It was 11am, Thursday, March 26th, 2015, and the countdown was on. Unlike the popular TV show, this was reality, and actually included some sleep, which normal days are supposed to include. This hour included rapid searching and packing of all the crucial elements for an overnight tribal trip, as well as a few extras like: cookies. Missionaries get snack-hungry too, you know.
We had a rapid lunch with the Blackburn and Nagao missionary families, and then hit the road. We arrived in the river town of Laberinto. We spent a few minutes searching for a decent place to leave the Blackburn’s nice vehicle, and eventually settled on the police station.
We helped their outlook with some ice-cold Inka Kola. If you have never tried it, you should: it might help your outlook too!
A brief walk took us down to the waterfront, where we began to search for a launch to take us up-river.
We were very thankful to find a rather large boat which was about ready to leave. We paid about $3.25 each for our 2 hour boat ride up river. There may have been a little bit of napping on board: missionaries get tired too, you know. =)
It was a real thrill to make a few visits with some of the Harakmbut tribal people upon our arrival, and then we were graciously given the key to our deluxe accommodations. Complete with Ocelot skin, baby back pack,
a table, chairs, a solid floor, and leak-proof roof!
One of the oldest men in the tribe, and also one of the strongest spiritually is named Cornelio. He only has one eye, but He sees what is most important very well. He prays many hours per day.
Manuel, pictured here, is one of the older men in the tribe. He is hungry for more spiritual knowledge, and told me on a trip last year “I want to know the Bible so that I can teach it to my people in our language”!
About 40 minutes before we were scheduled to start, the people starting coming by asking if we were ready. What a thrill! Lord blessed with a great service that night. There were close to thirty people.
Although we may not have slept in luxury and were a bit sore, the morning service was a huge blessing. Seeing the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and the way He has been preparing them was a tremendous blessing. Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the trip was the moment when the church-leader, who has had almost no Biblical training asked if we would be able to help train him to study and teach the Bible. Both Joel and his father, Manuel, (mentioned above and pictured at right) are very hungry to learn!
As we rushed to pack up our tents and prepare to go I told the men that we should pray for a boat in order to get back in time for some appointments. As we walked out the door and up the trail to the beach there was already a boat in sight! Within just a minute we were aboard, and on our way back to town! The Lord was so gracious to give us a chance to talk about him even on the boat!
What a heartbreaker to see the mountains of alcohol
that enslaves so many people in the jungle, but what
a privilege to preach the Christ who sets us free!