Day 64 in Itagui (Apostates, Machine Guns, and Drugs.. Oh My!)11/21/2012 13:57
As you can tell by the title, I had myself quite an exciting day today. The service group met at Alvadan´s house, which is a bit of a shady area, but I´ve never had any problems there. Orlando Canyola, a ministerial servant in the local congregation was put in charge of the service group. It was a small group today, only 6 of us. Me, Canyola, MariLuz Alvadan, Kevin (the quiet boy from yesterday), his mom Amanda, and Uwaldo, an older, sickly brother who looks alot like Samuel Herd of the Governing Body. Since Uwaldo can´t walk very far, we did a territory that was only about 5 minutes uphill.
Everything went fine, just as normal, at first. I had preached in that same area last Sunday. However, eventually we came to a part of the road where, you could either continue down the main road, but off to the left there´s a alleyway that breaks off into 2 alleys, both going downhill. I believe the locals call it "El Hueco" or The Hole, which if I´m not mistaken, is part of Rosario, where my dad grew up. Now when we passed by there last Sunday, the brother in charge wouldn´t even let us go down there because it was so dangerous. However, our fearless leader today, was a bit too fearless. MariLuz tried to convince him that I really shouldn´t be going down there. But Canyola ignored her and so the fun began.
As soon as I took a step into the alleyway I could tell it wasn´t exactly the best living conditions. The homes were little brick shacks with cement floors, with the only indoor lighting coming from the sun. Further down, there were a group of street thugs distributing a big old bag of marijuana amongst themselves. At that point, Kevin told me to keep my mouth shut so they don´t hear my accent. MariLuz started to freak out for me, but Canyola simply told us to press on, that we were fine. I didn´t mind too much for my own sake, after all I was getting some pretty sweet pictures, but I still didn´t think it was a good idea to take sisters down there in the first place. Further down the alley broke off into a maze in 3 different directions. Canyola and Uwaldo did their own thing, but me and Kevin made sure we stuck with the sisters. We came to a part where all 3 alleyways came out to an open area with a small river running through it. It was just as awful as the alleyway, but luckily there were 7 very armed cops patrolling around there. Off to the side of the open area, me and Kevin preached to a guy that was clearly super-dee-duper high, so we just left him a tract and went onwards.
A little after 11 we finally made our way out of there onto a main road in 1 piece. After knocking on a few houses on the main road, we decided to call it quits. We were heading back when we saw Stefanie, a young sister from our hall (see photo 37 of PhotoGallery Itagui) walking quickly towards us with a Korean "brother" at her side. But something seemed to be a bit off. Once we got close, the Korean asked if we were witnesses too (in a perfect colombian accent), we said yes and he kept on going, and Estefa stayed behind with us. It turns out the Korean was an apostate who claims to be a missionary from Korea. Estefa was on the way back from a return visit, when she ran into the guy, thinking he was a witness. However he told Estefa he was an elder in Korea, but once he realised it was all lies, he came here to Colombia to teach "the truth". He stayed talking to her for a good period of time but then decided to start walking away, and that´s when she ran into us. Estefa said it was holy spirit that we were there right when she needed us. The Korean gave her a card, which Kevin and Estefa were going to read, but I snatched it from them and tossed it out. Kevin and I then escorted her home. On the way we ran into the Korean, he just chuckled and kept walking. Once we got Estefa home we each went our seperate ways and ended the most interesting service day so far.
My family kind of freaked out when I told them where I was. Even my thuggish cousin said that not even he goes in there. But now that I think it through, maybe we were suposed to go down there. We never would´ve ran into Estafanie otherwise, and who knows what could´ve happened with that apostate. Besides, thugs need religon too. (Photos added to PhotoGallery Itagui)