Medellín–A City Of Contrasts

A couple blocks can make a big difference.

It may be the difference in whether a child gets a good education or if he’s pushed into the workforce at 10 years old.

It may be the difference in whether an individual receives excellent medical care or is at the mercy of less-than-adequate public clinics.

It may be the difference in whether someone can expect to live a long and comfortable life or is fearful if they will make it through each day, violence surrounding them.

And, it may be the difference in whether people have access to the Gospel or are drastically separated from it.

We saw this difference today. We saw rich areas and poor areas. We saw people who were wrapped up in materialism (a common sight for us, coming from the US), and some that didn’t have even a tin shack to call home. We walked through elegant malls and cruised through neighborhoods that didn’t even have electricity.

Medellín is a very large city, with a metro population that is near 4 million people, and still growing! Another thing that you’ll notice is that the town is divided up into levels of status they have called “estratos.” They have a scale from 0-6, with 0 being the lowest (the homeless, perhaps), and 6 being the richest of the rich (community leaders and officials).  Your “estrato” will determine much of what you do, who you spend time with, how you live life, and even how much you are charged for your water bill. It also determines your access to many community services.

Medellín is a land of contrasts for sure.

One major development they have made here to connect the city is their metro system. In a way, it is similar to the MARTA in Atlanta (for those of you that are familiar with it), but it has its differences. For one, they have two connecting MetroCable systems that take you up to remote parts of the city. Something like a glorified ski-lift. It only cost about 75 cents to go anywhere on the metro, including connections on the MetroCable. Not bad…

Here are a few photos we took throughout the day. As you look at these pictures let them break your heart for the need in Colombia. What more can we be doing to reach the lost?

Hundreds of people waiting for the Metro in Medellín

The cheap and extremely efficient MetroCable.

One of the poorer sections of town we glided over. This is probably an estrato 2. One thing you'll notice is that there are very few streets in these hills. There are walking paths, sometimes with enough room for a motorcycle and lots of steps. The army has guards walking up and down the streets that are there, mainly to intimidate the gangs, which have been extremely violent in past years.

There are many shopping centers here that could compete with the US's best malls, all stocked with the latest technology and (although this picture doesn't show it) lots of people. The ugly god of materialism has a throne here, too.

What a sad sight. The best bed these guys had was a flattened cardboard box. It was the middle of the day and they didn't care. What's the point of life?

Our hearts were broken today as we saw these things. There are a few evangelical works around this town, but nowhere near what is needed to give even half of these people access to the Gospel. The harvest truly is plenteous but the laborers are few!

Pray for us tomorrow as we spend most of the day at a 3 different children’s rescue homes. Our evening will be spent with a Colombian man and his family whose sister is a member of our church in Georgia. How exciting!

About Aaron

I am a born again child of God, a servant of Christ and seeker of His glory! I'm happily married to my wonderful wife, Aubrie, and we have four precious daughters. God has graciously allowed us to serve as missionaries in Colombia, South America since 2011, and minister among Latin Americans since 2004. Follow our story at

Posted on February 11, 2011, in Colombia, Survey Trip and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.


  2. The two kids sleeping in the street are more than likely addicted to sniffing glue. A real problem with children in the street that have no future.

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