King's Business - 1951-05

time processions at all, but as there was one that night, we accepted their very kind invitation to photograph it from the balcony of the College overlooking the street below. We had a wonderful view, and it was a never-to- be-forgotten sight. Our only regret was that it was so poorly lighted that we could not get as much of the won­ derful color and glamour of it in the pictures as we would have liked to. As thousands of people lined the streets in respectful silence, the great procession wound its way through the streets, flanked by several thousand school children, carrying long candles. These children marched along the two curbs, holding back the crowds, and giving some light for the procession. Images of the Apostles, Mary Magdalene, Christ, the Crucifixion, and in the most prominent position, the Vir­ gin Mary, were carried on the shoulders of groups of men. Between the images were dignitaries of the Church, groups of singers and bands playing. The great proces­ sion took hours to pass our position, and all this time the crowds stood in respectful silence, or knelt when the Vir­ gin went by. It was a sight we shall never forget as long as we live. The terrible hold this system has on the peo­ ple of this land has made on our hearts an indelible im­ pression. Our second day in South America has been a busy one, and we have seen sights that have made it well worth­ while to travel these thousands of miles. We will have a real missionary message to bring back to you at home.

With our arrangements completed, we returned to Pal­ mira in time for a great gospel service in the Evangeli­ cal Church. After seeing all of the pomp and ceremony of Catholic processions and idolatry of their worship, it was a real joy to sit again in a gospel chapel and hear the wonderful gospel message proclaimed in all of its simplic­ ity and power. A fine group of around two hundred and fifty met in this service. We both said a few words of greeting by means of the excellent interpretation of Mr. Wm. Schillingsberg, the Director of the Institute Biblico. The pleasure of this country’s Christians at meeting us warmed our hearts. We realized anew the wonderful bond of love that binds us to all those in every land who know and love our Lord. After the service we again discussed conditions with the missionary group, and were amazed at the terrible idolatry, ignorance, illiteracy and illegitimacy that pre­ vail among the people here. Under the leadership of the Catholic Church, schools have been closed, and the coun­ try has retrogressed as far as education and the welfare of the people are concerned. Moral conditions are so bad that it is estimated that more than half of the children born in this land are illegitimate. A local doctor told a missionary that in his circle of friends he could not count more than two men who were living faithful to their own wives! What a terrible indictment of the system that has power over lives, but no power to enable men to live! Good Friday, March 23 , 1951 We drove in to Cali in the early morning and went right to the Seminary of San Francisco, where we were welcomed with open arms by the priests. As we wanted to get pictures for you folks at home we took all their kindness just as it was offered, but we knew their desire was to have their ceremonies shown to the world for the glory of the Catholic Church. As it was their two hun­ dredth anniversary, and as it had never been photo­ graphed before, they surely did everything to help us out. First we were taken up to the balcony of the Semi­ nary, where the camera was set up right beside the an­ nouncer with a mike who was making the announcements to the vast crowd below. He even announced to the peo­ ple that photographers had come all the way from the United States to take pictures of their famous celebra­ tions, so everyone was to behave and to do nothing that would not look well in the pictures. These announcements were repeated many times throughout the day along the route of march. As soon as we were on the balcony and ready to go, the images were carried out of the Church across the street as the crowd knelt in respectful silence. The procession formed, and with thousands of people forming in the line of march, and with a military escort in attendance, it moved down the street toward the plaza of the city. The priests rushed us across town, and again we took up our stand on the balcony of the Hotel Europa, and had a won­ derful view of the procession as it came to the Cathedral of San Pedro, and was joined by other thousands who had been waiting there for it. In solemn procession they filed by us, walking a few paces, kneeling to join in prayers said in unison, rising to go a few more paces, and then repeating this idolatrous worship over and over again. In all that solemnity, it was a bit of comic relief to see a small boy kneeling before the image of the Vir­ gin and eating an ice cream cone as he worshipped! When the images of Christ on the Cross and of the Virgin Mary had gone by, we again rushed back to the Seminary of San Francisco to see the return of the images to the Church there. Again we were set up on the T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S

Air view of Bogota, Colombia, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Thursday, March 22 , 1951 As there were to be no daytime processions in Popoyan, we decided to look for some place that would have one, so we could get good color pictures of this wonderful sight. After much inquiry, we found that no one seemed to know for sure where there would be one, so we decided to go back to Cali to make inquiries there. Driving back to Cali, we were amazed at the great number of images of the Virgin Mary along the route. Every town had a large image, and many homes had small ones. If they could not afford an image of the Virgin, they erected a simple wooden cross. We saw a few images of Christ, but the great majority were of the Virgin. In Cali we found a very helpful Catholic priest again, who told us that the very next day, Good Friday, was the two hundredth anniversary of the Seminary of San Fran­ cisco, so they were having a great daytime procession to celebrate. He promised to meet us tomorrow at the en­ trance of the Seminary and to get us a place on the bal­ cony, where we would have a good view of the procession. Page Eight

Made with FlippingBook Annual report