Thank you to those who prayed for us during my last trip. It seems that things always happen during my travels, but the Lord protected the family, and the week went smoothly here at the ranch. The kids were so sad, but somehow held up… haha
I met Steve Milton in Lima, and we flew together to Pucallpa, where we stayed with our friends, the Shapiamas. Later in Pucallpa we got to see their church´s beautiful boat, which they would like to use for nearby medical campaigns.
Then we caught a small plane out to the jungle town of Sepahua.
We spent the next few days running around trying to make preparations for a medical campaign in October.
What I really enjoyed was catching up with missionaries, old friends, and former church members!
Probably the most encouraging thing about the trip was to see what God has been doing in this part of the world. Wilber and his family have been working in this area for about six years, and he has planted/is planting three churches.
I know only too well how hard a jungle ministry is. They have experienced a lot of sickness, parasites, lack of basic comforts, and economic needs. but they continue serving the Lord. Wilber has had to take a job, because there is not enough financial support coming in.
As we were traveling downriver we saw some crushed and broken pieces of a boat sticking out of the water.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “shipwreck” I immediately think of Robinson Crusoe, or the Swiss Family Robinson Island, or maybe Gulliver´s travels. It is so romanticized in those books, and turns out to be quite the adventure. In real life however, we personally know that there is always a loss of belongings, great danger, and sometimes a loss of life. If your motor quits for just a few seconds, the boat can be turned sideways, catch on a log, and be overturned. Many of the tribal people have lost family members or friends through accidents such as this one.
However, there is an even greater danger: that of spiritual shipwreck. Unfortunately, this is even more common here in the jungle. Men and women, young and old, who seemed to love the Lord and planned to serve him often fall away, turning to sin, dishonoring God´s Word, and causing widespread sorrow.
Paul warned a disciple with these words: “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” 1 Tim. 1:19-20
May God help us all to be faithful to him, so that we never lose faith, defile the conscience, and fall into ruin.