Mike and I greet you and send along our February Report on the work done on the river this month by Luis and Alex. Much good work was done and we are proud of this team!!!
Luis writes: It was a great time that we spent recently during the seminar in Nina Rumi with the pastors of different villages along the Amazon River and its tributaries. We could sense the spiritual conditions of the pastors and their churches. So after strategizing with Bro. Mike and setting a plan it was decided that our priority would be to visit the Chambira, Pintuyacu and Nanay Rivers. It was some time ago that the churches on those rivers were discouraged because of some people who had visited their church as people involved with ministry, but who had a bad reputation because they were not living a holy life.
The Chambira Rver is one of the most inaccessible tributaries of the Amazon, since there are no river taxis that will go to the villages located along the banks of this river except at certain times, usually about once a month, but not always. We give thanks to God because we found a particular boat that was going to Atalaya Village and we got on board immediately and started our mission trip to this area. Our boat trip took 30 hours and Pastor William (Photo below) received us into his home with a smile and happiness on his face for our presence in his village.
When we first arrived, we found that services were not being held, so it was hard to expect people to show up in the church, but God was with us and He led them to church to hear God’s word and they were encouraged every night. Pastor William remained happy and strengthened through God’s Word. He willingly decided to keep preaching the gospel and do his best to reach more souls for Christ. We spent four days in his village and he requested us to keep coming often.
7 adults and 6 children rededicated their lives to Jesus.
Between 15 and 20 people attended church every night during our stay there.
San Antonio Village.- it was our next place to visit and carnival festival was close at hand to be celebrated. It was a challenge to stay there since there were a lot of demonic opposition. Carnival in the Amazon jungle is a pagan celebration and as is the custom, people celebrate it with dancing around a decorated palm tree, drinking masato (a fermented yucca liquor), wearing masks made of animal skins and throwing mud and dirty stuff onto one another. During the nighttime is when many demonic manifestations are demonstrated by the devil, but the people believe it is just the “mother of the palm tree”.
It was the first time when none welcomed us in a village, so we had to look for a place to stay. We headed to the church building and it was abandoned, so brother Alex and I decided to cut the weeds, sweep it and set it up for the service that night.
As we were doing this a couple approached to us asking who we were, so we introduced ourselves and told them the reason why we were there, and they said that God had answered their prayers and that God had shown them a vision about our coming to their village. Praised be God!!!!! They invited us to stay in their house.
As we walked along the sidewalks of the village we invited people to come to church service and we really did not expect people to show up, but our God is great and merciful that he sent children and a few people to hear God’s Word. Every night more people showed up and God was doing His Work. They were hungry for God’s word that even in the daytime we taught the young fellows. As many others were celebrating carnival, a remnant was being restored.
12 people accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and 13 rededicated their lives to Jesus. Glory to God!!!!!! The bible says:
“…but where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more ” Romans 5:20
After five days staying in this village, God led us in agreement with the people to charge someone to do church services every night. And brother Estanly and his wife were chosen for this task. We blessed and prayed for them. Glory be to God. God did great things in a time of a lot of opposition.
Monte Calvario Village.- Pastor Enrique was expecting our visit to his village. When we got there he provided a place for us to stay in his house. He also told us the reasons why he stopped having church services. One of those reasons was that his two year old boy drowned in the river, then a big flood did not allow them to gather together in the church building and also marital troubles that dragged him down to discouragement. We invited people to come to church that night and most of them showed up, which gave us a good sign. So we praised God that they were still willing to hear God’s Word. We stayed there three nights preaching and fellowshipping. The people rededicated their lives to Jesus and 2 teenagers accepted the Lord in their hearts.
San Juan de Raya
Our plan was to go to Saboya Village but we had no one to take us to this community. Also the pastor and his family were in Iquitos so we had no contact but God sent a group of people from San Juan de Raya Village who talked with us about the desires of having us in their village to bring a word of encouragement to them since they had not been having services for a while, so we went and stayed there for 3 days.
We had another kind of demonic opposition here. Adultery had taken control of the people living in this village. Even church members were involved in it. There was no pastor in this church. But we charged Brother Jhonny to lead the church. We ask your prayers for this little man of God, for wisdom and courage. During our stay only two people rededicated their lives to the Lord Jesus. Praised be to God for those two souls!!!!
Ungurahual Village.- We stayed only one night in this village. The people here have always been encouraged and seeking the Lord. I was amazed to see a woman leading the church in this place, a fervent servant of the Lord who is now raising leaders here to continue the Work of God. Also, she works in this community as a teacher, a job that allows her to share her beliefs with the children during class. We moved to the next village the next day.
Diamante Azul Village .- Also we could sense a spirit of unity and motivation in this congregation of Free Chapel Church. Leaders are being raised up and people are coming to Christ. The church in Diamante Azul is being led by Pastor José Tuesta, who in times past was a leader there ever since the church was built by AMM in 1998 by a group of singles from Free Chapel, the Dempsey’s home church in Gainesville, GA. When it was built, they asked if they could name their church after Bro. Mike’s home church. We could see Bro. Tuesto’s enthusiasm and vision for God’s work. We were also much encouraged by them through that spirit of unity in them. We stayed one night there and moved to the next village.
Pisco Village.- we stayed two nights there. We met a good brother in Christ named Luis Laulate, who moved to this community because the Lord called him to restore the church in this place. The pastor from Pisco had grown old and was no longer able to continue leading the church. Due to that, the church had been abandoned, but the people there were really looking forward to having someone lead the church again! We found that Bro. Luis was much admired by the people there and the civil authorities requested we call a meeting with all the people and talk about restoring the church. So we did and during that time, we felt led to charge this responsibility to Bro. Luis. Everyone agreed and committed to support him to raise the church back up. Glory to God! About fifteen people rededicated their lives to the Lord during our stay in this village!!
A note from Mike and Susie: For those of you who have helped to make this three-week trip possible, and for the lives that were changed, God bless and keep you and yours, and please keep remembering in your prayers our family in the jungle, both North and South American!!!