Updated: Nov 21, 2019
The most common expression of pastors and missions leaders facing high altitude missions problems is uncertainty, frustration, confusion, and lack of direction. It’s easy to feel perplexed by the unique, soaring missions issues in your church. Those feelings prompted me to share this true story with pastors recently.
About thirty years ago, my Filipino tribal colleagues, Patricio, Boldang, and I had never been to Patyay. It is the highest elevation village, about 10,000 feet, of our demon-worshipping, headhunter Ayangan Ifugao tribal people. It took all day to ride to the nearest trailhead to begin our trek. Immediately, it started pouring rain. Night fell. We only had one flashlight between us. All we could do was slip and slog blindly up the steep trail. Soaked and exhausted, we arrived at a tiny village. We gave up on making progress, waking an older Ifugao man from his hut to give us shelter.
The next morning he guided us the rest of the way, up a couple of thousand feet further up the mountain to Patyay. After a week of wonderful fellowship and training of Elders from the churches surrounding Patyay, we didn’t dare go back the same way because of communist insurgents in the area who would have known the trail we took.
The village leaders alertly supplied us with two young guides to help us carry our packs up the ridiculously steep trail just to the crest of the ridge. Then, we started our descent through the rainforest on the other side of the mountain. We needed to godown through the rainforest, which was known to have 30 ft. pythons and vicious wild boars. Again we were overcome by nightfall. That one flashlight’s batteries were long dead. We were lost, without light for our path, and needed help in a dangerous rainforest situation. Patricio volunteered to run ahead in the dark and fetch anyone nearby to help.
After what seemed like a long time we saw a light bouncing along the pathway coming back. It was a simple flaming bundle of branches held by Patricio and a local man from the nearest village who became our guide and host. So we ended that day safely with shelter and food. We also heard Emmanuel’s incredible testimony of salvation that evening. The next morning Emmanuel guided us out, down through the valley and up the opposite mountain ridge to the nearest road where we could wait for a ride to take us out of the area.
The key to our rugged and risky ministry trip was the guides God gave us along the way. No matter where you are with your Great Commission climb, let Propempo be the sherpa in your missions ministry sojourn.
Please send this URL to your church missions leader/s. You can create opportunities for us to help more churches solve missions problems and send more qualified missionaries toward fulfillment of the Great Commission.
You can also always get involved through your prayers and needed support.
Your servant for God’s glory through the church to the nations,
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