Peace Amid Chaos

Venezuelan refugees find hope in Colombia

February 17, 2020

Wilmer, a Venezuelan refugee living in Colombia.

In Cúcuta, Colombia, a town on the border with Venezuela, hundreds of Venezuelan refugees walk through the streets. Some live here, others are just here for the day to collect food and medicine to take home to Venezuela. All have suffered because of the economic crisis in their home country.

But, in the midst of disaster, God is moving in the hearts of these people. Up a narrow flight of stairs there’s a second-story church, not just a place of worship, but a home to 17 displaced refugees, like Wilmer.

Wilmer’s bright orange shirt made him stand out, but it was much more than that. Wilmer radiated joy that could only come from the Lord. As the group sat for a quick devotional, the pastor of the church asked if anyone would share their testimony. Wilmer stood immediately.

The group pictured in their church with their pastor, Oscar.

“I was a drug addict and alcoholic,” he began. “I heard the Word of God, but I would not receive it because I was addicted to drugs.” He described his life as “tired and beaten,” separated from family and friends because of his addiction. “I was in a vicious cycle,” he says. “I was trying to depend on my own power and did not see how my actions were affecting others.”

As he hit rock bottom, he realized he needed more. He needed God.

Around that time, someone shared the Gospel with him and told him about a local rehabilitation center. He had tried rehab before but failed. No one believed he could really change. “My parents said I wouldn’t last long in that place. Many of my friends also said I would not make it in the rehab center,” he says. “But I genuinely understood that I needed God.”

Once in the center, Wilmer found the Lord and broke his addiction. “In that rehabilitation facility, God touched my heart and I began to know Him truthfully,” he says.

Today, in the midst of chaos in his life, Wilmer is faithfully serving the Lord. He is involved in Project Philip Bible studies at the church in Cúcuta, the church where he has lived for two years.

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