A small congregation in Colombia establishes a community kitchen to fulfill Isaiah 58.
Jesus had been teaching and healing all day. As evening drew on, His disciples asked Him to dismiss the people, but the loving Savior responded with compassion for the crowd: “They need not depart; give ye them to eat.” Matthew 14:16. In Jesus’ words, we find our own duty. His command is for us: “Give ye them to eat.”
Among the crowd that Jesus healed and fed, many had little interest in His teachings; yet Christ did not deprive them of His service. So now, God calls us to minister to people’s needs, even if they have no initial interest in spiritual things.
Seeking to follow Jesus’ example, we recently started a community kitchen called “Isaiah 58” in the village of Buenavista, Colombia, where nearly two years ago, thanks to your support, we were able to start a small church. Previously, this municipality had no Adventist presence. Now that we do have a congregation, we wanted to strengthen our evangelistic efforts with the work of benevolence described in Isaiah 58. “With the work of advocating the commandments of God and repairing the breach that has been made in the law of God, we are to mingle compassion for suffering humanity. . . Love revealed for suffering humanity gives significance and power to the truth.” Welfare Ministry, 32.
Our community kitchen operates on Sabbaths and Sundays. Before we serve food, we host a Bible study. Although attendance is not mandatory in order to partake in the meal, we thank God that almost everyone does come for the study. An average of 28 people eat with us each week, including some Colombian locals and quite a few Venezuelan immigrants. To model healthy food choices, we serve a well-balanced, 100% vegan meal.
Late last year, we invited our kitchen contacts to a week of prayer. An average of 14 people attended each night, not including the young people who came to our children’s meetings. Now, on Sabbaths, many of our week of prayer attendees come for divine worship and then stay for lunch.
We can nearly always count on a certain couple to attend church and our meals at the kitchen. Some time back, Julio tells us, he was baptized into an evangelical church, but soon afterward he backslid. Now he says that he feels God calling him back to Himself. He and his companion came every evening during the week of prayer. One evening, we talked to them about getting married and giving their lives to Jesus. “We have had many problems at our home, and so we are afraid of taking that step,” Julio confessed.
Then Marelis added, “But you know what? Since we started coming to the group, our relationship has improved tremendously.”
We couldn’t help but smile and offer them our encouragement. Obviously, God is working in their lives!
We thank God for the work in Buenavista and for our Isaiah 58 center of influence. Though the strong Catholic presence has made progress difficult, yet a small Adventist church is shedding light in the community. Please keep this project in your prayers. Pray that the Lord will continue to multiply the “loaves and fishes” so that we may continue giving the people something to eat!
Daniel Miranda is the chair of the Bible and Evangelism Department at Fundación Las Delicias.
How You Can Help
Pray for the Isaiah 58 center to have a strong influence in Buenavista, Colombia.
Give to the work in Colombia by sending your donations marked “Colombia Evangelism” or “Colombia Church Planting” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138