“Colombia seems to have been prepared educationally, psychologically and spiritually for the message that Baptists can give.” On this Sunday, Harry’s words would certainly ring true.
Harry Schweinsberg pleaded for more missionaries to be sent to Colombia, even as he wrote about a tremendous Sunday that the Baptist churches had recently experienced. After concerted outreach efforts, one Baptist church had 40 more in attendance than the missionaries had anticipated, and the second church exceeded its goal by 85. In total, more than 500 people attended the Baptist churches on this one Sunday to study the Word of God. “There was a spirit of victory evident in the hearts of all,” Harry wrote in a report to The Commission magazine in 1941. More than 400 people returned at night for a baptismal service, where 15 new believers were baptized.
Harry understood the receptivity of Colombians to the gospel and did not want to lose the evangelical influence in a country where Catholicism had been the only known church. He also believed that the growth of Baptist churches in Colombia was key to the movement of the gospel in Venezuela and Ecuador. He wanted to see the gospel reach the large cities, but also the indigenous regions of South America. He wrote, “The urgent plea that goes forth from the heart of the Colombian Mission is that we may be sent more missionaries — and more — and more.”
Harry Schweinsberg, in white suit, meets with a group in Sabanalarga, Colombia.IMB Photo
Southern Baptist missionaries in Colombia, including Harry (back row, second from left) and Dorothy (in front of Harry, plaid dress) Schweinsberg.IMB Photo
Harry Schweinsberg aboard the Atrato after four days of stormy sea, with the island of Provence in the background.IMB Photo
Dorothy SchweinsbergIMB Photo
Henry "Harry" SchweinsbergIMB Photo