The previous post told about Naldo, an 18-year-old house church leader in Colombia. Read more about him and his family below.
Naldo’s father, Pastor Adriano, has been a pastor since Naldo was baby. Guerrillas and violent groups have made it difficult for him to do the usual work of a pastor.
- For safety reasons, Pastor Adriano doesn’t travel down the same road twice.
- The guerrillas do not let Christians take up an offering.
- Pastors are not allowed to say anything bad about guerrillas.
- The guerrillas tell pastors not to have meetings for worship.
So pastors travel to other places to visit and meet with church members. Sometimes they walk five or six hours to reach the homes of church members.
But even then, Pastor Adriano is not safe from guerrillas. So he sends Naldo to visit Christians in the area. Because Naldo is a youth, the guerrillas don’t suspect him of being a preacher.
Naldo started a Christian children’s group in a nearby village. Juliana was a 12-year-old girl in his group.
The guerrillas try to get youth to join their ranks, become guerrillas, and fight with them. Juliana was from a very poor family.
The guerrillas promised Juliana money if she became a guerrilla. They brought her gifts and food. They told her she could keep going to church if she joined them. But they were lying.
On a summer day in 2014, Juliana left her home and disappeared into the jungle with a guerrilla. She probably soon realized that life as a guerrilla was very hard work. The girls have to fix meals for the men, gather firewood, and do whatever the leaders tell them. Juliana would not have been allowed to visit her family or go to church.
Juliana tried to escape, but the guerrillas stopped her and treated her very harshly. Sadly, she died from her injuries.
Juliana’s family was very sad. Pastor Adriano and Naldo were very sad, but they continue to trust God. They help the people in the red zone trust Him, too. They have even led some guerrillas to Christ.
“Why do you stay?” someone asked Pastor Adriano.
“Because God has put me there,” the pastor answered. “I am sure that God has put me there.”
(Sources include: VOM sources and the March 2015 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.)
(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)