Getting to Know the Jungle

Amazonian Wednesdays 🌴

A typical village in the Amazon Jungle

I hope you have been enjoying these missionary adventure posts as much as I have! Today I bring you another one from my first year as a missionary, at 22 years old. As I read this, I am reflecting on all the amazing things God has done in each area of need shared below, in the last twenty-four years. I wrote these words in March of 1998, about six months into my initial move to Iquitos:

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Greetings, loved ones! Here are some highlights since the last time I wrote:

In the youth church:
-2 cell groups started up, 1-3 others in the works
-Discipleship class to start in 2 more weeks
-New faces every meeting
-Salvations
-Baptisms in the Holy Spirit
-All-night prayer vigil attendance up to 28
Other:
-I have been put in charge of teaching a discipleship class in two of the daughter churches.
-I traveled to the town of Requena (20,000), 24 hours away by boat down the Ucayali River, and got to lead 65 people to the Lord in house-to-house evangelism.

Praise Jesus! Rejoicing in these opportunities, I would like to dedicate this issue to strategic points in which you personally can be involved in what God is doing here in the Amazon Jungle. Please pray:

Iquitos
1) Unity among the churches. Pray against divisions, suspicions, competition, ambition and pride. Pray that the churches will forget their differences and come together to intercede for the city according to II Chr. 7:14. Ask God for repentance and pray for a spirit of genuine humility and love to be manifest.
2) The tearing down of strongholds. Iquitos has a reputation throughout Peru for its sexual immorality. Intercede for righteousness, for Jesus to wash the streets with His blood, for Him to forgive the wickedness of the land and pour out His mercy. Another area in which the devil has ruled here for years is witchcraft. Pray for repentance, forgiveness, and a returning to obedience. Pray also against all spirits involved in drug traffic. Finally, in lifting up this city precious to the Father, bombard the strongholds of poverty and sickness.
3) The healing of the families. I would love to see something like Promise Keepers come to Peru. The concept of father and husband is nearly nonexistent here, and the women and girls do not know that God wills better for them. Child abuse is rampant and premarital sex is far more common than marriage. In relating to the people here, my perception is that nearly everyone is walking around with some aching wound inside. This woundedness is ingrained in the culture; the people have accepted it as the way things are. Many girls that have opened up to me have related to me a story about being sexually molested at
some point in their lives.

Along the rivers:
1) Workers for the harvest! In the region of Loreto alone, there are approximately 2000 villages, a majority of which do not yet have churches. The need for pastors and missionaries, hearts burning with the gospel, willing to live in remote circumstances, is great.
2) House-to-house evangelism. Last year in Peru, pastors began to plan for a campaign which started in January whose goal is to reach every home in Peru with an invitation to accept Jesus Christ. Taking the form of an evangelistic census, it began in Lima, where 228,000 accepted the Lord in just four days of effort. The work along the rivers is more expensive and time consuming as the people are much more spread out and harder to get to.

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”
II Corinthians 4:1