Amazonian Wednesdays 🌴
I wrote today’s post in November 2001, shortly after Israel and I were married:
Thirteen-year-old Flor blinked up at me with nervous eyes. She spoke apologetically for coming to church in raggy clothes, embarrassed. But what she really wanted to talk about was the loss of her innocence. The week before, an older married neighbor had talked her into giving up her virginity to him in exchange for a gift of clothing. Tired of having only rags to put on, she had given into his offer.
With this conversation I began my work again in Iquitos. Unfortunately, stories such as these are all too common in this city. The young people here, which make up a very large percentage of the population, in general are living very broken lives.
The Lord has called Israel and me to work with these young people. We feel the Lord’s deep compassion stirring in our hearts, drawing us to them. We feel his passionate indignation at the enemy for causing so much destruction in their lives.
For about four years, Israel pastored a church that he planted, named La Comunidad Cristiana de Fe, “Christian Faith Community.” This month, the Lord directed us to merge that congregation with the central church of our network, La Iglesia Libre. In this way we are freed up to concentrate the majority of our time and energy on the young people of La Iglesia Libre.
We are discipling them every Monday and Wednesday night. We are loving on them. We are counseling them and spending one-on-one time with them. We are feeding them when they’re hungry. We are preaching to them and organizing exciting meetings for them on Saturday nights. We are baptizing them and taking them on retreats. We are training them as cell group leaders, and they are leading their unsaved friends to the Lord.
Our eyes are not fixed only on these that the Lord has brought so far, but on the youth of the city. We have a vision to grow through a system of multiplication through cell groups, where each new disciple goes through a time of training to learn to disciple twelve more. We sense that this is a kairos moment here; the hearts of the youth are more open and hungry than ever before. Pray for us, that we might be powerfully effective in this season of ministry to which the Father has brought us.