How can I express all of my feelings when I visited the bridge connecting San Antonio, Venezuela and Cúcuta, Colombia? I first crossed the bridge in October 2000 to renew my visa when my wife Susan and I were missionaries at Christiansen Academy in Rubio, Venezuela. Back then the bridge was a bustle of activity with bumper to bumper vehicle traffic and vendors hawking their wares. On our first crossing the new people were overwhelmed by the sights and sounds. At that time Venezuela was fairly safe and Cúcuta was a dangerous place to be. It was very exciting. We had a special arrangement where we did not have to spend the required overnight out of the country and just scurried into Colombia and rushed back out. Today Venezuela is the dangerous place and Cúcuta is relatively safe.
Now there is no vehicle traffic on the bridge. Just the foot traffic of Venezuelans coming to get food and medicine which is unavailable at home. It was a sad sight to see. Many babies and young children are brought over for vaccines which are non-existent in Venezuela. The Colombian government is providing vaccines free as a humanitarian gesture. I was impressed with the Colombian police as they welcomed the Venezuelans at the crossing control point.
My hope is that someday soon Venezuela will be at peace and this bridge once again becomes a bustle of activity.