Nestled in the mountains of Bogotá there is a community that was impossible to visit 2 years ago. The gangs and the violence among the population made it impossible for even a police presence. Many were afraid of this community, and that fear overrode any sense of compassion; except for Lucy Lancheros.
When Lucy was a teenager, she was very familiar with the Santa Cecilia community because her boyfriend (now husband) was from the area. Even then, she swore she would never return to the “God forsaken place” that her boyfriend was from as soon as he could get out. But God had a different plan.
Now, Lucy has started many ministries in the neighborhood targeting the women, children and teenagers. Her two main ministries are OASIS and Handiwork Workshops. She started with a soup kitchen called OASIS, a ministry that provides a place where boys, girls and teenagers can receive integral formation. This includes five meals a week, strengthening academic knowledge, spiritual development (principles and values), recognition of skills and talents, artistic and musical training and technical entrepreneurship. The next ministry she started was Handiwork Workshops, focusing on mothers and teenagers. This ministry consists of training them to develop different items such as backpacks, scarves, hats, shoes and others through crochet, in order to generate a resource for their families. The space provided is not only for crafts, but also to establish a relationship with the participants, which allows for sharing the gospel, receive counseling and guidance regarding family situations.
The current need is for the OASIS ministry. In order to develop this ministry, a sponsorship program has been created to cover the children’s lunches from Monday to Friday and the activities that they complete during the week. These children need a place where they can take advantage of their free time since they are exposed to drugs, delincuency, stealing and abandonment (emotionally and physically) from their parents. This is why sponsoring one of them gives them a new opportunity for their lives (in Christ). It allows the child to have a different perspective on the reality around him or her. Click here to learn more about Oasis and sponsoring a child.
– Olivia Brown, Intern 2014