Chapter 4 Hunger, Faith and Multiplication

From the moment I arrived at the hot and dusty P village near the Orinoco river, I was met by the presence of another river flowing with living water from the shores of an unseen land. This river of water of life flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb. How rich we are “in Christ“. The very life of Christ Himself is present in every believer no matter how noticed or unnoticed they are. The wonders He does in the hearts and through the hands of His people are really “beyond finding out“. Yet, stepping into this village gave me yet another taste of the water which springs up into everlasting life. I wished you too could have experienced it there with me.

It is depressing when we look at what the world is doing. But when we look at what God is doing, our hearts are lifted up. God is storing up treasures in hidden places where the world doesn’t see. Yet, mighty indeed are His works; sure and unfailing. As we set our minds on what God is doing, our hearts are filled with hope and excitement!

For whatever reason, the P’s are a very motivated people group to know and serve God. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. David says he works in 55 countries all over the world and that in today’s world he sees God’s hand at work the most among the tribal peoples. It certainly seems so with the P’s. Their faith encourages my faith. I am often pleasantly rebuked by their great faith in comparison to my little faith. They prepared for this conference with much enthusiasm and heart. They invested much of their time and resources in creating a facility there in the village and making this conference happen. Many traveled far, bearing gifts and letters. They gave me a pile of letters and gifts.

There was what seemed like an endless line of people wanting to greet me. I felt bad I could not have visited with them all as they constantly approached wanting to shake my hand, take a photo together, give me a letter or gift and tell me of their faith, their church or their lives. Most of them asked for prayer. It was evident they really believe God hears prayer. Many of their letters included a list of the names of the believers in their village. It is encouraging to see their beautiful hand writing in their own language, the fruit of many years of labor from the early missionaries who worked among the P’s long before I ever arrived.

The women and men that worked in the kitchen during the conference also touched my heart. They served in a smaller hut next to the church building, laboring around a fire with a huge pot, daily preparing food for 1,200 people.
All this work, travel and effort went into providing for one short but full event. I hope the Lord blessed them according to their faith and gave them everything their hearts had desired. May He build His kingdom in their hearts and establish them each firm to the end.

For the times allotted to me, I was not sure what exactly to speak on. As I laid in my hammock and prayed about it the night before, the great and mysterious truths of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount came to mind. So the next day when they called me up to speak, I opened Matthew 5-7 and began to share these incredibly backwards sounding sayings of Jesus. How opposite to our natural way of thinking they are. We have much to learn of this heavenly mindset which is 100% dependent on the reality of God reigning in another kingdom beyond that of this world. Do you believe in this kingdom? Jesus’ promise is sure; He says if you do these sayings of His, you will become like a firm house built upon a solid rock which cannot be shaken by the winds, rains and floods of adversity against you. My first two sessions were on some of these sayings. How amazing they are. “Love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you and pray for them. When people speak evil of you and slander you REJOICE AND BE EXCEEDINGLY GLAD!” Wow!

On the last day of my time at the conference, I was planning to continue speaking on these sayings of Christ, but while lying in my hammock the night before, the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to challenge the P’s themselves to go out into the world as missionaries. At the end of that message, after teaching various passages of scripture on the topic, I said, “You may not have many resources of Bible literature, but you have something which most of the world does not have. You have the Light of Truth shining bright in your hearts. This Light is given to you that you first may know God yourselves, but it is also given so that you may share it with others who are not so fortunate as you. ‘You are the light of the world’. You would never put a basket over a lamp and hide it’s light. No! It is meant to shine so that people can see where to go. You have been blessed by God. It is now your turn to bless others. Since you have this light, it’s like you are now in debt to those who are without it and so God would desire to send some of you to other people groups too. Look at how many of you have come to know God because we missionaries came to you years ago. I am just one person, but look at how many of you there are now who believe through the word I’ve taught you. Look at how your lives have changed. Look at how you know and have relationship with the living God! So, what if one of you now goes out to other people? What if two, three or ten go? The amount of people who would be saved out of their darkness by Light of God would be multiplied all the more as you go. Our Lord commanded us this; ‘Go into all the world and tell the good news to everyone.’ This final message of mine was received with great excitement and many indicated that they were willing to go and serve the Lord this way. It was really note worthy as David, Rick, Russell and I talked about how each of us was impressed by the Holy Spirit to speak on this exact same topic, but none of us had consulted each other. It was beyond coincidence how even many of the scriptures we shared were the same ones. Pray for the P’s to know the calling of God in their lives and for God to make a way for them to go and tell!

We had announced to the P’s a 2 or 3 day conference. Russell had deliberately left it vague. As it turned out, it ended up 2 days. Russell likes to move about these dangerous territories unannounced. So, without any notice and while I was still visiting with a group of P’s, Russell and others gathered up my belongings out of ‘my’ house and in a split moment, that last evening came to an end. David came, grabbed me by the arm and gently pulled me away from the group who had gathered around me to visit, ask questions or share things. He quickly loaded me into the truck and shut the door. That was it. It was over. It was a little sad seeing their confused faces on the other side of the truck window, still with so much to say. It was hard to break culture by not announcing my departure and bidding them each a proper farewell, but I knew it was a small price to pay in order to gain some tactical security which did afford us the great blessing of having those days there with them. The personal contact element is powerful and encouraging. It says things that can’t be said by merely sending recorded messages or letters.

We drove off into the night. As I looked up at the stars, my heart reflected on many conversations. It was somewhere about 11 pm. We got to the river where we needed a ferry ride to cross and the driver was nowhere to be found. We honked and flashed lights to no avail. Russel finally went around to another spot on the river and repeated the honking. After about 45 minutes, the driver must have awakened. He had a small hut there where he slept. It was good to see his flashlight coming to the river bank on the other side.

We crossed the river and arrived to the tourist camp sometime after midnight. My bed was outside on the upper deck. It was hot, the stars were brighter than you can imagine. There were no mosquitos. I fell asleep under a starry night sky.