Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Impoverished and unschooled children wait for the opportunity to enroll in a Christian school, as the team who visited Colombia donated $3,500 for this cause.

Seabrook Pastor Promotes Cocaine-Free Ministry

Story by Tiffany Doss

While visiting Colombia, South America in 2005, a little boy approached Jimmy Munoz, associate pastor at Potomac Conference's Seabrook church in Lanham, Md., offering to shine Munoz’s tennis shoes. “Our Colombian friends felt bothered by the street boy and wanted to send him away with nothing,” says Munoz. “I felt deeply touched by his plight. At his age, I, too, was out on the streets in Colombia trying to work and make money to provide for my family.”

Munoz has since learned there are more than half a million unschooled children in this impoverished country, making them prime targets of drug lords who want them to work on illegal farms.

Last year Munoz and his family; nine Seabrook members; Olives and Claudia Villamizar, a pastoral couple of four Spanish churches in Potomac; and Bill Miller, conference president, flew to Colombia to initiate Munoz’s dream of helping create a “cocaine-free world.” The team taught leadership principles, held conflict resolution workshops and led addiction treatment and prevention seminars.

At the locals’ request, the group also conducted evangelistic meetings, where 12 people made decisions for Christ. Munoz says the group learned about effective poverty alleviation, fellowshipped with local gospel and public workers and encouraged them to continue moving forward in sharing the goodness of God. The team also gave $3,500 to a local church who wants to open a Christian school.

“The vision of this ministry, Cocaine Free World, is to promote entrepreneurship and to one day employ people in producing helpful items that have a high demand,” explains Munoz. “We are also working to attack emotional poverty by inspiring people to aim high and dream of starting industries that are greatly needed in order for community members to have honest and productive jobs.”

While in Colombia this past year, Munoz met David, a member of an Adventist church who works as a tailor. David dreams of growing his business to employ family members and neighbors who don’t have jobs: “Through this ministry, I want to make it impossible for drug lords to find illiterate people willing to work in their fields and to have those 500,000 children in school, learning to dream big—dream about the second coming of Jesus Christ—and how they can make the world a better place.”


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