We were very excited to host a truly international team this week with team members from Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, The Virgin Islands and Zambia! This team was a wonderful blend of born-again believers, from all walks of life, representing 5 churches and 4 denominations. They had been somewhere listening for their names when the Lord called them to come together as one body to minister to the River People of the Amazon jungle. They heard His voice and obeyed. They were Amazon Medical Missions this past week.
For this trip, the team leaders were Gene and Robin Willis, who brought Crissy Huard, Drs. Wylie and Monica Newton and Hope and Kevin Burroughs from our home church, Free Chapel, Gainesville, GA. Also joining the team was Emma Chipokolo from Zambia, Soraya Coffelt from The Virgin Islands and her son, James from Texas and all three were first time guests of AMM. They heard about our mission from watching our pastor, Jentezen Franklin, (Kingdom Connection) on TBN. They went to his website and looked up Missions and found our mission and decided to come to work with us this week.
Denise Palmer brought her son, Harley and daughter, Rachel along with Michelle and Joel Sampsel, Pat Chrzanowski and his son, Jacob, Elizabeth and Austin Davis and Andy Sewell from Second Baptist Church, Clinton, TN. Both teams brought vitamins, stuffed animals and things for VBS, clothing, fishing kits and various other gifts.
Bro. Duane Nayrocker came to us from First Presbyterian Church, Haines City, FL and has been here 9 times in the past 7 years and is a great supporter of AMM and we think he’s kinda special! His generous congregation donated 300 pairs of new reading glasses for this trip. Every member of the team loved working that joyful station and seeing the smiles when the people could see to read clearly and in focus!
Monday we worked in the pueblos of Sapo Playa and Santa Martha. The people’s homes were not under water now, as they said it dropped 5 feet this past week. One man told Mike that during the flooding, to get any food other than fish, he had to take a canoe a days travel away to completely leave his flooded area and to reach the high-ground pueblos. He took fish and tried to trade them for produce grown on higher ground, but after this long day of travel, many would not trade as they could fish for free and still have their excess produce to take to other pueblos or to Iquitos to sell. This has been a very difficult 6 months for these flood victims.
The team functioned beautifully with one heart and one mind even though the work was difficult. The guys started out with getting 75 large, 50 kg bags of food out of the bodegas below decks, then proportioning them into kg bag, then refilling the large bags with the kg bags, sewing the tops of the bags and returning some of them back to the holds of the boat until needed.
Since April 2, 2012, we have been able to deliver 15 tons of food, to God be the glory, to the people who have been living in homes that have been totally flooded until this past week, where many had been living up in the rafters! Each person received 4.4 kg each of the beans, rice and cereal and each family received salt, oil and matches. Some places got double.
We had a lot of young people on this team and they certainly pulled their fair share of the load, but did so with so much fun and humor, it lightened the load for us all!
This week we saw many mothers , after receiving their food, immediately tear open the bags of cereal and feed it to their children on the spot. These people were hungry! Most anyone reading this has never experienced real, true hunger……….may they never! We pray we can do so much more in the next 3 months until the crops yield their harvest.
Logistics was a challenge since everything was being done aboard the boat, instead of in churches or schools on land. With the water receding, it left behind mud up to the knees in some places. The families had to be registered, brought onto the large speedboat to wait in turn to board the Chosen Vessel, then go to each of the physician, prayer, glasses, gifts, food and medicine stations, getting the right food bags for that family, taking family photos, and then giving out the pictures and getting it done in a timely fashion so that we could see another pueblo that day was indeed challenging. Much good work was done this week in His name!
We worked on the Amazon River in the pueblos of Santa Rosa and Timicuro Grande on Tuesday; Wednesday the pueblo was Timicuro Zone I and Timicuro Zone III; on Thursday we worked 3 pueblos, Santa Victoria, Santa Maria de Fátima and San Juan D’ Washalado.
We started each day of work in the pueblo with a worship service then either the flannel graph story of Ruth, someone preached, or with our Children’s Minister, Soraya, presented the gospel to the children in the pueblos, but the adults enjoyed the presentations and activities as much as the children. We always gave people an opportunity to accept Christ.
One 90-year-old man (at first thought to be 98) came forward in the service and wanted to accept Jesus as his personal Savior. He said he had been in relationship with Jesus before, but he wanted to come forward and make sure. So many precious people came to our clinics this week and patiently waited hours in the heat or rain to be seen. Best news of all, 116 people made first time professions of faith in Christ as Savior! That was the bottom line for all of us! The last two pueblos we visited had never, ever been visited by any missionaries or other humanitarian group and were very happy with our work among them.
We rendered 1,129 medical and dental attentions in 4
days, even with all the setting up and taking back down and
traveling to 2 or 3 pueblos a day. God was with us to have this trip go so smoothly! There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that he Lord Himself was working with us! We thank the pastors of the aforementioned churches for sending a delegation from their congregations to work with AMM this week and to meet such devastating needs of the Peruvian River People.
Martyred missionary to Ecuador, Jim Elliot said it like this, ‘He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose!’
It was a sacrifice for these team members to leave their jobs, families and travel thousands of miles and spend thousands of dollars to be God’s hands and feet here in the Amazonia of Perú. God led them here, He sustained them here, He worked inside them here to accomplish His goals and He will not forget their Labor of Love.
Once I heard a sister speaking at a women’s meeting say that the favor of God can be put like this. When you hear God’s voice and you follow it and obey it without question, an angel writes it all down. Then Jesus looks over his shoulder and says, “Write out there beside her name, I owe her a favor!”
Another saying I like is the difference between the blessings of God and the favor of God. With the blessings of God you can move a mountain. With the favor of God, someone else will move the mountain for you!
I believe this team walks in the favor of God because of the sacrifice they have made in His name this week. They have moved mountains for these people here in the Amazonia; mountains of discouragement, mountains of real physical hunger and mountains of pain and suffering, and I believe others will move the mountains for this team when it is needed! Because……Jesus never forgets!
Thanks for the memories, y’all!
Susie Dempsey, RN Nina Rumi, Perú
Days Worked: 4
Hours of Navigation: 18
Medical Attentions Rendered: 1,129
Families served: 364
Pueblos Served: 9
First Time Professions of Faith: 116
Reconciliations to Christ: Many!
Food Distributed: 4 Tons
Team Members: 21 North Americans
Chosen Vessel II Crew: 15
Clothing, glasses and other gifts given.