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The Hoefkers Visit Brethren in Colombia

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The Hoefkers Visit Brethren in Colombia

The Hoefkers say that they rely heavily on God on each pastoral visit they make. “We pray for physical protection; we pray that our luggage arrives; we pray for safe airplanes and flights; we pray for safety in ground transportation; we pray for safe and healthy food; we pray for our physical health; we pray for spiritual insight and wisdom; we pray for protection for anything that could harm us. We know that many of you pray for us when we are on our trips; for these prayers we are extremely grateful. We need to rely on God for everything, because without Him, we are nothing.”

This concept of relying on God is shown throughout the blog updates Mrs. Hoefker shared on her TravelPod blog. Here is a brief summary of their time in Colombia.

They began the trip in Bogotá for a night. This allowed them to drop off supplies for the Passover and spend some time with Jaime and Janet Salek. Mr. Salek is the ministerial assistant in Bogotá. The brethren in Bogotá like to use matzos for the Passover, but they have an extremely difficult time finding them. As for the rest of the country, it is virtually impossible to find them.

The next stop was Monteria, Colombia. Here the Hoefkers were able to spend time with brethren and talk about plans for the Feast of Tabernacles. They wanted to hear ideas and thoughts about the activities, what the brethren might like to do in the future, and things to consider in planning an activity.

There were nine people for Passover in Monteria, which was held at a member’s home. It was small and meaningful. The next evening was Night to be Much Observed, and it was also kept in a member’s home, where some of the women worked all day making the food. There were 20 participating, and for six of them (not including the baby), this was their first Night to Be Much Observed. There were many good discussions with people on this evening.

The next day there were services for the First Day of Unleavened Bread with 20 in attendance. Jaime Castro gave the offertory message, and Gayle Hoefker played offertory music. Scott Hoefker gave the main message titled “Días de panes sin levadura . . . encontrando nuestro camino fuera”—“The Days of Unleavened Bread . . . Finding Our Way Out.” It was about leaving Egypt and sin. After the sermon, we had a blessing of little children.

During the Days of Unleavened bread they also went to Medellin for two days. Here they were able to see some more brethren and have dinner with them. And then they went to Bucaramanga.

During their time in Bucaramanga they had a Bible study, which was also held at a member’s home. Claudio Sierra gave a Bible study about what are we to learn from observing the Days of Unleavened Bread. There were a few questions and some discussion afterward.

The Hoefkers were also able to see the Beyond Today studio and view the new remodeling that’s been done. Recently, the congregation received some donations to upgrade the studio to provide better recordings without the noise distractions from the outside, such as cars, barking dogs and crowing roosters. The Hoefkers said they were impressed with the upgrades. They will greatly improve the quality of the Spanish voiceovers of the Beyond Today program. The Sierra brothers have completed voiceovers in Spanish on 125 programs. 

After church on the last Holy Day, everyone in the congregation gathers for a viewing of a Beyond Today episode. It is a custom they have where they watch a program every Sabbath afternoon and then have a discussion about it afterwards.

On this last night in Santa Rosa, the members had a special evening planned for the Hoefkers. They invited a local singer, Victor (not a member), who writes poems and puts them to music to sing for them. The songs that he sings are from the southwest area of Colombia. One of the songs is about a prodigal son, and another is about love. The brethren ordered pizza for the event, along with providing candy, popcorn and nuts for snacks. After Victor was done singing, a few members sang karaoke songs.

Even after some travel difficulties and leaving later than expected from Santa Rosa, the Hoekers said this was a very profitable pastoral trip. They were able to visit most of the congregations in Colombia and were able to talk with most of the members. Mrs. Hoefker said: “It is necessary to have this face to face contact with the members as we are able. Please continue to pray for them, as they continue to pray for the members around the world.” 

Read Mrs. Hoefker’s blogs about Colombia here: www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/gayle_hoefker/18/tpod.html