year old girl, daughter of a father who has had ties with people who work outside the law and who left his family with the mother who takes responsibility for household expenses and their 5 children. Samantha and her older sister years ago were going to live in the Beehive (FINDESIN), but their mother made the decision not to register them since without them at home they would not count toward a government subsidy. Even though the girls were not enrolled at the Beehive, one of our servers continued contact with them and in April of this year they began to participate in our PCG (Pastoral Care Group). By then the situation was already different, Samantha's elder sister was in state of pregnancy at just 16 years old, a difficult situation for this family since that would imply one more member to maintain when their mom has no permanent job. She only works a few days a week and there are even occasions when she spend a whole week without job.
Given the anguish over the situation and advised by her neighbors, Samantha´s mom told her it was time to start using contraceptives, but she refused and very firmly told her mom "No! I don't want to do it, I want to keep myself pure and look for a different future. Even if it happened with my sister that does not mean that I will do the same”. This answer left her mother speechless. We were also amazed because we know with certainty that it is God acting in her life. But how to offer something different in such a place where poverty, gangs, alcohol, and drugs are everywhere?
This is where FINDESIN enters into action, because through our programs we are going to empower these children helping them to grow with the knowledge that they can accomplish their dreams - knowing that with God’s help they can keep their bodies pure, be different, and someday have skills, and work, and a good life. That this is not something mythical but a reality for them! We want to help not only Samantha but every child who yearns to study and have a life project guided by the hand of God, breaking the stigma that they can never even finish high school. We don't want to see a generation of children frustrated and hopeless. We want to see a hardworking generation, full of life and hope and courage. That is why we ask you to continue supporting us with your prayers and with financial donations to achieve God's purpose in this place. Thank you for your time, prayers and support. The church in Bogota and the girls of Findesin send their love to you! God bless you.