Gold Fever has hit our beautiful jungle home. During our visit we missed so many faces and when we asked about them, almost every answer was the same. “Mining.” It seems someone has persuaded them to pan for gold and they would purchase it from them. The fear is that they do not receive the true price for all that difficult, dangerous work as they have no means of learning the true value of the market.
Already we know of accidents because of landslides around the mining areas. One young man had to have three surgeries for his mangled legs after such a landslide where he was mining during the season of heavy rainfall. We learned whole patches of farming land stripped away and upturned with water from high powered pressure hoses. It’s a matter of time when their efforts will cost a life. Tragic.
But these concerns are not the most tragic. Our enemy is very clever and full of lies. Families were split apart because of the gold quest. Ancient rain forest is changed forever. It gets worse. The meeting house was half empty. Youth are drawn away from the weekly Bible lessons. Focus has shifted from what God is doing in their minds and hearts to what can gold do for me? It’s the classic, “Forsaking the best for the least.”
Most tragic is the bright and shiny is blinding them from the truly precious treasure of knowing Christ. We are reminded of verses found in Job 22: 23-25 and the entire chapter of Job 28. We are praying this Word for them. Please join us in this ministry of prayer.
We also learned our dear friend, Amay Ubinu is gone from our village. No, not mining. He is home. His treasure and mansion is lasting forever.
Home with the Lord
All the troubles of this worldly life completely incomparable to the eternal life he is already enjoying. He never has to drag trees from the jungle for his firewood! Amay Ubinu can rest. We miss him here. We are full of joy knowing we will see him again. We praise the Lord he learned the truth found in Philippians 3:7-8.
Please pray that wisdom will be sought from God’s Word over the false promises of the gold merchants. Pray for the Banwaon church leaders’ to teach boldly and that hearers will take the truth deep into their understanding and return to the Lord. Pray for those struggling even today with the temptation of this world’s riches trying to decide what is best over what is less.
God fills our lives with good, no – excellent – gifts. They are almost always about people. Well, the best of them are.
This visit into the jungle was squished between all the arrangements of leaving the beautiful country that has become our second home. It’s no joke how packed our time is before the long flight back to the USA. The countdown is on.
List-making Chris has even made lists for me! We have lists to direct us to other lists so we will hopefully not forget anything which might cause our friends here trouble after we leave. We so want to depart with nothing for them to clean up after us. Lord willing, we will finish all our tasks. We appreciate your prayers with us on that!
Here are just a few snapshots of the memories He gave us among our Banwaon Family and Friends.
Visits and around the village:
It was lovely to reconnect with my friends there.
Here are the highlights of our time in the village. It’s taking so long to get these completed with the daily power outages that a write-up will come later. I hope you enjoy the slideshows in the meantime.
One quick note: Thank you so much for your prayers. God blessed the planning and enabled us to do all the work as well as get in a bit of fun. It was wonderful to have two of my friends from the town accompany me so they could meet my friends in the village. His Grace affected all our lives in that short time. Enjoy these photos of our time there.
tropical gear at 10,500 feet
Now, it seems so anti-climatic. It wasn’t, believe me.
Thank you for praying for this airdrop. It was a huge blessing to get these supplies into the village after so many attempts. Chris and the incredible pilot, Joel Davis, would prepare early each morning with the hope of clear skies only to have it clear in the area of the hanger but cloud over the village or visa versa. They communicated with the friends in the village and with missionaries living in outlying areas that could update Joel on conditions over their villages, only to have conditions too fragile to complete the trip time and again.
You prayed. We prayed. Our brothers and sisters in the village prayed. We prepared. We waited. We prepared again. We waited again. We prepared again.
We had faith that God also wanted these supplies to reach the village. They did.
A friend sent us those words for our title upon hearing the supplies made it into the village. AMAZING! These ups and downs often characterize our life here. In fact, it is the norm. We spend a lot of time planning and preparing and waiting and praying. And then doing it all over again the next day or next week or next month. For things we used to take for granted.
God answered today with allowing some holes to open up just enough to make the zig-zag trip through the clouds over above the strip. Chris said the cold was unbelievable and the wind especially hard on his ‘throwing arm.” He shoved the bags out of that open door as fast as he could while Joel maneuvered in and around the holes as the skies were not forgiving. Just imagine flying far over the jungle with this visibility out that open door.