URGENT PRAYER REQUEST
Please pray for the Christians in Índia, where I have worked for years. We were just there in February and March of this year. They are fearless brothers and sisters for the Gospel.
Yesterday, many churches were attacked by a group of people opposing Christianity. Today, they burnt 2 buses, a van, a jeep and 2 cars that belong to Christians. A young man named Moses had his home broken into. They burned many of his belongings and his Bibles. Last week, they brutally attacked some other Christian workers.
These friends in this area are very dear to me. Some are like family. I beg you to devote yourself and your church to prayer for them. Pray especially for our close friends there, and many others who need you to ask God to protect them. Pray!
THE AMAZON RIVER
I am writing to you on a boat on the Amazon River. We began our trip 2 and a half hours ago at the place where the Tapajos and the Amazon Rivers meet. We are deep in the state of Para on a boat named Silva de Munhoz..
It is very interesting to see the difference in the 2 rivers. The Amazon is muddy and brown and the Tapajos is clear and blue. They say it is “sweet water.” I spent the ride in a beautiful pink hammock that had been decorated with 12 inches of pink hand crocheted lace. They all told me that the hammock was the color of my face. It´s true. I look like a tomato.
Bits of grass covered ground break loose from the shore and randomly float down the river. Presently, a lot of these are floating around our boat. On the shore, I saw a Sapucaia tree. This has the strangest seed pod I have ever seen. It can grow big enough to use as a lampshade.
This church is built on stilts just like all the houses that surround it. In December and January, they have heavy rains. The church sits way back from the river bank, but during the rainy season, you can ride a boat to the front door. If there is a lot of rain, you can ride your boat through the church.
It has a high roof with no ceiling. The 2 sides are giant windows, but there is no glass. They have green mesh in them to allow the breeze, but keep out the mosquitos.
The Pastor is a dear man who often stages dramas of Bible stories. They showed me video clips of part of 2 past dramas. The Pastor proudly told us that he always played the part of Zacheus. He is very short and actually climbs a tree so he can see Jesus. Everyone was costumed in sheets and towels.
They also did the story of Lazarus. The rich man had a special costume. He carried a brief case, wore a tie and had a cell phone. He wore long trousers. They all thought he looked very rich!
Another Pastor brought his village children to see the show today. They arrived in the church boat.
Please pray for these men. They are hard workers and want their people to see a different life. These men really need your prayers!
LIFE ON THE AMAZON
Life in this place is the same as many places on the river. I will tell you about life in Tapara where we did a program for the children. There are 3 churches in this area, small and struggling. The oldest church in this place is only 10 years old. Living life as a believer is strange to these people.
At 14 or 15 years old, a young girl will usually sleep with someone. Sex outside of marriage is the norm. The girl will get pregnant and have children from many different fathers. Marriage is not common. Children usually do not know their fathers.
Alcoholism is a big problem. It breeds physical abuse and more lives are destroyed. This is a very broken place with many hurting people.
Some always believe that education will solve social problems. Most children here do not finish high school. Besides, these problems are heart problems that can only be healed by the power of the cross.
Anderson is a little 11 or 12 year old boy who came to the puppet show today. He has black hair and deep brown eyes. His smile is beautiful. He is one of so many children who watched us intently at the show today. There was an ocean of beautiful brown eyes staring at me. They had the sweetest smile. Their laughter was a gift.
After the puppet show, Silvana and I talked with him. We told him to remember what he had heard. He told us that he had prayed with us today. Praise God! I told him to study hard in school so that he could read the Bible well.
He lives in another community and goes to that church. He came on a boat. The pastor there said that he is very bright. I told Anderson that he could grow up and tell all the children in this place about Jesus. He smiled so big!
When he told me that he prayed with us today, he immediately threw his arms around me and gave me the biggest hug. My shirt was soaked with sweat, but he did not seem to care. He just wanted to hug me. He just wanted to say thank you! Please pray for Anderson and his new faith.
We have 2 days left in the Amazon region before we begin traveling back to Campinas, near Sao Paulo. Please pray for the remaining shows. I will not arrive home until Monday afternoon. Please continue to hold us before the throne.
Gerson and Fabiana
Sam and Silvana