Tuesday, March 13, 2007

How Far should we Go?

Over ten years ago we moved to the village of Chajuraña. We felt that God wanted us there and through the years saw visible proof that it was the place for us. We arrived in Oct of 1995 to begin our life among the Ye'kwana tribe. After a few weeks in the village I was invited by Victor, the christian leader in the village to take a trip with them to visit family in a nearby village. I figured, 'why not!' so off we went, myself and about 20 ye'kwana. I, as a jungle newbie, was gloriously oblivious to the dangers of river travel. We arrived at one set of rapids, and they told me to get out and walk around while they drove the boat up through the rocks. Guys jumped from the canoe in the middle of the rapids onto large rocks and grabbed onto the rope that Victor threw to them. When they had a good grip he shut off the motor and tilted it out of the water. His life depended upon the grip of those five guys on the rocks. The boat would have been smashed in seconds if they had lost their grip or slipped into the water. I was glad that I was walking. I wondered if maybe I should have stayed home. After all, we had come far enough to preach the gospel.

It is a small village on the Caura river where the in-laws lived. When we arrived they went off to see the family and I, blissfully, walked around trying to make friends. Unfortunately, every child that I saw ran away screaming when I waved for them to join me for a cookie. I later found out that they were doing exactly what their parents had taught them to do. They mistook me for an embodied spirit that they believe in in their tribal culture. They believe there are spirit beings that come to collect friends of those that have died so the dead ones won't be alone. The parents always tell their children to stay away from the Wiyu. They will trick you and take you to the spirit world. The children ask how they can tell if it is a real Wiyu, since they are known to take the perfect form of a human. The parents tell the children that it is easy.... The Wiyu´s can't quite get the color right. They always look WHITE! not deeply tanned like a real person!!!! So all the kids thought I was trying to take them to the spirit world.
Later, a young girl came straight up to me and asked if I was a missionary. I said yes and then she took me to her grandmother who had asked to talk to me. She told me her story and asked me a few questions... She was from Brazil and had come to Venezuela to say goodbye to her family as she knew she was going to die in the coming weeks. When she saw me walking around the village she thought I might be a missionary and wanted to ask me about another missionary that had come to her village when she was a little girl. She couldn't remember much about what he talked, but she did remember that there was a story about someone that loved her so much that he died for her, and if she believed, he would show her how to get to heaven with Him. She could not remember any more. His name, why he died for her, How did he know how to get to heaven. So then she asked me If I knew the man´s name. I said "yes....His name is Jesus." She then asked If I knew His story and I, with tears in my eyes, again said "yes." She said, "Please tell me His story and why he died. I have waited all my life to learn the rest of the story."
45 minutes later, she was my sister in Christ, and three weeks later she met Jesus face to face.
How far is far enough.....Unto the End of the World.


Kim said...

Man, between you and Rita I can't keep a dry eye!

Pam said...

It was so good to see you had a new post, but an even greater blessing to read this heart warming story! It brought tears to my eyes as I envisioned you there giving the simple gospel of Christ, and how rarely we hear of someone asking to know more!

Jungle Mom said...

Thank you for going the extra mile!

Just Theresa said...

I'm Crying, That was so wonderful. I'm going to have my husband read your blog.

May the LORD bless you as you seek to do His will.

Just Theresa in Texas.

Rancher said...

Saving the world one soul at a time. God Bless

jennifer said...

Both you and your wife have wonderful blogs! I enjoy the way you tell a story. God bless you and your family! I'll be back!
A sister in Christ in Sunny New Mexico

Sarah Joy said...

Wiping tears also! Thanks for telling the story. What a wonderful God we have!

Pat said...


What a great story....can't wait on the book!! LOL (but serious!!)

John said...

Wow, what a great story! Thank you for making the sacrifice of your lives so that others may make a sacrifice of theirs.

...As well as being an example to those of us who also seek to make a sacrifice of OUR lives.