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December 1978 Newsletter
COLOMBIAN CHRISTIAN MISSION
Dale and Jeanie Meade
In the jungle and prairie of Southeastern Colombia.
Volume 6, Issue 12 December, 1978
It was late. Just about everybody was already asleep. For me the cool night air was too tempting. I rolled out of my sleeping bag and slipped out of the tiny hut. The usual jungle noises were suddenly interrupted by the hoarse noise of hefty piston engines. I looked up, the plane was not visible. It passes by fairly low, the silhouette flashing by the moon, then disappearing into the tropical night. The plane's navigation lights were not on. I was puzzled "the drug flight," stated a voice behind me. The Christian brother with whom I was staying had been awakened and apparently perceived my confusion. I greeted him and he continued to explain that the DC 3 made a nightly run into this area of the jungle to pick up the marijuana and cocaine that was being harvested here. That day I had passed several large fields of marijuana as I walked into this remote area. I had asked the Colombian brother is we couldn't report it. "Please don't do anything so foolish," he begged "you would be dead within 24 hours. The officials received a commission on all of the drugs that go out of here." Our talk soon drifted to other things. Before long we both returned to the hut. The regular breathing soon informed that I was again the only one awake. I mulled over the event and the conversations of the day in my head. The whole situation bothered me.
My thoughts drifted back to an interview with President Lopez of Colombia, by the American T.V. program "60 minutes." He was asked if it didn't bother him that drugs from Colombia were corrupting so many American youth. His answer was direct and to the point. "Doesn't it bother you that so many of our poor are being corrupted by your drug traffickers?" He has a point. A poor dirt farmer that rarely makes over $350 in a year has a hard time staying out of "the new agriculture." Especially when a man walks in with $2,000 in cash and says "here plant these seeds. When the harvest comes I'll be back with twice this amount." The man looks around at his malnourished kids and falling down hut. He doesn't like drugs any better than you or I. But what else awaits him.
Who is really at fault and what can be done? Those are hard questions to answer. Certainly the Colombian government could help by improving the conditions for the farmers. The US government could help by getting tough with any smugglers trying to sneak into the USA. But in the end, it is we who hold the secret to resolving the problem. When Colombia becomes a God-fearing nation, it will have the moral stamina to resist these vile peddlers of death. It will have congressmen who demand justice for the poor, abused masses. It will have Christian churches that denounce moral and spiritual degradation and those who perpetuate the decline.
Your mission dollars go towards this end. Of course our primary goal is the preaching of the gospel. But one of the side benefits is that there are less people involved in planting and exporting drugs.
You hold the key to part of the solution too. The church in the States needs to diligently work on, in its task of preaching the message of repentance and salvation to those who have not heard. We need to carry the Good News to the younger generations who are confused and adrift without the moorings of the Rock. In the end, the final solution will be God's judgment of all unrighteousness. But before that comes to pass we need to continue in our ministry to the world. We need to divert as many as possible into the mercy of our Creator. And in the process, there will be less people who buy Colombian drugs; less money to corrupt poor farmers.