Brothers and Sisters,
I returned from the river this past week! It was nine days of fast pace, non-stop work. Much prayer has been laid up both by you and our teams here. Much seed has also been sown in the five villages we served, including the village of the chief whom Travis is discipling. The fields truly are white with harvest. Please continue to pray that Christ would send forth laborers.
My team, along with two others from YWAM here, left early Friday morning (6/6/14) to set up equipment, tents, kitchen areas and everything else needed for a medical team of thirty. We then spent that night, from 12 to 7, cayman hunting in an effort to welcome the medical staff with a traditional Colombia village dish…it was a long night of no sleep and no results. We then storied some with the village and helped unload the luggage when the medical crew showed up. 6/8 began the six day village to village campaign. We started with the Christian chief’s village (where we all stayed for the entirety of the trip) and ended with a village in Peru.
Everyday we setup, packed-up and loaded and unloaded the boat. Each evening we came back to the chief’s village where we held a mini World Cup tournament for the kids. We were all assigned teams and served as their “coaches”, and mentors as we got to know the kids on a personal basis. God really used both the medicine and soccer with the kids to open the native’s hearts. The last night we were there, in between the soccer final, Paul gave a powerful gospel presentation that I know will bear great fruit in the years to come. Please pray that the seed we have sown would take deep root and the seed would have fallen on fertile soil.
We had numerous health stations including a triage, dentist, and surgical room. I spent the majority of my time at the delousing station on the water bank picking lice. I also moved from station to station carrying supplies. At one point they asked me to watch a dirty naked boy while his mother was receiving treatment. This was quite thought provoking because it reminded me of how Christ rescued us when we were naked, destitute, and enslaved in sin. I saw many crazy health issues and needs but the most unbelievable thing occurred toward the end of the second day as we were packing up. A women from a nearby village pulled up in a canoe clearly pregnant. Initially the two doctors did not believe ‘T’ when he told them but eventually an OB nurse came running with gloves and within one hour this indigenous women had given birth in a random man’s home on several desks pushed together surrounded by a team of nurses. Diana, the translating nurse on the scene who cradled the women and provided back support, had the baby named after her. The women was so grateful and was back on the canoe heading home in just over an hour! These people are incredibly resilient!
The Lord has been revealing and working on two main areas in my life while here in Colombia but strongly highlighted one of them during this river trip…Namely, trusting God with my health. It has been so hard for me to be willing to get my hands dirty. Being willing to get lice from either cleaning or embracing the kids or stomach bugs from dirty dishes or parasites when having to eat after the indigenous people has been such a struggle for me. It became acutely evident when we went door to door praying for people and after 10 minutes of praying for a man’s back in his hut, he told us he had tuberculosis. This is a highly contagious and deadly infectious disease that is spread through the air and here I am laying hands on this man and subjecting myself all types of sickness. It’s one thing to say you trust Christ when you’re healthy and surrounded by doctors. It is a whole other thing when you have to act this out by trusting that Christ will do what what brings him the most glory…be this keeping you heathy or allowing sickness in your life.
For those of you who have prayed specifically for my health on this trip, thank you! Because of my background with Crohn’s disease and my sensitive digestive system, I was worried that I would become sick and lose weight form the illnesses, and the improper way they handle food here. God has once again done another miracle in that I have not suffered even a stomach bug since being here and I have eaten in three different countries, numerous villages, even more homes, and eaten more bread here than in my entire life (bread/gluten is generally an irritant for Crohn’s). Several times I have been to homes where their method for serving drinks is using one or two cups and passing them around. After about the eighth person and the 3rd person without teeth, you begin wondering what’s in the cup…heck maybe it’s a tooth! Anyway, Christ be praise, because this truly is a miracle that I am still healthy!
I depart deep into the juggle of Brazil (home of the World Cup!) this morning (6/20) for a construction project that will take us until Sunday. Please pray for strength and that the Lord would bless the work of our hands. Also, there have been several distractions that have come up; please pray that I would be in tune with the spirit and that my focus would be Christ as I approach the last 6 days of this trip.
Once again, thank you for your encouraging comments and prayers. There are times when the days are easy and other times (usually evenings) when I am exhausted, sweating, slapping, and itching all over trying to go to sleep. God is good all the time, and I am growing in trusting his faithfulness.
Blessings to you all! I look forward to seeing and embracing you soon!
Because He is greater,