A few years ago, when the new helicopter program was just starting, we never dreamed how much it would impact the work here. It has changed things in the greatest ways possible. We only thought we were reaching the farthest, hardest to reach places with the airplane, when the reality is, there are even farther places to reach and spiritually darker places than we ever imagined.
These areas are so dark and so hard to get to that foreign missionaries would, mostly likely, never be welcome. In fact, no one with the Gospel was welcome here until recently. The full-story is too long and too crazy to share here. The short version is that the group of evil spirits, yes literal demons, who were forced to flee the main village when the Gospel was accepted fled down river to another village where they’ve happily held the people prisoner to their darkness and lies.
Sounds crazy, right? Ask us about it next time we see you and maybe we’ll be able to share the whole story and you’ll hear “crazy” like never before! Because of these demons’ lies there was tremendous fear and opposition to outsiders and especially the Gospel. Some of the believers from the main village had relatives in this new village who had an interest in hearing the Gospel. This caused some serious division in the village, along with scary demonic opposition and death threats.
The believers had never seen an open door in this area before and they wanted to boldly take advantage of this small opening. As they discussed it they ran into barrier after barrier. The outreach village was a grueling 2-day hike away-much of it was floating down the river through dangerous canyons. When they would arrive at the outreach there wasn’t a clean water source, land for farms or a place for a house. There were also people there who wanted them dead. They couldn’t bring their spouses or children and they wouldn’t be able to survive there or stay long enough to teach.
God’s timing is perfect, though. At the same time as this door to the Gospel was opening, God had placed a barrier-crushing machine in their midst! AND he made it accessible to them via donors who cover their expenses! They discussed it amongst themselves and felt that with the helicopter they could take turns in 3-week shifts going to the outreach. They could bring enough food and supplies for 3 weeks in the helicopter and they could leave their younger children with relatives while they were away. This plan would break down the physical barriers and give them the needed momentum to keep people engaged as they teach.
A couple of weeks ago, we had the privilege of bringing all of these missionaries to the outreach again (12 people including their older children) where they taught the final lessons about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. They were able to teach through the whole Old Testament in chronological order before these final lessons. The people were eagerly anticipating the lessons where they were presented with God’s cure for their separation from Him. A preliminary report that we received is that there are new believers in this formerly dark place!
We will continue to fly these missionaries in shifts on a mere 6-minute flight from the main village to this outreach. Pray that God continues to keep them safe and encouraged. Pray for these dear brothers and sisters who are literally risking their lives on a regular basis to bring the Gospel to this deep and dark spiritual stronghold. The work here has only just begun and we are so excited to be a part of it!
Thank you for your partnership with us that allows all of us to bring tools to the team that are breaking down these barriers and connecting people with God’s Word in their heart-language. God is being worshipped today in a place that was darker than any of us can imagine. This is what we as the Church should be all about, is it not?