May 31, 2023 Update from Micheal and Keila
|Dear Praying partners, Please read this. I know it is long, and no, it is not book 4, there is just so much to let you all know so you can better pray.
During the week of the 21st of May, we had two outreach groups go out. They are both back and had remarkable responses to their efforts to preach the Gospel and show the Jesus movie, along with the Passion of the Christ and God’s Story. They also placed torches and messengers and translated King of Glory books in many villages. They came back excited to share what the Lord is doing and the responses they had in these far away villages.
The first group, Lanzo, Alfredo, Antonio and Gregorio had Torches in the Yecuanna language that we had brought down for the Yecuanna Church. These people were extremely excited to get these torches and were so grateful that our guys brought them down. Through an interpreter they also preached and shared with them. They visited two Yecuanna villages and one Piaroa village before heading on further down river to the Yanomamö village of Cejal. They said 4 young people there did get saved and asked to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism, which they were happy to do their last day with them.
On their way back up river, they stopped in La Esmeralda, a small Yecuanna village which has now become a military outpost and government clinic. There, they found about 20 Yanomamö from the very far away village of Parima waiting for the military to fly them home. They rushed back up here and got some torches for this village and then, took them back down to them before they got their flight. We were also able to send them 10 translated King of Glory books as well. Pray these messages and lessons will encourage these now abandoned Yanomamö. They have not had any missionary presence in their villages up there since 2006 when the gov ordered all missionaries out of the indigenous lands.
The second group, Abram, Julio, Vicente, Miquias, Felipe and Lucas headed into an area that is now embroiled in a very dangerous shooting war. I mentioned how we had encouraged Abram to maybe not go as he is related to the two enemy villages. Now in most cultures, that might give you an advantage, but in the Yanomamö culture, it just means that both of the villages where you have relatives could consider you an enemy. Anyway, he told how he did not take it lightly, but he felt God wanted him to go. So he was going…
I was surprised they even stopped in the village that is now the one needing to avenge themselves, which means they are the most hostile right now. But Abram told us he needed to talk to his uncle there and make sure he really understood the salvation message before it was too late. “Mikiwä,” he told me, “I set all my relatives down and talked to them really good. But I don’t know if they were of the right mind to listen. They all sit there in silence with frowns as I talked. But now, if something bad happens, which it will if the Lord does not stop them, I at least told them again. They have heard. And they are getting ready to go on a raid, they were making preparations to leave when we got there.”He nodded sadly.
He brightened, “I did see and talk with Ramoncito. He was back from taking the Torches to those 11 far away villages. He was so excited. He said his trip went well and he told me to tell you thanks for praying for us. ‘God gave us a good trip. The only bad thing was, I did not have enough torches. Everyone wanted one but it was so good to have something to give them. They promised me they were going to listen to them real good.’ He told me” Abram said.
So Praise the Lord for a good trip for Ramoncito and for the other two groups who went out. Sadly, we are currently out of gasoline for more trips and are really out of torches. We do have a few more that are bundled up for 4 other villages, a few of our guys are taking them as soon as we can get some more gasoline for our motors. Sadly, it takes a lot of gasoline to do these trips and it is extremely expensive. Your prayers are appreciated.
I told you all before about a young man who recognized his uncle’s voice on some of the recordings. He begged us for a torch so he could take it home and let his family hear these short Gospel messages. A short time later, another young man showed up at our door saying he was the grandson of the man on the device. His mother is the daughter of the man speaking. He begged us for a torch so he could take it home and let his mother and her sisters who live in another village hear this too. Since that time, people from that entire area have come asking for Torches. Normally, we place Torches based on the village population. For instance, in a normal size village of about 150 inhabitants, we will place 5 Torches and 10 messengers, but when we saw the interest and listened to the people explaining why they had paddled 2 or three days one way to get one, we decided this was possibly of the Lord and we needed to get out of the way.
The interesting thing about this story, is the man on the recordings, Yaubewä, as far as I know, was one of the very few, possibly, even the only Yanomamö from that entire area to accept the Gospel. This was back in the early 60s. To me, it is a fascinating story because it does show how God directs and orchestrates every detail of our lives. I am sure Mom and Dad, over the years thought those recordings they had helped do with Yaubewä were just a total waste of time. I know I did. Growing up, I cranked the old record player until I was blue in the face and people barely listened to the messages and I don’t think any of us thought they would ever do much. Now that he is dead, culturally, it is very taboo to even listen to or have something from a deceased person. But for some reason, the simple Gospel lessons on those recordings have really touched a spot in their hearts.
Both those young men have since come back with others from their villages and all the surrounding villages. There are about 10 villages in that close area and most of the people in that area are related somehow to the man who made the recordings. So many people have paddled over here, by family groups and then, almost entire villages wanting their own Torch. They sit here with tears in their eyes telling us about how, although initially it made them sad to hear this voice from the dead, as they listened, their own hearts have been stirred to have and know the peace that he talks about in the recordings. “We all got together as a family and listened to the messages, it was sad, we were all crying with tears streaming down our faces, but we kept listening. Now, we want what he had. That peace.” They insist.
Join us in praying that God is going to use these recordings from so many years ago to break open this entire hardened area for the Gospel and that many people would come to a personal knowledge of Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Also, continue praying for us as a mission and as a family. We have been under relentless spiritual attack on many different levels for months now. We believe it is because we are pushing the boundaries for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and satan is not willing to give up these strongholds. Our prayer is that he will be bound and thwarted in his attempts to hinder. Join us as we pray and trust the Lord for a bountiful harvest.
Michael and Keila