Return to Columbia

In the fall of 2013 hosted their annual “Captured in HIS Image” Photo Contest. Our main goal of the contest is to promote missions and encourage everyone to keep going! We have a heart for missions and missionaries! Our prayer is that a heart is stirred by a photo of a sweet Cambodian girl, or an older missionary getting their hands dirty to help feed the hungry, or the joy of a homeless man who just heard the gospel; and that person will say, “YES LORD SEND ME!!!” That would be such a sweet result of the photo contest!!

Global EncountersOur 2013 “Captured in HIS Image” 3rd place winner, Richard Shoemaker used his prize money to help him return to a country that God has laid on his heart, Columbia. Richard traveled to Columbia with the organization Global Encounters. Global Encounters Short – Term International Missions has two goals:


  1. To serve in foreign countries by sharing the Gospel, teaching Biblical truth, demonstrating Christ’s love, and meeting practical needs. We do this by working with and supporting those who have a long-term investment in the country (pastors, missionaries, churches, schools, orphanages, etc.)
  2. To disciple young people by providing hands-on ministry opportunities and a team structure that focuses on discipleship. The types of ministry projects we organize bring team members face-to-face with real needs and challenges – often changing their hearts and perspectives on life forever – while the team leaders are there to disciple and mentor the team through the experience.

To learn more about Global Encounters and how you can take a trip with them, visit their website at

Richard has returned from Columbia with an “un-quenched” passion for short-term missions and a heart of brokenness and love toward the people of Columbia.

Richard in Columbia

Photo of Richard in Columbia

Richard writes us “Colombia, is not the country of 10 years ago but, still a country very in need of the gospel. It was last year that God first gave me a burden for the people of Colombia. A year ago I traveled down nearly to the equator to serve with a team of 9 young people. However, the story does not start there but 10 years ago when I went on my first missions trip and again a few years after that on my first mission trip overseas. God began to awaken a passion for short term missions in my heart that has yet to be quenched.

Richard in Columbia 2

Richard’s team in Columbia

During our time in Colombia God allowed us to interact with and share the gospel with nearly 1,500 students in Christian schools and another 40 in an orphanage and cancer foundation. Though we came armed with crafts, games, stories, and candy unless we could point each and everyone to Christ and the gospel it would have been useless. While listening to one mom share how she was at the cancer foundation with her 2 year old daughter who had cancer I was brought to my knees by the Lord. I realized I had very little compassion for those hurting much less for the lost. Sure, I loved the gospel and prayed for the lost, I had been to 8 different countries, some as many as 4 times on missions trips, I was involved in local ministry in my city and church. But this was not the first time she had been to the cancer foundation. Just a year prior she had been there with her 4 year old son who passed away due to cancer. I was humbled to share the love and gospel of Christ with her and the others there. I have a renewed compassion for those hurting and it has only flamed the fires of passion for the gospel in my heart even more. No matter how “grand” we may think our circumstances or stories are God will use them for His glory no matter what. For the more complete story of our trip you can reference the daily trip blogs found here:


2013 3rd place winning photo, submitted by Richard

If it was not for the support of Mission Trip Insurance and the photo contest I would not have been able to return to Colombia this year for a 2nd time. May God be with each of you as you GO and proclaim the love and gospel of Christ. It was a blessing and honor to participate in the photo contest and it played a vital part in my ability to be involved in the Lord’s work! Thank you all!”

It is our joy here at to see HIS Image in Action!  See more about where God sent past winners of the “Captured in HIS Image” photo contest, here.

Want more information about the 2014 Photo Contest??? Subscribe to our newsletter and we will send you information as the contest approaches!

Kristen ButlerAbout Kristen Butler

Kristen Butler is the Vice President of Client Relations & Marketing for Insurance Consultants International, a Christian organization specializing in international health & life insurance for missionaries and expatriates. She may be reached at 1-800-576-2674 or 1-719-573-9080.

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