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We occasionally get a letter or note from people saying, “Your videos seem like so much fun, but isn’t life on the mission field difficult?”
Although in the Wild Brothers video series we try to keep things pretty light and don’t dive too deep into hardships and suffering, it’s not all fun and games here in the tribe.
Life has improved by leaps and bounds for our tribal friends as we have provided medical care for them since we moved among them in 2006. (Now we have trained tribal medical workers who carry the load!) And of course, an understanding of the gospel has given them great joy in this life and hope for eternity. But day to day life can be very hard for our dear tribal friends, and we as tribal missionaries have learned to live with a higher level of stress. In fact, the stress is like a cloud that lingers and accompanies us in everything we do. Suffering, sickness, death, medical emergencies, roving bands of armed rebels, and spiritual oppression are at the top of the list of stressful things we encounter, but there are also many other lesser things such as getting low on food or water, or just missing our family back in America.
In almost 10 years of living among our tribal friends we have seen much suffering and death. From beautiful babies to withered up elders, from teenagers to young men and women in the prime of their lives, we have witnessed many pass from this life to the next. We have seen horrible accidents, body mutilation, and people worshiping evil spirits. We have lived among murderers and sorcerers, and have always been on call 24/7 to help as much as we can for medical emergencies and spiritual counseling. Our ears are constantly tuned to the distant shout calling for our help.
Even now as I type this, there are threats of murder, and men and women in our village who are lying on the bark floors of their smoky huts sick with malarial fevers and chills. There is one young lady in her early 20s who is very sick. She has had chronic malaria for many years, and her spleen has ballooned to the size of a football and fills most of her abdominal cavity. Her young daughter died about two months ago, and she has been sick with grief. At the height of her grief she came down with another bout of malaria while she was in a village a full day’s hike away. Although terribly sick, she persevered and made it over the jagged jungle trail to our village for medical help. We think that the malaria went into her brain (cerebral malaria) and, although she did not die, she suffered some brain damage which has left her right side paralyzed. This is a difficult situation in a place where there are no conveniences. Please pray for her, that the Lord would heal her body and, most importantly, that her heart would be open to God’s Word.
Living in the tribe has shown us firsthand how much sin has marred humanity, and how much Satan hates mankind and seeks to destroy us. Without the Truth of God’s Word, life is despair and tragedy. The only hope for any of us is found in Jesus Christ. It is only through the work of Jesus Christ that we can have joy in this life and a secure future in eternity.
Through the clear teaching of God’s Word in the tribal language, many of our tribal friends have found joy and peace despite their difficult and short lives. And through God’s Word we (as their missionaries) are able to continue to minister and persevere despite the trials and stress. It is this foundation of God’s Word and our love of the gospel that led us to develop the Wild Brothers video series. Life here in the tribe is not all “fun and games,” but we want to focus on the joy and freedom that the gospel brings. It is our prayer that the video series encourages you to follow God with all of your hearts and be used by Him for all your days!
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