The past few months have been incredibly busy ones for us and our ministry, with our time divided among many dear people and ministry partners – in Mexico, the United States, and South America. In May, Megan traveled to North Carolina where she underwent several weeks of intensive field medical and health evangelism training. The practical knowledge she acquired during that time is vital to our ministry, not only in terms of first-aid for unforeseen medical situations we may encounter in the field, but to equip others: training field missionaries ministering to remote people groups who lack not only access to the gospel, but essential medical care. In many parts of the world, the field missionary is still the only ‘doctor’ around regardless of their level of medical training. I remained in Mexico during that time to continue work on several research projects, finally joining Megan in June in Florida. Over the next several weeks we spent precious time with family and friends in Florida. We also continued our work raising financial support for our ministry and promoting Etnopedia while recruiting and training new members to our team. My parents visited briefly from Germany during this time, and together we attended the annual Panama Canal Reunion (my family is all from the former Panama Canal Zone) in Orlando. Not long afterwards, I was traveling to the Amazon region of South America to attend a gathering of over 2,500 indigenous Christian leaders from over 80 tribes. The sheer turnout of this event was of historic proportion; tribal people arrived by the bus load from every corner of the Amazon basin (a region the size of the continental United States). And over the next few days, in spite of numerous layers of ongoing translations (from indigenous languages into Spanish, Portuguese, English, etc.), God spoke clearly through the powerful testimonies of these tribal Christians, convicting me further of the tremendous need that still exists in that vast region while encouraging me in the work of serving their missionary movement as a researcher. There was a recurring theme among the testimonies: “before we knew Jesus, we were constantly at war with neighboring tribes, raiding and murdering in an endless cycle of revenge killings, living in constant fear of the demon spirits and subjected to the whims of the powerful village witch doctor who mediated with those spirits to bring curses or healing…now because of Jesus we live in peace…with God, with ourselves, and with our neighbors”. This is all happening in our world, TODAY. As I conversed with these tribal leaders, most of whom wear traditional feathered headdress and face paint, they profoundly expressed a strong desire to work even more strategically as a network of tribal Christians bound beyond their many cultural differences by the gospel of Jesus Christ. As I shared Etnopedia with them, they were quick to see its potential as a research tool to help fulfill the Great Commission in the Amazon jungle. Towards the end of the conference, I received a special blessing; in front of the entire assembly I was formally announced as the point person to coordinate research among these indigenous networks! This is a huge responsibility, and I am greatly humbled to have a small part in what God is doing to bring salvation to the many lost tribes of the Amazon jungle. I soon after reunited with Megan in Florida, and we spent the next few weeks with her family while continuing our work stateside. God opened up numerous opportunities for us during this time to share Etnopedia with many people individually, in small group settings, and even from the pulpit! Our summer in the States is rapidly coming to a close as we prepare to return to Mexico in just a few days. We have much more planned for the weeks and months ahead from our home in Oaxaca, so stay tuned. We are so blessed to continue sharing our story with you! Blessings in Christ, Drake
A wonderfully eventful summer!
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