The reason for our visit was to encourage the brethren and to address a couple of issues within the church administration. With God’s help we were able to resolve the majority of the problems and left the rest to a future visit when we could stay a little longer. We also made plans to celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the next visit so the brethren could begin 2011 in harmony with the Lord and their neighbors.
My wife Sandra Fonseca
Pr. Aholiab Lozano
We arrived at 11:30 the next morning at the mouth of the Amaquiría creek. A committee of brethren was waiting for us there with a small boat to take us to the community. During the winter the launches can make it all the way to the community itself, but it is now summer and the river is so low that the risk of running aground is too high. An hour and a half later we finally arrived in Amaquiría where the rest of the brethren enthusiastically greeted us. After eating lunch and coordinating the weekend we headed out to visit some brethren. We hadn’t gone far when we were interrupted by an emergency from Nazaret, a community about an hour from Amaquiría. The patient was a woman with a swollen abdomen who had been unable to empty her bowels, and her situation had become serious. Shortly after a phone call our airplane arrived with pilot Chris Borcherding
, who took the woman and her husband to Pucallpa.
Our Cessna 182 arriving in Amaquiría
Loading the airplane
Peru Projects pilot Christopher Borcherding securing the patient
Taking off toward Pucallpa
After the plane left with its patient we were able to continue visiting the brethren before the start of the Lord’s holy day.
When Sandra and I had finished our visits we headed to the creek to bathe and get ready to receive the Sabbath in the chapel. Following vespers we put on a video of Bible stories for the brethren while I met with the church leadership to coordinate the board meeting we were to have early the next morning and the afternoon home visits. Then we were able to rest for the night.
We had fellowship lunch with all the brethren of Amaquiría and from other groups as well.
Brother Esau Alvares (church elder) along with other brethren at lunch
A visiting sister from the group in the community of "Selva"
Our beloved sisters that prepared the delicious rice and fish meal
The afternoon was a full schedule of home visits, but again an emergency arose, this time from one of the villagers in Amaquiría. One of his false teeth had fallen out and, without realizing it, he had swallowed it. It got stuck in his throat and was producing a lot of saliva, so much so that the doctor feared he would drown in his own saliva. The medic tried to remove the tooth but to no avail. They asked if our airplane could come again to evacuate the man. Sadly we couldn’t because our airplanes were grounded. Even after months of working on it, we still had not received the new batteries for the ELT’s (Emergency Locator Transmitter) for our airplanes, without which we could not fly. The grace period on the old batteries had expired just the day before - the day we evacuated the woman with the digestive problems. But we couldn’t just let this man die without doing something to help him! So we called our friends at SAM (South America Mission, an Evangelical mission) to make this flight for us. At 4:15 pm the Cessna 206 from SAM landed to take the patient, his wife and the doctor to the hospital in Pucallpa. Praise God all turned out well and the patient was resting comfortably after they extracted the stuck tooth.
SAM’s Cessna 206 arriving at Amaquiría for the evacuation
The medic and patient seated in the airplane
SAM mission pilot loading the duffel bags
The ministry of the air program, with the emergency flights that it provides, is really a blessing for these villages that are very far from the city where they can receive good medical attention. The medical posts in the villages (for those that have them) can help with basic problems but they can do little for serious emergencies.
Sunday started with morning worship at 5:30 am in the church where we also said our goodbyes, because right after breakfast we would begin our return to Pucallpa.
My wife with a dead Jergón snake (very poisonous)
Goodbyes – until next time
We left at about 10am on Sunday, and after picking up many passengers and cargo along the way, and stopping for the night in a village downriver of Amaquiría, we finally arrived at 6pm on Monday in the port of Pucallpa, safe and sound.
With my wife leaving Amaquiría for the mouth of the creek to wait for our boat
This experience really taught us to trust the Lord more and see how much one can accomplish for the people in these communities. Also we were able to understand how much the enemy is working in these places with music, alcohol, and other vices to put the people to sleep with respect to their salvation. There is much work to do, and we hope that with the help of the Lord and the benevolent kindness of our brethren we can accomplish it.