Wednesday, January 23, 2008

True Missionaries!




Meet Simeon and Victor. These two men are Ye'kwana Christians. Victor is now the Pastor of the Good Hope Baptist Church and Simeon is a deacon at the same church. I would like to share with you some of their zeal in sharing their faith with their tribesmen.

Victor and Simeon had decided to take the gospel to a small village far up in the mountains. This village was so resistant to outsiders , they had purposely chosen to live in a difficult to reach area of the jungle. Victor and Simeon have family members living in this village and both felt responsible with taking their family the knowledge of Christ which has so changed their own lives.

Both of these men were reached by missionaries with the gospel as children. They had eagerly awaited some 25 years for a missionary to return to their village as they were now adults and had the desire to learn more. Both men were able to read in their language, thanks to missionaries! They were able to read the New testament in their own language, thanks to missionaries.

We were able to aid these two on their missions trip by giving them a lift in the Cessna to the closest airstrip to the village they intended to hike to. This allowed them to spend a few days preaching and teaching in the village with the airstrip as well, before heading to the more remote village.

From the village by the airstrip, the two men canoed for two days. At that point, they proceeded by foot, uphill, towards the village of their family members for another two days. For a non-indian, it would take at least three days!

Victor and Simeon found their family to be receptive and they were able to begin with some "pre-evangelism". This is the term we use to prepare an illiterate people with no understanding of the Bible for the gospel message. One must first begin by teaching through the Old Testament, to show our need for an atonement and redemption, leading up to the birth of Christ and His ministry here on earth. We call this the Chronological Bible Teaching . Basically, the goal is to help the "people walk backwards, in to the future".

After a month of daily teaching, the two Ye'kwana missionaries returned to the airstrip where there was a ham radio to allow for communication with us. We had planned to send the plane for them. Unfortunately, the Venezuelan government was not allowing us to fly at the time, by denying permits to purchase gasoline for the plane. This left Victor and Simeon stranded in the village for two more weeks. They used this time wisely by continuing with their teaching at the village.

After two weeks, they became concerned for their families left back in ChajudaƱa, who would be out of meat, and in need of hunters. The two decided to hike back home via an old hunting trail rarely used. By speaking with old timers, they received directions and were told it would take about three weeks to reach our village. The two set out into the jungle with no means of communication, no canoe, and only a machete and one shot gun with a few shells.

We eagerly awaited word of them. Finally they arrived. They had made a small rough raft on which they placed their hammocks, provisions, and weapons in order to keep them dry. They could not ride on the raft themselves or else it would sink. They were swimming along behind it and were very water logged! Both were very weak and had open sores on them from the rough trail and lack of nourishment, along with malaria!

They told us of the great joy they had in preaching to these villages that had never before heard the good news of the gospel. Believe it or not, they were anxious to return and preach more!

They had suffered hunger, sickness, and great discomfort, but they knew their suffering for a time here on earth would be worth it if they could reach some of their tribesmen for Christ. They also knew that Christ had suffered much more while bringing the message and way of Salvation to us all.

These two men may not look like missionaries to you, but they are the true un-sung heroes of the faith. No one will ever hear of them or their ministry. They will continue to be two indians from a small village in a small country. But they are the kind of men God uses to carry forth His word. They are akin to the men of the New Testament who went forth and spread the gospel so that, eventually , one day it reached ME!

20 comments:

Amanda said...

They are famous to the Lord. How awesome.

Bar Kochba said...

I just wanted to answer your comment:

I didn't really mean that. I just wanted to share the interesting coincidence that after all of these discussion, the head of Jews for Judaism came to speak at my synagogue. I really enjoy our discussions.

Jungle Mom said...

Amanda,
I just purchased one of your mother's books today. My first!!

Jungle Mom said...

BK, I just wanted it clear to all of your readers. I enjoy our discussions as well!

Susan said...

Agreeing with Amanda - they are famous to the Lord. Loved reading their story, Rita!

Pat said...

Great story or biography of the great followers!! What missionaires and love plus a burden for family and their neighbors....sacrifice for lost souls!!

What a blessing to know and to share their story!!

jennifer said...

Wow!
Rita I am BACK!
Thank you for again, taking the time to remind us that each one of us can be used for the Lord if we are willing. And like your close, because the Good News has already reached me!
Jennifer

Deborah said...

JM,
I'm weeping as I finish your story! Thank you for sharing this... we are so spoiled in the Western culture! I complain about having to stop to get gas before I have to take off to my weekly Bible study. Shame on me... tsk, tsk, tsk! The experience you share reminds me of the movie, End of the Spear, one of my favorites, now. God bless you and your family for saying to the LORD, "Here I am."

BK,
Have you ever watched the movie/read the book, End of the Spear?

Brenda said...

Amazing story! Keep telling these, this is what keeps us going everyday.

Yekwana Man said...

I remember when they came back. they were almost two weeks overdue and their families were worried. Without a compass they took the wrong path in the mountains and walked the wrong direction for three or four days. (you can hardly see the sun when you walk through virgin canopy jungle) they ran out of food and finally got to eat at a sanema village where the guy that helped them had a unique way of wetting the casabe for them. But we'll leave that unsaid for the stomachs of those uninitiated to jungle life!

Brooke said...

That is just SO awesome!

Ma Kettle said...

Rita
I tagged you on Double Nickel
Jennifer

Cheesecakeluvrs4life said...

You are such an awesome storyteller! Wow, that is so neat...they care that much for their family and other villagers!I heard something about a book...my mom said that you are writing one? Is that true? I can't wait to read it...if its true!!=)Hope ya'll are doing good!! Talk to you later...

Bob said...

Beautiful people. Thank you for telling us about them, and thank you for sharing the love of God with them.

Pam said...

Heros indeed! Very sweet testimony.

Beth said...

What a neat story! I want to hear more about these men. Did they make it back to the village for another visit? Were any baptized?

redneck preacher said...

I have sent our folks and others to this site to read of real missions.

We will add prayers for our unmet Yekwana brothers and sisters to our Sunday service.

Can you send a prayer card to us?

HTOITA

Leah said...

what an amazing story! i can't even imagine, we Americans are spoiled rotten. i will be praying for them and ya'll.

groovyoldlady said...

I am humbled to read of such great servants of God.

I have endured so little suffering for Him. Sometimes it makes me wonder...

Anonymous said...

Unbelievably humbling, Totally forsaking all for the cause of Christ. thank you for bringing us to the reason we are here.
nannie