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Into The Jungle - A Missionary’s Story

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
December 3, 2022 5:54 am

Into The Jungle - A Missionary’s Story

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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December 3, 2022 5:54 am

November 30, 2022 – Message from Missionary Pastor Russ Turner

            Main Scripture Passage:  Philippians 1:21

            Topic: On Mission

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What's a blessing tonight?

Russ Turner. I got to meet him at a preaching conference meeting that we had a couple of weeks ago, speaking at and was introduced to him by one of my good pastor friends up in Canton, Mike Frazier. And he told me about brother Russ's ministry, and he's been a missionary now over 40 years in Latin America and some jungle areas. And he goes into some places we would not want to personally probably end up going.

We live in a very comfortable setting. And so he does not live with the comforts on a typical basis like we live with. And so it'll be a blessing for you to hear him tonight. Some of the what his life has been in the mission field is is very different than what we are used to in our comfortable, cushioned American society.

And so he is he'll be going back, I believe, in the next couple weeks back to Latin America. So I told him, I said, man, if there's a church in Latin America. There's a chance we could have you come in and preach for us. We'd love to support your ministry. So he's going to be coming tonight. And so make brother Russ feel welcome as he comes tonight and preaches a word for us.

We're down there because the houses aren't built to take care of that situation. But for the next 10 days, I will be teaching a seminar on Bible doctrines among the Jaguar people and visiting several sites where we're building churches and looking at two new sites where we'll be building churches. The Lord willing in the coming days. Philippians one twenty one says for to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. We probably know that verse by heart.

Two equations Paul gives us to live is Christ. I want to serve Christ. I want to obey him. I want to do what he wants me to do to die is gain. I'll be with him in glory. I'll be in his presence.

A medical flaco. And an emperor Indian proved that this past week. Before his conversion, he was a drunkard. He mistreated his wife.

He wanted nothing to do with God. His wife Felicita had accepted Jesus as her savior through the preaching of a missionary friend of mine. She began to pray for her husband, a medical that he would accept Christ. She read the Bible to him at night. She invited him to church, but he wanted nothing to do with it.

One day while he was working in his chakra, which is what they call their farms where they plant their plantain, their yucca, bananas and beans. The conviction of the Holy Spirit came strongly upon him. He felt so bad because of his sin. He knew he needed to change.

The words that his wife had been sharing with him was touching his heart. And he's telling me his testimony later and he says, I took my machete and I cleaned out an area there. And I took off my old dirty clothes and I laid down prostrate on my face, just God and me out in the jungle alone. I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus as my savior. There was an immediate change. Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he's a new creature. There was an immediate change in a miracle.

No more drunken fights, no more wife beating, no more cursing. And later he became the noko, which is the word for chief and in better language. He became the noko of the village because of his upright testimony for Christ. Later, we were invited to that village, La Hablanca in Panama to begin a series of seminars. We train pastors, we train Christian workers, we evangelize as well, preaching salvation messages. And as people believe in Christ, then we take them to the river and we have baptismal services. So we went to the village of La Hablanca by his invitation and we had great meetings there.

Many pastors came from other areas to be involved in the seminar and to receive study Bibles and to go back to their villages. After finishing one of those seminars, Lynn and I, my wife, we were in the canoe headed back downriver to the port where we had parked our pickup and a medical was running the boat motor on the Chukunaki River. These rivers have a lot of curves.

They're very curvy. Sometimes I think, oh, I'd love to just grab a river and just yank all the curves out of it and we could go really fast. But of course, water, it just looks for the lowest place, so you have to follow the curves of the river.

And as a medical came to one of these curves in that 20 foot long dugout canoe, he had to slow the motor down. Get around the curve, and he looked at my wife, Lynn, but he pointed at me and he said, I am his son. I learn all that he teaches me about Jesus, and then I go up and down this river among the other villages and teach them about Jesus. And he has founded several churches on those on that Chukunaki River and in other areas. Truly for a medical to live was Christ. He lived to serve Christ. And to die this past Saturday for him was gain. I received word just this past weekend that a medical passed into the presence of the Lord. He had been suffering with stomach cancer, what we surmised to be stomach cancer, for about three months, and he had been getting weaker and weaker. And we knew he was going down fast. I talked to him last week on the phone.

His voice was just a whisper. But on Saturday night, he left that old, aching, sickly body and entered into the presence of the Lord. And thankfully, I'll get to see him again one day and I'll introduce you to him, too, and we'll rejoice in heaven together. What a loss for us.

He was my right hand man. But what a gain for him in heaven. And, you know, when Moses passed off the scene, there was Joshua to take his place. And so God will continue to raise up other men. We're going to look at a 50 second video of our jungle ministry and then we'll talk more about that.

Thank you. This last picture in the video was chief Antonio of the my own tribe. He came eight days down river in his canoe because he had heard about the white man's God. And he wanted to learn who is this God? He said, we have our spirits. The demon spirits that we try to appease. We have our witch doctor.

But when we get sick, he blows smoke over us and waves feathers over us and tries to heal us. But who is this white man's God? He went up to my missionary colleague and said, will you teach me about God? And the missionary said, yes, you can stay with us. But chief Antonio speaks my own.

He barely speaks a little bit of Portuguese, a little bit of Spanish. After three days, he was very frustrated. He just could not understand what the missionary was talking about. So he looked at the missionary and said, I go home. And he turned and left in his canoe and my missionary friend said, I thought I'd never see him again.

About a month later. Here came chief Antonio again with his 13 year old grandson, Moses, leading him by the hand. He came up to the missionary and he said, you teach him God. He teach me God. And he left Moses with the missionary and turned around and went back home.

Moses, 13 years old, never been out of the jungle as big as saucers. But he learned Spanish, he learned Portuguese, he finished high school while he was there in our town. He went to the Bible Institute. Of course, he accepted Christ over the period of time. He came to understand what salvation was. He accepted Christ as his savior, followed the Lord and believers baptism, went into the Bible Institute. And now Moses has gone back upriver to his village and started a church. He sent me pictures of the kids in Sunday school and the adults, baptismal service out in the river. And chief Antonio now knows who God is.

This is being multiplied again and again. Young people, when I was 19 years old, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I'd finished my first year of Bible college and I went on a mission trip that summer down to Central and South America.

We visited Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Colombia. We were helping a missionary in one particular place in a new church plant where they just go into an area that has no church. We start inviting people to church.

We start handing out tracts. Every night we had church services. People were being saved.

At the end of the campaign, there was a baptismal service for all the new believers. One night while I was lying in my bed in the hotel, I felt God's Holy Spirit working in my life, calling me to be a missionary. And that night, to the best of my ability, I surrendered my life to the Lord. I didn't know which country I would go to. I didn't know what kind of ministry I would be doing. But I surrendered myself to the Lord. Here am I, Lord. Send me.

Use me. I came back to Bible college down in Tennessee. And my wife and I, Lynn, had dated a few times our first year. But that year when we came back, now being my second year, of course we're not married yet, we were just dating. But I called her and we set up a date. We went out on a date. I said, look, something happened to me this summer. I felt God's calling in the missions. And I'm going to go to the mission field.

If you're not interested, I need to know it now. Man, I was sweating bullets. I already had feelings for her. I thought she was the one. And thankfully, she said, well, at youth camp a couple of years ago, I surrendered my life to the Lord to do whatever he wants me to do.

So let's see how things go. So we continued our dating. We felt that we were meant for one another. We married in a couple of years. Then we finished school. God called us to the country of Costa Rica. We applied to a mission board. We raised our support and we went out to the field. That was 48 years ago.

We've been on the field for 44 of those years. So young people, God wants to use you. An old Indian wise man was also a Christian. He had a young lady, a daughter, who was a Christian. But she fell in love or started having interest in a boy from another tribe who was not a Christian. So she came to her dad and said, can I date this young man?

Can I develop a relationship with him? And he said, and the Indians use a lot of things from nature to explain truths. So he said, this big beautiful bird was flying over one day over the river and he saw something shining in the river. He flew down closer and he saw a beautiful fish. And the bird and the fish became friends. And they fell in love. And they wanted to marry. But the bird lives in the tree.

The fish lives in the water. Where will they build their home? They're not compatible. And then he looked at his wife, his daughter, and said, you're a Christian. He's not. Be not unequally yoked together.

You're not compatible. God has a Christian young man for you. Amen. So young people put God first in your life. Always follow Jesus calling for your life because he will use you for his honor and glory. Romans one sixteen. If you want to open your Bibles with me, let's look at this verse and talk for a few moments about why I am committed to the gospel.

The good news. The good news that Paul preached to the Jews and to the Gentiles so that they might hear the gospel and be saved through faith in Jesus. You know, the gospel is not about good works. It's about the gift of God, not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us. For by grace are you saved through faith. Romans one sixteen. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth to the Jew first and also to the Greek. We're getting close to Christmastime. We're celebrating the birth of Christ on that night in Palestine when Jesus was born, angels came from heaven and they said, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to who?

All people. Good tidings. The gospel. The savior is born. So I am committed to the gospel because, first of all, the Lord commanded it.

Mark, sixteen, fifteen, go and you go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. If Jesus is obeyed in heaven, don't you think we ought to obey him on Earth, too? He deserves our obedience.

Jesus said, If you love me, keep my commandments. There's four voices that call to us the voice from heaven. Whom shall I send and who will go for us? And Isaiah said, Here am I.

Send me. There's the voice from hell that calls us also, just as the rich man said, Send Lazarus to my father's house because I have five brothers that they come not to this awful place of torment. If there's many people, if people could voice their their plea to us today, they would be saying, please go to my family and tell them to accept Christ. The voice from hell, the voice from the heathen. Paul had a dream, a vision when he was in Troas, and he saw a Macedonian man calling to him.

Come over and help us. And he went over with his team, his missionary team, Luke and others that were with him, Silas. And they preached the gospel and started the Philippian church. And then there's the voice from your own heart. First Corinthians nine, 16 says, woe is me. If I preach not the gospel, that's not woe, like you say to a horse.

Whoa. No, it's like I'd be a miserable person if I didn't tell others about Jesus because it is the most wonderful thing. The gospel is good news. So I am committed to the gospel because the Lord commanded it.

I'm committed to the gospel because it's the only solution to man's problem, which is sin. I picked up a young man one day on the highway. His name was Siden. And you know, God works out circumstances. I was going down Cambronero Mountain in Costa Rica, where we live, and a truck had turned over, crossed the road and it blocked it. And I asked the policeman, when can we get around?

He said, oh, it's going to be several hours before we clear the road. So I turned around, came back to the top of the mountain and went down Aguacate Mountain. And on that mountain, there was this young man thumbing a ride, and I picked him up.

Siden was his name, about 18 years old. As we drove down the road to our destination, I was witnessing to him and he said, oh, pastor, I'm so wicked. I've done so many things. I don't think God would want to save me. And I gave him this verse. First, John one, seven, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from what? All sin. And before we arrived to our destination, Siden was convinced in his heart that he needed Jesus. I stopped the car and he prayed and accepted Christ as his savior.

It's the only solution to our problem. Thirdly, I'm committed to the gospel because it is easily explained. It's not difficult. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.

Acts 16, 31. Don't make it difficult. Don't add to it. Don't take away from it.

Just preach it and the Holy Spirit can convict hearts with the good news of the gospel. I was 16 years old when we went out on church visitation one day. And the section that I had had this long driveway and a house way down at the end. And we had been visiting a number of houses and I thought and I was by myself at this moment. And I thought, do I want to walk all the way down there to that house? Well, I can't skip it.

Yes, I want to go. So I went down the driveway, knocked on the door. A lady came to the door. I gave her a track, invited her to church, an invitation. And then I asked her about her salvation. And I hadn't really won too many people to the Lord up to that point. But I explained the plan of salvation the best I could and asked her if she'd like to be saved. And she said, yes, I would. Right there on her porch, that lady 30 something years old, I guess I was 16 years old and she accepted Christ as her savior. Man, I was overjoyed over that. And later on, some months later, she saw me again and she said, thank you for telling me about Jesus and leading me to the Lord.

It's easily explained. You can win your friends to the Lord Jesus. You can do it as young people. Probably in every church, there are people who are physically and mentally challenged. And in the churches that we've started in Costa Rica and Panama and Nicaragua, we find people as well like that. A young man named Adolfo. He was born with some disabilities, but he would come to church with his mother. His mother, Don Estela, had gotten saved. His sister Rosario had gotten saved. Another sister had gotten saved. His brother, Nelson, had gotten saved.

And there was Adolfo. He would sit Sunday after Sunday. He would greet me, pastor, pastor. One day he came up to me, pastor.

He could barely say words. Jesus. You want to accept Jesus in your heart? And I went with Adolfo over to a Sunday school room and went through the plan of salvation, and he acknowledged that he understood. And in his broken way, he prayed and accepted Christ as his Savior.

Several weeks went on, and he was watching all the time. New believers being baptized. After service one Sunday, he came up to me, pastor. You want to get baptized, Adolfo? So I explained baptism to him. At our next baptismal service, there he was ready to be baptized. Faithful in church, serving God to the best of his ability. Amen? It's easily explained. I'm committed to the gospel because it produces real change.

It works. Wilbur was a soccer player. Now you know they're playing the World Cup right now. Soccer is the big sport in Costa Rica. Wilbur was a semi-pro soccer player.

After he finished his career as a soccer player, his grandmother had a bar, so he became a bartender and soon became an alcoholic. When we started our church in San Ramon, Calvary Baptist Church, Lord, his wife, came to service soon after starting the church, and she got saved. And she was just growing by leaps and bounds. So Wilbur thought, what happened to my wife? She's completely changed.

I need to go see what she's got. And he came to church. I remember the first service he came. He sat on the very back row. He looked up at me through his eyebrows like that the whole service. Big old wooly looking guy. You know, I thought, does he want to fight or what? Never smiled, never showed any emotions. But after the service, he came up to me and he said, whatever my wife has, I need.

I want it. And so I took him and went through the plan of salvation and Wilbur accepted Christ. He quit his drinking immediately. Then he says, you know, he came to me a couple of Sundays later, he says, I feel miserable working in that bar. And I said, you're going to keep feeling miserable while you're working in that bar.

Yeah, but I got to provide for my family. And I said, the Lord's testing you. You get out there and look for another job. God's going to give you another job. Couple of weeks went by and he said, pastor, I'm more miserable than ever, but I haven't found to work anywhere.

And I said, look, God's testing you. You leave that work as bartender. And if God doesn't give you a job, I'll put the food on your table.

You know what? I never had to put food on his table. The next day, he quit the job at the bar and went out and got a job immediately at the sawmill. The Lord opened the door. He was trying his faith. Wilbur went on to the Bible Institute, felt the call to preach, became my co-pastor for several years, and then went on to preach in another town.

Pastor another church in that area until he got sick and passed away a few years ago, serving the Lord. It produces change in our lives. The gospel. I'm committed to the gospel because it's free. For by grace are you saved through faith in that night of yourselves. It's the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. You know, as we go around the world in our section of the world, there are many false cults, and they're all trying to sail their literature and they're trying to earn their way to heaven.

And so when I go out and I'm passing out Gospels of John tracks, DVDs of the Jesus film or any other material, the audio Bibles, people invariably ask me as I start to give it to them, they kind of stand there a little bit hesitant. Well, how much is it? Oh, I'm so glad I can say it's free, just like salvation in Jesus. It's free.

You don't have to pay anything. I'm giving it to you. Yesterday, when I left the hotel in Marysville, I was up with brother Jeremy Stout the previous night, Sunday night. And so I met as I started to leave, I just saw the cleaning cart there in the hallway. And I looked around in the room next to mine and there was a lady cleaning and I spoke to her in English. Good morning. And she spoke back to me.

Good morning. Like that with an accent. So I said, ah, hablo Espanol. She said, Si hablo Espanol. Yes, I speak Spanish.

And so from then on, it was all Spanish. And she came to the door and I said, I've got something for you. I gave her an audio Bible, a Gospel of John in Spanish. And then I started witnessing to her right there in the door of that room.

She accepted Christ as her savior. So you see, it works. It's free.

We just need to give it out. Then I'm committed to the Gospel because it's extended to all people. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 17, 30, God commands all men everywhere to repent. One of the last invitations in the Bible, Revelation 22, and the spirit and the bride say, come. And let him that heareth say, come.

And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely, freely. One evening we had finished our seminar teaching and we went down to the Amazon River to bathe and wash clothes. And after we had gotten through and there was 10 or 12 other preachers there with me and we were sitting on the banks. The sun was going down in the west.

We were just enjoying the cool of the afternoon. And every time that we'd get together like that, they have many questions about the Bible. And so the particular theme that afternoon was the second coming of Christ. They wanted to know about the rapture when Jesus comes back, the resurrection of the dead, the transformation of those who are alive.

Then the tribulation for seven years and then the return of the Lord for a thousand year reign. And wanted to know about the mark of the beast and the antichrist and 144,000 and the two witnesses and all of that. They had read about it, but they didn't understand it. And so as we went through all of that and I was explaining it to them, Loloacocama pastor raised his hand and said, Pastor, while we're sitting here talking about the second coming of Christ, many of my people upriver have never heard of the first coming of Christ.

That he came to die on the cross to save them from their sins. That challenged us. And so we've begun to reach out into these more remote areas. We help these guys get canoes, buy outboard motors in the areas where they can ride motorbikes. We've purchased several motorbikes and they are going out to these villages, perhaps where I'll never go. I don't have time to go. They're too far away to go. But those people are hearing the gospel of the Lord Jesus.

It's extended to all people. And then one more thing. I'm committed to the gospel because it has eternal implications in two ways. Think with me of that favorite verse in the Bible, John three, 16. Just go back to it if you want to in your Bible. John Chapter three, verse 16, because we're going to read three verses, 16, 17 and 18. Say it with me, at least for 16.

Here we go. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Verse 17 goes on to say, For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. Eighteen, he that believeth on him is not condemned. Remember that he that believeth in Jesus is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already because he had not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God. Two ways, two destinies for the person who receives the gospel, he receives the gift of eternal life. He's free from condemnation. Heaven awaits him. But for the person who rejects the gospel, he will suffer eternal condemnation and separation from God in the lake of fire forever.

So tonight. Probably 90 percent or more of these people are saved that are sitting here tonight, but perhaps there's someone who isn't saved. Who hasn't accepted the gospel, who hasn't received Jesus as your personal savior? Oh, you know that Jesus died on the cross and he shed his blood, but you haven't received that gift for your very own. So ask yourself, have I believed the gospel? Have I received Jesus as my savior? Am I saved? Make sure of your own salvation.

Then for those of us who are saved. Do I look at other people as candidates for heaven or hail? Am I looking for opportunities to share the gospel with others?

Am I willing to share the good news of salvation with other people? We need to be taking advantage of these opportunities. This is what God has left us here to do. As I crossed the Amazon River one afternoon in a picky picky. That's what they call their little canoes because they have this little outboard motor about a six horse outboard motor with a long shaft on the back.

Looks like a weed eater, like a lot of what you use to cut around the edges. And so this long shaft, they can lift it up and it'll go over the logs or the debris, the grass and stuff that's in the river. And so as they go along in the river, it goes picky, picky, picky, picky, picky.

So they call it a picky, picky. And I had to go over from the Colombian side in Leticia to the Peruvian side in Santa Rosa to get my passport stamp. Because we were going to go to do a seminar in Peru. So they had these water taxis, these little canoes, guys that just sit there till somebody comes along and needs to cross over. And they cost about 20 cents to cross over. So I got in one and there was the man and his wife. And they had come down, I found out from a village, maybe a half an hour up river just to earn a little bit of extra money. And as we went across the river, I began to talk to them about salvation. And when we got to the other side, his wife's name was Elena. And she said, can I be saved?

And I said, you sure can. And right there in the boat, she accepted Christ as her savior. Then I looked at Juan, her husband, and I said, what about you?

And he said, I've already done what she's done. I've accepted Christ, but I'm not living for God. And so we prayed right there. He prayed and reconciled, what do you call it? Rededicated his life to the Lord and got right with the Lord. Then the first thing they said to me after that, they were all smiles and they said, will you come to our village and start a church?

And I said, I can't go to your village. I've got this other work to do, but we're praying that God will send one of these men to your village to start a church there. People that need the word of God. Amen. So this is what God has called us to do.

To evangelize the lost. We go into these villages, we go to the chief. First of all, we follow protocol. We recognize his authority.

And we make friends with him, always take him a gift. It might be a pocket knife. It might be a T-shirt. It could be a jar of peanut butter. Oh, Indians love peanut butter.

And they can't get it in the jungle. So that's a prized possession. And so I like to do a trade with them on those hot days when I'm teaching a seminar. I'll give them a pack of peanut butter.

They'll give me a watermelon. And so we're both happy that way. But anyway, I get permission from the chief. And he says, yes, you can be in our village and teach about the God in heaven. Then we're taken to our sleeping hut.

The Indian pastor will take me to the sleeping hut where Lynn and I will sleep. And they've usually just cleaned out one of their huts, swept it as clean as they can. And we'll hang up our hammocks there and put our mosquito nets up. Now, when the mosquitoes aren't bad, when it's dry season, I rarely put up my mosquito net because it's cooler without a mosquito net.

The breeze blows better. But my wife, Lynn, she says, put up my mosquito net. There's other critters out here besides mosquitoes, like scorpions and spiders and bats and rats and things like that. So she wants her mosquito net up. She says, I feel safe when I zip up in my cocoon and I can sleep well. Now, we always take a flashlight with us when we go to bed because if you need to get up and go to the bathroom, you better shine your flashlight on the ground before you get out of your hammock. Make sure there's nothing down there that could bite you. And so you have to be careful about those kind of things.

Then after we set up our sleeping arrangements, we'll have to filter out a couple of gallons of water. And all this time, the Indian kids are watching us because we're the show. Many of them have never seen a white man and woman before. And so the Indians, they don't have a lot of hair on their bodies like we American men. We've got hair on our chest and hair on our arms and hair growing out of our ears and everywhere. And so they come up to me and they feel my arms and they say, oh, he has hair like a monkey. And they're just amazed at all this hair on my arm. And then they feel my hair and they say, do you paint your hair white? No, I don't paint it white.

God just made it that way. And so they call me Naimatuku, which means painted tiger. I guess I must be a pretty mean looking fellow.

But anyway, I said, well, what's the painted part? They said, oh, all this white hair you got. And so my name and their dialect is Naimatuku. But anyway, we'll have services every night. People will get saved at the end of the week, will baptize, and they'll go on to be disciples of the Lord Jesus.

So we're evangelizing the laws. Secondly, we're training the pastors. That's our main purpose during the day is training these pastors.

Lynn will be working with the ladies and all sisters in Christ. These ladies are just you would have such fellowship with them if you could speak to them. Once we get to heaven, you're going to have a good time with them. I promise you, because they just love Jesus.

They love us. They want to know about most of them have lost babies. And so they come up to my wife. Well, I see my babies in heaven. Oh, yes, you'll see your babies in heaven.

I use a lot of charts up on the wall to explain the second coming and things like that for the Indian men. And the ladies are timid. They'll sit at the back. But as soon as I finish and the man and I go out, they'll grab my wife and say, come back up here, come back up. And they'll go back up. Now, explain this again.

And so they won't want my wife to tell them all about it again, things that they didn't understand. And so we're training the pastors. We're training Christian workers so that they can be better servants of the Lord. They'll come from hours away. They'll walk eight hours. They'll come back a new four or five, six hours to be in the seminars and invariably at the end of the seminar.

They've never had anything like this. So they say, well, you come to our area and that's a whole new area over there. So we go over there and start another seminar and we make the circuit because in about two years I can give them a Bible school education. And so we're making the circuit amongst 10 different tribes at this moment. Then thirdly, we build churches.

Now, this is a cooperative effort. They cut the timber from the jungle and then we buy the tin roofing. We go to the nearest town that has a hardware store and we buy the tin roofing. We carry it down to the river, put it in a canoe and transport it up to the village site where we're going to build a church. Then all the villagers will come down and each will take a sheet of tin.

You know, a sheet of tin is 12 feet long and it's about three feet wide. So they'll roll it up like a tootsie roll or like a, you know, something like a straw. And they'll tie a rope around it and then they'll carry it on their shoulder like that. And you'll see young people, you'll see women, you'll see men, everybody carrying their sheet of tin up to the village site where the church is going to be built.

They're excited to have a church in their village. I teach them to give offerings because they plant plantain. Maybe you've seen them in the grocery store. They're like a giant-sized banana, but they're too tough to eat raw. You slice them up and fry them in oil.

They're really good. Well, they're plantain. That's their cash crop.

And so when they harvest plantain, they grow on a stalk just like bananas do. And I tell them, look, for every 10 stalks of plantain that you harvest, one of those stalks belongs to the Lord. That's your tithe. So when you sell those 10 stalks of bananas or plantain, you bring that one stalk, that price of one stalk, and you give it to the church. And then above that, you need to be given offerings to help these other guys go out to the remote village to buy their gasoline for their motor so that they can go and take the gospel to them.

These Indian people are learning to give so that others can get the gospel. Some of them will have a sow there, a pig, you know, a female pig. So when they have pigs, I tell them, look, that sow has 10 pigs. One of those pigs belongs to the Lord. Now, if you go out one morning and find one of those pigs dead, don't come in and say that's the Lord's pig that died. That's one of your pigs.

The Lord's pig is still fat and healthy. They're giving people. They're giving people. And we're building churches. We're distributing the need, the needy items that they can't get, like the audio Bibles, headlamps. We'll go to Harbor Freight, Ollie's, cut rate places like that, buy headlamps.

I'll take 25 or 30 at a time. We'll go to Dollar Tree and buy eyeglasses, readers, 250 at a time, 300 at a time, take a big box of them of different strengths. And it's amazing as we put the glasses out there on a table and they'll come by and pick up glasses until they find the strength that their eyes need. And you know, when they can see the letters clearly, they look, I can see.

And they're so proud to have a pair of glasses that clears up their vision. So this is another thing that we take. We take medicines, basic medicines, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, Pepto-Bismol, things like that. And we explain the dosage by the sun.

One of the chief's sons had dysentery and I had the proper medicine for him. And so I said, now look, here's the bottle of medicine. But you take two, two of these pills right now when the sun comes up in the east. When the sun is high overhead, give him two more. When the sun goes down in the west, give him two more, no more. Because they think, well, if six pills are good, I'll just take the whole bottle, you know, and get well real quick. Not thinking that it'll mess up your stomach.

And so they understand these concepts so that they can take the medicine properly. And then we'll take solar chargers to help them out with their cell phones. Hey, every Indian may live in a hut, but he's got a cell phone now doesn't he?

And it's just crazy. And, you know, before solar chargers, before we got those, they would bring, we have a generator for the church service at night. And so everybody would bring their cell phones and plug them in at church to recharge during the service. But now we take these solar chargers, and after I'd taken two or three or four of them, they found out about the solar chargers. Now everybody wants a solar charger. It's just about the size of your cell phone. You lay it out in the sun, it charges up, plug it into your cell phone, and it recharges your cell phone. So this is another item that we're taking to them.

The bottom line is this. We're making disciples for our Lord Jesus Christ. Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Diego grew up in our church in San Ramon. He's 28 years old now. He was saved and baptized there. He married a young lady named Angie.

And they are now living in Guanacaste, the western part of Costa Rica. He's pastoring two churches. So he came by one day not long ago, and I gave him a microwave, a set of dishes. His washing machine had torn up, so we helped him buy a new washing machine. And some other items that he needed, study Bible, study materials.

And he lives on $650 a month. And so I was asking him about his schedule, how the ministry was going. He started telling me, services on Sunday morning and night. Wednesday he has guitar lessons. Thursday midweek service. Friday with the teenagers.

Saturday with the college age, and then out on visitation. I said, man, you've got a busy schedule. He says, we're just following your example, that's what you taught us to do. When we were kids here at the church. And so we're just putting it in practice as we go out there and build other churches. Making disciples for the Lord Jesus. Amen. Thank you for being involved in missions.

Let's bow our heads in prayer. Father, we're thankful for the opportunity to share the gospel with others. And to share the ministry of the gospel with these church people. Thank you for their missions heart.

I know they're supporting many missionaries. And I pray that you'll continue to bless them. Bless them in their work so that they may have to give. And then bless this church as it continues to reach others for Christ. And I pray, Father, that if there's anyone here tonight that hasn't received Christ as Savior, that they will make that wonderful decision and receive Jesus by faith in their hearts. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-03 06:10:24 / 2022-12-03 06:27:00 / 17

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