Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why do we go to the unreached?

Over the years of taking the gospel to the unreached indigenous groups of the Amazon, I have often received criticism from people.  Most of these people are not Christians and they have a completely different world view.  For example, a few years ago I received this comment on a You Tube video from a guy named Mike Hunt:

You should leave these people alone....They're fine without you....They probably have more to teach you....600 years of Conquistadores and it's still going on..Why not let them be who and what they are??...white folks destroyed the indigenous folks in N.America now you searching them out in Peru?....Got to Detroit, or the Bronx or something....

I will attempt to answer the question of why we go to the unreached.

Why do we go to the unreached with the gospel?

It is a good question.  First of all I must say that it is not easy to go to the unreached, nor is it a fun vacation.  The people are unreached for good reason. To arrive in these places is very dangerous in many aspects and they are very hard to get to.  Sometimes we must travel by plane, bus, truck, boat, canoe, and by foot, for several days just to get to the villages.  On these trips almost nothing goes as planned.  Plans change because of the weather, people, trails, transportation, and superstitions.  To get out of the jungle we are often dependent on hitching rides on cargo boats that may or may not travel upriver that day.  The unreached places of the jungle are the last strongholds of the terrorists, who would gladly kill us or take us for ransom if we are found.  The same threats come from the innumerable drug traffickers that rule the jungle.  If the people do not put us in danger, the jungle itself does.  It seems that everything from the smallest bacteria to the giant Anaconda snakes want to kill you.  Even things like ants can be deadly.  A bite from a particular ant can produce the greatest pain known on earth, and eventually lead to death.  So why do we go to these places?  It is certainly not for the adventure.

I can answer the question in one sentence.  We go to these unreached people in difficult places because we love God and we love them.  

We love God which causes us to glorify Him by obey the great commission.  Someone must go to all nations and make disciples, teaching them to observe all the Jesus taught.  In our love for God, we want to see the Kingdom of Christ advance and His name made famous among the nations.  In our love for God we want to see Him worshiped by every tribe, tongue, and nation.

We also love people.  We understand that all these unreached people are slaves to sin and will be in Hell when they die unless they hear the gospel and respond to it in faith and repentance.  We understand that faith comes from hearing the word of God.  If missionaries do not go to the unreached people of the world to preach the good news, they will never be able to respond to the good news.  We have good news!  Why would we selfishly hoard this cure for death in our own homes?

In my experience of working with the indigenous tribes in the Amazon, I have found that God has given His people a thirst for Him.  The Christians hunger for the Word of God.  Whenever we travel to these faraway places, we are welcomed and treated very well because the people are so grateful that we are with them.  Grown men are often overwhelmed to the point of tears that we cared about them enough to come and teach them the Word of God.  These dear brothers and sisters beg us to come more frequently to teach them.  They have been abandoned.  Their kids die of malaria and other jungle hazards.  Their kids are often killed for their organs by the organ traffickers.  They drug traffickers and terrorists steal their food and animals, and rape their women.  They are the bottom of the barrel.  Everyone takes advantage of them.  They live in fear of men and spirits.  They live without hope.

Why don't we leave these people alone and let them be who they are?  Because we love God and we love them.  They are not fine without God and His Word.  They are dying in their sins and going to Hell.  Without the gospel they have no hope.  Unlike Christianized countries like the United States, these people have no access to the gospel.  They can't make a choice to seek the true God through His Word.

We go because we love God and we love them.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Need for Missionaries in Tacna

A few groups of Christians, who came out of bad churches, have been asking us to come help them for over a year.  Finally we had time to take a bus to Tacna, which is on the border of Chile.  We spent 16 hours traveling by bus to visit these brothers.  We met with Gonzalo first.  He shared his testimony of how he came to understand sound doctrine and how his life had been changed.

After resting for a while, and eating some lunch, we met back at Gonzalo's house for a time of worship and questions.  A lot of people showed up and we answered questions for over five hours.  They had a lot of questions about the procedures in starting a church, membership, choosing pastors, etc.  Several people broke down in tears as they told us of their struggles. We were able to give counsel, answer a lot of questions, and guide them in starting a church.   It was an amazing night.

The next day we met with Abraham and his group of believers.  Again, we answered questions for hours and had a great time of fellowship.  We also gave Abraham and Gonzalo a stack of good books from the Gospel Coalition, which they greatly appreciated.

The greatest need that both these groups have is missionaries.  They both begged for us to send them missionaries to help start the church.  Tacna would be a great place to start a church.  There is already a group of about 25 people that want to start a church, and they are in the process of doing so, but they need help.  Once again we see a great need but have no way to meet it.  

Our goal is to raise up Peruvian missionaries and pastors to send out from our church to areas like Tacna.  We also want to bring in missionaries from the States, help them learn the language and culture, train them in the church for a few years, and then send them to places like Tacna.  The harvest is great but the laborers are so few.  We are praying for God to raise up qualified men to come to Peru to meet these needs.

Is God calling you?