And You Thought You Knew Bongos! (part 2 of 2)

    Miss part 1? Read here.

    God so often accomplishes His will on earth by means of people connections, and often very unlikely or unexpected ones. In Part 1 of this account we told how Sophie Mueller, a young New York City woman, came to affect the map of the world by bringing the Gospel to a vast, remote region of South America from the 1940s to the 1990s. But the story doesn’t stop there.

    The work that Sophie Muller did in Guainía department, Colombia eventually became known to church workers across Colombia. Among these was an Anglican priest who had fled Colombia in the face of death threats and settled as a refugee in Norway. Over the years that priest patiently kept suggesting that FMI look into ways to assist the churches of Guainía, to preserve the legacy of Sophie Mueller.    

    In late 2015, Pastor David and FMI board member Gary Paukert finally had the opportunity to visit Colombia and the indigenous church network in Guainía. They found a healthy church organization still in existence, but with many needs. The simple vision God had given them was to have seven of their own ‘bongos’ (40-foot-long, narrow wooden boats with 22hp outboard motors) which would enable their pastors to regularly visit the hundreds of isolated village churches scattered throughout the network of rivers. Other needs include having a central church office building where pastors could meet for planning, teaching, and receiving sound teaching via the internet. Finally, while the New Testament has been translated into one tribal language, there is a great need to get the entire Bible translated and into the hands of the many tribes of Guainía in their own language.

    David and Gary returned from Colombia convinced that God has led FMI to come alongside the churches of Guainía and both help them to grow and strengthen them. Through the generous donations of FMI supporters, we were able to purchase two bongo/motor combinations which are now being used by pastors to minister to their churches up and down the river and to ferry adults and youth to church services and conferences. In additional, pastors can get into town for supplies and internet contact with FMI and other Christian organizations.

    It’s a great start! But we’d like to do more. There are seven tribes in the area, and so five are still lacking a bongo/motor combination for their churches and pastors. We’d like to ‘inoculate’ the pastors with sound teaching so that they are able to resist false teachers whose voices even penetrate to the Columbian jungle. And we’d like to help the translation work already begun, so that every tribe will be able to read and understand God’s Word in their own language.

    In short, we’d like to do in Guainía what FMI strives to do around the globe – come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ, and strengthen the church.

    Would you like to know more about the wonderful story of Sophie Muller’s work with unreached peoples in South America? New Tribes Mission (now Ethnos360) has graciously allowed us to give you free electronic access to Sophie’s biography. Click here to download and read the book in .pdf format.