Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
On December 29, I celebrated Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with indigenous Shuar and Huaoroni people and 3 other missionaries in the community of Peas, deep in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Far removed from the modern-day commercialization of Christmas, it was a new and beautiful experience for me.
In 2009, Mark Shafer was visiting the community of Pucuno near Huaticocha. During this visit the teacher in the local school, Martin Huajare, dedicated his life to Christ. Martin was not from Pucunu, which is made up of ethnic Kichwa, but from a Shuar community 4 hours away. Martin invited our team to visit his community, Peas.
In June of 2011, many of the people in the community of Peas gave their lives to Christ. Now, a year and a half later, they wanted to host a Christmas celebration to reach out to indigenous Shuar and Huaoroni in neighboring communities and share the hope of new life in Christ.
We were able to share the gospel with those who came to the celebration. Some came from as far as 6 hours upriver. Although no one accepted Christ into their lives, the visitors listened very closely, and we were invited to visit their communities to share more about the hope that is found in Jesus.
We were also able to share with the children of the communities. We spent time singing praise songs with them and sharing the true reason why we celebrate Christmas–the birth of Christ and his coming to the world as our Savior.
Afterward, we filled a pinata with small animal toys and candy. The kids had a blast swinging at the pinata, but the adults enjoyed watching the kids even more than the children enjoyed participating. The place was filled with laughter. It was the first time any of them had ever seen a pinata.
We gave each of the children new clothes, the boys received a new t-shirt, the girls new dresses hand-made by members of the Port Charlotte Alliance Church, who had sent a short term team to help in Huaticocha in November.
Please continue to pray for the community of Peas and surrounding communities. Also, pray for the Huaticocha Mission School. Work is progressing and we are close to finishing the second dorm building and begining the main classroom building. Pray that God will call students to study at the mission school. The school will be starting in a year-January of 2014.