By Lynn Turner
"I am your son. You teach me, and I go to other villages and teach them what you teach me. I am your son". These were the words of a village chief as he was taking us upriver to his village. As we traveled he quoted concept after concept that Russ had taught in previous seminars. I was amazed at his memory, because he could quote Russ word for word. The villages that he visits are places to which we cannot go.
Américo's story is a unique one. "I was a drunk," he said. "My wife accepted the Lord and would talk to me about receiving Him. "Be quiet, woman", I would tell her. I didn't want to hear about God. For several years she prayed for me, but I refused to listen to her. One day I was alone in my garden patch working. I felt bad for my sins. I cleared out a patch of ground, took off all my clothes, lay down spread-eagle on the ground and cried out to God for forgiveness of my sins. He forgave me! He gave me the desire to learn more about Him and tell others the Good News. Many of my people in more remote villages only speak Emberá, so I can teach them in our language.
Américo has made many changes in his village. He has faced opposition and persecution. As chief of his village, he has hindered the liquor and drug trade. This angers the bootleggers and narcos (drug traffickers), but he remains a faithful witness for Christ.