Stories from the Amazon

I've been wanting to do a follow up Blog from our LEAD weekend that we had at the end of September. I have to say - it was one of my favourite youth retreats that we've EVER had at Evergreen. We had 150 youth and sponsors here getting equipped to go out and be active in their faith. Nearly everyone learned atleast two simple tools to go out and share Christ with someone near them. It was an amazing weekend!

Danny MacKay from I am Second and e3 Partners was our main session speaker and his stories about taking advantage of every moment he's breathing to share Christ's love with people around him was so inspiring.

If you were at the retreat - you will remember Danny talking about what was coming up for him after LEAD. He was going to be going into the Peruvian Amazon to three villages that were unreached by Christians. Well - Danny just got back and I'd like to share his stories and some pictures with you from his trip that I think might encourage you - they sure encouraged me! Taken from Facebook:

"Ever since I became a believer in Jesus, I’ve always wanted to take the gospel where no one else has been.This trip into the Amazon, I got that very chance. It was absolutely an incredible trip in every way and each day God showed up and did amazing miracles everywhere we went. 

We were able to visit three separate villages with trained nationals - two of these villages had no church at all and one village had only one single believer who has been praying for over 25 years for someone to come. How amazing to be the answer to those prayers!!! We branched out into small teams and spread out amongst the Shipibo tribes and the Ashanikas.
We saw:
  • 153 salvations
  • 53 baptisms
  • 56 physical healings
  • 12 persons of peace identified (those who are committed to reaching their village)
  • 70 new nationals trained (70!!)
  • 2 brand new churches planted
I wish you could have seen the people rush the river to be baptized when the gospel was proclaimed. 

One cool story: As Jordan and I walked up to a house, the man there told us he had a dream the night before about two men coming for a visit. He was waiting all day for us. He recommitted his life to Jesus and his wife was also baptized. She was baptized by a brand new believer who had never shared the gospel before nor had she baptized anyone. But with simple tools, she joined us in reaching her own village. We told this man that God has plans for him and he responded, “And I have plans for my village.”. 
The "three circles" tool taught at LEAD.

Just a few doors down a young girl was on the brink of death from a severe case of leprosy. She had been in her bed for over two years. I’ll never forget the smell. So we prayed for her and laid hands on her. Four days later we returned to that village on our way out of the jungle and had a chance to check on her. Her bed was rolled up and she was walking around saying she felt much better!!! He still heals!! Three of her family members said yes to Jesus!

These are just a few of the stories (gosh there’s a lot) but our team saw first hand what can happen when you trust God and step completely into the unknown. Our nationals will be following up in the next few weeks and revisiting each village and taking them through next steps. Their commitment is incredible. These trips move the ball forward in a massive way for them. We are already making plans for a return team to join in. 
We gathered all the new believers together at night and they came with joy! 2 new churches were planted among them and many came to Jesus.We won against the heat, the bugs, the animals, sickness, the rain, strange food, sleepless nights, inconsistent meals, over 27 hours on planes and in airports, and over 26 hours on boats, and everything the devil tried to throw at us. 

The Kingdom of God is a little more on earth today and we are just getting started. This is living."

These are ordinary people doing extraordinary things for Jesus. I know it's easy to sit and listen to someone like Danny MacKay and believe that you could never do what he does. He does one thing - he allows himself to be used by God in every moment. He can and will use you - you just have to say yes and step forward in faith.

Not just when it's convenient for him. He makes time for God.
Not just when he feels courageous enough. He allows God to make him bold.
Not just when he's practiced enough. He trusts that God will give him the words.

Do you remember the challenge at LEAD? To start sharing immediately - the "Three Circles", the "Hashtag", or "If you could experience a miracle today, what would it be?" Question. Get on it - let's see the world changed by Jesus!

.: jogee :.


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