Twenty-three years ago a baby girl was born in a Kuna jungle village. That same year God sent the McDaniels family to that little village as missionaries. So little Silverixia grew up with memories of her mother hearing the Gospel message for the first time and then trusting Christ.
Recently Silverixia with her husband Anelio and their two small children were sent as missionaries to an unreached Kuna village. This is the story of their first year in the ministry:
“God has been so faithful in my life. I heard about God\’s trail from my mother. And she learned from you, Joyce. Some of my earliest memories are of you sitting in the hammock at our house, teaching my mother. I remember you would talk to us children, too, and ask us questions. I was really too young to understand, but I knew that you spoke the Truth.
Later my mother taught me about salvation. I put my faith in Jesus and His work on the Cross. I guess that makes you, Joyce, my grandmother in the Lord! My spiritual grandmother!
Then again I saw God’s faithful leading in giving me Anelio to be my husband. God knew my heart’s desire to serve Him. There are many men who don\’t share that burden. But God gave me Anelio, one who is willing to serve and even suffer for God’s work. In the beginning, our marriage was a disaster. Then we faced sickness. But God raised us up from all these things to serve Him! God chose us to work for Him.
“People did not understand us leaving our village to serve as missionaries. “What in the world will you do? You have no relatives there. Here you have a coffee garden and plátano. Who will help you there? No one! You will suffer. Your children will suffer because of your foolishness.” But nevertheless, we went, depending on God’s faithfulness. And although it has been very hard as Anelio explained, God has never let us down.
“Now there is a small group of true believers in the village. They are your spiritual great-grandchildren! And there are many more that are hearing God’s Word for the first time. We trust Him for a good harvest.
“But it is hard. It reminds me of one afternoon when we went out of the village with our children. We just needed to get away and alone for a little while. We had crossed a river and then all at once a flash flood came. With two little ones, how could we cross the raging river? Big trees had been snapped off and were floating down. It was dangerous. We tied together some banana plants and made a raft of sorts. Holding onto this we were able to slowly and painfully get across the river and back to the village.
“As we were struggling to cross the flooded river, I thought, “This is just like our ministry here in the village. We are struggling to go against the flood. Our energy is gone. Things are desperate. We fear for our children.” But just as God got us safely to the other side of the river, He will faithfully get us though these first difficult years of ministry. We have nothing but Him to depend on. And He is enough.
“To be honest, a part of me dreads getting back into the pressures in the village, to always be struggling against the flood. But a stronger part of me is willing and ready to go back and watch God continue His work. Please pray very much for us. Pray that we will be faithful and not discouraged. Pray for God’s protection and wisdom.”
Update: we received a message that the other Kuna couple that was serving in the village as missionary partners with Anelio and Silverixia have left the work because of the difficulties. So please pray all the more that Anelio and Silverixia will be encouraged in the Lord and faithful to His calling on their lives.