The following is excerpted from Restricted Nations: Colombia, one of the latest books in the Restricted Nations series.
Pastor Manuel and his wife pastored a congregation in Chopal village, south of San Jose del Guaviare, for about eight years. They faced numerous challenges, and many churches in the area had been closed by FARC guerrillas.
Pastor Manuel decided to open a church building regardless of the threats and risks. The pastor was part of an evangelistic event at which three FARC guerrillas and seven members of the paramilitary surrendered their lives to Christ.
But on September 21, 2009, Pastor Manuel was shot and killed by FARC guerrillas. The guerrillas had made an appointment with Pastor Manuel and his family.
“He thought they were going to authorize him to have a church officially, which he had discussed and asked for before,” said a VOM contact. “One of them came in the house with the pastor’s wife, Gloria, and his daughter while the pastor was outside. He was shot five times.”
One FARC guerrilla, referring to the pastor, yelled, “Make sure that dog stays dead.” They then shot the pastor again, this time in the neck. Pastor Manuel’s wife ran outside and wiped the blood off his face. With the help of their children, she dragged his body under a tree.
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“She ran and got her Bible, and shaking with tears, preached to all those who got near,” the VOM contact said. “Their ten-year-old son said, ‘Mom, don’t worry, Dad died for Christ and now he is with Christ.’”