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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

Awareness & Prayer

I write today for awareness, and also for prayer.

Our son, Felipe is a university student in Tunja, Colombia. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know his story. (If not, you can read a bit of it, here and here.) My husband and I received a call from our son this morning, giving an update on escalating tensions across the country. Felipe, so far, is safe in his apartment, attending his classes online. The violence in Tunja appears to be less prevalent than in some of the bigger cities, but stores are closing, and our son is a bit worried about access to food. Of bigger concern, a dear friend (his and ours) who lives here in Minnesota, is right now visiting a Colombian city where things are unraveling quickly. So we ask you to pray.

It might be tempting for US readers to compare news of things happening in South America to our own year of protests and riots. The truth is, they are nothing alike. While the situation on our home soil can be quite frightening, and very real, to the minority who find themselves in the thick of it—for most of us, life continues to be comfortable, peaceful, and blissfully normal. By global standards, we live in a land of abundance and overwhelming protection. Life here is very good.

My nephew’s girlfriend is from Venezuela. We met Vero for the first time at a wedding last weekend, and she is delightful. During our visits we learned bits of her story, which I’ve not asked permission to share. But I will say this. When Vero says she’s glad to be here in this country, she means it.

I recently read this book. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. It was heart-breaking fiction. Based on fact? I’m beginning to think so. The stories I’m hearing are not far from the author’s imagination.

Another nephew, brother to Vero’s Brady, is engaged to be married. Nick’s Bianca is a bilingual nurse in California, recently given the opportunity to practice in a “clinic” for unaccompanied minors who are seeking asylum in the US. Some of these children (the majority girls) arrive at Bianca’s facility with a phone number scratched on a napkin—their only hope at connecting with a potential protector somewhere, somehow, in this huge foreign land.

The stories are awful, and they are real. I tell them here for awareness, and prayer.

I recently wrote about my own dilemma as a follower of Jesus. Aware of my earthly vocation to bring heaven to the hells of this world. Aware of the blessing with which I’ve been entrusted, not to hoard, but to share. There is little chance I can do anything about the political chaos of a corrupt foreign country. But there is a very real chance I can do something for someone.

Jesus once separated heaven from hell based on the provision of food and drink.

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