Posts tagged #missions

Jackie's Journey "The Inspired by Angels Unaware!"

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“Give thanks in all circumstances (inclusive; no exceptions!), for this is God’s will for you…” 1Thessalonians. 5:19

 Recently a missionary friend posted a picture from our field’s Missionary school.  It was taken in what we called “the little dorm” in our early years on the field.  In the picture of about 15 children were my two daughters.  Christina was about 4 and in the foreground was a less than 2-year-old Kim.  The picture was not significant in itself but the fact that I could not recall when my girls could have ever been in that picture was significant!  I, literally, burst into tears!

 Christina, my eldest daughter, reminded me that they had spent 6 weeks in “the little dorm” after I was flown out of our village with a ruptured appendix.  There was unrest in Panama City (guns in the streets, riots, etc.) and the Military Police were closing the airport!  We were the last fight allowed to land or take off.  I was hastily loaded onto a gurney directly out of the plane and I watched our Cessna take off into the stormy skies with my two little ones inside! 

 I was unaware of most of what was transpiring around me but I knew my circumstance was bad.  I was rushed to the Military Hospital and was rapidly being moved down the corridor, when Ralph heard someone call his name.  He turned to see a Surgeon that we had recently met through our Pucuro partners.  She had been on duty for 72 hours when she caught a glimpse of Ralph in the hall and instantly turned to help us, never leaving our side until she had run tests, completed my emergency laparotomy and safely escorted us to the ICU hours later.  God had gone before us and sent her to us in His perfect timing…

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This is the posted picture!  Are these not the cutest missionary children…ever!!

 I am emotionally astounded that I was so desperately ill that I did not know where my two little girls were in those first days! My recovery was slow and I ran a low-grade fever for a year after this event.  Wanting to reunite our family as quickly as possible and return interior, which was our home, we found ourselves in a quandary because we could not get a release from the doctors to go back interior…! 

What could we do??

 As I’m writing this, my past and present merge and the surge of gratefulness is overwhelming!

 How many people can you think of offhand

who have benefited your life in the past? 

 

Whose name immediately comes to mind?

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey: "Kidnapped and Killed!"

 

“Afflictions are but the shadow of God’s wings.”

George MacDonald

In the tropics the challenges are relentless. I recently read, ”The Darien Gap, a large swath of undeveloped swampland and dense forest with no roads, is dangerous due to incidents of kidnapping, murder and drug-running by Colombian guerillas and paramilitary groups who have crossed the border into Panama.”  

This is the very place where God chose to locate us.

After leaving our field of service, three new families moved into our village and into our homes to continue the work among the Kuna’s.  Those three New Tribe Mission families were put to the ultimate test when their husbands were kidnapped by a Colombian paramilitary group (FARC).The horror of their capture and disappearance into the dense Darien jungle was unthinkable

.“When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below…How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no God like you and there is no God but you…”

Joshua 2:11 and 2 Samuel 7:22

 My heart was lost in the “inconceivable”.   It was my worst imaginings while living interior and it had become reality just a few years after we returned to the U.S.  What would happen now?  Will our Kuna family go on? How would these wives and their children continue?  These three brave missionary women would later learn their husbands had been murdered shortly after their capture!    Lawlessness prevails in the Darien…

“The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”

Charles H. Spurgeon

I did not do a lot of research on Panama, the Darien or any investigation of our area prior to entering our tribe.  It was deep into the jungle by way of a maze of rivers past all civilization.  It was magnificent in beauty and scale, but intimidating with threatening unknowns.  My husband and I were on the adventure of our lives and our zeal to reach these remote people for Christ was indescribable.  They needed the story of God and mankind from the beginning and we were challenged by the opportunity.

The Kunas could not imagine why these foreigners were living among them.  What did we really want?   Our goal was to share the gospel with these tribal people who had no background to understand God’s Word.  Their god, after all, was an Earthmother!

The arduous task of learning a completely foreign language and culture to communicate the Gospel clearly was set before us and we had been prepared well.  Through Boot Camp and Language School we came to understand academically and spiritually the job at hand and we were anxious to get at it.  We did not allow ourselves to entertain the possibility of turning back or what it might cost or the price that we might be called upon to pay!

I am grateful I was unaware of all the potential dangers that lurked in our geographical area.   When the news came to us of the men and their families that followed us, it was shocking.  God’s timing is not ours, His ways are not ours and His ultimate purpose is not always obvious or easily read.  His sovereignty, however, is ours to claim and is the place where we find peace in utter confusion and turmoil.

 I am eternally grateful to those women in different pockets of the world, who stood with us during our time in Panama.  The prayers of the faithful sustained us as they “held the ropes” at home. Those who joined hands with us to reach this remote group of Kunas in the Darien Gap confirmed His calling on us and they were the continual source of encouragement that we needed to “keep on keeping on”. 

The next time you think you are having a “bad” day,

Will you pray with me for those moms who are still in remote areas involved in “reaching the unreached?”

 I know you can do all things (God).

And that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

Job 42:

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey: Is It Worth It?

In the Princess Parable Series, Princess Hope is the oldest of the five princesses and carries the responsibility of setting a good example and leading the way for her four younger sisters who are watching and learning from her.  She experiences first-hand what it takes to “count the cost” when she sees her grandmother’s priceless ring in a store window in the village. She has to get it back…but how and at what cost?  

How many of us understand what it means to “count the cost” for someone or something that is so important we cannot not hesitate to boldly step up to the plate?

Before you commit…count the cost!  Luke 11:28

Before leaving for the shores of Panama I was cognizant of the cost it might take to leave the U.S. and live in a foreign country, but it was not until Christina, my first daughter, was born that I became acutely aware of the expanse of what it might actually demand.  I was leaving my homeland with my parent’s first and only two year old grandchild. After arriving in Panama, it would take us two days by three different means of transportation to land on the muddy banks of the river Pucuro.  It would include living in an “off the grid” bark-walled house with no running water, electricity and an outhouse that screamed “unfriendly”. 

Would the cost be too great?

Our jungle house was located in an extremely dense and remote area of the jungle. There was malaria and T.B.; there would be harry eight-legged creatures, not to mention venomous insects and reptiles of every kind the imagination could conjure up and worse!  We would be called to cook, eat and drink unidentifiable “chichas”, mammals, reptiles and even rodents!  We would be on the Colombian border where drug runners passed through our village.  My neighbors would speak a different language and have a strange culture; there would be no privacy; there would be no hospital or urgent care facility, no contact with the outside world, except for an unreliable two way radio …and on that first trek in, I would have our second daughter, a tiny three month old nursing baby on my lap…


Getting the picture?

An aerial view of our house with the tin roof in the foreground Would the cost be worth it?  

An aerial view of our house with the tin roof in the foreground
Would the cost be worth it?  

I would be the first to admit that life brings serious unknowns, struggles, doubts, fears, and temptations from the enemy, even if you have “counted the cost” in all the light you have.
 
On one of the many rainy days in the rainforest I began to share my heart and woes with a seasoned missionary who was listening intently.  To every comment of comfort she gave me I inserted, “BUT you don’t understand; I know God says that but what about…?”

When I paused to catch my breath, she asked me if, “I thought God’s grace was sufficient enough for me for today?”  

Well, what???… I’m a missionary living in the jungle…I could hardly say “No”!  Of course, I answered, “Yes!” 

She followed up with, “Then… would His Grace be sufficient for tomorrow?!” 

She had firmly and graciously admonished me to keep my BUT on the appropriate side of the word GOD!  Not,  “Ok, GOD, BUT…”(we always have a good excuse for not trusting Him); rather, this is my situation, BUT GOD is more than sufficient and faithful.  He has proven Himself over and over again when I keep my BUT on the correct side of God.

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    II Cor. 12:9

II Cor. 12:9

As a mom, is living for God, demonstrating genuine Christianity, being a “cross-bearer”, and claiming Christ as Lord and Master of my life for His glory too much?  I ask myself:


Can I trust Him for today?  Then, I can trust Him for tomorrow!

A wise woman counts the cost… 

Recapturing a stolen ring and moving into a dense jungle do not, on the surface, seem comparable; yet, the point is, what do you treasure enough to pay, even and possibly, the ultimate price to achieve?  What is important enough for you to “count the cost” and plunge into whatever sacrifice it takes to see it accomplished?

There was no call to the jungle; BUT GOD did call us to respond to the need in that jungle…to open up a work among an unreached group of people who had yet to hear His Name spoken even once, nor His wonderful redeeming message.

“The house of the righteous contains great treasure”! Pro. 15:6
Moms, your house is full of eternal treasure…treasure that will spend eternity somewhere.

It will be worth it all…!

When all is said and done and we have reached the end of this life…what will be said of us?  Did we choose the most important?  Did we succeed in our calling?  Did we “count the cost” for what was on His heart in His perfect will for us or did we do our own thing and hope for the best?  

How does the fruit of your commitment look so far?  
We only pass this way once!

~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

3 Ways to Be a Light in Your World!

“Does anything I do matter? I mean, all I do is prepare meals, do dishes, fold laundry and change diapers. Then, I repeat the same thing the next day. I wanted to be a missionary when I was single. Today, I don’t feel like I advance the Kingdom of God at all. Maybe some day, when the kids are grown I will have time . .  .” Anonymous Mom confessions

Have you ever felt this way?  I know I have, especially when the kids were little and I worked.

But I want to encourage you today to think of yourself, like God does in Matthew 14. 

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 14:14-16

Your kids ARE your mission.  They are our first God-given priority. YOU are the light of Christ they experience each day. YOU are building into them character and whispering the secrets of the kingdom in their lives.  You are shaping them and creating the next world-changer through every diaper you change and every meal you make.  You are teaching them what it looks like to serve others and how to respond to difficult situations with grace and wisdom. YOU are doing all this! But the days are slow and the work is monotonous.  Yes, it is true!

Beyond our husbands and our kids, I see God giving me opportunities within the framework of my daily life. I have just had to adjust my thinking. In my sphere of influence, there are people who need Jesus.  I have other moms in my life, parents with each sports team my kids are in and neighbors who God has given around me.  I also have people who come into my life for a specific time – a divine moment, I call it. All of these gifts can give me a God-given opportunity to “be a light in this world”.

Here are three different ways God has shown me how to “give light” around my daily activities that require no travel or degree to do, even as a mom.  Just a little bit of preparation and well thought-out plans to make an ordinary moment into a divine appointment.

Wherever I am, people are willing to talk about their lives.  So I take Jesus’ lead and ask questions. Of course, my job is to actively listen to a new friend I have met at the park or a parent at one of my kids’ soccer games.  I have learned everyone has a story. While engaging in this person’s life there are 3 things I can do to “shine light” into the conversation. 

Most of the time, an opening in conversation will happen and gives me an opportunity to do one of three things. 

Share my testimony

Through lots of practice, I have gotten my testimony down to three minutes.  I have the short version or the long version ready to go to share about Jesus when the opportunity arises.  I ask God to show me the best place and almost always the conversation leads easily to share.

Share what God has been Teaching me

Other times I am prompted to share what the Lord is teaching me through my quiet times in the morning—whether it is a verse or an example from life.  I am always looking for a way to carefully insert it into a casual conversation.  Again seeking the Lord for the right timing.

Pray for those who are hurting

Lastly, when speaking with another mom, oftentimes hurts or trials will be the topic we end up on because there is so much hurt and pain in this world.  I find it easy to tell people I will pray for them, but God is stretching me out of my comfort zone to just stop and pray right then and there with them. Most always the person, Christian or not, will accept prayer.   

Singing “This Little Light of Mine” with my kids can really be acted out in our lives with just simple acts.  The hardest part for me has been just keeping focused.  I tend to be lazy and forget that every interaction with another person can be a divine appointment. I get caught up in the story or my own excitement to share things going on in my life, but just a simple bit of pre-planning and focus can bring “light” to every conversation.

I know many of you share and bring light to the world around you.  What are other ways we could be a light to the world around us?

~Jeanna Young

When Jeanna is not writing, speaking, event planning, or homeschooling, she can be found scrapbooking her life, redecorating her home, loving on her husband, planning fun events for her kids or eating healthy to stay cancer-free!

Posted on April 18, 2016 and filed under Motherhood, Spiritual Growth, Character and Virtue.

Jackie's Journey: Revival...Who Needs It? Part 2

If there was ever a need for Revival, today is it!

“An evangelist reaches your emotions.  A true prophet reaches your conscience.” Leonard Ravenhill

God had brought us to Arnold, Nebraska and He had a Plan…

Something alive was stirring in Arnold!

He used the people living in those sand hills to reveal His heart and our need.  He used the warmth of the Nebraska heartland and its very special inhabitants…

Nebraska Sand Hills

Nebraska Sand Hills

God used this community to introduce us to genuine hospitality and throughout all these years of ministry we have purposed to practice what we learned there.

This is the town God used to reveal the possibilities of God using us in Panama, in a remote village on the Colombian border.

This is the town God used to give us an opportunity to first know His faithfulness to us through His people.

In this community, “everyone knows your name” and everything about your family, for at least three generations!  Californians pride themselves in their independence from the need for community life and this is found in their perpetual church hopping!

Downtown Arnold, Nebraska

Downtown Arnold, Nebraska

God’s plan was about to shatter any preconceived ideas about revival…

This was it…after months of prayer and preparation…the day had arrived!  The Crusade was packed!  The school auditorium was filled with people from every denomination, all walks of life, people who would never enter a church…the turnout was phenomenal. 

God had a plan that would advance His kingdom!

A revival flame had been ignited!  Hearts were challenged all over that auditorium! Many young people responded to the truth of God’s Word and would go on to serve the Lord in missions all over the world, most of them with New Tribes Mission, reaching into tribal regions.  Many of them are still on the field.

A few weeks after the crusade, on prom night, the police wanted to know why the streets were empty.  The only explanation was that the young people were back in the auditorium watching a Christian film!  A number of couples, including Smokey Kellner, a quadriplegic, and his wife entered missionary training and served as missionaries in Mexico for 20 years or more.  

Lives were changed that night in homes all over the town of Arnold.  There was no age discrimination when it came to God ministering to needy souls…  Young and old were confronted with sin, God’s provision and their desperate need.

“A revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness and making God and His love triumph in heart and life.”  Andrew Murray

God had a plan and allowed us to be a small part of the moving of His Spirit in the hearts and lives of those He had already prepared to harmonize with His will.

R. A. Torrey gave a prescription that never fails to bring revival:

  •  “Let a few Christians get thoroughly right with God. (No unconfessed sin or anything between another person and yourself…totally repent!).
  • Let them bind themselves together to pray for revival
  • Let them put themselves at the disposal of God for His use as He sees fit in winning others to Christ.  That is all.  It never fails.” 

It worked in Arnold! 

Billy Sunday was asked: “When is revival needed?  He answered:  When carelessness and unconcern keep the people asleep.” 

…Please, Lord Jesus…

“Will you not revive us again, that your people will rejoice in you?” Psalm 85: 6

For those of you in Arnold who read this, time is a witness to the strength of loyal and eternal relationships.  Your community has abundantly blessed the Ralph Johnson family and we are indebted to each of the families and individuals who invested in us and trusted us with your hearts…

 

~Jackie Johnson

I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 


Jackie's Journey: Revival....Who Needs It? Part 1

There really is no place like Arnold, Nebraska!!

This is the town where I got my first and only black eye!

Arnold is where Ralph and I had the privilege of joining hands with Pastor Stan Scragg, Jerry Beltz and every denomination in this community to see God do miraculous things in the lives of all of us.   I know He did a huge work in my heart that confirmed our calling to the mission field, gave definition to our life purpose and gave us a vision for the hearts of mankind that has yet to dim…

Something was happening in Arnold!

When the churches in this farming community began meeting together to pray and prepare for a Jerry Beltz Crusade, we jumped in wherever we could.  We spent days witnessing to high school students and staff.  We visited farms, families and churches in Arnold. We hit the “highways and byways” inviting anyone and everyone to the crusade. We canvased parks and meeting places where young people “hung out” looking for an opportunity to present Christ.  In the evenings we would have Bible studies in most of the homes we stayed.  On Sundays we would speak in the different churches in the community.  Jerry Beltz interviewed Ralph on his television station in North Platte and Christina tapped on the screen wondering how her daddy did that!  There were open hearts everywhere…

We had only intended on fulfilling a promise to fellow missionary candidates, Gary and Shirley Bassett and at best, stay a few days in Arnold.  Shirley’s sister had lost her husband, and we volunteered to “stop by and encourage her oldest son on our way to California” after completing the training at New Tribes Mission Language School in Camdenton, Missouri. 

We had no idea what God had planned for us!

While at Shirley’s sisters house we were included in a Bible study she had in her home.  After the meeting we were invited to stay with Ed and Ginny Steele for a few days before heading to California.  Their boys were small and Christina, only 6 months old, loved all three!  While at the Steele’s, we met Glenn and Connie Weinman and their four small children. They invited us to stay with them before we left for California, as did Don and Sunbeam Swanson. We ended up staying almost six months in Arnold!

Charles Finney is quoted as saying that “a revival is nothing more than a new beginning of obedience to God.”

While at the Steele’s, Ginny’s brother and his new wife (Lane and Josie McClure) joined us for a prayer and Bible study. We stayed in their basement for a few days and Josie taught me to sew sundresses for our daughter, Christina.  Ralph was helping Lane with a silo and caught a screwdriver in his eye!  Ralph asked him if he lost his eye, would Lane go to the mission field in his place?!  Shortly after arriving in Panama we heard that Lane and Josie had entered Boot Camp training with New Tribes and went on to serve in Paraguay! 

Nebraska Silos

Nebraska Silos

There were many families (Fletchers, Androcks, Goodnows, to name a few, etc.…) that opened their hearts and homes to us over those months.  Bob Watson’s family cared for us when Ralph left for an outboard motor course in Wisconsin for two weeks!  Bless their hearts!  The Carlson’s lived across the street, and it was in their attic that Ralph penned the life lessons that God has used to change lives on two continents over the last 50 years.

Everywhere we went, everyone we talked to had a spiritual interest we had not experienced before.  Hearts were open to the Word, people were listening to the claims of Christ, and sin was being confronted ubiquitously.  We had never been a part of anything like what God was beginning to do here…

What was happening?

Join me next week, Monday morning, for the revelation of that plan!

You won’t believe it!

 

~Jackie Johnson

I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey: First Impressions

A year or so after moving into the Darien Gap in the jungles of Panama, I was asked by our field leaders to jot down my first impressions. To my surprise I read my notes in our New Tribes Mission Brown Gold Magazine months later in May 1973.  A few days ago I was going through some photo albums and found the same article I had written.

The purpose of the writing was to call attention to the desperate need to reach these unreached people tucked into little corners all over the world.  H.A. Roberts said, “The toughest challenges lead to the greatest triumph’s”.  The call is as imperative now, as it ever was then.  Here is that quoted article reproduced:

“HERE WE ARE!  Address: El Rio Pucuro, Nowhereland!

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   Our village carved out of dense jungle.  My house has a tin roof in the foreground.

Our village carved out of dense jungle.  My house has a tin roof in the foreground.

Only 26 days ago we flew into El Real in an eight-passenger plane and were picked up in the same dilapidated jeep that had met us 6 months before.  We headed to the waterfront, a short ride on a dusty, bumpy road that I viewed between my feet through the holes in the floorboard! 

We got as close as the jeep could go and then hobbled ¼ mile with 3 month-old Kim in my arms, 3 year-old Christina hanging on to my dress, three suit-cases, an infant seat to use in the floor of the dugout, and boiled water!

We traveled an hour to Yavisa for the night.  Next morning, at 5:00 a.m., we loaded the piraguas (dugout canoe) for Pucuro.  We ate fish and rice for breakfast and began our 11-hour trip upriver.

The winding river Pucuro!

The winding river Pucuro!

ours passed and I couldn’t believe the beauty I was beholding.  The jungle is plush, full and spattered with green and yellow blankets of butterflies all along the way.  The first six hours were quick and, other than cramped arms and legs from protecting Kim from the beating sun and being sandwiched between our household belongings, we all fared well.  The last six hours were a real battle against our dry river and a swift current!  No less than twenty times Ralph and the others jumped into the shallow water to push us over rocks, etc. that worked like a barricade to delay our long awaited entrance into the land of the Kuna people.

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   Dry season means shallow waters!

Dry season means shallow waters!

Just before dark I looked up and saw brown bodies silhouetted along the sandy break in the jungle.  My heart began to pound as I realized I was about to face a people that had consumed our hearts and minds for over three years!

Would they accept us?

Would they grab my baby and run into the dark?

What should I expect?

The verse “My grace is sufficient…” flooded my mind as I yielded to His wooing and relaxed!

As we pulled into shore at 6:30 p.m. the people swarmed all over us.  Somebody took Kim out of my arms and stepped away into the dark.  In the confusion Christina lost her shoe and I felt Ralph tug on my arm to head up the bank to our house.  I called in the dark for Kimi and somebody laid her in my arms while the others laughed.

As we meandered up a narrow, overgrown path to glimpse our jungle house, all I could hear was little Christina in her Daddy’s arms asking for her lost shoe!   

Oh, for the simple trust of a child! 

In a few moments we stepped into our new home.  The dirt floor was cold, mainly because I was wet from our trip in, but too, it was dark and the river had filled the air with moisture.  The following morning I opened my eyes to what looked like a storehouse with boxes, tanks, mosquito netting, etc.  Soon we were busy greeting people, finding suitcases with dry clothes, and hunting through canned goods and paper sacks for food to eat.

Now, 26 days later, I’m looking back to the first “Congreso” where I drank my first Indian “chicha” from communal cups, the first days of helping women sweep the village where I obtained my four blisters on one hand, the initial jolt of a hairy tarantula spider on my laundered sheet, the adjustment to the intense curiosity of the people, the initiation of washing clothes in the river, the perpetual problem of children urinating in our house, and the mixed emotions of a protective mother.

This evening, less than a month interior, we find ourselves with tape recorder in hand and a house full of Indians, struggling again to communicate the precious Gospel of Jesus with these still in heathen darkness.

 

New Tribes Missionaries 1971-1984

New Tribes Missionaries 1971-1984

Will you pray for tribal missionaries?

Will you pray for the many still unreached tribes?

Jackie's Journey: Scarred for Life

In the early days among the Kuna Indians in the rain forest of Panama, we found ourselves sitting in the weekly meetings of the “Congreso”.  It was here the Kuna leaders decided the village life and activities.  Occasionally, the Colombian woodcutters would join the group and then disappear down the Tuira River back into the jungle.

One afternoon we heard an outboard motor coming up the winding river toward our village.  I could hear the Kunas running to the shoreline and in a few minutes they were screaming for help.  The woodcutter had taken the motor covering off to replace a pin and had not covered the motor again.  He had ducked to miss a low hanging branch, forgetting the blade was still open!  The sharp edge of the blade had sliced into his face and the gash was long and deep, the cheekbone exposed. 

As he cleared the 12’ river embankment toward our house, I could see he was leaning on the men assisting him and there was blood everywhere!  Within minutes the entire village was in our front room, whispering excitedly, each seeking the sordid details.

There was no exaggeration here!  His cheekbone was protruding through the skin and the skin had slipped back toward his ear, leaving a huge gap.  He had taken the only available cloth in the dugout, which was loose cotton, and packed it tightly in the wound to stop the bleeding.

He was now seated on the bench directly in front of me.  He sat silently, calm and trusting.   Looking up, his eyes inaudibly pleaded for help and my heart stopped for a second while I contemplated my next move.  We headed for the rushing clear waters of the river to thoroughly cleanse the wound and remove the cotton. 

My adrenals were now on steroids as I mutely cried out to God for leading and direction!  It had to be sutured from the inside out or it would not hold together…I had sutured fingers, arms, legs (usually machete accidents), but never a face!  Once the gash was cleared of debris, it looked even more intimidating than before!  After a close examination and gathering up the necessary tools to begin this procedure, I laid everything on a cloth…and froze!

In that moment God spoke quietly to my heart, ““I have chosen you, Jackie…so do not fear, for I am with you; be not dismayed.” (Isaiah 41: 10)

I picked up the tweezers and began to remove the last of the stained pieces of cotton before scrubbing the wound and suturing the interior.  Just pulling the two skin flaps together was challenging, but the truth of the matter was…the scar was going to be massive and it was on a very handsome face!

It seemed like forever before I finally dressed the wound and gave him an antibiotic shot.  He never flinched or spoke a single word through the entire procedure!  My husband was sharing with him the entire time.  We prayed for his healing and he stood and left. 

He was not one of the regular woodcutters that lived outside our village, so I thought I would never see him again.

Months later we heard an outboard motor coming up the river and to my astonishment, God brought that young man through our front door!  We were thrilled that he had healed with no infection and the scar that was left was beautiful! 

He was grinning from ear to ear, and he laughed at my little faith!

I am often reminded of the day God “chose me” and told me not to fear, that He was with me and would do what He had called me to do.  Since I am a person whose battleground often involves fear, God’s words to me are profoundly meaningful!

What would you say is your battleground? 

Where are you struggling today?

 Have you identified a pattern in your life that pokes its head up regularly? Maybe it’s anger or bitterness.

Can you hear God’s voice?

when He speaks to you with

promise, rebuke, or instruction regarding your battleground?

John 9:31