Pastor Marvin Williams, Pastor Jack Magruder, and Bryan Theisen traveled to Medellín, Colombia in September 2023 to attend a Pastor’s Conference by invitation from Trinity Church Global Partners, Luis Miguel and Loida Huertas.

Reflecting on this time in Colombia, Bryan Theisen shared, “It’s been almost 5 months since my trip to Columbia and while the entire trip was an amazing experience here are the things that have made a lasting impact on me.”

Theisen continued, “Visiting a place where English is not the primary language was a very new experience for me. Using translation apps to help communicate basic things – like ordering coffee throughout the day – was very helpful, but it left a hole in my extrovert heart. I wanted to connect with people on a deeper level but struggled to do so. In the midst of the language barrier, I found that deeper level of connection was coming through physical touch; most of the people we met would be quick to pull you in for a big hug or put their arm around your shoulder if you walked near them. That type of touch with people who are essentially strangers to me, was new but it quickly made me feel welcomed. Since then I’ve been using physical touch to get closer – pun intended – with people around me. While I don’t have to overcome a language barrier here, adding that level of physical touch when greeting people definitely makes people feel welcomed.”

“Traveling to a different country and meeting our extended family in Christ; helped me to see the ways we are all working towards the same mission. I heard people talking about how they are attempting to reach what would be “local” ministry, in the same way we are trying to reach our local context. People at the conference had a calling to reach people behind Columbia in a global context,” Theisen explained.

“Despite langue, culture and locational differences it felt like I was warmly welcomed into a familiar story.”