What are the kinds of things in your daily routine that might make you feel helpless?
For Brad and Rebecca Howe, it’s not the four-foot long snake they found in the kitchen and had to decapitate in the shower.
Even when malaria hits with no tests or medicine to help the people they’ve grown to love, it doesn’t daunt them from working hard to use all their resources in the jungle.
The termites that eat away at the houses haven’t left them feeling helpless either.
Nor have the fish gnawing at their feet when they take their son for a swim in the river. They continue to go back assuming it’s their unusual white skin that gets mistaken for the underbelly of an old catfish.
When the rainwater that they catch in the tanks dries up, instead of giving up, they pump water to their house from the river. And when the botfly lays its larvae in Brad’s arm, Rebecca just gets it out and stitches him up. No helpless inclinations there.
But after the four-day parties in the village and the deep spiritual darkness that’s evident, what really causes Brad and Rebecca to feel overwhelmed is not being able to communicate the hope of reconciliation.
“We feel very helpless at times not being able to explain well any spiritual truth to these people. I will sometimes try to explain truth to them in Portuguese, knowing, though, that they really aren’t fully understanding what I am trying to communicate to them. One thing we can do, and I try to be faithful in this, is praying for their souls. We know them now and have a relationship with them so the thought of each and every one of them spending a Christ-less eternity in hell can literally bring you to your knees,” Brad writes.
This motivates them to work hard learning the heart language of the people. They are thankful for the help they’ve gotten from those who are more experienced at learning languages. Even though getting evaluated for how well they are progressing is intense, they take their homework assignments and suggestions very seriously.
They count it a privilege to be among these people, invited by God Himself to be His ambassadors with the good news of forgiveness and freedom.