Missionary Letter - September 17, 2017
Mike, Keila, & Mia Dawson, Venezuela
We are back! Thanks for your prayers! I do realize it would be in poor taste to whine again about things previously whined about, like the mosquitos, muddy banks and etc...So I will try and keep this update only on bright and cheerful happenings.
After five minutes sitting here trying to think of something bright and cheerful, I come to the sad realization that if I have to only share bright and cheerful happenings, this is going to be an extremely short update and would fall far short of the strict rules of honesty and objectivity that I hold myself to.
But not to worry, I can still share woe and misery and never mention the worrisome mosquitoes. For any of you wondering, after getting home, I did take a double dose of the neem tea we drink as a malaria preventative and am tempted to go downstairs and drink another dose, but that would probably be over kill. Anyway. Here is a brief, factual account of our trip over to the village of Widocayateli.
We fooled the storm that normally waylays us by announcing in advance that we were leaving at a certain time. We then left two hours later. As we roared into the Orinoco River from our Padamo River, the amount of water still falling off the leaves into the river gave us stark evidence that the storm had, in fact made a major effort to drown us. We ran through a few modest late showers, but nothing to the deluge we have been subjected to on our previous trips.
We arrived at the village, navigated the steep muddy bank and were shown the little roofed shack we would be using as our sleeping quarters and also was going to double as a place to show the movies. Thankfully, there were no walls so most of the people could set outside and still have clear sight to the movie screen.
I am sure you all realize I always comment on how grateful we are that the equipment worked. Well, this time, that almost did not happen. I had everything hooked up and the projector would not "see" the HDMI connector for some reason. I kept praying and fiddled with it for about 20 minutes stopping and starting it and reconnecting everything and was about ready to admit defeat, when all of a sudden it connected to the phone. Whew! Such a relief. But then, the iPhone would not play the movie!!! This has never happened with this setup so after trying and trying, I finally realized we might be having something more serious than just equipment jitters so began to really ask God for special protection and a shield for our equipment. Again, I was so close to admitting defeat but kept looking at all the expectant faces of the villagers around waiting for their special movie. Many of these people have never seen a movie in their lives and this was a big deal for them. So we did not want to disappoint them and especially since this was the Jesus / Passion and we wanted them to see and hear this message. I could have done a handstand when all of a sudden the iPhone started playing the movie. Thank you Lord!
We finished up around midnight and then we left to take people from three different villages that we had brought down to the central village for the movie and so then, back to our steep muddy bank up to our little host village to hang our hammocks. Now, in a normal update, that would be the last for the night, but sad to say, during the night, there came such a roaring noise from the direction of my friend's hammock that I was afraid he was being mauled by some ferocious jungle cat. I braved getting out of my hammock to face the mosquitos for the short walk to my friend Timoteo's hammock where the wild noise was coming from. Come to find out it was his snoring! I shook his hammock about 4 times, hard, until he woke up then, ask him to stay awake long enough so I could get to sleep before he started up again.
Sad to say, he beat me to sleep and started up right where he had stopped. I had no desire to brave the mosquitos again so started calling him. Timo, Timo, Timo, well, you get the picture. I called and called...finally Jaime from the next hammock over told me to save my breath, that Timoteo was making so much noise on his own that he could not hear me calling him above his snores. Finally the long night was over, the raise and fall of the Roman empire was hardly as long.
We had a good meeting with everyone and from questions and comments, it was obvious the people were given lots to think about. Pray for these people, that their hearts would be good soil and the seed of the Gospel would grow and bear much fruit in this far away village. We did bring three guys home with us as they asked us for more teaching. We will have special teaching sessions with them for this next week and then take them home when we go back up to the area next Friday to another village for our next outreach trip. Thanks for partnering with us with your prayers! We truly are honored.