Posted by: OCI | October 19, 2010

SNAPSHOT: Tarantula Blessing

OCI’s worldwide ministries face various challenges as they seek to share God’s love. It is our desire at the OCI Headquarters to give individuals a glimpse into our ministries’ daily activities. We’d like to call it a snapshot; it’s not the complete picture, but it’s a tangible glimpse into their struggles and successes.

The following story was written and contributed by Brad Mills. Brad is the project coordinator for Amazon Lifesavers Ministry, one of OCI’s ministries in Brazil.

The tarantula slowly crawls across the rafter of the church, almost as if it is moving to the rhythm of the hymn that we are singing.  I count at least three, all actively scurrying around oblivious to the poorly dressed children packed into the benches beneath, eyes riveted on the image cast by our projector onto the thin white sheet.  In a village that doesn’t have electricity, seeing hymns and pictures for church is a real treat- Praise God for our small generator and equipment.  My eyes dart back to the family of bats that have made a home in the church’s thatched roof, right above the head of who will be preaching…..me.   They also scamper back and forth, making squeaking noises as they tend to their business in our church.  I chuckled to myself as I wonder if there are more persons or animals present in the church.  At least we are all here together, worshiping our creator on the Sabbath day.

The attention of all the children suddenly shifts from the front of the church to Levi, as he nonchalantly pulls out a toy from his Sabbath bag, the small bag that we prepare for him to carry to church.  The kids stare at him in amazement, as if they don’t have a single toy of their own.  Feeling quite embarrassed, I tell him to put the toy away.  As he then attempts to pull out his Sabbath felt set, I quietly instruct him that today it is better to just sit quietly like all the other children and listen to daddy preach.  The contrast between cultures, the contrast between socio-economic status is so apparent.  And yet as we open the word of God and discuss heaven I am comforted to remind these simple people that soon and very soon we are going to see the King.  That soon we will all be dressed alike, all have mansions prepared for us, and all speak the same native tongue.  I try to paint the visual picture for them of what the banquet feast will be like, with Jesus himself feeding us.

When church is over we head back to our boat to enjoy a nice baked potato lunch.  As I sit and eat I think about what the people said the day before during medical consults.  I had tried to tell someone that they needed to take the certain medicine three times a day, at meal time.  I suddenly stopped my instructions and asked the person, How many times a day do you eat, and when?  With a completely innocent face she responded, “When we have food we eat usually one time a day, around 10 a.m., and then drink some hot drink before we go to bed.”   Lord, forgive us for complaining.  Lord, thank you for the MANY blessings that you have given to each one of us.

We are just returning from a three week trip into the jungle.  We were so blessed to meet so many new people and share God’s word in so many new places.  Our visiting American nurse, Kandice, helped me each day as she and I set up medical clinics to attend to the people’s needs.  In the small village described above, we met with the church members and jointly decided to help build a new SDA church, one in which the rain doesn’t come straight in through the old roof.  The local jungle dwellers are so excited.  They will immediately set off to cut the wood needed.  We, by faith, have agreed to help with the bricks and cement needed to do the base for the church.  Also we will help finish the church’s roof with real roofing, which will last many more years than thatched roofing.  If you would like to help rebuild the church in Coatá, please let us know.

This month and next month we will be taking two more trips into two different rivers on the Amazon.  Please continue to uplift this project in your prayers every day as we attempt to reach the people along the Amazon River.

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Responses

  1. It is a good concept


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