Anderson is off to challenging Nicaragua
 Well, hello, brother. You know, the name Anderson is very common in the United States. But I think you are the first person I’ve ever met where the name Anderson is the first name rather than last name. Is there a story behind your name, Anderson?

Yes, John, that’s true. I remember my mom told me that she saw my name in a movie and that’s how I think she actually heard the last name. She liked it and then she baptized me with that name. Later on, I started working with marketing stuff and it was very common as a last name. It’s not common as a first name.

No, you’re the one and only. So I’m with Anderson Ocampo who lives in Medellin, Colombia, and he is part of the PassionLife team. We want to take a few minutes today to let our community of friends, intercessors and partners know Anderson a little bit better. So Anderson, tell us a little bit about yourself and what it is that you’re doing with PassionLife now.

Yes, sure. I live in Medellin. I was born here specifically in a city called Embigado and I’m married with two children. My oldest is going to be 17 this year and my youngest, a daughter, is going to be nine, within three months or so. The way I think that I got here to PassionLife and what I’m doing now is training leaders, mostly pastors and Christian leaders in general, in the Four Questions and how they can respond to abortion locally.

First is learning what the Bible says and what God says about life. The rest of the Four Questions, the shedding of innocent blood, how can we respond with the gospel? How can we work locally with the resources we have? So, I think it’s going to be my second year and a half as full time in PassionLife. First I was a volunteer for a couple years And maybe more. It’s an interesting story.

Well, tell people how we met.

Yes, it was in 2018 and I was working at a theological school for the seminar. I was a translator and teacher for a couple of classes. Then you came to teach the applied bioethics class, which I think was 30 to 35 hours a week. And then by that time, I was already doing my own research on abortion, when does human life begin and why the church doesn’t speak about that. It was kind of an existentialist answer that I was looking for because for myself, I was born on the 10th month. I don’t know if I told you this before, but I was born on the 10th month. I was supposed to be born on August 29th. Then I came on September 22nd. Long story short, back in 1985 my mom got pregnant. One of her brothers bought her some pills which she took. Then she went to the bathroom and started crying. She was very scared and she vomited the pills. So she had, as a result, a very complicated pregnancy for the nine months.

So she told me that story when I was about 12 or 13 years old. Then I came to Christ when I was 15. So I was wondering why that happened, kind of trying to understand the situation back then when she was single. She actually married my dad. And so when you came, you know, the words that come to my mind are, this is it. You know, this is the answer. This is why.

Well, it was great to meet you back then. You were probably the first person who learned the Four Questions and teach them at the same time as a translator. I quickly began to see that these questions that we’re teaching all over the world now, were particularly meaningful to you, something that you wanted to pick up and start to teach more and more. So now you’ve got an opportunity to tell people what you’re doing right now with PassionLife and these Four Questions.

Yes, what we’re doing now is that we are training leaders to teach. We focus on training and aiming so that people can see they can do it themselves, starting in their own churches, either as Sunday school teachers or pastors. I think pastors have the biggest influence in the church. So we aim to train them to see from the Bible, what God has said for millennia, and now they can teach it. And respond and realize that this is a biblical situation. This is part of the Bible, part of the counsel of God, so to speak.

And so when they realize about the Four Questions, then they can reteach them. Then people from their churches start to say, what can I do? And so that’s where we come with the Passion Life team to have a role of advising and leading them on how they can get ideas and learn from other models and how they can respond locally. And that’s what we are going to do this week in Nicaragua in a couple of days.

Okay, let me just stop you right there for a second, just so people in the United States may not realize this. And you being in Colombia may not realize what’s happening in the U.S. But abortion is very controversial here in the U.S. It’s very, very difficult for even pastors to be willing to want to take up the issue. And yet in Colombia, in China, in Vietnam, in India, political nervousness is not there. People just, pastors just want to say, what does the Bible say? And then they want to follow it. So in many ways, what you and I are doing together around the world is very, very exciting because you don’t have to go through all these political hoops. And the pastors are not defensive, they just want to get into what does the Bible say and how can we lead the church well on abortion and go from the sanctity of human life to the direct call to rescue the innocent. So with that context now, tell us, where you’re going and what you’re going to do this next week or two.

Yes, John, I think that what you say is very interesting because I think though the topic is very political, it’s more political in the U.S. from what I see. And sometimes pastors or even Christians in Latin America and in my country, Colombia, they want to defend life. They go to marches, they protest, and all of that. But very often they don’t know that God already speaks about the issue. And so once they realize what God speaks about the issue, they don’t have to go political, but they start realizing they need to work from within the church. And part of that is my objective in this trip in Nicaragua. We are going to Managua and another city called Santo Tomas. We have been there a couple of years ago, and we are going this week to train leaders, both pastors and teachers from a Christian school, the Four Questions.

Interestingly, abortion is, as far as I know, illegal in Nicaragua. As a consequence, some pastors say that it’s not an option. It’s not an urgent matter for us. And so they don’t see yet that it still happens. We know from personal stories from people that are familiar with PassionLife and the churches that are inviting us to come, that it is real. It happens. And so hopefully, with the leaders that are there will feel they are being called to do this work locally in Nicaragua, we want to meet with them, training in the Four Questions, give them some material, and equip them so they can start helping mothers and couples in a pregnancy crisis, and bringing the gospel, which is the Bible.

That would be very exciting to see that in a year or two, wouldn’t it be a beautiful thing to see the first pregnancy help clinic or pregnancy help medical office, however, they set it up, opened in Managua, Nicaragua? That would be very exciting and I can say the churches there are really awakening to the need to help women and couples directly. And I think that we do well to stay out of the politics of things and just stay focused on raising up an army of rescuers or good Samaritans who come along with these mothers in crisis. So again, just to summarize, we start with leaders in the Bible and we try to end with members of the churches organizing ministries of rescue, whatever that looks like in their cultural context. And that’s very exciting. It takes two or three years lag time from the teaching of the Four Questions to the development of these clinics in a particular area. But you have chosen a really great place to go because the church is hard-pressed in Nicaragua and things are challenging there for everyone. And so that’d be very exciting. What would you like us as a community of supporters to do over the next couple of weeks or years, as we think about you and Nicaragua?

Yes John, I think for prayers that hearts are really open, starting with the church’s leadership, I think the leaders are the ones that have the keys to open the door,and see how the churches are being called to do that– to do missions through the field of abortion. And one of the things that excites me for this trip is that we have some backup.

Cuba is the center right now, where we are very focused on. I think Jeanne Perinea just came from Cuba and it’s moving. It’s very impressive how they are moving in their condition and circumstances. There’s a couple of women that left Cuba and they are in Nicaragua now. They have worked with Jeannie and they have done this ministry back in Cuba. So we hope to be with them this week and they can show the leaders from Nicaragua and Managua that it can be done.

And so we’re not really starting from scratch then. We’ve got a couple of transfers from Cuba going into Managua now who are ready to lead a team and start a pregnancy crisis intervention service of some kind.

Yes. In other words, there’s already good Samaritans, soldiers that are coming to help in Nicaragua.
Well, that’s very exciting. Well, we will pray that between you teaching the leaders, the leaders teaching the people and the few people who are ready to lead the ministry of crisis intervention there, that we will see some pictures and stories of babies and mothers being rescued and taught how to trust in the Lord for their daily bread and for a new life. That would be very exciting to see those pictures come forward the next year or two.
Yes. So if you can pray for that and that we can reach the leaders and they can start saving mothers and babies with the gospel, and that God can use our lives, and the materials that we are bringing, and the fetal models.

Yes. Well, listen, I know you’re going to be leaving soon and there’s a way for us to follow some of what you’re doing in Nicaragua and some of the other countries that you go to like Chile, Argentina, Cuba. I know that you’re going to a lot of different countries to train people in these biblical Four Questions and Christian ethics.

I just want to invite people to receive our daily text when I’m in the field or Mark is in the field, or in this case when Anderson goes to another country, if you’d like to get a picture or a short video clip, or a quick word from us, you can sign up to receive our text messaging or email updates by going to our homepage at passionlife.org. I will say to everybody that’s been supporting us and following us for a long time, we’re very excited that we started the texting because it allows you to feel like you’re right on the trip with us from day to day. So if you want that, sign up at passionlife.org. Just look for the text sign up at the bottom of the page there and you’ll be a part of it.

So Anderson, let me pray for you as you get ready for this next trip. After Nicaragua, do you have another trip planned already?

We have plans to go to Peru in June or July. We just need to confirm some of those.

Okay, but for this month we have Nicaragua. And last month you were in Chile and in Cuba, right?

Yes. Last month I went to Chile. Great stuff is happening there. We got response in less than three months of leaders starting the work in a city called La Serena. Then I came to Cuba, again, to be inspired and work with the leaders nationwide.

Some places that we go to, we see a slow response. But some places it’s just like the fire is falling as you’re teaching and it’s very exciting. So let me pray for you. Father, we just want to lift up our brother Anderson to you as he travels across the Spanish speaking world to teach what your Bible says about life, about the shedding of innocent blood, about experiencing your forgiveness and about your call to rescue the innocent. We pray that it never gets old, even though he’s going over the same Four Questions again and again, that that you would give him, the power of your Holy Spirit, zeal, his own testimony, Lord, about how his mother almost aborted him and then she had a change of heart, and now how you’ve honored her and her decision for life to raise up a son that will walk in your ways, proclaim your good news, at home and abroad. And we look forward to hearing these reports and being a part of bringing the gospel of life to the neediest places in the world. around the world. And we pray for the church in Nicaragua, who has suffered much, and in many cases have been under much persecution, that you would protect them and give them boldness and courage and zeal and favor in all that they put their hands to do. We pray this in your name, Amen.

Well, thank you, Anderson, for joining us today, and Godspeed on this next trip. And I look forward to getting your updates along the way.

Absolutely. I will be sending updates. Amen. God bless.