In April 08, 2018 was the one of the last medical mission trip that we did with the airplane 340 before the accident of it. The months before were months of prayer for this trip to visit for the first time the Tsimane communities on the Maniqui River; leaving everything in God hands for guidance.
On Sunday, April 08, 10:00 am we left Santa Cruz heading to San Borja, thanks to the Medical Aviation Service for facilitating the airplane to bring all the supplies and medicine. At 12:00 am we had already arrived at the airport in San Borja. While we were waiting for Franz and David, who came by land, we purchased our food and water for the trip and contacted the Doctor Urquiza. The road from Trinidad to San Borja was in very bad condition, which delayed the boys’ arrival until 5:30 pm.
The idea was to begin the boat trip on the Maniqui River on Sunday with Doctor Romulo Rivero Urquiza as our guide, but because of Franz’s and Dav id’s delay; we decided to sleep in Arenales (one hour from San Borja) where we were going to take the boat to Cosincho. Around 7:00 am on Monday 9, we had everything loaded on the boat and headed to Cosincho which was 8 hours up river.
We arrived in Cosincho on Monday at 3:00 pm, the people in the community had been waiting since the morning, and because we didn’t arrive they returned to their homes. We decided to wait until the next morning to begin the medical care. In the morning so many people came for medical attention, we taught the 8 Laws of Health and gave free dental attention.
The Tsimane people live in very humble houses. The children are malnourished because of the poor varieties of food. The only place to wash clothing and take a shower is in the river.
The company of Dr. Romulo was a blessing because it was opening doors of trust in each community, he brought another Doctor, a nurse and a translator and nurse, they were specifically in charge of the care and vaccination of children under 5 years and pregnant women .
Dr. Romulo with Ruth (medical missionary), the translator and the patient. There are cases of Tuberculosis in this region and this lady was one of the cases.
Here is Blanca, the nurse, she was in charge of weighing and measuring the babies. It is customary in these communities to paint the baby blue in the first week of life; they say that doing this scares the diseases. We saw four blue babies.
Franz (medical missionary) giving this woman tips for her health problems and Ruth giving a treatment.
On Tuesday we work until 4:00 pm and embarked again, going downstream in the direction to the next Community (Varanda). We arrived at sunset; tired, ready to prepare a delicious dinner, set up our tents and take a refreshing shower with a bucket. On Wednesday we started working early and bright. Every day, everybody wakes up at 5:00 am to turn on the fire to prepare breakfast and lunch.
In this community, we worked from morning to afternoon. At 4:00 pm we left the community and headed to Port Yucumo, an hour’s drive. Since this community had electricity and there were only about 34 families we decided to give the attention at night, we finished at 9:00 pm.
David and Liceth, the dentists had lots of work in this community, they saw 47 patients in just three hours. Lara works as Dental assistance.
Early Thursday morning, we left Puerto Yucumo heading to the last community Caracara. This community was 15 minutes (on foot) from the river. It was made up of 40 families; again, the dentists had a lot of work and they worked long into the afternoon. Our boatmen were left for their homes since we had come to the end of our travel by river.
When we finished, in the distance we could see a storm approaching and this worried us because we were waiting for two taxis to pick us up before the rain began. Finally, the taxis arrived and on very bumpy and damaged roads after an hour and 30 minutes we arrived to San Borja at almost 10:00 pm safety without any rain. Praise God for that!
Everybody in the communities was very happy with the medical, dental attention and especially for the Bibles. Thanks to the community, family lists, we could deliver the free 240 Bibles to each family. Also, we gave to each Community leader the book “The Great Controversy”.
The Tsimane people have a Bible in their language, but it is not complete. In the Caracara the religious leader, he was very happy to receive a Bible. He said that a month before they had a Bible competition with other communities nearby. One of the questions was from Isaiah 60 but because their Tsimane Bible only has until Isaiah 52, they lost the competition. Now with this completed Bible they could study more and win the competition.
As well as the Bible we gave him the book “The Great Controversy”. Which excitedly the Leader was, then he said: “Please give me a Bible for my friend that lives in a community on the other side of the river who is the religious leader of that community as well, he will come this afternoon”. He said “I want to give him the Bible and the other Bible too,” (he called the Great Controversy the other Bible)”; we pray for these two men that God through their study could bring salvation to their communities.
One of the men asked how to use the Bible, then Miguel teach them and finished with a prayer.
As we suspected it rained all night. On Friday at 02:00 pm the airplane was supported to pick us up, but when we arrived at the airport the tower told us that the airport was closed, no airplanes could come in or out because the runway was too wet. Brandtley Greenlaw the pilot, was flying with missionaries to the orphanage “Familia Feliz” Rurrenabaque, that same morning and in the afternoon, he was prepared to pick us up, (Rurrenabaque is 20 minutes by airplane from San Borja) but with the airport closed he need stay in Rurrenabaque until San Borja airport opens the runway again.
The airport workers kindly let us sleep at the airport. That night we had vespers, singing many songs and praising God for his blessings and protection during all trip. After that, Ruth went to ask the security man if she could use their WIFI, while they tried to get the code, he asked her what religion we were from. And then they began a conversation, he said that he was religious before, but not anymore. After Ruth said we were Seventh-day Adventist they began talking about the Sabbath, she gave him a Bible study about the Sabbath. They talked for a long time, then he asked for prayer for his one-year old daughter with Microcephaly. At the end of the conversation, he said to Ruth ” I think that God delayed your trip home to stay here and talk with me about the Bible”. And all the team agreed, that for some reason we were delayed. Sometimes God allows things to happen for a reason. We praise God for He can do all things much bigger and better than we think or understand.
From the left, Mirta, Miguel and Lara Farias, Franz Cruz, David Flores, Brandtley Greenlaw, Ruth Mendoza and Liceth Duran.
Our Mission was fulfilled, to visit these communities and bring them hope and joy with medical attention and the Bibles. Jesus is coming soon and the world needs to know it! You could watch the video of the trip in YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnZBybqHn3Q
Thank God for his protection and guidance during all the trip. We appreciate all the hard-work the medical team puts forth and to the Medical Aviation Service for their unconditional support.
A special thanks to all the people that support these medical mission trips through financial support and prayers. We appreciate all your help! Thank you!
Please help us to continue praying for these 240 families that now have a Bible in Spanish; that the Holy Spirit can lead them to know the truth.
May God bless you!
Mirta & Miguel Farias