I wonder if there’s anything on your calendar that would be worth 21 days of travel to get there?
21 days! That’s how long it took a pastor in the Amazon to pilot his motorized canoe from his home to our John Paculabo Centre at Terra da Paz on the Negro River. 21 days of expensive fuel, exposure to tropical heat and hungry mosquitos. 21 days of camping out on potentially lethal ground and foraging for food in the jungle. 21 days away from family, not to mention the return trip home.
What could be so important to compel anyone to subject himself to such an arduous, dangerous journey?
The gospel ministry of Jesus Christ.
That’s the simple answer. Here was a pastor who wanted to know more about his Lord and how to better communicate the faith to people far from civilization and would stop at nothing to avail himself of that privilege.
That’s a convicting testimony of how precious is the Good News we carry. It is the pearl of great price. It is the treasure hidden in a field; the lost lamb whose life merits leaving 99 others unattended. It is the single missing coin; so valuable it is worth scouring the whole house to find it.
What a reminder for those of us whose choice of churches is as convenient and geared toward our own preferences as selecting lunch from a menu! What a challenge to those of us who consider mission trips based largely on our own safety and comfort; who give sparingly out of duty rather than liberally out of a courageous and overflowing heart!
Such men as these deserve our recognition, admiration and support, regardless of the physical and cultural distance separating us. It would never even occur to them to ask for any of that, but when tales of faithfulness are told around the Heavenly campfires someday, I suspect these will be among the ones most requested.
On February 9-16 of 2014, JMI will be hosting another pastor’s conference on the Amazon. Our team will provide the training these men and their wives covet so dearly.
If you’d like to honor our Lord’s work through any of these incredible servants in Brazil, you can sponsor the expenses of their week of learning with a $200 gift to JMI, either through our website’s donation page (justiceandmercy.org/donate) or by sending your check to 1810 Columbia Ave., Ste. 100, Franklin, TN.