Off to the Amazon Jungle!

Some of the most deeply satisfying moments of our ministry at Passion Life are not things that I or my executive leadership team are directly involved in. These moments are usually carried out by our second, third, and even fourth levels of leadership. They get to see the impact happen around the world.

For example, several years ago we trained some pastors in Vietnam who then took the Gospel of Life up into the mountains to teach the Hmong people, who were a completely different ethnic group, and help them to treasure human life. They were taught to reject abortion and rescue their neighbors so that they may experience and share God’s forgiveness with them. Another great moment was when Chinese pastors went up to the highlands to teach the people of Tibet the same work.

Now, I want to provide you with the good news that has just happened in the last couple of weeks. Our pastoral staff leader in Columbia had the opportunity to go into the Amazon part of Columbia which is a very intense forest. He traversed this dense forest to train pastors and leaders in the Amazon who are now talking about where they are going to go upstream. They want to take the Gospel through all these rivers and spread it to all these different tribes. I am going to transcribe the story from a recording of Anderson Ocampo who has just returned from Columbia:

My name is Anderson and I am a Christian leadership pastor and trainer in Passion Life Ministries. I have led our most recent trip to the Colombian Amazon. The team in Latin America had the opportunity to minister to teach the four questions to three different indigenous communities of the country. Dr. Nadu (who is the director of the Bible Society with outstanding connections), myself, and Javier (a friend of ours from the Bible Society) have been able to penetrate these three different communities.

The first is called Macedonia. Through the efforts of my dear friends, we were able to expose the Macedonian people to the biblical teachings on the worldview of life from conception in the womb and the shedding of innocent blood for, I would dare to say, the first time in their people’s history. We had amazing responses. These people were in tears and this sparked excitement in a few of the local leaders.

I want to highlight the story of Jobe. This guy is a co-pastor and a youth leader for this church in Macedonia. He takes 17-hour rides by boat to bring the Gospel to other communities. He asked us, after the training that we had had one night, if we could present another session the following morning. He said, “I was looking for something like this. I thought I would take the four questions back with me to other communities that are in front of the river (which is Peru) and behind the river (which is Brazil). I will commit to teaching the four questions because we have a lot of young people. We have a huge need to cover this issue and we are very happy to find the leaders to teach us.”
Sometimes we are surprised by how God brings the right people into our lives at the exact moment we need them. These people are able to understand the teaching and say, “I can do this with the materials that you are giving to me. I will do it.”

The people of Macedonia earn their living in two ways: fishing and selling their homemade goods to tourists. The way in whch they sell their goods to tourists is by performing acts or dances in front of big house-like structures they call Maloka. They receive the tourists here to perform their acts. While they dance, they sell their ery beautiful homemade things.This is part of how they make their living from entertainment.

I attended one of these Malokas to spread the Gospel and I remember one omwan in particular. This woman was very touched by our message. She was singing and crying. This woman was so happy to receive the message of life from the Bible and from the four questions which opened the door for her to receive forgiveness.

She confessed that an abortion has been committed by her family, but they never talk about it. It is a secret. Thanks to this life-giving message and the powerful story of Dr. Nadu testimony, this woman is now convinced that she has received peace.

This is a powerful story that shows the importance of Dr. Nadu’s work in the Amazons. Please pray for this work as these people are being shown how to be renewed through the Gospel. They are being pressured by the western culture to legalize abortion and to see it as a normal thing. Please pray that they would keep their appreciation for life and that they would not yield to the pressures of the outside world. These people value life. They now have a response to the pressures of western culture is trying to impose on them because of Passion Life’s teachings. They have a solid foundation from the Bible.

Another one of the things that I would also like to highlight is the school they have started. In this school, they bring in kids from 8 to 15 years old who are very troubled with problems from home and they minister to them.

The best way in which we are able to minister to these children is through videos or photos. We were not able to acquire videos on our trip so we used the images to display the gestation period of the baby. We would even draw pictures on the board. Sometimes they are ugly pictures, but people love them because they feel motivated to protect life. This is what we want to replicate. We want to find leaders who say, “I want to do this. I can do this now because you are giving me the materials.”I hope this insight was helpful. I hope these highlights or some of these stories inspire leaders all over the globe. Thank you so much!

For me, hearing these stories and seeing the pictures are some of the most exciting times in my life. I love seeing Passion Life having that kind of impact through these second and third generations of leaders. Anderson mentioned, several times, the Gospel of Life and the Four Questions that we teach to help people understand the Gospel of life. I would like to encourage you to go and download, from our website, these Four Questions or our Leader’s Guide of Teaching.

Please take them to your Sunday adult class or your home group so that we can continue to see change, not only far away places like the Amazon, but in local neighborhoods. We would love to see this change and sharing of the Gospel happen here in the U.S. as much as anywhere else in the world. If you do this, let me know, because I think you will see the impact as well. I would love to hear your story as we move forward in this great work. Thank you very much.