We take this time to greet you from the Amazonia of Perú. While this time of year is typically the dry season and difficult for the ship to move around and since we usually have no teams from the states due to the recent holidays, we take this time to do our much needed repairs, maintenance of the campus and do a pastor’s seminar, which will begin on the 20th of this month.
We are repairing some of the roof on the ship damaged in a storm now. We also hope to get the solar panels installed all along the top of the boat, plus some other needed attentions before we start out again.
We have implemented the long-standing plans to send our head foreman and our main interpreter to the rivers to check on the status of the church buildings, wells and congregations. In November, December and the first 7 days of January, they visited 62 pastors, spending time with each congregation.
This is a costly adventure, as we have to support their families who stay at home, as well as to meet their needs and travel expense while they are out ministering, but feel the results will far outweigh the expense. So they are our eyes and ears in the jungle for the short while we are kept at the port. They will travel with us on the Chosen Vessel, II when we have mission teams.
Please be in prayer for David and Luis, as this is a dangerous and difficult labor of love, laced with many personal sacrifices and trials and not many are willing to go to the jungle roughing it as they do.
Mike and Susie
In our experience, working for many years as members of the Amazon Medical Mission team, we have had the privilege of being partakers of the fulfillment of many projects that benefitted many villages located along the Amazon jungle and tributaries, to present the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Likewise, we had the opportunity to know the need and desires of many people to hear and learn God’s Word. Currently, Amazon Medical Missions is committed to attend to the spiritual area of the different congregations, specially those that we visit every year presenting the Word of salvation, unity, sanctification and forgiveness. Pastor David and I joined this purpose. Below we present our report of the trips we have made so far to the rivers and villages.
Iquitos was the starting point of our trip and being equipped with all we needed, we started our journey on a taxi boat that would take six hours to bring us to our destination, Suni Caño . God led us to this place, not only to bless the people spiritually, but to bless them materially through the construction of a Church. As soon as we got there, we let them know our plans to build them a church and the congregation was so very happy about the news, since they have been praying for a church for a long, long time. The news was even more special when they found out that their new church would have a tin roof. They glorified the Lord for this blessing!!!!
Last year some regions of the jungle of Peru were devastated by one of the biggest flooding season ever recorded, causing many to migrate to higher places and abandon their villages. This happened in the village of Sinai, and the church built there a few years ago by AMM was now abandoned. So AMM determined to take down this church and transfer all the timber and tin roofing to the village of Suni Caño with the help of the congregation there and non-believers alike.
It was Pastor David who led the construction of this church during the daytime hours and during the nighttime he preached God’s Word, inviting many to accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior or re-dedicate their lives to the Lord with some responding. During our time building up the church and congregaton, we had some struggles but God was with us, providing all we needed in spite of the shortage of materials. Finally after three weeks the church building was finished, giving us the satisfaction of hearing to the shout of God’s people in praise for this church and the calling from God to this work.
One of the purposes of our trips was to invite the pastors of every village to participate of the seminar that will take place this January 20th in Nina Rumi, where the leaders of the seminar will reinforce the local pastor and leader’s knowledge about God’s Word and encourage them to keep seeking God. So we went along the Manati River, visiting each community, encouraging the pastors and congregations. we spent good times together, sharing experiences, worries, frustrations and aspirations. All of them are expectant of this seminar, and they also requested us to visit them more often.
December is one of the months when there are more secular celebrations than the rest of the year and this is a situation that allows many brothers to be captivated by the temptations of the enemy to destroy their spiritual lives. It is the time when the youth of the churches tend to fall away. Most of the pastors shared this concern with us in order to find a way to fight this stumbling block. We would ask you to make this a matter of prayer. We had the opportunity to visit different congregations of different denominations sharing with them our vision of unity, holiness and love above all. Each one of these pastors, in spite of their limitations are willing to do more for the Kingdom of God.
It took us about ten hours to get to Mangua Village where pastor Joaquin is leading the church. He felt so happy to receive us into his home. With a smile on his face he shared with us a revelation from the Lord. In the revelation while he was sleeping he could see a lot of people (children, youth, men and woman) walking into the church to hear God’s Word. He was amazed by this that he woke up and when he did and opened his eyes he was still watching that scene. Praised be the Lord! The bible says:
“And in the last days it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams”. Acts 2: 17 KJV
It was a great testimony of God’s powerful work. We believe that is the desire of the Lord in this time. That the people, children, youth, men and woman, come into His house to hear His word and be saved.
The next morning we had the opportunity to have a church service where many people came to hear the message of forvigeness. All the congregation forgave one another.
After this great time we left and went to the next village and so on. We could get to Huanana village where also we learned a lesson. Pastor José Diaz, with a good number of people, gathered together and praised the Lord in the house of a neighbour. We learned that it did not matter if there were no chairs, or a nice pulpit, because everyone was willing to hear God’s word without all of that. It was so remarkable to see their perseverence and faithfulness in prayer, believing that the Lord will provide a nicer place to worship Him. We praise the Lord for these men of faith that are shepperding the flock of the Lord in these remote places.
It was one of our most exciting and joyful trips we made since we could sense a spirit of unity, brotherhood and perserverence. Firstly we visited a village called El Chino, where pastor Ezequiel shared with us his plans and aspirations. The whole congregation is working hard to repair the church. Also we could noted the many young brothers and sisters who were members of the local church there. Looks like the pastor is doing a good job.
Some of the villages are located way far in the jungle because of the floodings. But that was not a problem for us to get to them. We walked hours to get to their villages where we just talked with them, heard their testimonies of what the Lord is doing in the people and also shared with them God’s word to encourage them.
Finally when we got to Santa Ana village we could participate in a great spiritual celebration. It was the 14th anniversay of the local church in that village. Most of the congregations along the Tahuayo River were also present for the celebration. Pastor David had the privilege to preach that night and took the opportunity to express the purpose of God’s heart in this time. We could talk with all the pastors and congregations together. It was a great time. We must say that there is a revival in the Tahuayo River.
Our trip to this area was really brief compared to what we would have liked it to have been, but we could see a reality that makes us ponder and try to find a way to help these churches. Some of the churches along this river have not been opening the doors for services. Some pastors have abandoned their churches, people have drifted away and the church buildings were in a generally poor conditions. But our God, great and merciful, He is a God of second opportunities and that is exactly what we told our brothers and sisters from this area. After talking to many of them and hearing their stories we invited them to be part of this seminar for the Lord wants to refresh their sipritual lives, give them visions and hope again, with God’s help and our willingness to support, God’s kingdom will expand greatly.
Our appreciation to everyone who is making possible our trips to the jungle villages.
May God bless you and prosper you in all the areas of your lives.
Luis Armas and David Gonzalas