The first two pictures show what we do normally–travel in boat any teach adults and children about salvation.
It’s the third one that has a story.
Eliana, Mitch and one of our translators, Eline, were out inviting people to our evangelistic movie night in the community of Trambioca. They spotted a papaya tree with ripe papayas and went to ask the owner if they could pick it. The owner, Solangie, was very hesitant to open the door, and simply nodded in approval. While trying to lean on the tree to pick the fruit, the base of the tree snapped, and the team propped it up with a stick. When they walked by later, the tree had come down with a crash, so the team went and apologized to the “Papaya Tree House” owner (Solangie), who asked them to come back the next day to hear about why we were here. At the movie that night, the children of that house came, but Solangie refused to come. While she was getting ready for bed, she felt like she needed to go and check on the kids at the movie. She came at the end of the movie and was moved by both the speaker and the translator, feeling like these “strangers” we’re much more like family.
The next day, the team stopped by the house that was very bare and met Solangie, her husband and their 5 children that were severely malnourished. As they shared with her family, they learned that this family was very poor and at one point, the husband was catching nothing (a fisherman by trade), she had had a stroke and they had nothing to eat, so she had tried to poison the whole family with a local root. However, a neighbor intervened, and she had felt a huge burden of shame and guilt for the past years. The team spoke encouragement, life, and specific words of knowledge over the family. The whole family ended up giving their lives to the Lord and were freed from the burdens of sin, guilt and shame.
They found out later that although many many missionaries had come by (including Jehovah’s Witnesses), our team that she had welcomed in. Her reason? Even from a distance, they seemed like the first ones that might actually have an answer and a hope for the lives of their family.