Today we started off the day as usual by walking a few blocks to breakfast at the restaurant owned by a member of Pastor Fabio’s church. The town of Mitu is pretty small so you can go anywhere on foot. There are very few cars in town so mostly the traffic is bicycles, motor scooters and three-wheel motorcycle taxis. After breakfast, Pastor Fabio lead us in a devotion about witnessing for Christ by meeting physical needs and showing love for the people.
The clinic was busy as usual as people had previously booked appointments throughout the day. The dental clinic was moved to a local dentist’s office a few blocks away after having problems with some of the rented dental equipment (the local dentist provided the portable rental equipment also) which actually is a better place for the two dentists to work (Claudia and Luce). The eye doctor was kept busy by many patients who have needed glasses for years but could not afford them. One man who was eighty years said that he had glasses about twenty years ago but no longer wore them because they “stopped working”, He was fitted with a pair of recycled prescription glasses provided by the Lion’s club.
In the VBS, the big news was the bag of craft supplies finally arrived from Bogota on the plane that brought Claudia Baron and Natalia to Mitu from Bogota (David’s wife and daughter). We were happy to welcome them to the mission team and happy as well to have the craft supplies as we were running out of material for activities. Luca and Robin led the kids in a game of tossing water balloons as one of the events of the Mitu-lympic games. Linda and Susan were face painting, Nancy took pictures while Heather lead the craft activities including making picture frames. The rub-on tatoos were also very popular and Rita shared a Bible story with the children in Spanish. Dizzy the clown also made an appearance, sharing the Gospel with magic, translated into Spanish and Cubeo, the local tribal dialect.
In the afternoon, Luca, Robin and Susan led the soap-making workshop where they taught the key tribal leaders to make soap from materials found in the area. One leader in particular, Celestino, was very interested in possibly making and selling soap to other villagers since commercial soap is expensive and greatly needed for hygiene.
In the evening we spent time with twelve of the tribal leaders who shared about the villages where they had traveled from (some walking or riding in a canoe for ten hours) and about their ministries in each community. It was very encouraging to see how God is using these men to spread the Gospel of Jesus in areas where witchcraft is widely practiced. We can now better understand the hardships and struggles that these men and their families face on a daily basis.