An Answer to Thirty Years of Prayer
On one of his first flights back in Brazil following furlough, Jake hears an amazing story that spans two continents and 30 years of prayers.
After a few concentrated days of helping get the house back in order following furlough, I took off for my first set of flights, shuttling nearly 50 indigenous participants from their villages to a Bible conference hosted by the W,* another indigenous group. It was on one of these flights that I learned of the following story.
Back in the mid-1980s, a young missionary journeyed from Holland to work among the A* indigenous group of Brazil. Unfortunately, after just a few years, he was forced to return to Holland. However, he and his sending church began praying, and continued to pray, for a different missionary to be able to share the gospel with the A people.
When I was busily shuttling those participants home from the Bible conference, one of my last passengers was Silas,* an indigenous man from one of the W villages. When he told me that he was a Bible translator with a partner organization here in Brazil, I asked him more about his work. He explained that after he felt called to be a missionary, he attended an intensive Bible translation course. After the course, he began working part-time on a Bible project in his native language, but he dedicated the other half of his time to learning a neighboring group’s language in order to work on a Bible translation for them. This group was none other than the A group!
He didn’t know about the first missionary and the people in Europe who were praying, but one of his newsletters somehow ended up at the very church in Holland that had been praying for the A people for nearly 30 years! They immediately recognized Silas as an answer to their prayers and invited him to Holland to share about his ministry. They are now his primary supporting church, partnering with him to reach the A people after all these years!
As we sat in the plane, Silas (pictured on the right) explained that four of my earlier passengers were members of the A group. Traditionally this group had been against missionaries and didn’t want to have anything to do with any religions other than their own. Thankfully, Silas was able to persuade them to attend the Bible conference with him. There, they were so touched by the love, hospitality, and graciousness of the W people at the conference that they at least changed their minds about missionaries! Would you join us in praising the Lord for the Bible conference and for Silas? Also, please pray that his work would be blessed and that the A people would come to know the Lord.
*Names changed for sensitivity purposes