(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)
Luz was forced into hiding
again after the release of
her husband's killer from prison.

The guerrilla leader who was responsible for the horrific murder of a Colombian pastor was recently released from prison, and is now seeking to find the pastor's grieving widow. The killer returned to the remote community where Luz and her children were residing, telling neighbours that he wanted to find her. Within a few days of his release, a SWAT vehicle of armed men also stopped by the farm in search of the young mother.

Luz was pregnant with twins when her husband suddenly went missing back in 2007. Even more grievous is the fact that those involved in the heinous crime returned his dismembered body in black plastic trash bags to the traumatized family. Since the killer's release, Luz and her three children have been moved to a safe location.

Colombia has long been overrun with violent Marxist guerrilla groups, drug cartels and right-wing paramilitary groups. Although a strong government has stabilized the nation in recent years, the country remains volatile and dangerous. Leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries both seem to have abandoned their ideological agendas in order to form gangs that are profiting from cocaine and kidnapping. Those who oppose this illegal activity are targeted.

Despite Colombia's history of crime, lawlessness, terror and murder, the church continues to grow at an incredible rate. And with the 1991 constitution, greater freedom was granted to ethnic and religious minorities. The greatest denominational growth has taken place within indigenous Colombian churches. Local, citywide and national evangelistic outreaches have resulted in large increases in numbers of congregations and believers. Some churches have grown a thousand-fold over the past two decades! Thankfully, this growth also reflects God's ability to dramatically transform the lives of guerrilla leaders such as Elmer. To view a video clip featuring the testimony of this former persecutor of Christians, click here.

While we can rejoice over the amazing things God is accomplishing in a nation known for its extreme violence and terrorism, let us pray for His ongoing work of salvation and deliverance in the lives of many more Colombians -- regardless of their political affiliation and criminal behaviour. Like the Apostle Paul, may the country's notorious persecutors experience a life-changing encounter with the Almighty God. Join us in praying that Colombia will become a testimony of His sovereignty, powerful intervention, and sacrificial love for a broken and fallen humanity that's desperately in need of our Risen Saviour Jesus...who came to save the world!