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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


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