King's Business - 1951-05

Adventuring for Christ in the Andes Travel Diary o f Dr. Talbot and Mr. Davis

O N SUNDAY, March 18th, our Editor in Chief, Dr. Louis T. Talbot, accompanied by the Assistant Busi­ ness Manager of the Bible Institute, Mr. J. Russell Davis, started on a two-months’ missionary journey into the jungles of South America, for the purpose of making an investigation of the work carried on by graduates of the school, and of photographing their work. This is the first report and others will follow.

had with us, but after some discussion with the help of the excellent translation of Mr. Ray Zuercher (Biola ’46), we were allowed to take out our film. We spent the next few hours with Mr. Zuercher being taken through the routine of police registration, onward reservations for next week via Avianca (the Colombian division of Pan American), and other necessary formalities of entering a foreign country. At about four in the afternoon we drove out to Pal­ mira, about 45 kilometers from Cali, where we were wel­ comed at the Instituto Biblico of the Gospel Missionary Union, where Ray and Carol Zuercher are working. Here we met a fine group of missionaries, had dinner with them, and spent several hours discussing conditions of missionary work here. They call for much prayer from our friends at home, so we cannot wait until we return to tell you about them. For the past few years the power of the government has been vested entirely in the Cath­ olic Church, and they are using every bit of the vast power they wield to stamp out evangelical work. This power extends into every field of life so that a man can­ not live or die without the sanction of the Church. Mar­ riages must be performed by the priest, babies must be baptized by the priest, children cannot go to school unless they attend confessional and mass in the Church, the dead cannot be buried except on holy ground that has been consecrated by the priest. Into every other function and activity of life the power of the Church and the priest are wielded over the lives of these unfortunate people. The persecution against those who stand out against this system is very severe. Beatings are common, death for Christ’s sake is on the increase, and many means are used to attempt to force the evangelicals to re­ turn to the Church. Churches have been burned, evan­ gelists have been beaten and killed, believers have been persecuted, and all this is done at the instigation of the priests who use liberal supplies of hard liquor to get their gangs drunk enough to go out and commit these crimes! Wednesday, March 21 , 1951 Up early this morning and off to Popoyan, a very fa­ mous town to the south of us that is the destination of thousands of pilgrims who flock there for the special Holy Week festivities. After a most interesting drive through the country and up into the Andes mountains, we arrived in Popoyan in the late afternoon. As we had hotel accom­ modations, we went right to the hotel to get cleaned up, only to find that they knew nothing about our reserva­ tions. When shown our telegram to them, and their reply to us, the manager assured us that someone at the tele­ graph office would be fired for sending a cable to us with­ out the hotel having sent it! The town was crowded to overflowing, but finally the half-drunken manager of the hotel said he would put us up at his “ country estate” for the night. We went with him and found that it consisted of a small house about a mile from town with a few empty rooms. He did have cots put in for us, so we had a place to sleep anyway. After dinner at the hotel, we visited the Catholic Col­ lege of Priests to get some accurate information about the ceremonies. We found that there would be no day-

Monday, March 19, 1951 We’re on our way at last! Our American Airlines Flagship got away from Los Angeles International Air­ port at 12:40 a.m. We have said goodbye to our families and the faithful friends that stayed up to this dreadful hour to bid us Godspeed. It was a fine smooth flight to Dallas, where we arrived early in the morning. We were met by a few friends and relatives who knew we were passing through, and spent a half hour with them. It was a surprise to have Evangelist Tom M. Olson there to meet us with the others. Soon we were on our way again, and a few hours later stopped at Birmingham, Alabama, where it was cold and rainy. Still later it was colder and raining harder at Atlanta, Georgia. We were held up two hours there, but we finally got away for Jacksonville, Florida, and then on to Miami, Florida. It was cold and rainy all of the way. So this is the Sunny South! After a short stop of two hours in Miami, we were again away to Panama on a giant DC-6, of the Pan American World Airways. Again we had a fine smooth flight, and arrived in Panama shortly after midnight. The first day of our trip is gone, and we have covered about four thousand miles. What a change from the old days when missionaries took weeks for the same trip! Tuesday, March 20 , 1951 We were called early at the beautiful modern Hotel Panama for the half-hour ride to Tucomen Airport, where we soon were aboard a DC-3 of the Panagra division of Pan American and flying off to the south for our first glimpse of Colombia, the Gateway to South America. After a beautiful flight over the northern end of the great Andes range, we arrived at the city of Cali located in the heart of the beautiful Valley of the Cauca, and surrounded on all sides by peaks of the Andes. Customs officials were a bit doubtful about the amount of film we

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