One of so many reasons I love the mission field is the places God takes you…placed you would otherwise never see, hear about or know about. Also, it as amazing just how close I came to not going to one of these places BUT through the persistence of and hope of some very amazing Believers here in Paulo Afonso…we pressed on into a night travel that took us waaaaaaaay into some country I couldn’t even see because it was so dark out. well, I did get to see the road…well, the “pathway” we traveled on the last half of the trip. Lot of rain had washed much of the road out…so it was slow going. I think God used that for the “do you really trust me?” part of the invitation to go and share the Gospel! LOL
One side note, Lucilia, my Translator for this trip and the one that put this adventure together, along with her Brother in Law, kept asking me, “Are you scared Pastor?” I said, “Nope, I just hope this doesn’t include snakes at some point…I hate snakes!”
When we arrived at the top of a hill, it was a school courtyard area surrounded by young people…lots of activity. Many were invited to come hear what I had to say from around the courtyard and other buildings. We ended up with about 20 of the 400 students and 3-4 of the teachers coming to hear me share. So, with my translator, another Brazilian that has been trying to reach these people with the Gospel…off we went!
I was able to share my “story”, how Christ became my Lord and Savior at the age of 23, my journey in Corporate work, leading to full time pastoring and now why I am a missionary. The receptivity was incredible! There were great questions and a real hunger for the truth. It went from a “quick” time to being able to hang out with these wonderful people for a good while! They asked if I would come back and share more and spend time with them…YEP! I did say, “next time I will come during the day though!” They laughed too!!! I cannot tell you how awesome this was because the people are so incredible!!!
As we headed towards the car, I was told that I was the first American to ever come and visit this tribe and village…I was speechless! It wasn’t as much “cool” as it was “WOW” and deeply humbling. No, I didn’t feel like I just discovered a new people…I discovered AGAIN, just how much God cares about the remotest people in the world…even the Pankararu Indians in NE Brazil! I love these people and will never forget the privilege of meeting them, remembering their faces and praying I can go and spend some good time with them and share more, invite them to join in the Gospel and start reaching and discipling others.
I told them that God cared about them enough to send me 5000 miles, change my plans for the day and drive me 2 hours into an area I knew nothing about to share the truth of the Gospel! Man, the Scriptures come so ALIVE here on the mission field…was just thinking about Philip being transported by God to share with the Ethiopian.(Acts 8:26-40). The Gospel work is very young here. Many have worked hard to bring evangelical work here at a very high cost. I thank God for their long suffering and hope for these wonderful people…the Pankararu Indians!