Fast-forward to the age of Facebook and social media. Not only did I build a relationship with that "little boy" (now a young adult) through Facebook and eventually adopt his younger brother, but I also found and reconnected with old friends that I attended church with in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Now fast-forward to April of this year, when I finally had the money to book tickets to take Juan David on a short trip back to Colombia to visit his brother. We were so excited to set a date to go back, until Julian told us some unexpected news.
"I want to start a new life, to make something of myself. My friend and I have been planning and saving for a whole year, and now we are purchasing airline tickets to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina to study. Just like you did. If things work out for me there, I may not ever come back to Colombia."
What? We thought he was crazy, and Juan David and I did everything we could to try to convince him this was a big mistake. There are just too many legalities and work issues and money issues, too many things that he could not foresee. But, alas, we could not talk him out of it. So I told him if he insisted on making this decision, I would pray for God to go with him, to protect him, to take care of him, and to guide him. (Mind you, he's been mad at God for two years now, ever since it didn't work out to bring him here with his brother).
So my thoughts toward the whole situation shifted. He could have picked any city out of any country in the world (or even in South America), and he picked the one city where I happened to have lived and happened to know people. In fact, thanks to Facebook, we're still connected.
On May 16th, Julian boarded a plane (for the first time in his life) and landed in Buenos Aires. He had a rough start, but he and his friend found a place to stay and are starting to get to know the city. Within a few days, he wrote me to ask for the address of the church I attended (Iglesia de la Esperanza). I sent a few messages back and forth with a friend who still attends and serves there, and today Julian visited and sent me a picture of the church after the service.