Friday, December 21, 2018

A nice breath of fresh air

When we decided to make the change to become missionaries as Servants of the Good Help we felt it necessary to define ourselves as a missionary family. Which means that if our whole family of nine are not invited to participate in a ministry or event we will kindly decline.

This new outlook on missions made us reevaluate how we have been evangelizing. There were many times prior to our change in April where Taylor and a friend, usually Max, would travel hours to minister to villages deeper in the jungle over a three day weekend. The rest of the family would be left at home to carry on with our daily activities and ministries by ourselves. After looking at this we realised just how un-family mission activity this actually was.

That is when we decided to approach missions from a different point of view. We decided to try to go out to the far pueblos as our whole family as crazy as that sounds. We packed up the truck and drove an hour to the end of the gravel road. Once there we learned of quite a few more pueblos that can be reached by hiking. It was then that we decided to try to make the hike with everyone in tow. 

This is a picture from the beginning of our first ever hike to Nuevo Chachapoyas.
Needless to say our first hike was not glorious or for that matter pretty. There was a lot of crying, tantrums and complaining but we made the hour long hike to Nuevo Chachapoyas. And you know what, the people didn't care that the kids were crying and we were exhausted. They were just happy to have us in their town. In actuality that first trip was just to coordinate for our second trip back. 

I have to admit that the hike back to Mirador would have been a lot more ugly had the town people not shown us the short cut along a mountain ridge on the way back. There was still way too much complaining and crying, this time from me as well because I didn't wear boots and there was a lot of yucky stinky black mud on this trail. 

When we made it back to town we all shouted for joy. We had just completed our first mountain evangelization hike. Who would have thought we would have completed sixteen more mountain hikes since then? In all actuality we have made hikes to Nuevo Chachapoyas eight of those sixteen times. Our other hikes have been to pueblos that require two hours and even pueblos that take four hours to hike to. I can honestly say that I did not think our family would have been able to do any of this after that first one.

Julio the horse(front) and Molly the mule(back). We purchased
them with the money from selling Taylor's motorcycle
I have to give the credit where it is due! God is our motivation to go and do it. He is the reason we journey. To bring His love to His beloved little ones.

This photo was taken at the midway point of our first two
hour hike to Nuevo Piura.
I also have to thank Taylor. He is a great encourager. When someone gets tired he is there encouraging them to continue walking through prayer, song or by telling a story. He also had the foresight to sell his motorcycle to buy animals for the family to use to transport the little ones and also our supplies. When Taylor sold the motorcycle he had been using to evangelise with he was closing the door to serving missions as he had previously done but God used it to open wide the door for our family to serve together.

I can honestly say we have grown so much closer journeying over those mountain ridges. We have learned so much about each other and the Lord has used such moments to reveal little parts of His ways with us. These missionary journeys have blessed us abundantly and I am so grateful for them.

Tomorrow we will be mounting up the four animals again to vista Nuevo Chachapoyas and I can tell you everyone was excited when they went to bed last night knowing that Friday and the weekend was coming which means our weekly missionary journey into the jungle is upon us.

I like this new journey. I am very much blessed by it. i enjoy being able to experience it with my children. I especially love hearing them relate themselves to the first apostles as they went forth to spread the Good News.

This photo was taken after our two hour return trip from our first trip to Nuevo
Piura. Notice everyone's pants and boots are covered in mud. Yep it rained
and we fell down a lot in the mud. But we are still smiling!
Please pray for our far communities. They were the ones where the church had not arrived before us. Please pray they will continue to desire a relationship with Jesus and they will grow in their faith. Please also pray for our family as we make the journeys. Please pray for Mike and Molly our two mules and Julio and Gringa our two horses that they will stay healthy and no injuries will happen to them during our travels. Please pray that our family can stay healthy so we do not miss any of our appointments. Please also pray for our Christmas celebrations with these communities for some of them it will be the first time that they are celebrating Christmas.


Getting ready to leave Mirador on our four hour hike with Molly the mule,
Boaz (our protector the american bully), Bosco (our parrot) and Capitan
(our capuchin monkey). It was an overnight trip so the needed to come along.
Still hiking on our four hour hike but this time through the jungle. We are all
still happy!

Heading out on three of the animals. At this point we still hadn't purchased
Gringa. She came a few days later when someone knocked at our door
looking to sell her. Julio is Taylor's horse and Anthony is his riding partner.
Molly is Malachi's mule and Faustina is his riding partner. Gringa is Ruth's
horse and we rotate Adele and Leo as her riding partner. Mike is my mule
and Maria is always my riding partner. My other riding partner is whoever
is not riding with Ruth.

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