Recent Elections in Colombia for Congress
It was by far the highest voter turnout amongst the most peaceful atmosphere ever. When all was said and done the makeup of the House of Representatives and the Senate moved to the right so that both chambers are now just about evenly split between those in favor of the Peace Treaty and those opposed. Presidential elections are scheduled for May 27th with a runoff on June 17th if no one gets more than fifty percent in the first round. It looks like Iván Duque (the center right candidate) has a fair chance of winning (actual President Santos, who is termed out, is center left).
The former FARC guerrillas, in their new political party that uses the same acronym with different words (a huge political mistake), only brought in a grand total of 52,000 votes, less than enough for a single house seat, although according to the treaty they automatically get five seats in each chamber for two election cycles. Their candidate for President was forced to drop out of the race after a recent heart attack and open-heart surgery.
We were dismayed to see that about one third of the Christian votes were declared null and void. This is because these votes were spread out between fledgling political parties and none of them met the required threshold of 500,000 or so votes. If these parties had been able to get along together and combine votes, they would have been able to field at least seven senators; instead the votes of almost a million Christians turned out to have absolutely no effect.
So, the FARC has five seats in the House and five seats in the Senate that virtually no one in the country feels they deserve. On the other hand, Christian votes for at least seven Senators basically got thrown in the garbage because the leadership of the “Christian” parties proved unable to get along with one another. What a disaster!
There is the fact that most of the former guerrillas, who will now go to Congress, made personal commitments to Jesus Christ when we ministered to them and prayed for them over the four years they were in Cuba negotiating the Peace Treaty. These few believers are, nevertheless, leading a movement, in which, it is likely that most of the rank and file are still opposed to the Gospel. All of them are kind of like in a forced marriage to this new political party as virtually the only way to avoid long jail terms for all of the nefarious things that they participated in during the war. Only time will tell how all this will finally play out.
Colombian Gospel Convention
We are planning a convention here in Colombia for August 19th -21st to celebrate more than 54 years of ministry! At the convention, I am planning to preach the final message of the series through the Bible. This involved ten years of translating the Spanish Bible and eighteen years of preaching a message or so per Bible chapter twice a week to broadcast over the radio into the war zones. Please pray for us and the people of Colombia as we continue to distribute Bibles, Christian materials and maintain the radio towers to reach throughout the country. Thank you for your vital support!
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