Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dr. William David Spencer discusses his recent trip to Medellin,Colombia!

Since I had worked a reference to Columbia into Name in the Papers , my novel with Helping Hands Press, I was intrigued to be invited to speak in Medellin in the intervening time since I was last on the blog show. The first draft of Name in the Papers was written back in 2001, when the story was originally set (before the attack on the Twin Towers). So, it was quite an interesting development to be invited to a place referenced in the tale. Flying over the country, I was struck by the fact that the cities, nestled in valleys, are separated from one another by the mountains so each one is like a city state. Bandits are reported lurking on the tops of the mountains and sometimes militias are along the country roads, so not many travel by car between cities, so a powerful warlord like Pablo Escobar could isolate a city and put it in a kind of thralldom, which he did for a number of years. He cemented his hold on the people by ostentatious acts of generosity and ran his drug trade out of this lovely area by buying off or killing off any opposition. Finally, he killed the wrong presidential candidate, we were told, and the son marshalled the army and had him arrested. Escobar in fear changed his location of determent and this brought the authorities down on him.
When he tried to escape across a roof, he was shot down and the painting of” Pablo Escobar being shot down in his socks” had become iconic and is on display in the city. Today, however, I was delighted to find Medellin very different from what I had expected. The people are glad to be free of the drug trade and have since been rebuilding an economy without it. They are taking their beautiful city back. Photos do not do it justice, so we took our own, as you can see. The city is actually climbing up the sides of the Andes highlands. A cable car lofting across the city takes workers to their jobs and delivers them to the top of the surrounding crests for weekend walks in a nature reserve there – that is the striking sign you see my wife and I pointing out.

Photos my wife took shows me looking on from the Biblical Seminary of Columbia where we were invited to speak and in another I am on one of the narrow streets, walking up toward the school. When we wanted to go anywhere we walked up or down and took public transit all over the city. Why we were invited is because my wife, who was born in the Dominican Republic, is fluent in Spanish and is a renowned New Testament scholar. And since I had just completed 10 years as editor for “Priscilla Papers,” the journal of Christians for Biblical Equality and we had run several key issues on domestic abuse and I had also championed the publication of all three books from Peace and Safety in the Christian Home (PASCH) and in addition had drafted a creed several years ago reaffirming the classic doctrine of the Trinity as One God in three co-eternal, co-equal persons and not three gods hierarchically subjecting one another, our invitation was to speak on domestic abuse and my particular topic to critique the misuse of the doctrine of the Trinity to subjugate women. The Columbian scholars and students are a very intellectually aware and devout Christian people. It was a wonderful conference. My commitment to the safety of women can be seen in my first chapter of Name in the Papers, which is a story about domestic abuse’s subtlety. It happens slowly, often persuasively, and one is slowly trapped, as happens in this story. It is not always obvious to the eye, so we have to be on our guard always to protect the vulnerable among us.

Listen in to the conversation as Dr. Spencer describes everything in detail on his recent blogtalk radio visit:

William David Spencer@HelpingHandsPre,Name in The Papers was on The G-ZONE!Listen in! #UrbanMinistry #Inspirational

Dr. Spencer seen shoveling out from under the snow in Boston,Mass. recently this Winter:

1 comment:

  1. I've been there several times. My wife is from Medellin and were married in the city. Wonderful people. double check your spelling in the text - Colombia not Columbia