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Colombia Mission Trip – FLC Sioux Falls

By South Dakota Synod | Posted 7/13/17 at 11:09am |
Category: Congregational News

Come experience the mission experience of Colombia, South America and IELCO (The Lutheran Church of Colombia) with First Lutheran Church. Pastor Natanael Lizarazo will be our guide.

The Colombia Mission experience is about accompaniment with the people of Colombia, especially with the people of the Lutheran Church of Colombia. It is not about building things, it is about building relationships. This trip is balanced with being a sister or brother in Christ to others in a very different, but beautiful place. We will also have time to be tourists and enjoy the richness of this amazing country.

This trip looks to have a total cost of @ $2,100 including airfare (depending on airfare). We will depart from Sioux Falls on Friday, November 10and return Saturday, November 18. We will be staying at Casa Emmaus in the IELCO (Lutheran Church of Colombia) national office building. It is very comfortable accommodations, and the building is secure. Casa Emmaus is on the Penthouse level of this building (Amazing View!!), so there are several flights of stairs to climb.

The weather is amazing in Bogota. It varies from 64 to 70 degrees during the day, and high 40’s to lower 50’s at night. Generally no bugs. Really quite comfortable.

Food is very good, though a little bland at times. Lots of chicken, some beef. Soup and rice are staple food items in Colombia. Food is offered EVERYWHERE we go. It is very much a part of their hospitality culture. We will have plenty of bottled water along the way. You will not want to drink any tap water anywhere except at IELCO. BEWARE OF ICE in drinks. Also avoid any fruit that you would eat with the skin on after being washed in water. Usually water will not be from a reliable filter source.

As a simple itinerary of understanding for the days we will be gone:

Nov 10, Friday-Travel Day (Takes the whole day to get there)

Nov 11, Saturday-Familiarize ourselves with the city, likely go to Monsserate (Catholic Cathedral on the mountain overlooking the city), government square and downtown Bogota.

Nov 12, Sunday-Attend worship at one of the Lutheran congregations in Bogota.

Nov 13, Monday-Go to Lutheran World Federation, spend time with IELCO staff to learn about the conflict and struggle of the people in Colombia

Nov 14, Tuesday-Go to Soacha, the community that the displaced live in the mountains surrounding Bogota. Visit the Good Samaritan Center in Soacha.

Nov 15, Wednesday-Travel to Tunja, visit Boyaca, visit with families of Prince of Peace Church. Stay at Villa de Leyva (resort outside of Bogota)

Nov 16Thursday– Travel to school at Sogomoso, then back to Bogota. Hopefully visit the Cathedral de Sal.

Nov 17, Friday- Visit Caracoli, another community where displaced live. Many younger families. Shopping in the downtown market.

Nov 18, Saturday-Travel Day

This is generally not a very physical trip. We take our time, and take things in. When traveling to this culture, flexibility and patience is needed. Where we go and when can change quickly for various reasons. Let that part of this experience be freeing to you. It is not our culture.

Also, it is imperative that you check your passports. It cannot expire within 6 months of our travel dates, which means no expirations before June 1, 2018. Passport processing is really quite fast right now if you need to get that done.

You may want to double check with your doctor, or an infectious disease doctor about your immunizations. We are not in an area or altitude that malaria is a concern. Make sure you have a travel antibiotic in the event you get sick from a stomach born source.

If you are interested in traveling on this trip, please contact Jeff Backer at First Lutheran Church at 605/339-1983×209 or

If you have any other questions, please get back to me. The cut-off date will be August 1, 2017.

God’s blessings on you as you consider this experience. I pray that God would reveal himself in faith to you in a way that you have not expected or seen before.

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