CSI’s Hispanic Outreach Enters Dangerous Territory
If you had told me 25 years ago that CSI would be engaging in a ministry outreach to Colombia, SA, I would probably have been a bit surprised. If you told me that this outreach would become the flash point for a modern-day battle in a spiritual warfare that has been on-going since the dawn of creation, I would have been more than just a bit surprised.
The CSI Hispanic outreach was actually an answer to a prayer by Dr. Edgar Palacio Mizrahi, the president of Seminario Teologico John Knox in Barranquilla, Colombia.
In answer to his prayer, Dr. Mizrahi became the new director of the Instituto de Estudios Creacionistas (the Institute for Creation Studies) in Colombia. Dr. Mizrahi began praying 20 years ago for the formation of a center for education and the popularization of Scientific Creationism in Colombia, SA. He understood the need for scientific research based in the biblical or Judeo-Christian worldview. At that time, he could not have known that political changes in Colombia were going to put all people of faith in grave danger, but God had plans for Pastor Palacio Mizrahi as well as the ministry of God at CSI.
Last week, Pastor Palacio Mizrahi and his family were able to visit us during CSI’s weekly Thursday evening Bible study. They reported that the Colombian government, headed by president Juan Manuel Santos, had negotiated peace accords with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The deal remains highly controversial in Colombia. Voters rejected the accords by a narrow margin in a referendum last year. Many Colombians argued that the fighters, who were promised amnesty for their crimes of drug trafficking, kidnapping and murder, had gotten off too easily.
After the people of Colombia failed to approve this peace accord, President Santos got the Colombian Congress to approve a revised deal with the FARC without submitting it to another referendum. For his efforts in getting this ill-advised and unpopular accord to pass, President Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Does any of this sound familiar?
The FARC and the Colombian government made a big show of what was supposed to be the disarming of the of FARC. What really happened was the FARC got rid of their antiquated weapons, but were able to keep their modern weapons. The FARC and the Colombian government made a big show of what was supposed to be the disarming of the of FARC. What really happened was the FARC got rid of their antiquated weapons, but were able to keep their modern weapons. According to reports by the New York Times, some rifles will remain at the camps for security purposes until Aug. 1. The United Nations inspectors also noted that rebel weapons caches were still being examined. Still, for the most part, the inspectors said, the disarmament is essentially complete. How is it complete, if you are still examining their stockpiles of weapons? Why do they need to keep the newer weapons at all? These questions are more serious than one might think when you understand that communists are allowed to lie in order to secure their goals. Does “the end justifies the means” sound familiar to anyone?
Besides being an ordained Pastor, Dr. Mizrahi is a vocal member of the Christian National Party. After a speech before Parliament, he received death threats. The FARC has a history of intimidation through violence. Now, they are pushing their atheistic agenda, and they are using Darwin’s Theory of Evolution (ToE) to eradicate all biblically or faith-based teaching in Colombian schools. That is why CSI’s Hispanic outreach has become so vitally important.
Under the direction of Johnny Maury, M.Sc., CSI has seen extraordinary growth and success in the Hispanic ministry outreach. Through the contacts provided by Dr. Mizrahi, Johnny has been able to establish formal relationships with three of the most successful Christian schools (K-12) schools in Colombia. The changing political tides in Colombia are shifting the government away from democracy towards totalitarianism. Make no mistake about this, the FARC are not socialists, they are Marxists in the purest sense. They hate freedom, especially religious freedom that bows the knee to Jesus Christ, and not Karl Marx.
It is against this backdrop that the work of CSI continues. We continue to build our relationships with the faculty and students of these schools in Colombia and the South Florida Hispanic community. One of the praiseworthy factors is that these Christian schools have an outstanding track record with regard to academic excellence. It is imperative that we continue to uphold in prayer Johnny in his duties the Director of CSI’s Hispanic ministry and the safety of Pastor Mizrahi and his family.
Submitted by Pastor Steven Rowitt, Ph.D.