Greetings from Venezuela! My family and I are doing well here. We want to say thank you for all of your prayers and support which makes the work possible. Last month I was in the Amazon in Brazil for 2 weeks. I flew to Tabatinga and then went by boat for 16 hours to Sao Paulo de Olivenca. Here I picked up my Brazilian friend, Renildo, and we set out by canoe for 5 hours. We then backpacked through the jungle to get to the first tribe. Going through the Amazon jungle was awkward because Renildo could only find small backpacks so we had to fit all of our stuff to bring to the tribes in 10 small backpacks. And then each of us had to carry and balance 5 backpacks. It was quite a feat! Like I said we had to backpack through the Amazon jungle because we couldn't get to certain places by boat. The amount of mosquitoes in the Amazon is absolutely incredible. Besides the mosquitoes, they have two other bugs that bite. When the mosquitoes would go away in the morning, the other bugs were on duty! It was very hot and really humid there. My clothes were wet all day long because of the sweat. In the daytime, I would just pace back and forth under the thatched-roof, because every time I stopped the bugs would start biting.
So Renildo and I traveled and preached in three indigenous tribes in the Amazon. Everything went well. The Indians were very receptive to the gospel and we were able to reach a lot of people. With my rechargeable video projector and my Bluetooth speaker we were able to show "The Passion of Christ" movie at all three tribes. One tribe we showed it twice. At the one indigenous tribe, there were 80 people who watched the movie. At the other tribes, almost everybody came to watch the video. A movie sure catches attention at tribes that don't have electricity! Each night we preached the gospel and many people prayed the prayer of faith.
I was also able to make little Bibles to give out to the people in the tribes. On the internet I found the New Testament in the Indigenous language of the three tribes we were planning to go to and I printed out the Book of John in their language. I will make more books next time, but I was testing to see if they knew how to read and to make sure it was the right language. When I gave the Indians the Book of John, those who knew how to read, understood it, and they really liked it! So now I will make the New Testament in their language and will give them out when I go back to Brazil.
I'm looking forward to my five day Bible school with the indigenous people starting in about a week. It will be a great time to meet up with my Indian leaders and see how they're doing. Besides preaching and teaching, I will give them books and materials and just spend time with them. I will be teaching them a series on faith. I will also be getting together with my Indian leaders I sent out last month. I sent out groups to go to the different mountain Indian tribes with a generator, the videos of me preaching, and different Christian movies. This month I will be again sending out more groups of Indian leaders to minister to the various mountain tribes in Venezuela and Colombia. I've printed Bibles and books for them to take. Besides doing the Bible School, my schedule this month is full of preaching with the indigenous people, preaching on the radio, preaching at many different churches, and preaching at leadership classes.
I have a testimony I want to share with you. During a trip to the faraway tribes in the mountains, my one group arrived at the Taremo tribe where they camped before taking the path to the Colombian mountain tribes. One of my leaders had the opportunity to speak with a Yukpa Indian named Ope who recently had backslid. After Ope backslid he said he got very sick. He repented and God healed him. He told my Indian leader the following testimony about an experience he had and he shared it in the following way:
"It happened during the dawn. I don't know if it was a dream or if my spirit had left my body. I was in a very ugly place. I was in hell. I saw things that I find difficult to explain. There was a lot of fire and screaming. It was frightening. I felt terrified. I thought I had died and gone to hell. An angel walked with me but where we walked the fire didn't touch. There was fire everywhere and there were many cries. We came to a place where I saw a man I knew who had died. He lived in a tribe called Pochochmo, a few hours walk from the community where I live. I also saw two other Indians who had died a few years ago. One called Jose from the tribe of Taremo and another named Ramon who was also from Taremo. They approached me and were desperate and told me to help them. They said that they had been there for more than 5 years and they were burning there. They said no matter how hard they tried they could not leave nor die. They said that satan, who called himself "the prince" ordered the punishment and shouted that everyone had to worship him. The one said, "Day and night people fall into hell, and no one gives us an answer when we can leave this place, it is horrible..." He had not finished speaking when I woke up. I was very scared and I could not sleep anymore thinking about those people who had died several years ago and that they had gone there. I thank God that I was able to return to His ways, and until His coming I will be on the narrow path.
Well once again we want to say thank you for your prayers and support. It makes all of my work in Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil possible.
In his service,
Doug, Veronica, James, and baby Ana