The Gospel in the Jungle

Josua Fürst, Riberalta, Bolivia

In October of last year, the Lord Jesus gave us the opportunity to conduct a mission trip with fourteen people. With an off-road vehicle, we drove through the jungle to visit five villages. The team included our former pastor Alejandro Llanos (who organized and led the trip), our missionary Rebekka Wehner, as well as a group leader from the boarding school, so that we could reach the children with the wonderful gospel. Additionally, a doctor accompanied us with his wife to provide medical care for the people. The other part of the group included brothers and sisters from our church, as well as missionaries and staff from this mission in Guayaramerín. Besides medicine and used clothing for young and old, we took some food with us. But above all, it was important for us to proclaim the joyous news for the lost, and also provide spiritual nourishment for the saved.

The journey seemed to be filled with roadblocks; before it started, we had tried twice to reach the villages to inform them about our coming. The first time Obed Hanisch had been on the road with Pastor Alejandro, but had fallen from his motorcycle. And the second time, Alejandro had had to help a village extinguish a fire, and he fell ill as a result and was forced to abort the second leg of the journey. And now our journey came—I was a little afraid of what would happen next.

After two hours of driving, we reached the first gas station, where we wanted to fill the car tank and the gas cans. But the gas station was out of diesel. New fuel wouldn’t arrive for three more days. The first village was not far, so we drove there first and unloaded everything. Heinrich (missionary from Guayaramerín) and I drove back to Riberalta at 6:00 pm. At our mission station, we filled the canisters, and the service station in Riberalta was still open until 10:00 pm, so we could fill up the off-road vehicle. At 11:45 pm we arrived in the first village again.

The first evening service in Cayuses had already been held. The next day we were up at 6:00 am. The entire morning until lunch was filled with various tasks, medical care, children’s programs, Bible study, and gift distribution (food and clothing). I had chosen the theme of the Bible study: “Abundance in Jesus Christ.” The Lord gave me the grace to put this into Spanish. I was delighted to reflect on this subject, and to pass it on to the faithful in the villages. It’s worth it to be a Christian and to live as a Christian, to discover His abundance, the spiritual blessings!

After lunch we went to the next village, Baqueti. The road was rather muddy, but the off-road vehicle proved to be well-equipped for it. We all arrived safe and sound. In the late afternoon, we invited the people of the village to the evening service. We prayed that many would come and, thank the Lord, many did! The following days were arranged in a similar rhythm, with medical care, children’s programs, Bible study, and gift distribution until lunch.

In the next village of Puerto Cabinas, Heinrich preached on the subject, “The True Light Shines in the Darkness!” Not many people came, however; there were four soldiers who were sent by a barracks. The superior officer didn’t appear. After the sermon, however, he came and asked us to come to the barracks the next morning at 8:00. The three of us went, bringing Bibles and Christian literature. We hoped to come across the soldiers again. The leading officer, however, wanted to speak to us alone. The conversation was very good and personal. We were eventually able to pray together. He asked Jesus for forgiveness and turned to God anew. Now it was his concern to share the good news of what Jesus had done for him. We gave him a devotional, which provided him the opportunity to read a devotion to his soldiers daily. We also distributed Gideon Bibles for him and the soldiers. Now we hope and pray that this spiritual bread will become food for the soldiers’ hearts, that they would believe in Jesus and have eternal life. Our wish is for there to be a congregation in Puerto Cabinas. We were able to hold a small gathering with a family who called themselves Christians, but apparently did not put it into practice. We sang songs and exchanged some Biblical words.

When we reached the fourth village of Misión Cabinas, many came without having been invited. They knew us from our last visit two years ago. Unfortunately, the town hall had virtually deteriorated, so the service took place under the open sky. Two women rededicated their lives to God, and confessed to those present that it was now their desire to follow Jesus.

The last village, Candelaria was the largest. We set off early to be able to arrive in time to hold a worship service on Sunday morning. Many people came to hear God’s Word, and we praised God through various songs.

It was worth it to take this route to carry the good news to the outermost corners of the earth. We as a missionary team had very good fellowship; we began the day together in God’s Word, and always ended in a spiritual exchange of songs and testimonies in the evening.

Despite temptations and fears, the Lord has given us great joy and sincerity. Thank you to all who assist us here in Bolivia with prayer and financial support. May our Lord Jesus bless you richly for it.

Midnight Call - 06/2017

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