Work Team Stories
Work Teams Testimony from Carlos Toscano
Over the past five years I have been to Cartagena on several missions and there have been many memorable experiences that have enriched my life. My activities on these trips have involved assisting with seminars on entrepreneurship for adults, building a new wall on the school campus, street evangelism in local neighborhoods, health brigades and leading seminars on Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.
Each of these experiences have built my faith and blessed me with the experience of God’s presence as we engage in His work of loving and caring for the people that He has created. I have also enjoyed the camaraderie when we go as a group for dinner in the enchanting old city of Cartagena which is rich in history and charm. I will never forget the day we arrived from Houston exhausted on a Sunday and went to a church service at a church that is partnering with Conviventia. The music ministry was amazing and was so filled with the Spirit that even though it was a very hot day and there was a power outage we were ushered into the very presence of God. Miraculously the power and the a/c returned almost immediately after we started to worship. Each time that I have gone on a mission to Cartagena, I have gone with the expectation that God is going to do something special and I have never been disappointed.
Carlos with some of our students from the PTI-Vocational Training Institute, following a seminar on how to launch a small business leveraging some of the trades taught here.
Work Teams Testimony from Brigitta Diaz
Short term mission trips are awesome in two ways. It blesses the people and workers in the places where the mission trip takes place, and it blesses the person who is going. I went on two Mission trips with Conviventia in Colombia. It was great to get to know the work that Conviventia is doing in Colombia and to be able to work alongside with the Colombian team without interruption to their activities, but rather truly enhancing the team in Colombia. As I speak Spanish, and God has provided me with the love of presenting and holding workshops, I was able to interpret together with another couple during many different workshops that we held; such as Leadership training and Marriage workshops. Many marriages have been touched by God! It is so nice to see the joy in people’s faces as they want to talk with us during the medical brigades in the poorest areas in Colombia, and to be able to show God’s love to them.
As a result of my first Mission trip to Colombia I started to volunteer for Conviventia here in the USA with various tasks. Being involved with Conviventia is not only a great blessing to many in Colombia but also such a blessing for me, because God allows me to work in His kingdom. I feel happy and blessed every day that I am able to use the talents God gave me to grow His kingdom, both here in America, and in Colombia!
Work Teams Testimony from Sandra Dillon and family
January 28, 2018
Grace Fellowship Church
Dear Friends & Family,
How Darin and I joined this medical mission team destined for Bogota, Colombia, has been its own journey. It began almost a year ago, when we attended the Mobilizing Medical Mission (M3) Conference. My sister-in-law, Siovhan, and niece, Sarah, previously joined us on a water purification mission to Haiti. As they dreamed of a second mission, they wanted to put their nursing skills to use. Since Darin and I don’t have a medical bone in our bodies except for the knowledge gathered from watching The Good Doctor, we wanted to learn more about options and how to serve in medical missions.
As we took in the conference speakers and tradeshow at Lakewood Church, our last stop, and almost not stop, was a booth where we met Terry Stierman, Executive Director, for Conviventia. Fast forward, we continued the conversation with Terry to learn more about the organization, decided to take a vision trip to Bogota, Cartagena, and Barranquilla in May 2017, and then felt compelled to pull together a team to go on a non-medical trip in 2018. The purpose of our trip was to utilize whatever skills and passions our team was able to bring in education, vocational training, and family strengthening. We signed up for a week in July 2018, and for many months, we couldn’t get anyone to commit. Was God telling us something? Was a door held closed for a reason?
During our months extending invitations for our trip, we connected Siovhan and Sarah with Grace Church (a Conviventia partner) to go on its medical mission to Bogota in July 2018. Fast forward again. We made the decision to pass on our original trip and join Grace Church’s medical mission. We are excited to join family members and serve alongside many other servant-minded individuals and families.
We supposedly have 14 committed people with another dozen seriously considering. If we even reach 20 people, this will be the largest mission group I’ve served with. Although I wouldn’t have planned it this way, I will enjoy being led as opposed to leading this trip. Sometimes leaders need to observe and focus on learning. A few things I’m looking forward to are:
- understanding and appreciating the differences and dynamics of a large group experience (20+) as opposed to a smaller, more intimate group of 6-12 people
- learning from people with whom I have no history
- building relationships with other servants
- understanding more about Grace Church and their mission outreach
I know I will be blessed by serving on this trip, and I hope to have the favor to give as well. I have no doubt God will reveal at the proper time how I am to touch lives and serve others.