Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We give thanks to the Lord for the trip that Virgilio and Alberto made to visit the Guahibo missionaries. Thank you for your prayers! We count it a privilege to continue having a part in discipling these folks; they continue to be encouraged in their ministry despite the many challenges they face. Their knowledge of the language and culture accelerates the process of teaching and discipleship, but Lucho* and José know that by demonstrating the life of Jesus in their daily walk, they’re giving a witness about the Gospel that they’re teaching. [*”Lucho” is a common nickname for “Luis” in Colombia.]
Guahibo missionaries reaching their own people? This is a new thing in this people group. Some members of the tribal community are amazed at being able to understand the teaching so clearly. How is this possible? Hearing the Gospel in my own language? Reading the Bible in my own tongue? God communicating with me a clear and direct way? What joy the Good News brings to people in such a great spiritual need!
Lucho and family in the northeastern Planas region.
Considering the very evident need of evangelism in this area, it has been an answer to prayer to see this family move there. Lucho has discovered that the Guahibo people in this region are not as friendly as he had hoped. He and his family have had to deal with culture shock, which they had not expected, but they’ve handled the change of environment with wisdom and have seen the conflicts as good opportunities to show love.
Virgilio, Lucho and Alberto spent many hours discussing and considering the different scenarios for developing the teaching and the discipleship. We appreciate your prayers for:
- Wisdom to carry out a strategy for advancing the teaching in this vast It covers a very large territory and the population numbers about 10,000 people (as we have mentioned before), living in small scattered villages of 30 to 60 people – separated by anything from half an hour’s motorcycle ride to a two or three hour trip on dirt trails.
- For another couple to work with
- For hearts prepared by the Lord to hear the
Having Birgilio with us was a great blessing. He has acquired a great deal of experience over the years and has a clear perspective regarding the need to accompany and shepherd the Guahibo missionaries. Since God has blessed him with the gift of service, he is sensitive to their needs.
José and family in the northeast.
A Spanish-speaking Colombian church continues supporting them in different ways. The support of the pastor and members of this church has been vital to José’s ministry among the Guahibos and his family has felt God’s love expressed through the body of Christ. José is teaching the first phase of Firm Foundations in a Guahibo community.
He wants to keep visiting other villages to develop and deepen relationships. In one village that
José has visited, there is a school with an enrollment of about 180 students, many of whom come from other villages. This could be a great open door where teaching could be started in order that the young people from the school would hear the Good News. Let’s pray that this opportunity will become a reality!
When the pastor of the national church and José, Alberto and Birgilio evaluated the visit, the pastor expressed gratitude for José’s ministry because for several years, the church had clearly seen the need in this community and tried to start a ministry there, but with no success. Praise the Lord for José and his family who have offered their lives to serve God among their people!
Other language groups
In the whole region where José and his family are working there are also other tribal groups of the same language family as the Guahibos: the Amoruas, Wipibi, Masiware, and Tsiripo people can understand more than 90% of the Guahibo language. There are other groups, such as the Cuiva, Playero and Macagua who comprehend less than 70% when Guahibo is spoken.
An intelligibility study of these groups regarding the Guahibo language was completed some years ago. As a result of this investigation, two conclusions were reached:
- The people groups which have an intelligibility level above 90% could be taught in the Guahibo language, making adjustments for the cultural differences. A meeting has been planned for December with representatives of each of the groups named above for the purpose of beginning to introduce Bible teaching using the Firm Foundations Bible
- With regard to the people groups with less than 70% intelligibility, for now we making plans to adapt the Bible-teaching materials from Guahibo to
Visiting Missionaries. In mid-June and mid-August, we are going to visit two teams of [non-tribal] missionaries. This will be a leadership visit and an opportunity to consult with the teams regarding their progress in learning the language and culture. Our desire is to encourage our coworkers in
every aspect of the church-planting ministry among the Yukpa and Chami people. What a privilege to be part of what God is doing among these ethnic groups!
Nancy’s health. I am suffering from a chronic auto-immune illness. I am regularly confronted with symptoms and health challenges with which I must learn to live but God continues to give me grace for each day. The rheumatologist ordered me to receive weekly injections which reduce the strength of my immune system so that my body won’t attack itself. However, this also means that I’m more susceptible to any infections because my immune system is not operating at optimal levels. Thank you for continuing to pray, we appreciate it very much!
Alberto y Nancy Gonzalez.