We’d like to tell you about an exciting thing that happened this month – almost on the level of a miracle! Abel, a 30 year old Yuquí from the tribe we worked with in Bolivia came to visit us last week!!! If you had lived and worked with these people for 20 years and knew their lives and culture, you would be as surprised and amazed as we were! Some government group sent Abel and his wife, Brizol, to Washington, DC for a meeting about health care for indigenous people groups.
Abel told me that he wanted to come visit us. I didn’t really think he was serious when he told me he’d pay for a flight to Florida but he actually did it! They spent 3 nights here in Sanford. It kept me (Jackie) busy as I drove them around to see various missionaries who had invested their lives working with the Yuquí over the past 30 years.
To give you a little history, Abel trusted the Lord as his Savior when he was about 14 or 15. He was part of a Bible Study that I had for the Yuquí youth who had become believers. Abel was very intelligent so we sent him to 2 outside schools for further education with the hopes that he would come back and teach his people from God’s Word. That didn’t happen, however. We left Bolivia shortly after that and since then Abel married a girl from a small town nearby and they now have 4 children. Abel has been chosen by his people to represent the tribe to the local city government. He gets paid quite well and it sounds like he really has a heart to help his people economically and socially. He emphasized that he does not want to take advantage of his position to cheat his own people as another leader did in the past. We were really impressed with his wisdom and maturity. This was very encouraging to us but we also tried to encourage Abel to be a spiritual leader, as well. It was exciting to hear other missionaries encouraging him in the same way.
Please pray for Abel and Brizol. Pray that Abel would have a positive spiritual impact on his people as they seem to really respect him and his leadership. Since we left the Yuquí about 15 years ago they have had no missionaries out there on a permanent basis – only short visits. We are praying that our New Tribes National Training Program in Santa Cruz, Bolivia will send one or two Bolivian couples out there to teach the people from God’s Word. Please pray with us for this to happen and also pray for a revival among the Yuquí believers and a spiritual awakening among those who do not know the Lord! Needless to say, our visit with Abel gave us encouragement as we heard of all the positive changes happening among the Yuquí, yet there is also a sadness in hearing of the spiritual barrenness of so many who need the Lord.