Thursday, 31 May 2012
I have been through the Cities, the jungles, the miles and miles of desert, and now Mountains and snow in Chile and Argentina. God is moving us and moving us quickly. Sorry this is kinda over due, but it needed to be written. A quick update from the last jungle adventure. We arrived in Pulcalpa, Peru (which is considered a jungle city) by a 17 hour bus ride 17000ft through the Andes mountains. We arrive and stay at at Jenn's Jungle Ministries where we prepare to go into the jungle as well as minister for about a week in local churches all started through Jenn's ministry. As well as ministering we were being ministered to through the hospitality of Jenn and her Peruvian family there. Finally we left for the Jungle. By boat we traveled up the Ucayali River for 18 hours. Sleeping in Hammocks hung up literally shoulder width or less apart under the deck. With little room (all kinds of animals and fruits slammed into the boat as well. We all excitedly anticipated the weeks or so to come while staring up at the most amazing night sky (just about every star created was visible). We arrive in the jungle in the middle of the day at a village called Coca. We stay for 2 nights ministering and speaking in a humble little church pastored by an incredible man in his 70's named Antonio. This man was so hungry for God and the heart He had for his village was amazing! ` The next day we head out 13 people in one small canoe about an 1hr up river to another village where we stay one night because in order to make it to the 8 hour up stream village that has never heard about Jesus, we had to divide into 2 boats. We held another church service in this village, which no one was to excited about because we did not come to hold church services, but to go to the unreached. However, God showed up despite our selfishness. The next morning we woke up bright and early to head out on our 8 hour boat ride. We divide up into 2 boats. One boat being driven by the pastor Antonio and the other boat being driven by the pastor of the second village. The boat with the pastor of the 2nd village has a stronger motor and knows where he is going, but the pastor Antonio and his boat (the boat I am in) has no clue where he Is going. So within the first 3 hours we are lost. The other boat no where in site. We stay lost for about 7 hours on this river in the amazon. The pastor is worried and his 16 year old son who has been helping his father guide the boat, for the first time ever, begins to say He is scared, but God is so good and He washed all of us over with His overwhelming Peace! We were singing and laughing and praying God would reunite our boats back together. Saying things like “this would only happen to us.” While in the midst of the jungle on this river we hear a yell from the distance, but we can't understand what is being said. We all get really quiet and all of a sudden we hear “SHABBA, SHABBA” coming from the trees. We knew it was one of our other team members! We praised God and began to follow the noise Yelling back “SHIKA BABA!” Reunited and it felt so Good! We sat talking about what we should do next for about 2 hours. The other boat tells us they ran into some men, with guns, from the village we were trying to get to. The men told us we would not be welcome to come into there village because they did not want a church, but that was not our intention. We try to explain we just want to learn about the village and meet the people there and love on them. Apparently there was a big festival happening that night and it would be really dangerous for us to be there (because this village hates white people and we would probably be killed), but they said we could risk it and we were ready to, but the Pastor driving their boat was so afraid and after the men had left he said “no we are going back.” Our group with him, of course was not happy because they had no clue where we were and they were not about to leave us on a random river in the Amazon. They insisted they find us first, but all the pastor said was “well they are lost because pastor Antonio doesn't know where he is going.” Well this news was not what they expected to hear and they were very frustrated with the pastor. But instead of Getting more angry they decided to take communion and pray God would bring our boats back together. And that is when we heard the “Shabbas” coming from the trees. So we head back after pastor Antonio tries his best to reason with the other pastor, but he had made up his mind he was not going and we were in His boat so we had no choice, but to submit even though our hearts were being broken. By now it is almost dark and slowly getting darker and darker. Night time in the Amazon is so dark you can't see 2inches in front of you let alone steer a boat. So Jesse stands at the very front of the canoe with Pastor Antonio's son holding little head-lamps yelling back at Antonio in the back of the boat which way to turn. Because the river twists and winds so much we would almost steer straight into bushes (because of recent flooding there was no banks just water and water. Even through the trees). After 14hours on this river 7hours being lost. We finally make it back to the first village. So exhausted and all having to us the latrine really bad. We set up camp once again. We praise God for the amazing adventure and talk about the day until we fall asleep. The next morning we plan to leave early. We wait for the boats to come and then pack up to leave as soon as possible. We did not want to hold another church service after our hearts had been so broken for the villages that had never heard about Jesus. Smelly dirty and covered in bug bites we head back to Pulcalpa. A little disappointed, but full of expectation and promise from God that that village and all the others would Hear about His love!