Colombians Risk Lives to Share Gospel

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CWN.com - Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez recently shook the hand of his Colombian counterpart.

Watch for more on the situation in the remote regions of Colombia from CBN News Reporter Gary Lane, following his report.

Just days earlier, he called President Uribe a liar, a gangster and a criminal.

A Colombian army raid in Ecuador against leftist guerillas-- called the FARC--led to troop movements and threats of war. But Uribe's apology at a summit in Santo Domingo resulted in smiles and talk of brotherhood.

Recent revelations that Chavez has given the guerillas $300 million makes one wonder, just how long will the peace last?

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

I joined some evangelists in a remote region of Colombia who worked their way down a river in a conflict zone to bring the Bible and other Christian books to people desperate for the gospel. They're risking their lives in doing this.

Celso, 69, was captured by FARC guerillas and held for two months in late 2005. The commander asked why Celso 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," he 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? 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," he said. "I could possibly be killed for distributing the book."

Henry loads Bibles into his truck before departing on a four hour journey deep into a coca producing region of Colombia. He feels that day, but he had problems during his last mission. That's when right wing paramilitaries 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 paramilitaries 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. The guerillas are more open to the gospel because they have no food and are more desperate for God," Henry said.

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, he 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"

*Original broadcast March 21, 2008.

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Gary Lane

Gary Lane

CBN News Reporter

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