Hudson's Colombia Assignment #1


Howdy,

Welcome to the Hudson’s Colombia news-letter.

As most of you know, last year Tamara and I were invited to help in the expansion of the Zambia, Africa Bethel. The Brothers there have so many Bible studies and the growth is so strong in that area, that they needed to expand the translation offices and housing for the translators and workers. (If you were not able to read our Africa news-letters, they are on our web site under “Zambia Adventure“, there are pictures, experiences and even some videos.) That three month African assignment left us with amazing experiences in our minds, the warm love of the African Brothers and Sisters in our heart and an empty savings account. The Zambia assignment affected us so much that we decided to try and save up money, then when we had enough saved up we would apply for another foreign assignment.

Previously I worked in the Technology field and that allowed us to save up money. So I was disappointed when I tried to get a Tech job upon our return. The Interviewer would ask, “So, I see you just returned from a volunteer project. Do you think you will do more of these in the future?”… that question pretty much ended my chances of getting a good paying tech job. But, Jehovah provided enough work so that we could get by. Tamara cleaned homes around the area and I split up my time with Janitorial, Construction and computer consulting. We figured that if we tightened our belts, we could save up enough to apply for another international assignment in about 6 months.

Flash forward 6 months; we have scraped and saved but not nearly enough to go. On the foreign assignments, the Brothers provide you with housing, food and transportation to the meetings, even giving you a $30-$40 a month stipend. But the real cost comes in with the airfare to whatever country you are assigned too, which we are responsible for. Tickets that allow you to stay in a country for 3-6 month are usually very expensive, typically $1300-$1800 each, we didn’t have that much.

Time for a Family meeting with the question; do we (1) spend 12 months trying to save up enough money to go, then put in an application or do we (2) put in our application for another assignment and trust that Jehovah will find a way for us to do what he thinks we should do? At the end of our Family meeting, Tamara and I decided to go for it and put in the application for an assignment. If we didn’t get asked to go, we would keep saving up money, if we were asked to go and didn’t have enough money we would borrow it. It felt like the right decision but it would require us to trust in God. That is something that I, personally, have a hard time with. Tamara has helped me greatly on this during our 13 years.

We excitedly filled out the application form for an International Volunteer assignment and turn it in. If you have ever seen the form it is 4 pages long and asks some direct spiritual questions.

Before I continue with the story, I want to share something that I read recently, it is in Joshua 3:13. It was talking about the Israelites trying to cross the flood swollen Jordan River. Jehovah had the priests walk out into the river first. It was not until they were in the river that Jehovah stopped the raging waters. Even though Jehovah provided direction, the Israelites had to trust in him. The reason that I express this to you is that, this is exactly what happened for us. As soon was we decided to trust Jehovah by putting in our application, prepared to stay at home waiting for an assignment or going where he sent us, everything from that point moved swiftly!

Normally it takes the Elders a week or two to approve the application and then at least a few months for the letter to get received by the New York Branch and an assignment to be sent out, if there is even an assignment available. I have friends that waited years for an assignment.

Back to the story; We turned in our application letter to the Elders in our congregation on a Tuesday. The next day, Wednesday morning I get a call from New York asking if we would like to travel to Bogotá, Colombia and help with the Bethel expansion. Needless to say, we were shocked and dumb-founded to be hearing from them so fast but, of course we said “Yes!”

The next day I ask the Elder, that had our application form, if he faxed it in… he said “What application? Oh, is that what this is?” and pulls it out of his coat pocket. He hadn’t even had time to look at it, let alone send it in. I still remember his face when I told him that New York Branch had called us already. This is not unheard of but the timing strengthened Tamara’s and my faith and trust in Jehovah.

The last major obstacle is how we were going to be able to pay for the trip. 75% of the cost for this type of assignment is airfare and we didn’t have enough to even pay for that. As I prepared to ask to borrow money from our parents, Jehovah stepped in and took care of it for us. First, our Cousin Benjamin gave us two Friends and Family passes to Bogotá. Even though this is for only Stand-by travel, it lowered the cost from $2700 total to $525. Even that $525 was taken care of by Jehovah through the Estacada congregation, that unknown to us, took up a collection and basically bought the tickets for us. In just a week, all our obstacles had been removed and we were headed to Colombia to work with the local Brothers and Sisters on their Bethel!

I am not sure what challenges we will face, experiences we will have or how this assignment will end, but you are free to come along with us and experience it as we do.

Please feel free to write us at while we are gone, we love to get letters from our friends when we are away. We won’t be able to accept any pictures, movies or music over our email as we will be in a third world using third world internet connection but we welcome all original emails. Anyone interested is able to sign up for our Colombia news-letter, just have them send us a quick email or they can sign up on our web-site.

I hope that we can write a news-letter every few weeks or so. So, until then, this is Christopher and Tamara signing off.

Christopher & Tamara Hudson

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Colombia Assignment #2

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