In the mission field we go through several challenges, whether it be living in a community or living in a boat that is always on the move. And when we go through difficulties, or some obstacle stands in the way, we know for sure who is the author of it all. We blame the enemy. We know that the purpose of Satan is to hinder the work, to disrupt the establishment Kingdom of God. And when things started to get tough for us here in the Luzeiro, we did not think differently. We knew that the enemy was disturbing the progress of the project.
Let me explain. Our planning was to meet 3 communities of the Satêre Mawê indigenous area, beginning with Umirituba, passing through Simão and finishing in Molongotuba.
The boat went through some problems and due to the lack of resources, we could not solve them all at once. And so we started our trip, even though boat was not preforming 100%. We got to Umirituba and two problems came up. The first was the news that we could not enter the Simão community. After meeting with the Tuchaua (chief) of the village, he stood against the services offered by the boat. He did not want the presence of the church in that place. With that we needed to change our plans. After Umirituba the next stop would be Molongotuba. The second problem was our power generator that would not start and we were out of power. This ended up delaying our trip because we had to return with the boat to the city. And problem solved.
We decided to go back to Umirituba, and during our trip another issue came up. The main engine cooling pump was damaged. We couldn’t move forwards or backwards and stood for a while in the middle of the river until we were able to improvise a pump and finally arrive at Umirituba. With all these difficulties we started the work. One day, out of nowhere our generator caught fire. We were sterilizing the dental materials, when suddenly the energy begins to fail. When we got to the engine room, it was full of smoke and the generator was flaming. After we put out the fire, we began to count the damage. We could not leave the place because we were had no pump and we had no power because we had no generator. What now? We continued the work anyway.
After two weeks I had to go to the city, and I took with me the parts that needed to be fixed. The mechanic was able to repair the pump, so the boat was able to return to the city to solve the generator problem. We were ready to go to Molongotuba, the mission in Umirituba had ended.
If that was not enough , during the trip we faced another problem with the pump leading to one week delay in our schedule. We could only stay in Molongotuba for a month, whereas in our planning we programmed to stay at least two months. It is a large community and we made friends with the ACS (Community Health Agent) of the community, Maílson. When we got there he was very down and talking about moving to another community. He had already received some Bible studies and was our greatest supporter within that community. His departure would be a great loss for us.
Since the community was large I alone would not manage to offer dental care to a very big number of people, so we received a missionary group from São Paulo coming on a 10-day Amazon Lifesavers mission trip. They brought 4 other dentists.
During those days the community was super enthusiastic, there was worship every night, the children had a lot of fun, there was medical care, natural products treatments and of course, dental care. When they left, most of the those community people felt desolate. The community seemed solitary. Back to the monotonous routine of everyday life. They were gloomy. We decided to do special programs in the evening to try and cheer the people up again, but now we had only the Luzeiro team. We did not have all the audio-visual resources that a mission people provided. Even so they sang and praised God in a way that they had not done before the mission. The ACS told me his story, the motives that made him upset and wanting to leave. Now, after the mission, he was a whole different man. He did not feel sad any more and wished to stay in Molongotuba.
I’m telling this whole mess because in the end this delay was necessary so that the Satêre people could hear about the Kingdom of God and so we could receive the Amazon Lifesavers mission group. Otherwise, we would not have received them. Often, we do not understand God’s plans. For us, the way He acts may not even make much sense. However, we know that we can rest when we surrender everything into His hands. That is enough.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
Sobre o Autor
Wille Annies is from Paraná, south of Brazil. He is the Luzeiro XXVI dentist working in the municipality of Barreirinha, on the Andirá River.