Colombian Evangelists Risk Their Lives

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In a remote area of Colombia, evangelists are risking their lives to take bibles and other materials to Christians living in a war zone.

Meet Colombian evangelists Henry and Celso. They believe lasting peace will come to their nation and neighbors only by way of a spiritual awakening.

"I am in a remote region of Colombia. I've just joined some evangelists who are working their way down a river in a conflict zone to bring the Bible and other Christian books to people desperate for the gospel and they're risking their lives in doing it," Celso explained.

The 69-year-old was captured by FARC guerillas and held for two months in late 2005. The commander asked why he had ventured into the danger zone.

"I told him a lot of people in the cities are praying for you guys. Not just Colombians, but from other countries," Celso said. "They believe that you have souls and you also need peace, and they have made this trip possible to bring this for you because you are part of Colombia."

Several books distributed by Celso and others have raised the ire of the leftist guerillas. Among them are Richard Wurmbrand's "Marx and Satan."

The guerillas have told Celso it depicts them in a bad light.

"But I believe it really works to alert young Colombians about the evils of Communism. I could possibly be killed for distributing the book," he said.

Henry loads bibles into his truck before departing on a four hour journey deep into a coca producing region of Colombia. He feels good today, but he had problems during his last mission. That's when right wing para militaries accused him of conspiring with the leftist guerillas.

Henry hasn't taken sides in the conflict. He says he's on God's side and right now he's spending more time with the guerillas because the para militaries have hardened their hearts towards the gospel.

"That's because they've taken over and have chased the guerillas out of these areas. The para's have power and food," Henry said. "The guerillas are more open to the gospel because they have no food and are more desperate for God."

Henry's been in dangerous places. He's felt the explosions of landmines and grenades going off nearby, and he's heard the whine of bullets flying through air.

He admits he's been frightened, but he says God directs his steps and keeps him safe.

"I want to reach them," Henry said. "It's risky and sometimes I don't have much money, but when I die, I want to know that I have taken a few of these souls with me to heaven."

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Gary Lane

Gary Lane

CBN News Reporter

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