Seizing Opportunities by Faith

Uncle David’s 3rd Quarter Frontlines Report

 

Uncle David’s Message

A Float Plane for the Amazon!

Photo for Illustration Only. Not the Actual Airplane.

It was 1984 when I received a phone call from the pastor, pilot in Manaus, Brazil. He said, “David, I will be leaving soon and we are looking for a replacement for me here in Brazil. You are a pilot, mechanic and nurse. You speak fluent Spanish and will find Portuguese easy to learn. Would you be willing to accept a call from the General Conference as a mission pilot here in Manaus?”

I really had never thought about working in a Portuguese country before. My eyesight was set on a Spanish country. But if that is where God wanted us, Becky and I were willing to accept the call. So we waited for that call from the world headquarters.

Then the call came from GC Headquarters. “This is Pastor Leo Ranzolin from the General Conference,” said the voice. “We are sending you three calls, one from Brazil, one from Peru, and one from Mexico.” I was confused. I asked why three calls at the same time, and he said all three countries apparently had sent in invitations for me at the same time. “You pray about it and let us know your decision,” he said and hung up. Now I was in a quandary. Peru I was familiar with. About Brazil, I knew a little. In the case of Mexico, I knew nothing, so I called the Union President there and learned that they needed a hospital administrator and pilot/mechanic that had to be fully bilingual. After several days of prayer, God confirmed to us that he wanted us in Mexico. There I was soon to be hijacked and experience the most painful, but most spiritually strengthening experience of my life. The book Mission Pilot would be written and translated into 19 languages and encourage young people all over the world. You can download your own copy online at www.missionarybooks.net.

I never forgot about Brazil – Years later the airplane was sold, the aviation program was closed and the Luzeiro church boat program terminated. While working for the Venezuelan Union as departmental Associate Director for ADRA, Communication and head of Aviation for 7 years, I made numerous trips down to Manaus to meet with the conference administration. The vision was reignited once again and today there are several Luzeiro boats on the Amazon once again. However, the aviation program was never officially reopened! Though we have been flying in Brazil for many years now, we have been praying for an air base and a float plane.

Tucked into an inlet of the Rio Negro, just South of Manaus, is a beautiful air base called Base dos Anjos (Angels’ Air Base). Built by a Swiss family as a getaway for tourists, this beautiful property currently functions as a base for our small medical launch and soon to arrive first Brazilian medical float plane which will provide free medical transport to hundreds of riverside villages along the Amazon river within 200 miles/322 kilometers of Manaus. Through many hours on our knees, we saw not only the financial resources come in to cover the costs of the property purchase and monthly operations, but many wonderful volunteers and families came also which are worth more than money. Now that things are picking up speed the results of many months of work are producing results, here is the story of what happened at Base dos Anjos this past few weeks.

What is our priority they asked each other as they gathered for group worship every morning? Together they agreed that it was reaching souls for Christ, so the three families decided to dedicate at least 4 days each week to visiting their neighbors in houses and nearby villages along the river. It wasn’t long until people began exclaiming!

“At first we thought that you came because you wanted us to join your church and get our money. Now we see that teaching us the truth and preparing us for Jesus’ coming is what you want to do.” Word spread rapidly among the villagers until 40 families were taking studies. Many of these have already asked to be baptized and join the church. So a High Sabbath was prepared where all the families could come together to the airbase to celebrate God’s Sabbath together. The local Adventist Military Association composed of church members in the armed forces, came for a visit the week before while I was there and directed the Sabbath School, Divine Service and afternoon AY program. All the food and transportation was provided by our staff.

“The weekend exceeded our expectations. Before it was over, they were asking when would be the next time they could come,” commented Geralda, a Brazilian Registered Nurse who had retired in the US and is now a full time staff member at Base dos Anjos. “On Sunday, we had a team of physicians, dentists, nurses and other health professionals and technicians which provided services to hundreds in the local village next door. We are praising God for all the miracles and help provided. But the people are poor and are needing Bibles, school supplies, clothing and food. We are praying for resources from heaven to provide for these needs.”

She finished by stating that the Adventist Military Association has made the decision to come back and continue working together. But we are praying for the resources to provide the food and transportation for the people that want to keep the seventh day every week along with church members. I can see that the great interest being developed in the communities will require a greater volunteer force to keep up with the need.”

The air base (Base dos Anjos) became a reality a couple of years ago. But what about float plane? Praise the Lord that is now becoming a reality. I flew up to Andrews University to pick up our plane to prepare it for the flight down to Brazil.

After evaluating many models of planes, and discussing it with civil aviation authorities in Brazil, we decided to begin operations with an experimental aircraft especially suited for short landings. As all our flights will be free of charge, this will reduce our operating costs significantly. After arriving in Brazil, floats will be placed on the plane for permanent river operations.

Currently in training to join us as a pilot is a young lady who has not only been working as a Commercial Copilot, but also is a Registered Nurse and Software Engineer. Please pray that her bush training program will go well. Two new pilots, also in training, will also be stepping up to join us as part of our staff.

Workers are needed in the harvest. If you feel called of God to be a volunteer missionary in the world field, please fill out your application online at www.GMIvolunteers.org. God will bless and use you richly.

From the Frontlines,

Uncle David

 

Frontlines Mission News
New Project

SILO Nursing Missionary Institute
Colombia

Located at Finca Proamar Foundation, El Santuario,
Antioquia, Colombia.

Mission projects in Colombia and other countries are in need of people trained with specific qualities to help spread the gospel. Many potential missionaries are willing to enter a life of service, but they need additional tools and education to reach specific groups of people. On the other hand, the legislation of some countries prevents the practice of health treatments for people without a valid title.

Currently in Colombia there is no Institution that fulfills this purpose. Therefore, our project is to start a new training center in Colombia, which can train missionaries and certified nurses to meet this need.

Students will receive certification as nursing assistants for free. The training will include classes in Natural Medicine, English, Computer Communications, Music and Evangelism, as well as practical skills in areas such as Agriculture and Bakery.

The facilities where the project works can accommodate twelve students each year. This allows a personalized and close attention between teachers and students. The academic plan also includes Basic Life Support Training, Rescue in extreme situations. After a year of intensive classes, they will have their internship for six months on a mission project. Students will also have to participate in Church Evangelism and Project Programs, during the academic period.

Among the current needs, are the prayers for the granting of the operating license, provision for the simulation clinical laboratory with their respective anatomy training equipment, and instruments and equipment of the chemistry, hematology and microbiology laboratory, as well as First aid kits The full list of the endowment can be found ** See the list of laboratory needs for the Nursing Assistant program.

Panoramic view of the Proamar Foundation, now Silo Nursing Missionary Institute. It was an orphanage for neglected kids.

View of the gardens, buildings and playgrounds.

BRIEF HISTORY:

The place where we started the project has been a blessing from God. The Proamar Foundation is a service institution dedicated to the care, protection and training of children who were at risk of orphanhood or neglect. Due to some difficulty with the Colombian government institution, the project as such was completed and the facilities were left alone.

We (Fundación Baraka Colombia) develop the curriculum for the Nursing Institution of Missionaries but we did not have a place to develop it, our concern was: Where? With what? How? Well, we knew it was a program to start soon.

Then after a few weeks we received a phone call asking if we had a project to carry out and if the Proamar Foundation site was conducive to develop it. The news caught us by surprise! Because only a few people knew about that project, and nobody had mentioned it before. They asked me to visit the place, I was in the capital of the country and I traveled to Sanctuary – Antioquia about 8 hours and when I saw the place, I said: This is the right place!

Construction of the new Classrooms.

 

Details of the installation of lights and ceiling. The building almost finished.

Classrooms Completed inside view.

 

Classrooms Completed outside view.

After some meetings and calls by the grace of God we reach an agreement and today we are in such a beautiful place. We began a stage of the construction of the classrooms and some reforms, now we are waiting for the operating license and to start a certified study program for the Colombian government, with the help of God.

View of Main entrance to the property.

Panoramic view of the vegetable garden.

Initially we plan to start classes as soon as the government paperwork
is approve.

Costs: Students will be responsible for their own food preparation. A minimum amount for registration, uniforms and materials for their classes.

Numbers of Students accepted per year: 12

Rooms for Males

Kitchen at the Main House

 

Inside view of the rooms.

Classroom for the Bakery. Instrumentation for bread making training.

Main House for offices, rooms for females and kitchen.

COURSE CURRICULUM

Medical:

Obstetrics

Nursing Procedures

Trauma

Medical emergency

Anatomy and Physiology

Semiology

Pediatrics

Early childhood diseases (IMCI)

First Aid (BLS)

Patient care

 

Natural Medicine:

Hydrotherapy

Geo therapy

Juice therapy

Massages

Medicinal plants

 

Practical Skills:

Music

Sign language

Healthy Cooking and Bakery

Crafts

Agriculture

 

Evangelism

Mission

Landscape view of the terrace.

STAFF & ADMINISTRATION

Aleida Portela – Natural Medicine (PHOTO NOT AVAILABLE)

Genith Puentes – Teacher (Director)

Sandra May – Nutritionist

 

Aleida Barrera – Secretary and
Arnulfo Patiño – Dir. Evangelism

Thalita de la Cruz – Psychologist

Another view from the main house.

Carl Acevedo – Webmaster and
computer systems.

Oscar Páez – Paramedic – Basic Life Support – Natural Medicine

 

Christian Anhyel Valencia – Doctor MD

Daniel Ospina – Paramedic

For more information, contact, news and registration, please visit the institution’s website at http://www.fundacionbaraka.org/home/

 

Ana Genith Puentes Ramos
Director
Telephone: +57 313 8189195
Email: genith@gmicolombia.com
http://www.fundacionbaraka.org/home/

 

MISSION STORY
My Life in the Mission

The Perfect Lifestyle?
Carl Acevedo

 

“My lifestyle is good, it’s an average lifestyle”
I thought …

Hi, I’m Carl Set Acevedo Casianis, I’m 25 years old and I want to tell you my story. I grew up in an Adventist home where most of my education was in Adventist schools. It was very difficult for me to resist the customs of the world and choose good friendships as my parents had instilled in me. In all that time I never heard about a life of volunteering or total dedication to missionary work. Unfortunately, throughout my adolescence I did not have a genuine interest in a life of close communion with God, and for a long time there was that emptiness that I tried to fill by doing everything that society expects one to do.

I had the opportunity to enter the National System of Orchestras of Venezuela, which I thank very much to my parents. There I learned to play the double bass, although I failed to finish the entire learning cycle because of our faith.

When I finished my secondary education, I decided to go to study at the university. My parents worried and warned me of the dangers of the young people who leave and finally leave the church. I decided to carefully select people from the church to make friends, and at no time with those from the university. Although I made many mistakes especially with the subject of music, readings and non-productive films, I abstained from the vices of young people and I was always supporting the activities of the church and the pathfinder clubs, and the church where I arrived had a full orchestra, thank God. I really enjoy playing the double bass or the cello. In all that time my goal was to graduate to work hard and become disgustingly rich with my systems engineering career.

Adventist orchestra in Venezuela

A church friend whom I greatly appreciated had a traffic accident and died, because of this I was motivated to get closer to God because I wanted to see my friend again in heaven. I tried several times to approach God but I was so busy with the activities of the university and the church that I did not have time to really seek God. I finished college, and I had a girlfriend that I thought was the ideal girl for me, then I started working in a place where I earned a good salary, and I concluded that I already had everything I needed to be happy, but … eventually I realized that I was very wrong. After eight months of the relationship, the girl broke up with me. I was devastated. I was finally fired from my job and I was even more devastated. I worked in various places that did not fill that void, and in just one year I realized that the definition of world success was quite sad.

Only then could God send someone to invite me to missionary life. I learned about the Cerca de Ti program, which is a program of the Adventist Church in Venezuela with an impact on cities. Young people go to small towns to testify through blood donation days, trees are planted, murals are painted, health and haircuts are made. A young woman who was not exactly my friend but who is from my town invited me to eat with her group. Dinner was based on healthy fruits and seeds. She talked about a Light Health course at Bethany Missionary Medical College in Guyana. Since the course would be taught in English, I could learn the language quickly, apart from training myself to help people. I really wasn’t interested in helping anyone, just going to Guyana to learn English to communicate directly with clients and thus earn more money. So I made a website to collect the necessary money and began to pray for God to place his blessing on those plans and I waited until the deadline. Thank God, nobody donated anything to me!

Flight from Santa Marta, Colombia to Belize

Chair in sitting position.

Health visit to the village of Santa Marta, Belize.

 

Church Building Week with Mexico Missions.

I was praying and telling God why it was not possible to allow me to go there if He knew that my main motivation was, was, (…). Well, I remembered the text that says that God cannot be tempted. Only He knew my true motivations. So humiliated again, I apologized for having planned to take advantage of the missionary work for personal gain. I asked him that if it was his will to serve him, then he had to provide for everything necessary, take care of my family, and open the doors necessary for everything to flow. I tried to look for missionary schools in Venezuela and Colombia in the end I searched for the phrase “GMI Colombia” and found a phone number to which I wrote messages and they recommended me to go to M.O.V.E.. Everything seemed excellent but I didn’t have $400 USD to go there and cover my personal expenses and apart from the plane tickets. I was constantly encouraged and discouraged, until one day they told me that they could take me on the project plane if I could reach Santa Marta, Colombia. I thought it was a good idea but I didn’t have the rest of the money for my stay there. Then they told me that one of the donors had given me $200 USD for my training. Then I became very nervous because I realized that the matter was serious! I still had 200 USD left, so I asked some acquaintances in the United States and they agreed to help me. I already had the full money in less than a week!

I quit my job and prepared to get the Colombian passport with the help of my Colombian family and do everything necessary for my new life as a missionary. The day came and I put my suitcase with my laptop inside on a bus, and I went to buy something to eat, but when I came back the bus had just left. Because of my anguished face, a driver agreed to take me on his bus to chase the first one, an hour later the bus left me halfway because it was going somewhere else. I prayed that God would take care of me and as soon as I opened my eyes I saw another bus, so I took it and it charged me just what I had in my pocket. When I had Arrive at my destination, I decided to “move forward by faith” and walk to the downtown at midnight to try to find the first bus where my luggage was. The bus was already gone, but he had left my suitcase with the bathroom attendant. It was not his duty to leave it there, and no passenger checked it out, but everything was intact there!

There was only one week left for the trip, at the office to process the passports they said it would take 3 or 4 days. So the passport should arrive on the third day of the same week, otherwise it would not be possible to reach the flight of the volunteers. I returned to Venezuela to wait for God to act. The day arrived (third day) and the mail still did not arrive to confirm that the passport had arrived. And I told dad that we should cross the border by faith. He looked at me with a face of “have you gone crazy?” But he still accompanied me, just across the bridge over the river that divides the border, the email from the identity office arrived at my phone. That was the last sign to confirm that God was in control of everything.

Generation 7 of M.O.V.E

We got on the small plane and flew six hours to Belize, where the intensive training began. Finally it was time to choose the mission project and I really had no idea what to do. But I was sure that anywhere would be the best for me. I was in the State of Querétaro in Mexico, where they worked as pioneers with Tenek Indians and livestock communities. Then I returned to Belize, to re-enter Mexico and renew my permit. But upon entering a great problem happened, which put my faith to the test again. They gave me only 7 days to be in the country instead of the six months I expected.

Ambulant Refrigerator with Serenades in San Pedro Zacatzontetla, Tlaxcala Mexico. Malintzi volcano in the background.

 

Adventurers Club Warriors of God in the Security Specialty, Apizaco Tlaxcala, Mexico.

Telling stories on the EBV with the Tenek community. This would have been impossible just 6 months before.

After several attempts in other countries and projects, I finally took a flight to Bogotá, Colombia without any specific plan. But God already had another project in the oven. I contacted the project manager where I am now, and we moved to a town called El Santuario, Department of Antioquia, where we are registering at Silo Nursing Institute for Missionaries. There we are supporting the local church, the pathfinders club, the community center, and each of the volunteers personally does missionary work. When classes begin, I will teach nurses to do and manage their own website so they can tell about the great things God does for them. They will also learn music, English and French.

“Vislumbres de Esperanza” TV Program in the local channel of El Santuario, Antioquia.

 

Visit to the Elderly at El Santuario with the Adventurers and Pathfinders.

El Santuario, Antioquia – One day we went to visit a lady, but she was not at home, when we passed in front of these boys they mockingly asked us to play something and we returned to share God’s promises for them.

Someday I would like to go to the 10/40 window, especially to the Russian-speaking countries north of the 10/40 window. I was more motivated when I was able to attend the “I will go too” congress of the Adventist University of Colombia in Medellin. Please pray for me, I still have many challenges and defects to improve but I have left everything in the hands of God, because He has been faithful to his promises, so far my family has not lacked anything, and I have seen his constant provision of the things I need without having a stipend or economic incentive to do any of this. And yes, I finally learned English. But now I use it for purposes very different from the original ones.

 

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