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Spiritual Eyesight

Dear Friends,

I was invited to attend a conference this past weekend in the community of Piriciatuba. People came from far and near to spend the weekend together worshiping God and encourage each other in the faith. While there I suddenly felt God open my spiritual eyes and I saw a glimpse of what he saw for these people. I have attempted to recreate what I saw. I hope it encourages you to look beyond the surface and see with His eyes.

Spiritual Eyesight

I wish I could show you the beauty I see here. It is all around. You might miss it if you look too hard or if you don’t look enough. If you just glance, all you will see are the shacks they have for houses, the mangy dogs, the bare floors and crude benches. If you look to hard you will see that they don’t have electricity or running water and many look years older than they are because of the hard work and harsh sun. There is not a Wal-Mart within a 1000 miles and even the nearest city is 6 hours away by boat. But if you are willing to let God take over your eyes you just might be surprised. You may begin to see things from His perspective.

Children playing soccer in hard packed dirt. An old flat ball is the best they have. They laugh and enjoy the competition. The dust cloud rises all around them like Pig-Pen from a Peanuts cartoon. The beauty is in their contentment.

A group of women gathering in the shade of a home. They are outside because with the heat rising it’s cooler outside where you can catch a breeze than under the roof. They are out of hearing but laughter floats on the breeze and smiles are on their faces. The beauty is in relationships and community. In the shared vision of Christ.

A small boy is running to catch up with his friends. The wind stirs in the mango trees overhead, bringing relief from the heat and ruffling his hair. His friends shout for him to hurry. You get the idea they have important plans like swimming that just can’t wait. The beauty is in their laughter and the joy of being together.

Across the way you can just make out two stools under the banana trees. The men sitting on them have Bibles open on their laps. The heart of hearts in this ministry is discipleship and these man are making time to spend time together before God. The beauty is in the intensity of their postures as they lean close to talk of the things of God.

So looking again I see the dirt yards swept clean. I see gardens free of weeds. A group of young people coming up from the river after bathing off the back of a boat. They take care of themselves and are wearing their best clothes for the evening service. I also see the smiles and the friends reuniting after time apart. The hard work that goes into hosting a conference. And the joy of living lives committed to Christ.

Later, after the sun has set we will all gather under the stars and sing praises to the King of kings and Lord of lords. To rejoice in the God of our salvation. We will also hear a sermon about the importance of confessing our sins and be encouraged to be honest with those who disciple us. And when I open my spiritual eyes I know Christ is present in this place. He has a plan for these people, His people.

Thank you for your prayers as we continue to serve God here in the Amazon.

Jeff Turner and Family

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