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Colombia Para Cristo
The Kogi Tribe

The Kogi people live in the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern Colombia, South America.

The Kogis are human beings made in the image of God Almighty, just like you are. They deserve the same hopes and dreams as everyone else. They deserve to be free citizens who can choose what to plant, where to go to school, to be lawyers or doctors or whatever they wish to be, what clothes to wear and what religion to choose for themselves. They should not be treated as lessor evolved beings, to be shut up in a sort of Zoological preserve to be gawked at as if they were animals. They need to be treated with respect and dignity. They are wonderful people when you get to know them. I love them with my whole heart, and consider them to be "my people", as I was only nine months old when we moved there, and I grew up among them. One man even asked me to be his son's wife, (actually, he told me to pick between his 3 sons). I seriously considered it, his youngest son was very good looking, and just my age, but I was only 14 years old at the time. Within the year they were all 3 married.

Typical Kogi mother with her children.
(notice the big stomach due to
malnutrition and parasites.)

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They have been able to maintain their primitive lifestyle there for centuries, but their lives were far from idealic. There was much death and disease. It was not uncommon for women to have had up to 20 live births, with only one or two surviving to adulthood. (Amazingly, not many women or babies have died during the actual childbirthing experience.) Many factors contributed to the high death rate, their lack of hygiene, their lack of affection for each other(they don't look after one another), and their bad diet, mostly starches. They have virtually no protein in their diet and this has caused them to be very short and maldeveloped (adult men average between 4 to 5 feet tall), this also affects their immune system. They age rapidly and a 45 year old Kogi many times appears to be about 70 years old. The women seem to age even more rapidly than the men.

Kogi couple standing in front of the house
that the Kogis made for us to live in.

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When the Stendals came to live among the Kogis in 1965, one of the most influencial "mamas" (chief, leader, medicine man, etc.)of the time was on his death bed, he had been sick for more than six months and indeed was dying. Chad Stendal traveled for many days, putting his own life at risk to attend his sick bed(hammock). It was from that very miraculous healing of the mama, and the healing of a neighboring lady who was blind, that the Stendals were invited to live permanently in one of their villages, something unheard of then, and I don't believe has ever happened since either. The Stendals lived in that village treating all of the sick, that came in droves to them, for the next 18 years. You may read more of their story in the book titled "High Adventure in Colombia" published by Ransom Press International. Go to the Ransom Press International page (top of this page) to order a copy.

NOTE: We (the Stendals) have not tried to "civilize" the Kogis, we never tried to get them to cut their hair, wear modern clothing, or change their language, etc. We did try, however, to help them cultivate more crops that would suppliment their diet. They already had cows before we came, we encouraged them to at least give the children milk to drink. (An interesting fact, my mother gave milk to all of the children that would come every day to visit us, even if it was just a few ounces each. We watched as those children grew quite a bit taller than those children who lived too far away to come every day.)