A Carrickfergus pastor has told of the “harrowing” neglect and abuse suffered by many children in one of the poorest parts of Colombia.
Drew Hamill of Victoria Evangelical Hall returned recently from a week-long trip to the south American country with Christian missionary outreach group, Mission Possible.
The organisation works partly in the Juan Rey region of Colombia’s capital Bogotá, a suburb with a population of over 800,000 people.
“The trip was very successful in the opening of a second orphanage following on from Hope House, which caters for around 20 boys,” said Drew. “Hope House Two, which is for girls who have been abandoned, was opened. It has five girls and it is hoped it will be filled shortly.
“Many of these children arrive with harrowing stories of neglect and abuse and many young girls support their families by turning to prostitution.”
During their stay, the team attended the inauguration of a new evangelical church in the Juan Rey area.
“This church supports the operation of a feeding station providing a daily meal for over 80 young boys and girls,” Drew added. “With the new facilities at the church, it is hoped to increase this to 300 a day.”
“The children of Victoria Hall have been very kind and generous in raising funds over the past four years for this work.
“It was worthwhile, helpful and also very emotional to see just how needy these children are and the conditions in which they live. [We] would like to thank Mission Possible for allowing us to join them and a big thanks to all who donated gifts for the trip.”