Thursday, March 17, 2005

A Mission Trip to Remember

The other day it came to my memory this interesting experience I had about two or three years ago in a mission trip inside the heart of one of the most inexplorable and inaccesible parts of the geography of my country, Panama. We were a small group of maybe 28 youngster, most of them from all around US and some few of us panamenians who served as missionaries and interpreters as well. The trip itself to that part of Panama which I will refer as "the jungle" was not really really long but getting there is not easy and confortable. We took a bus, which got us to a small village and from there we had to take this small, unsecure and very old boats powered by a rudimentary motor. It was packed with at least 15 of us each plus some of our baggages. We would travel this huge river upstream which I consider was half mile wide in its widest section, surrounded by unexplored huge and ancient trees full of wild life. After something more than an hour we would reach this small island inhabited by natives, most of them who never saw a modern city, and who still don´t know spanish which is our official language. They would greet us and show happy for our visit. We spent there a week or two, I can not remember, but we worked there hard, helping the villagers in their daily tasks, we washed their clothes, we cooked, we hunt their food and we shared with them the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, many of them accepted and changed for good their lives. Moreover, our lives changed forever, those of us, american and panamenians who went there learned a whole lot deal of things that you can only possible learn when you serve as a missionary in far places from home. But all these things came to my mind and there was this particular situation we went through that taught me how wonderful, merciful is our God. So one day we decided to pay a visit to another island to the north that hadn´t been visited ever by one of our christian mission groups. We were really hoping for that there were no problem at all with them accepting us, so like at 5 in the afternoon, we took the old-creepy boats upstream to the north and after some time we got there. As we set foot on land, I sensed the atmosphere really heavy with demonic influence. People there were more of unfriendly than you would expect. So we unpacked all our equipment, we had a movie projector to present the movie "Jesus" and the leader and myself went to talk to the chief of the village to see if we could get permission to present the movie. As we were walking past the trees-made houses it caught my attention that most of them had a bunch of old and creepy toys and dolls hanging from the doors most of them without heads. Finally we got to the talk to the chief of the village and he just denied us to present the movie and to talk anything to the villagers. He kind of showed himself angry at our unusual presence. So we were all disappointed and we headed back to the boats. Now that I think again about that, it brings to my mind two things, the first, that they were under heavy satanic influence which blinded them to anything that had to do with Christ and his sacrifice. They needed a lot of prayers to destroy Satan bondage over their life. And second it reminds me about Jesus words toward his disciples when he told them, when you go to a town or a city and they recieve you, you preach to them and share the gospel and bless them, but when you come to a city where they wont allow you, take out the dust of your shoes in a symbolism of their ingratitud. So we set sail back to our home island but, it was getting dark and darker and in a matter of minutes we were under a thick blanket of darkness, we got scared all at once, our old-fashioned, creepy boats had no any kind of road ilumination and we were sailing in that river full of tree trunks protruding from the surface of the river (because many many years ago were we were sailing at was part of the jungle, it was land and was flooded intentionally to help the panama canal get fresh water, a permanent source of water) So during the day the boat driver could avoid hitting one of those massive trunks but during the night he only depended on his memory of the road. But in this particular occasion he wasnt alone, he was carrying a lot of kids from a foreign nation and a tragedy here would be catastrophic, and to top it off, it began to pour down, something you can expect in a jungle. But we start praying to our God for protection and then the fear was all gone, we were still concerned about our situation, but we were trusting our God. My friend selegna, yahel and myself started a game right there in the middle of the darkness in the huge river, we were simulating a talk tv show and we were singing and joking around, but this particular song I have no idea who brought in, caused a lot of laugh. There is this song in spanish that talks about how we should be sumerged in the river of the Holy Spirit, and whoever brought this song at this point of our situation did it with the sole purpose of making us laugh out loud and make us forget for a second our fears. It worked, so finally we made it to our island after avoiding miraculously hitting any of those trunks. I remember that at one moment we were feets to hit one of them and just then all was suddenly illuminated with a thunder light and the boat driver could avoid hitting one. God saved us and protected us and so He will do until our last day of life.

1 comment:

Willer said...

I loved my mission trip to Honduras. All things aside I like having a positive impact on peoples lives and hopefully leading them to a relationship with the Lord. I just wish I could go back this year.