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November 12, 2020
A pit viper bite, rather than a pandemic, was what concerned the parents of a snake-stricken girl in central Colombia. The teenage daughter of local missionaries was bitten by the poisonous snake in a jungle village so remote that access to medical care would take days. “Her parents prayed for her, and they had full confidence that God was almighty to stop and expel that poison from their daughter, and that she would not die,” the leader of the native ministry said.
October 8, 2020
Abandoned by his parents, a boy in rural Paraguay had not yet hit his teenage years when he began seeing how theft made him feel self-sufficient and tough. With his mother living elsewhere and his father focused only on drinking, he had taken shelter with his grandparents. The approval he won from his hooligan friends helped make up for the parental affection he lacked.
September 17, 2020
The village chief and other key community leaders near a town on Brazil’s Amazon River told a native missionary to leave. By the time other native missionaries visited the village months later, the leader of a ministry based in Brazil said, nearly every inhabitant was addicted to alcohol. “The community was taken over by the power of darkness; the spirit of suicide took over the young and old,” he said.
July 30, 2020
The director of a ministry based in Chile had already seen thousands of people in need, including pastors without income in churches his ministry had planted, when he learned that five people in one church were infected with the novel coronavirus. Then he received more bad news. “I was just told that a young church couple has COVID-19, and the wife in this family is six months pregnant,” he said.
June 25, 2020
Not long after a young woman in central Mexico left her abusive husband and their two children, she got involved with another man who beat her – and introduced her to drugs. Lorena tried to leave him, but she was addicted to the drugs only he could provide. Things got worse when she discovered she was pregnant. “She was like in a dark tunnel with no end,” a ministry worker said. “Time passed, and Lorena went deeper and deeper into drugs.”
April 16, 2020
A Sunday morning church service seemed as good a place as any for an armed stranger to begin looking for the man he had been hired to kill. Inside the church building, he heard the preacher reading from the Bible about someone asking Jesus what the greatest commandment was. It was the following, second greatest commandment, however, that caught the gunman’s attention: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
January 30, 2020
The children want to learn. The teachers want to teach. But neither the school in the Peruvian jungle village nor the schoolkids have enough money for school supplies like notebooks. “Children go to school without notebooks, and teachers cannot do their job,” the leader of a native ministry said. A young boy in one village told his mother that his teacher could not give him assignments because he had no notebook. His mother replied, “Let’s pray to God to provide.”
January 16, 2020
For an ethnic Mixtec woman like Donaji, nightmares were not just scary but predicted disaster in this world and the next. The 40-year-old fruit-vendor in a remote village of western Mexico believed she was surrounded by gods of rain, trees, mountains, stones and forces in nature telling her she was doomed. No amount of animal sacrifices could ward off the destruction of her soul that the dangers and deaths in her dreams portended.