The Bet-Sean Home for Aged Believers that has functioned in Santa Rosa de Cabal, Colombia, during the last 27 years, was closed on January 17, 2018. We are deeply grateful to the Lord for His faithful care and provision through the generosity of the Lord’s people during this long period.
There are three reasons for the Committee’s decision at this time:
1. The reduced number of residents (six) over several months and the absence of needy aged believers soliciting admission to the home during the past few years.
2. The reduced specific offerings for this aspect of the work.
3. High costs involved in refurbishing according to the very strict government requirements, such as:
i. Complete renovation of the kitchen in stainless steel.
ii. Electrical rewiring of the whole house including the dormitories and rooms added since 1990.
iii. The permanent employment of a trained nurse, and other workers with diplomas in their field.
iv. A host of documents to be presented monthly to the Health Department which would necessitate employment of an office clerk.
We knew that these changes were to be enforced, and until now they have permitted us to continue on a private basis without having to comply with the Government requirements — but now they have denied us this privilege.
After much prayer during the past few years, the Lord has brought us to a unanimous decision by all the members of the Committee formed at the beginning of 2016 to decide matters relative to the Home. Brethren from Bogotá, Armenia, Tulua and Santa Rosa form the Committee. Of course it is a decision based on the three facts mentioned above, and could well be reversed in the future if the Lord has not provided for the upgrading of the premises to meet the requirements of the Government.
One of the residents, Roque, decided to go to family and is with a niece in Tulua. The other five were admitted to the government Home here in Santa Rosa in the section for those who are able to pay. One of them receives the government pension and family are paying for Rosa Amelia so that leaves three for whom we have trusted the Lord to provide approximately AU$250 per month for each one. The conditions in the charity section are not so good and they would not even have a bedside table or place to keep their clothes- hence the decision to pay for them. Living there enables them to be picked up for the Lord’s Day morning meetings which have been part of their lives for many years. The brethren with a vehicle are willing to share in this responsibility. One of these three, Eulisis, after a short illness, was called Home to heaven at the end of February, and on March 17 brother Simeon who receives the Government Pension was moved to a Home in Mariquita by the brethren of the San Fernando Assembly in Bogotá from where he came to us 19 years ago. The Assembly feels responsible for Simeon and one of the brothers who is a medical practitioner intends to visit him regularly now that he is living so much closer to Bogotá.
German Lievano and his wife, Luz Mery, are full-time workers commended by the Pereira Assembly, and they accepted responsibility of the administration of the Home from the beginning of 2016. Last year they commenced a preschool at the Home facilities using a Scripture-based curriculum, and they are continuing this year and the number of children has increased. It is anticipated that as the work grows it will become self-supporting through parental payments of the registration and monthly fees. Three times during the year, meetings with parents and friends brought about 50 people under the sound of the gospel each time, and the children are memorizing Scripture as well as getting Bible teaching in the normal preschool level of secular instruction. There is good potential as a gospel outreach if the Lord puts His seal upon this activity. The Assembly meets at the Home property also, and we have the facilities for conference meetings and the accommodation of those attending.
Thank you for continuing to pray for us and the work in general in Colombia. We appreciate your care very much and are grateful to the Lord for your understanding of the situation. Maranatha.
Alan and Gloria Knott