Chasing the Blue and White
Brazil—a colossal country, 60 percent of which is covered by the Amazon rainforest. Most of the country’s 42 unreached people groups and 91 minimally reached groups live in this enormous jungle, surrounded only by thousands of kilometers of florae and fauna.
Jeyson and Stephanie Braun have served with Asas de Socorro—a JAARS aviation partner—in Brazil for 14 years. Asas de Socorro means wings of mercy/wings of help and ‘giving wings to those who give their lives for the gospel’ is their motto. Because of YOUR help, JAARS has been able to provide Asas with refurbished aircraft, technical support, and training over the last few years.
Jeyson has served Asas by flying various mission workers to the most remote places in Brazil and more recently by doing maintenance on the aircraft. One of the Brazilian mission organizations that depend on Asas for air service is MEVA (Evangelical Mission of the Amazon), which sends out teams of Bible translators and church planters who work side-by-side in the villages.
Some MEVA staff run Bible storytelling conferences at villages with airstrips. They teach a book or stories from God’s Word, orally if nothing’s been translated yet, or using the portions of Scripture that have been translated into the village’s language. Due to the dangers of the jungle, the MEVA teams can’t hike out to the people, so Jeyson and other Asas pilots fly them out every couple of weeks to a different village. “[The] people are really hungry for the Word, even if they don’t have the whole Bible yet,” Jeyson says.
One man attended a storytelling conferences and was so impacted that he went back to his village—which had no runway—and said, “I want to be able to participate in more of [these conferences].”
But the leader of the Bible storytelling team told him, “There’s no way we can go to your village. It’s too far and the plane can’t land there.”
Undeterred, the man replied, “Well, I’m going to do something about it. I’m going to make my own runway so you guys can come.”
Meanwhile, the man longed to attend all the conferences in his region, but was stymied. With no watch or calendar, he didn’t know exactly where or when the next conference would be held. He struck on a creative plan. He would watch for Asas’ planes to fly by. Their planes, funded by people like YOU through JAARS, have the typical JAARS blue and white colors and a cargo pod.
Whenever the man spotted a plane with a cargo pod and the blue and white colors, he followed its direction through the jungle for several days, hoping to reach a Bible storytelling conference before it ended. Finally…success! He reached a conference on its last few days. He listened with a hungry heart as the mission staff spoke about the Holy Spirit. Hearing the Scripture in his own language, he started crying and asked, “How do I know if I have this Holy Spirit? How do I know if I’m not living in sin?” The mission workers’ answered his questions with Scripture, but he hungered for more.
He urged the MEVA team, “My village needs to know more about this. When [our] runway is ready, you guys need to come and land there and start doing these courses.”
Just this year, some Asas pilots went out to his village to look at the runway that the man and other villagers had built. Unfortunately, it wasn’t usable because it was in a location where the pilots couldn’t land. While the pilots and villagers find out how to solve the problem of the runway, the man continues to follow the blue and white planes, hungry to hear about this God who loves him.
Please pray Asas de Socorro and the villagers find a solution to the runway soon, and that other people in Brazil will possess this same hunger for God’s Word.