Back to main magazine page now!!
CONTINUING THE MISSION
OF THE GREAT PHYSICIAN
By Sean Lunday
Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I
should build upon another man’s foundation (Romans 15:20).
The place of the greatest need is often the most
difficult to gain access. There are diverse ethnic
groups all around the world who live outside, or
perhaps we should say in oblivion to, the social
advancements of the modern populace. They
are isolated people who have little or no contact
with what we consider normal civilization—
no access to phone, tv, radio, computer, or
newspaper. Their idea of sustainability is vastly
different from the majority of the world’s
population. The daily procurement of food
and personal safety lies atop of their priority
list. They have no idea what takes place in
the world around them. Therefore, they have
absolutely no Gospel witness and no means of
obtaining it unless someone takes it to them.
The Vale do Javari is a remote region of jungle
in the westernmost Amazon, known as the
Tres-Fronteiras, bordering Brazil, Colombia,
and Peru. A quick search on Google will reveal
that this area holds the largest concentration
of uncontacted indigenous people anywhere
on earth. There are tribes in some 19 known
villages, identified by air, believed to be living
deep inside its reservation areas.
For several years BIMI missionaries have been
traveling to this remote region of the Amazon
with teams of volunteer evangelists and
medical personnel. As we travel the tributaries
surrounding the perimeter of the reserve area,
our goal is to evangelize the fishing villages
along the rivers of Brazil, Peru, and Colombia.
The rare contacts with these tribes have been
with the inhabitants of these surrounding
fishing villages. The premise behind the
ministry is found in the Gospel of John chapter
6:2, And a great multitude followed him, because
they saw his miracles which he did on them that
were diseased. The provision of medical care is
a key that opens the door in areas otherwise
left closed to the Gospel message and brings
the people to us, providing an opportunity to
present the Gospel. A church plant is made
possible with the combined efforts of our
national workers who continue discipleship
with those who are reached through the clinics.
We have seen God use the clinics as a catalyst
to establish seven churches in villages where
previously there was no church of any kind.
The medical portion of our ministry
is conducted by licensed health care
practitioners (dentists, doctors, nurses,
optometrists, EMT personnel, etc.). Sharing
the Gospel is conducted in a variety of ways by
those who can speak the language effectively.