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Thursday December 17
Twenty-five believers and I piled into the boat and we sped down the turbulent waters of the Huallaga river toward the village of Yarina. When we arrived at about nightfall we were greeted by the excited shouts of brothers and sisters that lined the shore. After lots of back-slapping and hugs and kisses we made our way to the humble homes of the Yarina brethren that would give us a place to "set up camp" for the next few nights. Precious Christians had arrived from the surrounding villages to worship the Lord, study, evangelize and encourage one another. After the evening meeting one could hear singing, prayer and out-loud bible reading late into the night from many different houses around Yarina.

Friday December 18
The highlight for me on this day was that I was awakened at 4:30 a.m to the open-air, loudspeaker preaching of a young man that I was able to bring to the Lord several years ago. I struggled between being annoyed at this unexpected alarm clock and at the same time being overjoyed at hearing the gospel preached by this fervent disciple that has matured greatly in the Lord. About three years ago I saw that this brother (Jin Hedo) was really growing and that he was serious about preaching the gospel, but was having a hard time supporting his family, so I bought him some shoe making tools and a machine to help him in his trade as a shoe cobbler. Now he is a self supporting preacher doing very well in the shoe manufacturing business and more importantly he has been very faithful to the Lord and to his family while courageously preaching the gospel all over the region. Please pray for this brother who was a tremendous help and encouragement at the convention. Praise the Lord for His transforming power!

Saturday December 19
The basic schedule for each day went like this:
6:30 Morning devotional with all 350 brethren.
7:30 Breakfast (fish and boiled plantains)
8:30 Teaching session #1 "The priesthood of every believer"
10:30 Teaching session #2 "What the bible teaches about music"
12:30 Lunch (smoked jungle rat and rice)
1:30 Play soccer
2:30 Jump in the river
3:30 Teaching session #3 "The priesthood of every believer"
5:00 Teaching session #4 "What the Bible teaches about music"
6:30 Dinner (Chicken and fermented corn juice)
7:30 Open air gospel meeting
10:30 Meeting with the assembly leaders to coordinate this coming years plans and to deal with a few church problems.
12:30 Bed time!

Sunday December 20
After the morning devotional we had a precious time celebrating the Lord's supper with all the brethren. There's nothing better than coming together with Gods people to remember the Lord in His death burial and resurrection! From there we went out into the street where I preached in the rain for about an hour before going down to the river to baptize 6 new believers. As the convention came to an end there were lots of handshakes and good-byes and kind words of encouragement. Some headed off on foot, others went their way rowing their canoes and still others left maneuvering their peke peke motors up river. All were full of joy and rejoicing in the Lord. We thank the Lord for such a time of great blessing with the river churches in this area of the jungles of Peru!

Missions quote for the day by Martin Luther: "I'll preach Christ as if He had been crucified yesterday, risen today and coming again tomorrow."

Micah for the Tuttle's

open air meeting in Yarina

The apostle Paul said: "Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!"

Tuttle-tidbits from November

Last Sunday Amy and I celebrated 19 years of marriage! I am so grateful for such a wonderful wife and the life that God has given us together. Amy can now say that she has been married longer than she was single. Its amazing how time flies! We could never have imagined that God would bless us with 6 great kids and put us in the jungles of Peru with such an exciting ministry. We thank the Lord for His many blessings!

Trip to the coast
November was a very busy month for the Tuttle-tribe! We traveled as a family through the jungle, up over the Andes mountains, down the coast and back again which ended up being about a 5,000 km journey. Along the way we were able to see spectacular landscapes, visit lots of good friends, share the gospel with many souls and preach in several churches. I had been invited to speak in a total of 12 meetings in Trujillo and in Lima which was extremely exciting and exhausting at the same time. We thank God for His traveling mercies and for opening so many doors to preach His word!

Trip to Bogota Colombia
After arriving back in Tarapoto, Amy and I left the kids at home and flew off to Bogota Colombia where we spent an amazing ten days with missionary friends, Brian and Sharon Killins. We had a great time meeting many wonderful brothers and sisters from many different assemblies. Our time in Colombia started with a leaders retreat where I was invited to motivate evangelism, teach evangelism and do evangelism. After the retreat our trip was pure action going from one place to another, preaching in meetings, visiting new friends and trying to encourage the saints. In the end Amy and I were the ones that were most encouraged as we met so many wonderful people.

Even though we have been busy with ministry this last month we have still been able to continue with our construction project for the Bible institute. While we were away our construction "maestro" kept at it and has accomplished a lot on the floors, ceilings and bathrooms. The few days that I have been around I've been able to do some wiring and fixture installations which has been fun and brought back old memories. We still have a whole lot to do and are determined to get as much done as possible in December. Thank you to everyone that has helped financially with this project. Just three short months left until we start classes! Please pray that we get everything ready by March 6th!

Missions quote for the day by Hudson Taylor: "Oh that God would make hell so real to us that we cannot rest, heaven so real that we must have men there, Christ so real that our supreme motive and aim shall be to make the Man of Sorrows the Man of Joy by the conversion to him of many"

Micah for the Tuttles

Last month we were blessed to have a team come from Fort McMurray Christian assembly in Alberta Canada.  They helped us with our construction project, encouraged us with their friendship, challenged us from Gods word and suffered with us on the trail.  It was a great joy to have them. There are too many things to recount so I will just let you in on the events of one day.

Here are my journal notes from the first day of our river trip:

Wednesday Sept 23rd
3:45 am - Up for Bible reading and prayer.
4:30 am - Load the van (13 people and our packs).
5:00 am - Drive to Chazuta.
6:30 am - On the boat and headed down river (spectacular landscape!).
9:00 am - Out of the boat and on the trail. Spirits are high. Backs are strong. Pace is quick.
12 noon - Now we’ve crossed several streams and passed through two pueblos, leaving NT's in the hands of many villagers. The 50 lb pack is starting to take its toll.  Really hot (100 F, 90% humidity). No food since dinner last night.
2:00 pm - Rob looks like he might faint. Sick, overheating, foot blisters, aching back. How are we going to carry him out?
3:00 pm - We have painfully stumbled into the village of Leche (not our destination yet).  Water! Shade! Breather!
4:00 pm - Forded the Chipurana river on a balsa raft....  The march continues...Rob is just barely stumbling along on the trail now.
5:00 pm - Every step is agony. Heavy packs, swollen blisters and overwhelming heat.  Hungry! ...
6:00 pm - FINALLY!  Our destination point for the day.  The village of San Jose.  We've walked 20 miles in difficult conditions today!  Rob miraculously made it.  Thank the Lord that he didn't die of heat exhaustion!
7:00 pm - After lots of back slapping (ouch), hugs and hand shakes from the brethren, Sister Leonor opens her humble home to 13 sunburned, sweaty, hungry and muddy gringos with aching backs and torn feet…. She killed her last three chickens for us!  Chicken, rice and noodles rarely tastes so good! There is nothing like the family of Christ!
8:00 pm - We limp over to the main square to our planned open air meeting.  Crowds gather.  The body doesn't want to cooperate but the heart longs to preach the gospel. The body aches but the spirit is aflame for Christ.....  Brother James preaches from Mark 10:45.  I translate.  New energy is infused.  Fire in the bones.  Much joy in proclaiming the glories of our great God and His plan for salvation!
10:00 pm -  Vocal cords are shredded.  Body is exhausted.  Head hurts from prolonged preaching without microphone.
11:00 pm - Bible reading and prayer.
12:00 midnight - Boards and a mosquito net for a bed. Rats scurrying about overhead. Strange smells. The sound of a million cricket symphony!   Joy indescribable.

Missions quote for the day by John Piper:  “But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.”

Micah for the Tuttle's

Youth events
Last month I had a great opportunity to preach at two different youth events here in the Tarapoto area.  My topics were Evangelism and Knowing God (it doesn't get any better than that!).  Each event had about 60 university students in attendance and these "camps" were back to back on the calendar so I ended up preaching 10 times in 4 days.  Each of those messages were two hours long (that's what they asked for) so I was quite exhausted by the end of the marathon.  Please pray that God would raise up a new generation of young people that seek hard after Him!

The Bible school construction project
We are really moving forward with our plans and construction for a bible institute here at our house.  The Lord is providing and we are building like crazy with the hope that we can get everything ready by March 6th when classes will start.  Fifteen students will live, study and travel with us for the duration of a seven month course (as you can imagine this requires quite bit of planning and preparation and infrastructure).  Jesse Mattix has been a huge help in every area, especially with the manual labor as we install lots of framing, sheetrock, tile and wire!  We really look forward to the impact that this missions focused, discipleship course could potentially have.  Please pray for this ministry!  

An encouraging visit
Last month we were blessed by a two week visit from Fred and Kathy McMaahn from First Colony Bible Chapel in Houston Texas.  Kathy was loads of fun for our little kids as she read to them and taught how to paint and to do various crafts.  Her presence and joyful spirit was an encouragement to the whole family. Fred helped with the construction, taught 5 sessions in our assembly about the tabernacle and also did a trip with Javen, Cullen, Bria Josiah and I to visit one of the outlying villages.  The believers in this particular village had been begging us for quite some time to come for a visit and to preach the gospel in the open air.  I was a real privilege to thunder out the word of God to all the village of "Palmeras".

Missions quote for the day by Oswald J. Smith:  "We talk of the second coming of Christ; half the world hasn't even heard of the first."

Micah for the Tuttle's

Here is a short video report recounting a morning of hut to hut evangelism and pastoral visits to some of the outlying homesteads around one of the villages on my circuit.  Please pray for the work in this area and that Christ would be exalted in our preaching!  There is so much to do and the time is short!

Robert Murray MCheyne said:  "I feel that there are two things that are impossible to desire with sufficient ardor: Personal holiness and the honor of Christ in the salvation of souls"

Micah for the Tuttle's

The construction continues

We are in full construction mode!  As many of you know, we hope to open a bible institute next spring and there are a lot of details to work out between then and now.  We've entertained lots of ideas, had lots of meetings and done lots of manual labor.  We are trying our best to get things ready for our starting date of March 6th.  We will see if we make it.  Jesse Mattix has been a huge help doing innumerable little things like working on our website (ibemselva.wordpress.com), getting propaganda out and thinking through the execution of every detail.  He is very good in the areas where I am lacking.  We are forming a good team!

In the midst of all the construction and planning there has been plenty of ministry to do too. We were able to make a whirlwind trip to the coast where I preached in the streets, in houses and in churches.  There are so many opportunities to preach the gospel and to encourage the saints that it is difficult to balance my time.  I taught through the book of Hebrews in the bible institute in Trujillo, preached about hell in the church in Lima, encouraged the brethren to be evangelists in Puerto Maldonado and proclaimed the gospel in the open air in all three of those places.

Amy had a busy three weeks in which she traveled to the States to speak at and participate in a few homeschool conferences.  While at those conferences she was able to present her book "discover reading" which she just finished writing prior to her trip and then had it printed off with the help of our good friend, pastor Bill Webster.  We are so proud of Amy!  She is an amazing wife, mom, teacher and now published author!  It is great to be back together as a family again and now everyone is settling back into a "normal" routine of life here in Tarapoto.... back to school, church, evangelism, river trips, construction...

Missions Quote for the day by Jonathan Edwards: "Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will."

Micah for the Tuttle's

Convention of river churches

Josiah and I slowly drifted off to sleep at about 1 a.m as we listened to the joyful singing of hymns coming from the hut behind ours... then about three hours later we were awakened to the fervent prayers coming from the hut on the other side. What a joy it was to be with the 350 brethren that had journeyed from their respective villages to our bi-annual convention of river churches. Twenty-two believers from our assembly here in Tarapoto made the trip to the village of “Yarina” where Jesse Mattix, Jairo Sangama and I taught on Biblical manhood, marriage and the family.

We had open-air meetings on three of the nights where myself and two other brothers shared the pulpit. It was a great opportunity to proclaim the gospel over the loud speakers to the whole village. I preached from 1 Kings 18 about Elijah on Mount Carmel and his words “How long will you waver between two opinions”. The Lord really seemed to use it and several people made professions of faith while others were restored in their walk with the Lord. The next day I had the privilege of baptizing ten new believers in the river before a big crowd of eager onlookers.

Not everything was easy-going and a bed of roses though. On the first night a drunk tried to fight the open air preacher, thankfully the brother's handled it quite well and diffused the situation rather quickly. On the second night we had to deal with a very serious problem in one of the churches that had caused a real division. Things got ugly before they got fixed and that meeting went until 2 a.m before repentance and forgiveness could be reached. In the end there were a lot of hugs and tears and healing. It was a difficult seven hours but it ended well. Please pray for new-found unity.

On the last day brother Jairo and I were called to deal with what many thought to be a demon possessed woman. When we got there the woman was writhing uncontrollably in her hammock. Her family reported that she had been like this for 6 years and had often escaped into the jungle to live like an animal. Apparently, she had been taken to a witch-doctor who put her in the center of a circle of human skulls and then after each skull took a deep puff from a coca cigarette she was made to do the same.... Yes, very weird... very demonic.... Jairo and I talked with the woman and her gathered family members about Christ's love and His power to save, then we prayed. As we did so she became drenched in sweat, her writhing stopped and she filled with peace. I'm really not sure what happened but it was a huge testimony to the family and Christ was exalted. Please pray for Sandra.

These conventions are such valuable times of ministry here in the jungle with our river churches! God blessed our event in so many ways it's hard to mention them all. One final blessing that I'll share about is that of God providing all the fish we could possibly eat. A huge run made its way up the Huallaga river and past Yarina just in time for the start of the convention. The daily catch depended only on how fast you could throw in the nets and pull them back up again! Josiah and Isaac (Jesse's son) went out fishing with some of the brothers and then returned after about two hours with over 200 big fish in the boat! Needless to say we had fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. God provided ample food for all of us!  We´ll call it "The feeding of the 350"  :)

Today's missions quote from David Brainerd: “Here I am send me; send me to the ends of the earth, send me to the rough, the savage lost of the wilderness, send me from all that is called comfort on earth, send me even to death itself, if it be but in your service and to promote your kingdom.”

Micah for the Tuttle's



In 1 Samuel 17 we read the famous story of David and Goliath. In verse 10 the Philistine cries out,“I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man that we may fight together.”Tens of thousands of Israelite soldiers heard that challenge, and yet not one of them responded. Verse 24 indicates that “the men of Israel fled and were dreadfully afraid.” Not a man among them was willing to stand up and fight in the Lord’s battles! We’re not talking about one day of failure here. According to verse 16, after 40 days of fear still not one soldier was willing to fight with Goliath. There were plenty of soldiers but no men! Where were they? They fled and hid; they were afraid, uninvolved, aloof and disengaged.

Sounds like the condition of things today. Here we are 3,000 years later and the problem persists. Men are absent.They seem to have left the battlefield. Giant-slayers are desperately needed, but where are they? Where are the men? Let Goliath’s words sink in. Hear his booming voice echo:“Give me a man!" When David comes onto the scene he can’t believe Israel’s inaction. In verse 29 he says to his brother, “Is there not a cause?” The answer should have been resounding:“Our cause is to make God’s name great among the nations!” But no such answer was given. Passivity and a lack of conviction prevailed. The Philistine had defied the armies of the Living God and had mocked the power of Yahweh—and no one did anything about it.

David was only a youth but he seemed to know more about biblical manhood than the soldiers around him. A teenager was about to give Israel a few lessons in manliness. Real men are strong in the Lord and they know that their character is shaped by the decisions they make on a daily basis. Real men are willing to go upstream in a downstream world. A man’s faith in God is what conquers giants, and for David, even if it meant standing alone with nothing but a sling and a few pebbles, he would do it. Why? Because he believed that if God is for us who can be against us? He believed that the steel of manly character is forged in the fires of a fervent faith in the Lord. David heard Goliath’s words “Give me a man!” and he responded because there is a cause and it’s the greatest cause in the universe.

Today we continue to have a giant problem, and giant killers are few and far between. Men are absent everywhere. They have disappeared. Who will hear Goliath’s call: “Give me a man”? And who will respond? It’s time to face the giant. There are certain bold risks that are worth taking. Risk is right when it has to do with our great cause for Christ’s great kingdom. David took that risk and ran to fight Goliath (verse 48). Where are the men that do that sort of thing today?

Many would say don’t take risks, be cautious, be careful.That kind of thinking has debilitated many Christians, and they end up living a wasted life. John Wesley said, “Give me 100 men who fear nothing but sin in their own life and want no one but God and God alone. I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of God upon earth.”You have to take the last part of that statement with a grain of salt, but the point is God uses men who flee only from sin and trust only in Him.

We are living in giant country. There are giants everywhere: the giants of false doctrine, postmodernism, evolutionary thinking, Islam, the homosexual agenda. And there’s the giant
of a rebellious world that has rejected its Creator. What are we to do? It has to start with the men and they have to start in the home. Men who love their wife, invest in their kids, get involved in their local assembly and preach the Word.We must be like David and run to the battle! Time is short; the stakes are high. Yet men everywhere are sleeping. They have disappeared, are uninvolved and missing in action.

Faithful and courageous men are greatly needed, men who are willing to be strong in the Lord and valiant in battle. I call to the men who are reading this to hear Goliath’s loud and terrible cry: “GIVE ME A MAN!” How will you respond?

Micah for the Tuttle's

Team & Plans

Two weeks ago, we welcomed Jesse and Janel Mattix arriving with their kids, Isaac and Fionna. In that short time, they've rented an apartment and are quickly settling in. Their coming to form part of a team is a huge answer to prayer! Their friendship, added to ten years of experience in missions and working with a Bible school in Bolivia, will surely be invaluable! We are overjoyed and continue to look to the Lord to build a firm base of co-workers (Peruvian & foreign) to serve the region around Tarapoto!

Over the past few months, we've been revisiting the idea of hosting a year-long Bible Institute here in Tarapoto (remember IBEM? an extension of that program). With the Mattixes, we are praying about the possibility of a trial run for next year! As the Lord provides, we'll be doing a lot of construction for this next phase of ministry.

As many of you know, we have been able to buy and renovate a rustic building here in Tarapoto. A few years ago we were able to get it liveable for our family but there was (and still is) a lot left to do. In the last few weeks we have taken a major step forward with the project! Last week, we finished putting a new roof on, replacing the leaky, old, batty one. Yes, there were hundreds of bats living in our roof! This week, we are going crazy on the second floor. Lots of workers, wire, cement, tile, paint, decisions, expenditures and lots of excitement. We'll see how far we get, but we are hoping to have the building ready for ministry by the end of the year.

After three weeks spent in a remote village, our short-termer Ian Posey is back with us. He arrived here sun-burnt, bearded and maybe a bit skinnier. :) He learned from the villagers, ate their food and practiced his Spanish. Ian will head back to the States in a few days, but we will not be left without a bearded short-termer because Patrick Mueller from Germany, a student at Moody Bible Institute, arrived last week. He will be with us until mid-August doing his cross-cultural internship. Our goal is to do what we can to teach and inspire these guys, all the while they encourage us by wanting to help and be involved in missions!

Our local assembly here in Tarapoto is going through encouraging times. On Sunday, about sixty people from our church piled onto a bus and headed to the Cumbaza river for a baptism celebration. I preached from Romans 6:3-4 before the baptism of two young men and our daughter Bria. It was a special moment as we performed this important drama that symbolizes what happens spiritually at the moment of conversion; the death and burial of our old self and then a resurrection to new life in Christ. Please pray for Fran, Kelvin and Bria. We are so encouraged to see their eagerness to grow in the Lord and to walk with Him.

Missions Quote for the day by John Stott: "His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations. His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And his presence with us leaves us no other choice." (See Matthew 28:19-20)

-Micah for the Tuttle's

It was 8 p.m and we could hear the brethren singing in the chapel. Ian and I must have been a pitiful sight to behold as we walked in with muddy boots, sweat-drenched shirts and 35 pound backpacks draped over our shoulders. We had traveled by car and then by boat and finally, for the last leg of the journey, we walked 15 miles. Our backs were aching, our calves were tight, we had blistered feet and sunburned arms but our hearts were full of joy as we met with the brethren in the village of Leche. Normally we would have cleaned up before going to church but on this occasion it seemed OK and no one complained :) After a lot of hugs and backslapping I went to the makeshift pulpit and preached a short 2 hour sermon on the life of Elijah.

On the following day we had to continue on in our journey and when we arrived in the next village we were greeted with many cries of "Arrepientanse" or "Repent" (the word that I repeated about 100 times when I open-air preached there last month). It was encouraging to me that they remembered my message but it was even more encouraging that there were five people that had been wrestling with the gospel that whole month and on this trip they gave their lives to Christ! Please pray for them!

During the course of the week I preached every night and then during the day we did many pastoral visits from hut to hut. We even went to some of the outlying homesteads that are scattered around the jungle within an hours walk of the village. We were able to give out new testaments, share the gospel, give out medicine and pray for people. What a joy! No greater work exists on the planet then to share Christ's love with lost sinners. It was a very profitable time with many opportunities to make Christ's name great.

To add to our adventure we made an exploratory trip into the tribal territory of the Cacataybo. This is an unreached people group that lives in the uncharted virgin jungles northeast of "my" farthest out village. We didn't find any sign of them but it was extremely interesting to hear about these natives from our guide (a brother who works as a national park ranger in this area). The Cacataybo speak an unknown language, are nomadic and naked. They paint their faces, scavenge for food and have only been spotted a few times from low-flying aircrafts. The most staggering thing to think about is that they are dead in their sins and know absolutely nothing of Christ and His saving power. Who will reach them?

On Saturday I started the long journey back to Tarapoto. I left Ian (our short-term visitor from Vancouver Washington) in one of the villages to fend for himself. He will be trying to practice his spanish with the people, learning the "jungle way" and helping the brethren in whatever way he can. He spent the last two and a half months preparing for this and now it was time to "throw him" into the village life (part of our discipleship process). It should be an exciting time for him as he will be there all by himself for the next month. The night before I left he almost stepped on a poisonous viper so please pray for him as he tries to survive :)

Missionary quote for the day by Hudson Taylor: "God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him."

Micah for the Tuttles

Video Report

Monkey meat, mud and missions

There were land-slides everywhere.... At times it felt like the mountains were crashing down behind us as we drove along, but by the grace of God we got through the treacherous terrain to Chazuta where we would continue our journey by river.  By 7:30 a.m we were in our boat ("El Chasqui del Rey") and speeding down the very muddy and very turbulent waters of the Huallaga River. Along the way we picked up 10 students from different villages who were about to spend the rest of the week studying with me as I taught a basic overview of systematic theology. All the rain was a blessing in disguise and it was what made it possible for us to get the Chasqui up the Yanayacu river (a small tributary to the Huallaga) for the first time ever. 

As darkness settled over the jungle we proceeded along by flashlight which attracted thousands of flies which in turn attracted the big bats. To add to the excitement there were several occasions that I had to jump into the dark, murky, sting ray infested waters to push the boat off the many sand bars that tried to hold us back. After almost 14 hours in the boat we ended up arriving at our destination point around 9 p.m. A multitude of excited villagers met us as we pulled onto Santa Rosillo's beach. After lots of back slapping and hand shaking and hugs we headed to a brothers house for an amazing dinner of smoked deer meat, rice, beans and chicha.  It doesn't get much better than that! After a good night's sleep in our mosquito nets we were ready for a week of intense ministry.

My team was made up of 16 believers who all effectively played different roles on this trip. We had a nurse who was constantly ministering to the sick with prayer and medicine.  Another one of the sisters gave a sunday-school teacher training course.  Three of the believers dedicated themselves to a VBS event with children (about 70 kids came out each day).  Several brothers split up into evangelism pairs and went hut-to-hut sharing the gospel with each family in the village.  One brother faithfully filmed and photographed the different events.  I preached a devotional every morning, taught the bible institute students for 6 hours each day and preached open air every night.  One afternoon we even did some back-breaking work, carrying heavy sacks of sand for about 300 meters from the beach over to the main square to fill in some mud holes for which the villagers were very grateful.

The work was arduous but we had a spectacular menu to keep us going!  Each day was different but here's the short list of our quality cuisine: we ate turtle, monkey, jungle pheasant, jungle rat, wild boar, peanut soup, peanut mazato, armadillo, lots of rice and hot chocolate made right from the coa-coa tree.  Wow!  Makes me hungry just writing about it!  Yes, just about everyone on the team got sick at one point or another but nothing was real serious and all recovered quite quickly.

On Saturday morning as we prepared to leave we gathered with the believers on the beach for one last word of exhortation and prayer.  It had been a great week of ministry and everyone had been greatly challenged and encouraged!   Our trip back to town ended up being quite a sobering experience.  After two days of travel (and many obstacles faced) we finally made it back to Chazuta where we docked the boat and loaded the van.  Just as we were getting ready to leave a screaming woman covered in mud and blood arrived from the Tarapoto highway.   She had just lost her four year-old grandson in a huge landslide that had swept him out of her arms and into the river.  Others that narrowly escaped were able to pull the woman out of the mud and save her life.  If we had been a half an hour ahead of schedule we would have been in that landslide too. It was a sober reminder that life is fragile.... Don't waste it!  You never know when you might be called home.

Missions quote of the day by Elizabeth Elliot:  God's command 'Go ye, and preach the gospel to every creature' was the categorical imperative.  The question of personal safety was wholly irrelevant."

Micah for the Tuttle's


While it was still dark this morning, at 4:45am, the team, sardined into the van with LOTS of packs, headed for the river.

They left almost a day later than planned because one of the team members' bus had been delayed because of bad road conditions. The roads were pretty bad, rather dangerous even. There had been some significant landslides recently. But most of the delay was due to the fact the workers (big machine drivers, flaggers, etc) had the holiday weekend off.

In order to make all the boat connections, they were thinking they may have to leave her behind. Thankfully, the cell phone signal finally got through. Just in time, too, as the van was burdened with stuff and the team was only bathroom breaks away from loading up. But, she was still nine hours away!

photo by Martin Manchego

We decided to wait.

At 7am this morning, Micah called. I could hear a roaring motor in the background. Forgetting that I could hear him just fine, he shouted, 'We're in the boat! We made it. There were some landslides on the way, but it wasn't too bad. We're just about to pass out of cell phone range, so I wanted to let you know, they're saying that the rains from yesterday might have been just enough to raise the Chipporana enough that we won't have to do the LONG walk."

I smiled and said, "Of course. Because God IS good like that."

It could be that the delay was just what God wanted to bless them with. It hadn't rained for more than a week and the extra fourteen hours may have been enough to fill that little river. Let's pray that they remain sensitive to the Lord's leading and that everything continues to go well with them.

You may have heard me mention mazato. I had to drink some the other day. Mazato is the famous fermented yucca spit juice that many of the jungle peoples of Peru drink. The villagers may be quite offended if you refuse their prized beverage. So I recommend taking at least a small swig.

Yucca, manioc in English, is a root grown and eaten all over Peru. Its texture is somewhat like a big potato. Most people boil it but we prefer it fried. In the jungle villages, the preferred yucca preparation is chewing it up and spitting it into a batán (a wooden canoe-shaped trough). There it sits for a few days and ferments into a powerful mash of manioc madness. When it's good and frothy, just add a little water and then guzzle it down.

Many of the villagers drink it as if it was Red Bull or some kind of energy drink. You don't have to get drunk on this stuff, but sadly, many do. Drunkenness has destroyed many, many lives in the villages along the Huallaga river. I often quote Proverbs 23:29-30, "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has redness of eyes? ...He who drinks [mazato in excess]". (MTT-Micah Tuttle Translation).

Here is a video of a woman preparing the mazato mash. Notice how she chews it and spits quite nicely. Only minimal saliva. It's not so bad. :)

Missions quote of the day by Robert C. Shannon:
"Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the action is — where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge."

Micah for the Tuttles

We are enjoying a five month visit from short-term missionary, Ian Posey from Vancouver Washington. When he finishes his time with us he is planning on studying at Moody Bible institute and preparing for a future in missions. He is trying to learn spanish and get a taste of the mission field here in Peru. Last week Ian put in a lot of good language practice as we went together to a bible capacitation course in the nearby jungle town of Yurimaguas. Several of the students took it upon themselves to be his Spanish teachers. It was fun for everyone involved.

The week in Yurimaguas was an exciting yet exhausting one for me. Each day involved preaching, teaching, evangelizing, counseling and generally investing in the students from about 6am to 11 pm. By the end of the week my throat was sore and my head ached but it was a good pain :) I preached almost every night in different churches and it was great to see a genuine excitement and interest in God's word.

Walter, one of the brothers that studied at the capacitation course is from an indigenous group called the "Shauwi". All week long Walter was begging me to go with him and visit one of the Shauwi villages where he has planted an assembly so when our week of studies was over Walter, Ian, Eber and I set out for Shauwi-land with the desire of making Christ's name great among the natives. Missions work has already been done with this tribe in other areas and they even have the bible in their own language so a major goal of ours was to just encourage Walter in the work that the Lord is doing through him.

Most of the natives could understand Spanish but prefered Shauwi so in the meetings I preached in Spanish and then Walter got up and basically preached my sermon all over again in Shauwi. It worked pretty good... kinda like a double-whamy :) It was very interesting and encouraging to hear Walter (normally very shy and quiet) preaching with great passion in his mother tongue! We were only able to be there for a day and a night but we tried to make the most of our time. Both times that I preached there were people that made professions of faith in Christ. Walter will be following up with these new believers. Please pray for them.

Missions quote of the day by Leonard Ravenhill: "Are the things you're living for worth Christ's dying for?"

Micah for the Tuttle's

The Lord Is Working

God provides! The other day I made the last payment on our property here in Tarapoto! We now own 5 city lots (17,000 sq ft of land and a 5,400 square ft partially finished building. The good hand of our great God has been with us as we have trusted in Him to provide the finances. No fund-raisers. No begging. God did it without us even advertising the project. Praises to Him!

A few years ago we "stumbled upon" this great deal and signed a contract promising to pay $50,000 in 5 years with no interest charged..... Less than three years have gone by and God has enabled us to pay the full amount! Not only have we been able to pay off the said price we have also been able to invest a considerable amount of money into the construction itself. Hudson Taylor once said: "God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply." It's true! Maybe it's presumptuous to assume that we are doing God's work in God's way.... But that's our goal and we can testify that we have not lacked God's supply!

We have been praying about using this property to start a one year Bible institute/discipleship program and it seems that God is starting to put the pieces into place. Jesse and Janel Mattix (veteran missionaries to Bolivia) just spent two weeks here with us thinking about the possibilities and are praying seriously about coming to help. There is still a lot of money needed, a lot of construction to do and a team to form before we can get the institute off the ground but it is exciting to see that things are beginning to take shape!

About ten years ago we helped to start a missionary bible training institute (IBEM) on the coast of Peru. Since then we have been helping with a network of brethren here in the country that have done a great job establishing this mobile training center. Until now IBEM has been functioning in Trujillo, Lima and Cajamarca with month long modules, night classes, and intensive weekends. Our hope is that those activities would continue and that we could become a jungle branch of IBEM with a longer term focus. There is a great foundation of people and experience in place and now with our property and a local team coming together (maybe) things are beginning to get exciting.

Missions quote for the day by Samuel Zwemer: "The history of missions is the history of answered prayer."

Micah for the Tuttle's

We have just finished up with a two and half week visit to the coast of Peru (Trujillo) where I have been preaching and teaching at a training course for leaders. I taught through Nehemiah, Genesis, Jonah, the life of Samson, the life of Elijah and the theme "Why does God allow pain and suffering in the world?" Each day involved six hours of teaching and then about four more hours of class preparation and paper correcting. It was exhausting but at the same time extremely exciting. We pray that the students would put what they have learned into practice and that more Bible preachers would be raised up from among them.

Our whole family has really enjoyed our time here visiting with old friends and making new ones. The kids have had to balance their studies with all their extra activities and Amy has been a blessing to everyone as she makes our family work in spite of the pandemonium. Now we are preparing to take the next couple of days to make the long drive back up over the Andes mountains and through the jungle to our town of Tarapoto. Please pray for us as we travel.

Missions quote of the day by Henry Martin (missionary to India and Persia 1781-1812) "The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him the more intensely missionary we become."

Micah for the Tuttle's

After a good time of preaching the word in Lima we made it back to our jungle town of Tarapoto. It has been a bit difficult adjusting to the heat and to some of the cultural things but we are settling in now. We had a great Christmas and New years with the church here. There has been a lot of excitement as we catch up with everyone. Please pray for us as pandemonium is just about to break loose with our upcoming schedule. I'll have to write about how it all goes later on this month.

The following is a article that I wrote (with Amy's help) for CMML's missions magazine. I suggest you subscribe, it's a great magazine! This article should come out in the March issue. So you get a sneak preview :) It should give you a good idea of the context in which we are doing missions here in the jungle. Hope it's not too long for you. Enjoy.

Deep in the jungle of Peru there are countless villages that have never heard the gospel. Hundreds upon hundreds of “pueblos” along the shores of remote jungle rivers, are without churches, without a gospel witness, and without Bibles. Legends, animism and witchcraft have a tight hold on many who live in this area. These people are not half naked natives who speak an unknown dialect, but normal Spanish speaking civilized Peruvians. Very few missionaries, if any are focused on reaching them with the gospel. Larger missions organizations have done a tremendous job with the initial contact of and bible translation for the majority of tribal groups in South America, but by far the largest percentage of jungle people are not tribal, they are normal Peruvian mestizos and no one is going to them with the gospel.

Six years ago, my wife and I became aware of this pressing need. With the encouragement of the Bert and Colleen Elliot, who formerly worked in the area, we moved our family to the northeastern jungles of Peru. We felt a burning desire to make Christ's name great in this neglected part of the country. We have seen both success and setbacks, encountering many unique obstacles along the way. We recognize our need of the Lord's strength in the midst of this great spiritual battle. One of the barriers to the gospel has been that of superstition. It is often very difficult for the jungle people to look past their ancestral beliefs to see the light of Christ's love that offers freedom from the dark side of the jungle. In this article, I will outline several long held superstitious beliefs which are the cause of crippling fear and confusion, alongside the Biblical truth I use to combat them.

You may be of the opinion that mermaids are mythological creatures, but in many parts of the jungle their existence is undisputed. They are considered real and dangerous. Cities, even huge empires of mermaids, are thought to exist in the deepest parts of the rivers. I have a good friend who is convinced that, as a child, he saw a mermaid caught by a fisherman who put her on display in the main square of his village. He is well respected and known to be an honest man. Was he imagining things? Could it have been one of those childhood dreams that one comes to think of as real?

Another man claimed to have seen a mermaid sitting on the beach combing her hair. He couldn't resist the temptation of a closer look. He claims she grabbed him and took him to the underwater mermaid kingdom and imprisoned him for 100 years. When he finally escaped, he returned to his own village where he was told a year had past since they had seen him last. There are many others villagers with similar seemingly outlandish experiences.

Contrary to the popular opinion around here, I don't believe that these stories are true. But one thing is sure; they serve as illustrations of the warnings found in Proverbs 7:21-26: “With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, With her flattering lips she seduced him. Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter... Till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it would cost his life... Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths... all who were slain by her were strong men.”

Bujeos colorados
Pink fresh water river dolphins called “bujeos colorados” are common in the Amazon river basin (Inia geoffrensis). The dark side of the jungle is reflected in the belief that these creatures are demon possessed, at times transforming into white people that ravage the villages.

In one village I visit, the people told me that at every worldly party several white men would show up out of nowhere to steal, rape and murder. The villagers decided to plant a trap. At the next party, they would catch them to figure out who they were. Reportedly, at midnight , everything well underway, the men appeared. As planned, the villagers tried to grab the men. Those caught, turned into “bujeos colorados” in their arms and those that escaped, dove into the river and swiftly swam away. I wanted to laugh at the incredibility of it all. The villagers that related this story to me simply replied, “You wouldn't laugh if you understood our jungle.” I responded with Jesus' words: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

El Chuyachaqui
Another deep-rooted belief has to do with an apparition called by many, “El Chuyachaqui” (choo-yah-chalk-ee), is said to be an embodied demon that appears when one is walking alone on the jungle trail. Supposed eyewitnesses claim that he always appears in the form of a friend, loved one or family member to deceive whomever he might. He calls to follow him and, if obeyed, will lead one to imminent death. The only way to know with certainty, that he is not who he appears to be, is to look at his feet. If you see that one foot is a wild boar hoof, you'll know it is “Chuyachaqui”... and you must run for your life! This superstition is a tremendous illustration of the truth of 2 Cor 11:14 which says:  “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”

El Tunchi
Almost everyone in the jungle believes in the existence of something called "El Tunchi”. Many have stories of their run-ins with him and he is greatly feared by all. The “Tunchi” is said to be the wandering spirit of a person who has died, roaming about the countryside haunting whoever he can. It makes a distinct whistling sound, which if one were to try to imitate it, will draw it closer and closer to terrorize and to kill. The Devil himself, whom they call “El Maligno”, is believed to fly close behind the “Tunchi” in order to catch and carry him to hell. According to the belief, under no circumstances should you come into contact with the “Maligno” being much worse than the “Tunchi”.

I am constantly reminding the brothers that we who know the True and Living God have nothing to fear because we are to “ be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God” (Eph 6:10-13)

Spiritual Battle
We know that Satan's schemes look different in different cultures. In western culture perhaps he is more effective by convincing people of the non-existence of God, the devil, even the whole spiritual realm. Here in the jungles of Peru his schemes are likely more compelling by working openly and using a fear of the spirit world to shackle the tormented. Some of what they believe is legend or fairy-tale. Some are perceptions of personal experience. But Satan himself will use it all to keep people in bondage to sin and separated from God. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can free people from the heavy chains inflicted by the dark side of the jungle.

There are obstacles on every mission field, some very unique. It seems to me as though the Devil must have worked tediously weaving these animistic beliefs into the very fabric of Peruvian jungle culture in preparation for an immediate rejection of the gospel. I have spoken with individuals on several occasions after preaching open air. I hear something like the following: “I want what your talking about. You say that the chains can fall off in Christ. He died for me and rose again! You speak of grace, forgiveness, mercy, love! Eternal life! I want that! But, if I trust Christ, I know that will upset the 'chuyachaqui', 'el tunchi', the mermaids and the 'bujeos colorados'. They'll be after me... I'm so afraid, I cannot...” As they sadly walk away, I imagine the sound of chains clanking as if draped over their backs, dragging on the ground behind them.... If only I could convince them...

Some professed Christians would have us looking for fallen angels under every rock and behind every tree. I don't. Neither do I think that the demon world should be overemphasized. The gospel and a Christ centered message ought to be the focus of our preaching.

We also recognize that reality is unfolding on two levels. In the physical realm, we as humans have the leading roles (at least apparently) while the reality of spiritual things occurs just as assuredly, yet unseen. The two realities are interwoven. What happens in the spirit world affects what happens in the physical world and vice versa (2 Cron 18:18-22).
Unbelieving people everywhere have become victims of “this present darkness” (Eph 6:12). In Hosea we read that these will be “destroyed for lack of knowledge”, unbelievers whose minds are darkened by the “god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4). But as Christians, we are called to see beyond the demons' schemes of sin and rebellion. They may be permitted for a season to wreak havoc, but we are reminded to stand with God and bear witness to His truth against the darkness. We are confident in the Scriptures that teach, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1John 4:4).

We look for the day when Christ will defeat all his enemies and “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14). Until then, we are to be on the alert! (1Peter 5:8-9) Let us not be ignorant of any of Satan's devices. We must learn to "resist him, firm in our faith." And may we never forget, "They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." Until either death or the second coming of Christ, it is our responsibility to go into all the world, to make disciples by presenting a biblical gospel that will transform captives of the Devil into conquerers with Christ!

Micah for the Tuttle's