So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up… - Ephesians 4:11-12
The Frontline team had not been able to visit the missionaries and leaders in Brazil like we wanted for the past three years due to the pandemic travel restrictions. Once these restrictions were lifted in October, we immediately began planning a Brazil Indigenous Leadership Conference for November 2022. We were eager to return.
We desired to host a six-day celebration of the missionaries’ fruitful results of the Jesus Film trips as the teams traveled with their families from various, distant communities. After crying and embracing one another, we continued with times of teaching and distributing cherished resources for further outreach.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Esteeming the Indigenous cultures, Natacha and Alexander, our Brazilian directors, were overjoyed when they discovered a private ranch we could rent 45 minutes outside the city of Boa Vista, Brazil instead of using a hotel. Not only is the ranch a fraction of the cost of a hotel, but it also affords a much desired space for cultural dancing and freedom for communal early morning or late night prayers. This faculty had three pavilions: one for hanging hammocks for sleeping, one for meetings and the third one used as a dining room and kitchen. Sixty missionaries and leaders traveled up to 500 miles on roads full of potholes and ditches from Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela to join us. The ten small children they brought were a delight to us all! Truly, it was a miracle for so many to gather.
Missionaries came from the Ingarico, Macuxi, Wai Wai, Wapashana, and Awakawaio tribes challenging us with six languages: Portuguese, Spanish, Ingarico, Macuxi, Wai Wai and English. Each had their turn in leading us in worship and song in their own cultural manner. What a taste of the variety of God’s creation! With their expressive, grateful hearts, the Venezuelans directed our praises toward the Lord, despite the difficulties they face at home. What a taste of eternity we experienced!
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.
- Psalm 34:8
For the Frontline Missions team, it was a total of four days traveling and six days of 15-17 hour days, but none of us would complain after being with these marvelous servants of Christ! Our 8 AM worship meetings were followed by various teachings. All were eager to open their Bibles and study more. The Frontline Missions team taught on topics such as the promises to Abraham, Covenants of God, Water Baptism, Communion, and marriage. In the afternoons after lunch, “Mama” Heidi and the team were honored to meet with each people-group. The great works of God were discussed and a sundry of needs were presented, including requests for water baptism and individualized counseling. Using as much of each language as she could, Heidi alternated between Portuguese, Spanish and Ingarico, honoring their culture as much as possible.
During these meetings with each people-group, the Frontline Missions team equipped them with Solar Audio Bibles (about the size of a cell phone) (150), Flashlight/Solar Audio Bible combinations (50), One Wish bracelets from Operation Mobilization (300), and Bible Storying Charts (6”x6” pictures on 3’x4’ cloth). Each item required training on how to use it and then practice for the leaders to become proficient.
Additionally, the team carefully brought three Jesus Film backpacks where two have been sent to northern Venezuela and another one to an incognito Indigenous group, who will further take the film into an unengaged unreached people group (UUPG). Rejoice with us that the Indigenous are reaching neighboring unreached Indigenous with the hope of the Gospel—and pray that God will send workers for the harvest is indeed ripe!
While most of the attendees at the conference were fully-surrendered Christians, one cook was not. He had a background in both witchcraft and drugs but was awesomely delivered during the conference. He accepted Christ as his Savior with a spontaneous dance of elation at his new-found freedom, and was baptized right away. Heidi said she has not seen such a miraculous and dramatic total-salvation experience in decades!
Heidi shared many times with the missionaries there that they couldn’t see all the people behind her—from financial donors to those who coordinated the endless details. Indeed, God has done an amazing job of assembling an army of harvest-workers! Isn’t God good?
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
- Psalm 133:1