Creating Space: Casa Wájaro Update

Casa Wajaro Keys Jan2023

Bogotá, Colombia – In the previous Casa Wájaro Creating Space blog post, we mentioned that part of Wájaro’s mission is to create space for Indigenous voices at the table… any table to which we have access. From its inception, the dream for Casa Wájaro has been to do just that. To create space in the heart of Colombia’s capital for our Indigenous sisters and brothers to have a place of their own when they are away from home. Casa Wájaro is a space for those who want to see the Indigenous church grow. To see Indigenous communities flourish. And to equip Indigenous leaders who are God-breathed agents of change in their communities and throughout Colombia.

More than just a new and bigger office for our team, we dream of equipping Casa Wájaro with dorms, office space, a full kitchen, artisan shop, and plenty of space for collaborating, working, resting comfortably, and building community together. Many of the Christian Indigenous leaders that we work with fill many roles. They are pastors, artisans, advocates, missionaries, translators, legal representatives, directors, teachers, human rights activists, environmentalists, students, mothers, fathers, friends. They often travel like the radical disciples we’re called to be in Luke 9, trusting that God will provide along the way. Casa Wájaro is the “welcoming place, where people can stay until they leave the town.” 

Like many God-sized dreams, the process took far longer than we anticipated. Never in a million years did we think that it would take so uncomfortably long to find the right house after God miraculously provided the money. We were trudging through ever-changing housing regulations, red tape, a pandemic, and countless numbers of professionals telling us contradictory stories about how to do things the right way. We often felt like we were lost or the house was simply hidden from plain sight. Like feeling our way through a dark room– we held on to the promise that God could see what we could not, so we trusted that there was light even when we felt totally blind.

Diligently, we saw every possibility through to the end, sometimes going back to houses six, seven, and eight times with different professionals. Anxiously, we often felt that we were probably wasting our precious time. Though frustrating and disappointing, it was not wasted. His hand was guiding us, His Spirit was teaching… speaking to us along the way. “The road is difficult, but the gift is good.” “Walk. Don’t run.” “Wait on Me.” “I will be faithful to do what I have started.” “Keep surrendering.” 

He led us. He provided. We have the keys to the house he could see all along. We closed on January 27. When we say that Casa Wájaro will offer a seat at the table for Indigenous voices, we mean it very literally. The next day, four of the main leaders of RELIEC (Evangelical Indigenous Leaders of Colombia), who happened to be in Bogotá at the time, came to see the house and their new office! The timing was perfect. Together, we dedicated the house to the Lord and asked for God to continue providing the resources that are necessary for us to complete the vision!

Casa Wájaro

Casa Wajaro

Keys in hand, the Wájaro team quickly got to work: changing locks, installing security systems, replacing broken windows, planning a volunteer work day, and prepping the house for workers and moving in. On February 25, we hosted a volunteer work day, which brought together a beautifully diverse group of enthusiastic workers! Folks from churches, partner organizations, and different communities worked and celebrated with us. Several times I fought back tears as the doorbell rang. “This is really happening! We’re finally opening the door to Casa Wájaro! 

RELIEC purchased flights for two of our dear friends, Alba Jeny and Eeniith (from the Misak and Nasa communities respectively), to work with us that day. They spent ten hours cleaning the kitchen alone. That gives you some idea of the kind of work this house needs. While pausing for lunch, Jeny and Eeniith shared their dreams for Casa Wájaro. They prayed for the space in Namtrik and Nasa Yuwe. In moments like these, it is clear that we are in this together. It was a gift for our Bogotá community to witness the vision of Wájaro and the purpose of Casa Wájaro. We are so thankful for what God is doing and how he’s invited us to participate. We feel so honored to partake in building the kingdom with Indigenous communities. Working, praying, and praising God together in four languages that day is only the beginning… He’s got so much more in store for us. 

The Wájaro team is loving our new office space, working hard with the communities and the projects we have under-way. We’re also painting, cleaning, and improving the house as we have the time, as well as doing our best to search for funding in order to remodel and supply Casa Wájaro with the furniture, office supplies, bedding, kitchen supplies, etc. that it needs. When the dream began, we set out with a carefully calculated financial goal (cost of a property, cost to remodel/supply it, including a normal rate of inflation). We could not foresee the extreme inflation and exponential housing costs that have been felt around the world. Praise God we still had enough to make the purchase, but we’re humbled to be functioning and faithful with a bare-bones bank account. We trust that just like God provided miraculously in 2021 to get us to our matching grant goal, he will see us through to the final touch of Casa Wájaro. Pray with us that we will also have the resources to fund new projects in Indigenous communities this year!   

Thank you for walking with us, for praying, and for giving sacrificially to this project. We are so grateful. Please continue praying for us to steward this gift wisely and that God will provide. We invite you to follow The Wájaro Foundation on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about Casa Wájaro, the communities we work with, and how you can get involved. Wájaro means “Let’s go together” in Eduria, a small Indigenous language, and we mean it. You’re invited!

Set the table with us and get hungry for heaven.


Lauren Jones is co-founder of The Wájaro Foundation with her husband, Jake. They have served as SAM missionaries since 2017. She is also a photographer, women’s health educator, outdoors expert, social worker, and mother of four. Lauren is passionate about living in authentic community with others and caring for populations that mainstream society tends to overlook.

Creating Space

Wajaro Full Table

Having the Wájaro office in our home for the past 5 years has been a messy, but beautiful season of shared space and mutual growth. It has served to shape us into the Wájaro community that we are. The Wájaro team has graciously stepped over toys, ignored the sibling rivalry, looked away from piles of laundry, and tolerated us Joneses when we got up on the wrong side of the bed.

There have also been seasons of burnout, times where I, Lauren, opened my front door to our team in the morning, still in my pajamas, with a severe lack of that “joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” It can be exhausting to constantly share living space with guests and co-workers. But even in seasons of being “hospitalitied out” as I call it, I feel a renewed sense of purpose when we’re able to host our extended team of Indigenous leaders from near and far. Creating more room in my home, and in my heart, for my Indigenous sisters and brothers feels sacred. It feels sacred to provide hospitality to those who must defend their faith, who must fight for their communities, and who carry a generational cross of weariness.

It’s a sacred “yes”, echoing all the way back to when Jesus mentions “I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

It is a sacred “yes” to breaking bread around my dining room table with the “nations and tribes and people and languages.”

A sacred “yes” to the chorus of prayers lifted in multiple languages as we break bread —my family, intermingled around the table, listening intently, not understanding their words — all of us being nourished by this taste of what heaven will be like.

A sacred “yes” to the wonder of it all. How did I get so lucky to participate in something so heavenly, in such a broken world?

Wájaro At The Table


Yet, it is this brokenness that brings us together, compelling us to pull up another chair at the table for Indigenous communities in Colombia who have long been pushed to the margins, who bear the scars of war and wave the flag of peace and hope for a reconciled future. We gather around my dining room table, bellies full of hope that our communion together will bear fruit and make an impact at the eternal banquet table. We work together so that communities can taste that sacred meal of fellowship in the here and now and the yet to come.

Creating space at the table for more diverse perspectives — voices from different ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds and levels of education — is a lifelong mission of mine. It is also part of Wájaro’s mission – to create space for the Indigenous voice at the table – at the table when the Church is meeting, when mission organizations are meeting, when governments and NGOs are meeting. Indigenous voices must be present when peace processes are underway and any time decisions are being made about Indigenous communities and the Indigenous church.  This table we refer to, however, is often suspended in a theoretical space.

Casa Wájaro is our effort to bring this theoretical table into physical reality. Wájaro’s vision is to create a space in the heart of Colombia for our Indigenous sisters and brothers. In this space, we can welcome people from the Church, mission organizations, politicians, NGOs, and volunteers to do real work around a real table together. We already do this work together in the deserts and mountains and jungles. Now, we need to create a permanent space in Bogotá, the nation’s capital, that is visible within the community where the Wajaro team is laying down roots. We need more room at the table for all those working together to see the Indigenous church grow and Indigenous communities flourish.

Wájaro Staying in Hammocks

We often travel to communities and work together in their homes – sleeping in their hammocks, eating the fish caught in their rivers, warming ourselves over the fires built with the kindling they have gathered. We also host Indigenous leaders in our homes when they are traveling to Bogotá – sleeping in our beds, eating our waffles, and warming their tired bodies with our jackets and extra blankets. We love this interchange of hospitality and will continue to do it through Casa Wájaro!

More than an office, Casa Wájaro will feel like their home away from home in Bogotá with dorms, a fully equipped kitchen, and plenty of space for building community. Casa Wájaro will start with a co-working space, a center for hospitality, a space to collaborate and dream. The possibilities are endless, yet the goal remains the same, to support Indigenous leaders and the Indigenous church, to see them thrive and equipped to be agents of change in their communities and throughout Colombia.

In a time where most of the developed world has settled into a rhythm of virtual life, those living on the margins have white-knuckled the last bit of inner strength to continue on in the face of an insurmountable struggle, the daily struggle to survive. For the Indigenous communities we work with, the pandemic, food insecurity, makeshift medical care, civil unrest, armed groups stealing their land and massacring their people has demonstrated now more than ever their depth of faith, resiliency, innovation, and perseverance. Casa Wájaro is the vision God gave us for such a time as this. Having a safe haven, a physical space to be together, has become more crucial than ever for those working for peace, reconciliation, and the Indigenous church here in Colombia. We need Casa Wájaro. And we need your help to get there! Please consider taking advantage of this incredible matching grant opportunity and invest now:

Set the table with us.


Lauren Jones is co-founder of The Wájaro Foundation with her husband, Jake. They have served as SAM missionaries since 2017. She is also an artist, women’s health educator, outdoors expert, social worker, and mother of four. Lauren is passionate about living in authentic community with others and caring for populations that mainstream society tends to overlook.