November 29, 2012
I began my three week trip to Amazonia by flying from Bogota to Leticia. At the river port I paid the fare to take the “rapido” (the fast boat) to Filadelfia, one of the Tikuna villages on the Amazon River. An hour later I disembarked on the river bank with my duffle and knapsack on my back and climbed the river bank to face the unknown. As I approached the first house, I called out and asked, “Where does Eli, the Tikuna pastor, live?” The man answered, “Way down this path. But wait! There is another missionary much closer. Talk to him first.”
This missionary, a Brazilian named Clauber, invited me into his house and called Eli. He soon arrived on his scooter and we made plans to travel by river to the Bible Institute the next day. This was the beginning of a two-week odyssey of sleeping in a hammock with a mosquito net covering, bathing in the Amazon, eating fish, rice, and bananas, teaching the Word to Indian pastors and baptizing a new believer in the river.
These people live life at the basic level of subsistence. There is no “fluff” in their everyday existence. Each day consists of performing necessary tasks in order to stay alive! But what a joy to see how they listen and soak up the teaching of God’s Word!
As I come back to the States and listen to the frivolous conversations of “civilized Americans”, I become bored and disinterested. We are so blessed with so much “stuff” that we have no true comprehension of what survival living is like. May God help us to realize that material things will pass away, but what is done for Christ’s kingdom will last for eternity!