Time would run out before I could put into words all that God is doing here. Honestly, some things cannot even be described or limited by words even if I had enough time. But I will do my best to hit some of the highs and lows with enough background information that you will be encouraged, strengthen and know how to pray for me more effectively.
Thank you for your prayers for me and my team! God has been going before us and fighting our battles and it is awesome to see his kingdom on the front-lines striding forward. God really blessed our first river trip. It is clear that the faithful prayers of the righteous avail much. Our missionary partner here has been discipling and pouring into a young village tribal leader who gave his life to Christ about a year ago. It is his village of 300 that we have been specifically targeting. Since becoming a Christian and especially now that he is the chief, he has experienced much persecution, including great hatred from his older brother-in-law. Through a series of miraculous events, God broke this man and the last day of our river trip, I witnessed him and his wife (the chiefs sister), placed their faith in Christ! Praise God!!
Since being back in Leticia from the river trip, our focus has been four main things: rest, discipleship, outdoor projects, and preparation for the next trip. The first is self explanatory, the second consisted of meeting with ‘T’ each morning. The third consisted of building a lean-to hut (pictured below) and garden, babysitting, and helping a local missionary with home construction. The fourth has been mainly crafting and memorizing bible stories as a means of teaching and leading people to Christ. (Because this is predominately an oral culture, storying is generally the most effective way of teaching about Christ). My team has also been so blessed to spend this past week learning from another missionary here named Jeff. He has also poured into and sharpened us. It has been absolutely incredible hearing from two very different men the gospel, discipleship, and how the Lord has grown them through their struggles and challenges!
The plan for tomorrow is to be gone for eight days, going from village to village with the medical team from Youth With a Mission (YWAM). As we are making last minute preparations before departure, I wanted to reiterate just how important your prayers are for my success. I am only now beginning to understand the accuracy of the adage, PRAYER IS THE WORK. Paul is very clear that “we fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers”. Christ talks about how “the prince of this world has blinded their eyes”, and king David teaches that “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain to build it.” We need Christ to go before us! Without your partnership in this, the work that we are seeking to accomplish will not get done. In addition, I have been under strong attack spiritually for the last two days. ‘T’ warned us about this but it has only now begun to rear it’s ugly head. This has manifested itself in numerous sexual temptations…something I haven’t experienced since I have been down here. My whole team has shared with me that they have also been attacked either yesterday or through dreams last night. This is no surprise since we are about to embark tomorrow on our longest river trip yet. Please continue to pray because the “devil is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may destroy”. But I praise God that “through Christ we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” And we are promised that nothing shall separate us from his love.
In terms of prayer requests:
1. Pray that The Lord would strengthen this new believers family in the faith.
2. Continue to pray for unity for our team.
3. My overarching prayer for this trip is that this chief’s whole family would come to Christ before we leave. The father and his younger brother are so close. His mother is a practicing witch-doctor and even though she stated that she would never come to Christ, she encouraged her daughter to place her faith in Christ. Clearly, there is a spiritual war raging and God is doing a work even in the heart of this shaman.
4. Finally, we are about to embark on a eight day river trip Friday with a medical team from Mississippi. Please pray for safety as this will be a large group and pray that God would even now be preparing the hearts of the natives for the presentation of the gospel.
Written by Gabe Llewellyn