Sunday, April 15, 2007
Goodbye South America
As I wait for my aircraft at Barranquilla Airport it is time to say goodbye to Colombia & South America, home for the past 5months! I was on target to walk the entire 370km journey across Colombia but fell short by a painful 30km! I ran out of food and water on the final day in the middle of a 65km stretch of wilderness. Oh well, 340km straight isn't too bad :-) Colombia is beautiful and suprisingly very peaceful & dare I say, safe. Due to a 5007m high mountain, Christobal Peak, the environment & climate changed dramatically from the arid cactus & thorn bush dominated Rioacha area to lush rainforest & fast flowing rivers. It was stunning. I finished one days walk after sunset & was joined for the final 5km by a 70yr old farmer. He chatted the whole way. To himself. I was concerned at first but then decided a 70yr old farmer in gumboots wasn't really a high risk factor. I simply walked on & took in the night rainforest, lite up by a million fire flys & the sound of hundreds of frogs in chorus. Upon arriving at our destination he kindly gave me 40cents to buy some dinner and disappeared into the night. As I walked around Christobal Peak over 5 days I saw many mountains that surrounded its base & often wondered, upon seeing a high peak, whether it was Christobal Peak itself. Each time though I was unsure and concluded that if it was, it didn't look 5007m high! Just before sunrise on the 5th day as I walked away from the mountain range I turned around and there, silouhetted against the dawn sky was the most enormous mountain I've ever seen. It was more than double the height of the other mountains I'd been walking around & literally took my breathe away. Wow. It reminded me of the 1st time I ever saw an eagle - I saw a large bird one day and asked dad if it was an eagle. Dad replied, "No, it isn't big enough. That's a hawk." A few weeks later I saw a bigger bird and asked dad again if that was an eagle. Dad laughed & said, "No, it's just a big hawk." I was a little frustrated and asked how exactly he could tell the difference. Dad quite simply said, "Believe me, when you see an eagle, you'll know." Such a dad answer, but a month or two later I was watching another 'hawk' some 50m away and as it came into land it touched down over 200m away, not 50m! It was enormous & to be honest scared me a little due to its size! It was unmistakeably an eagle - I 'knew'. As to was that mountain unmistakeably Christobal Peak. So what does true unity look like? Perhaps we could let our imaginations run a little & think what true unity looks like, or perhaps we have even seen glimpses of it, but most things we see at the moment are 'hawks' or 'foothills'. Regardless of what it may look like, for now, the invitation is to pray for it and, be assured, that if we are blessed to catch a glimpse of it before our time is up, we'll know. And it will undoubtedly induce a wow factor of 10. See you in Panama! Sam.