Greetings from Brazil! I am currently at the indigenous communities in the Amazon of Brazil. I will look forward next month to sharing with you some of the highlights of my trip to the Amazon tribes.
I had to write this newsletter before I left for Brazil, because while in the Amazon region, there is no Internet or phone line. I did activate for one month my satellite phone that I bought about five years ago. It cost $50 a month, prepay (which means that on the months that I don't use it I don't have to pay.) I activate it while traveling to places where there is no other means of communicating. That way I can see how my wife and children are doing. It gets me 30 minutes of talk time or 60 text messages. I just do the text messaging mostly.
This month when we go to the tribes in the Amazon we can't enter into the communities by canoe because there's not enough water in the tributaries to be able to navigate through. So this time we can go so far by canoe and then we will go by foot and hike to the tribes. It will be muddy so I will probably buy a pair of knee-high rubber boots when I arrive in Brazil. I always liked the rubber boots when traveling to the Indian mountain tribes in Venezuela. That way when you go through the mud and the rivers, you don't mess up your shoes.
I will be looking forward to having my Bible school with my indigenous leaders in Venezuela in October. I don't know how many leaders from the far away tribes will be able to make it. It will depend on the amount of rainfall that occurs in the month of October. October is always the rainiest month and it's been raining a lot more than usual in the months leading up to October. Sometimes that means it might not rain as much as it usually does in October but we will see. When it rains a lot, the rivers become swollen and fast flowing, making them dangerous to cross. Some of the Indian leaders from the faraway mountain tribes have to cross many rivers before arriving at my school.
I would like to share two testimonies. One of the testimonies is about a guerilla fighter who lives in the mountains and who belonged for a long time with the Colombian guerrilla group, called the FARC . One of my leaders shared with him the plan of salvation and he accepted Christ in his heart. He asked my Indian leader to give him a bible and some Christian movies. He said that he wanted to start preaching the Word of God. (This guerrilla group, the FARC, has negotiated peace with Colombia. They're trying to be a political movement now, but I think I know where that's going. Probably after losing, (because nobody wants their communist mentality) they will take up arms again when their political aspirations fail. That's just my guess. What they need is Christ in their heart, like this guerrilla fighter in my testimony has realized.)
I would also like to share another testimony about Eladio who is the Indian chief of the Caraña mountain tribe . One of my Indian leaders who is the pastor of the Caraña community and also the grandson of Eladio told us this testimony about Eladio. My Indian leader said that many times he had talked to his grandfather about God and the Plan of Salvation but Eladio rejected the Word. He later then set out to feverishly pray for his grandfather - that the eyes of his understanding would be enlightened (the prayer in Ephesians 1: 17-23.) Then after 5 days of praying for him that way, his grandfather accepted Christ in his heart. My leader then gave his grandfather a book that I had given him: A Divine Revelation of Hell. His grandfather liked the book very much and now he is a faithful believer. Eladio now wants a Bible and glasses to help him read the Bible at night since there is no electricity there.
Eladio gave this following testimony after receiving Christ: "My life changed a lot after accepting Christ. Before, while I was living with my family by ourselves in the mountain jungle, we were attacked by a jaguar in our hut. We made noise so that he would get scared and leave and after hitting him on the forehead with a piece of wood, he ran off. But after that day I started to hear voices almost daily. I heard as they called out my name with a loud voice. When I would walk at night, I would hear footsteps, as if many people were following me. All that changed after accepting Christ in my heart. Now I feel peace in my heart and I don't hear voices, footsteps, or any other demonic activity.”
I want to say thank you for your prayers and support which makes the ministry possible in Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil. God bless you.
In His Service,
Doug, Veronica, James and baby Ana