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News / Thoughts

Colombia: ‘In one year I was a very different person…’

July 14, 2020

We love how God can change even the most broken of us. No matter who we are, or where we come from, God loves us, and can, if we’re willing, change us and use us for His glory. Abnober’s story is all about how God does just that. He’s a Christian from Colombia. He’s 22, and in the last ten years his life hs changed in amazing ways. A decade ago, at just 12, he was drinking and taking drugs. Today, he’s a confident, educated follower of Jesus who is keen to see others know God’s love. Here’s some of his story…

Abnober grew up in a wooden house beside a river. His family would catch fish, and go hunting in the forest to survive.

His family home wasn’t a happy one. His father drank a lot. His mother knew God, but she didn’t practice her Christian faith because of the persecution faced by believers in their indigenous tribe. Christians don’t participate in the traditional festivals and activities practiced by the tribe, which makes the community see the Christians as traitors, and fear that they will bring bad luck. Preaching is prohibited and threats to close or burn churches are constant.

Abnober started hanging out with the wrong people from an early age. He and his friends drank alcohol and used drugs when they were only 12 years old. And that continued until he was 14, when his parents decided to send him to the Children’s Centre, a school and home run by Open Doors.

After arriving at the school, Abnober quickly began to change. “For me, this place is a great blessing, because since I arrived, I have learned many things. The education in my community is not as good as it is here. I learned systems, how to work as a team, and I met people who love God. It made me grow more in the knowledge of the gospel, in my spiritual life… It is like my second home.”

After a year of studying away from his family, Abnober spent the holidays back at home. “They saw the change: in one year I was a very different person. The community recognized that I had changed a lot.”

‘God is good to me and I know that He’s with me’

This change in Abnober caused a change in his family, as they saw the power of God at work in him. His mother began to live out the faith she had known about for so long, and his father came to faith too. “I thank God my family is now Christian.”

However, this also brought problems for Abnober’s family. “My mom had a job as a leader in childcare, but she was dismissed because she believed in God. She started to tell little children about Jesus, but the leaders in the tribe didn’t want that.”

Abnober’s home is very close to one of South America’s drug routes. When his parents started following Jesus, they came out against the drug trade, which also led to persecution. “My parents started to work with a pastor in the area. They try to keep children away from the coca trade, but because of this, my father in particular is now receiving death threats.”

Despite all these difficulties, Abnober knows that God is taking care of him and his family. “God is good to me and I know that He’s with me.”

Pray now…

Abnober asks for your prayers:

  • “Pray for my parents in the situation in which they’re living. Please pray that my grandma and cousin will come to know God.”
  • “Pray for my people and village. I want so much for them to come to know God, too, and to experience a change in their way of life.”
  • “Pray for my elder sister who has a child who’s ill.”
  • “Pray for me that I may achieve my goals and have a good future.”
  • Please also pray for those who run the Children’s Centre which helped to turn Abnober’s life around. Pray for wisdom and energy for them as they care for children from persecuted families.
  • Pray also for the dozens of children who live there today. Ask God to do amazing things in their lives, and that each one of them will be able to say with Abnober, “God is good to me and I know that He’s with me.” Pray that they will know that especially at Christmas.

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