The beginning of a new journey as our year in Medellin has come to a final end.
Over the past year and a half we have had the privilege of volunteering in Medellin, Colombia at Fundación Ciudad Refugio, working with the homeless, addicted, and children and youth from the slums, the streets, and poor neighborhoods.
As we were on our way out of Medellin we were blessed with the unexpected opportunity to volunteer using our design background for Restaurants on Mission, a foundation that provides a first step back into society for people coming out of reformation and reintegration programs.
Now we are in Bogotá, Colombia in transition visiting family, as well as awaiting a long-awaited, unexpected, surgery for Jamus’ hip.
Below is a selection of photos documenting a variety of projects and people we worked with, and some final goodbyes.
Manantiales is a community of the displaced, high in violence, prostitution, and drugs, and composed of homes made of scraps (also known as “invasiones”). Spending time with the children of Manantiales was one of our greatest pleasures and privileges. We will miss each of them dearly.
2. El Pomar
In El Pomar, a low-income neighborhood, every Saturday we prepared and participated in activities (including drama, games, crafts, and snacks) for the kids. Saying goodbye to these little sweeties was difficult.
This is how we ride.
3. Casa Refugio Sunday School
Each week, the children from Manantiales, and El Pomar are brought to Ciudad Refugio to attend Sunday school. In our class, we were often confronted with yelling, fighting, and wandering children as it was mostly composed of the new kids who had not yet learned any other behavior (or healthy forms of communication).
Understanding where many of them come from (homes in which they are left to fend for themselves, uncared for, unloved, or unwanted) helped us to handle the class with love, rather than control and frustration. If there is anything they need most, its people who love them and care for them. We are grateful to have been those people.
4. Men and women’s restauration
We mentored, discipled, shared devotions, counseled, prayed with, and taught men and women from the restoration program at Ciudad Refugio. Jamus once shared a devotion about “the real problem” with the men. The problem is not our actions, our education, or our environment, it’s our heart. That is what we aim to restore, as the heart is healed our outward actions change. It was such an honor to spend time with these men and women.
5. Homeless service and shelter
The first floor of the foundation serves as a homeless shelter seven nights a week, and every Saturday the church holds services specifically to reach out to them. Jamus had the opportunity to preach to the men in the shelter during these services, and we both spent time with them whenever we could in the evenings, to show them love and pray for them.
Many of these men are withered and broken from street life and drug use, but their needs are just the same as everyone else’s — they need love.
6. Final goodbyes.
It was a joy and a blessing to have had the opportunity to have served the people and communities we worked with in Medellin. We learned a lot, and will miss everyone.