Our church recently put on an amazing retreat for the missionary women supported by our church. Women from all over the globe gathered in Greece at a fabulous resort to be pampered and lavished in love. Throughout the retreat, one of my favorite things was to meet and connect with these amazing missionaries to hear their stories. One of the beautiful
missionaries I met, Katie Sasser, shared a story with me that blew me away! It was so good, I asked her if she would write it down so we could share it with many others. Here is the story she sent me:
My Ecuadorian Amazon Adventure: A True Life Mission’s Story by Katie Sasser, Missionary to Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 2006, before my family left for full-time missions, my husband and I organized and led a short-term missions trip for our church. For the summer of 2006, we decided to go on what was called an Extreme Trip. What made it “extreme” was that it took extreme ways of transport to get to where we needed to go. For this extreme trip, we found ourselves heading to Ecuador and driving down the mountain to the Amazon River. For the next 7 days, we would be traveling on canoes and sleeping in tents.
We partnered up with a local pastor named Pedro and his wife. Pastor Pedro was in process of setting up a home base in the middle of four to five villages that were all a few hours canoe ride between and was planning on planting churches in all these villages. Our purpose was to help him in the initial evangelistic push. He would plant churches among the new believers. The villages were visiting are what were termed “generationally lost.” This means that the gospel came 50 years or so before, but there was no follow-through and the newer generations had never heard. We were very excited about this privilege to come and share the greatest news on earth!
We had prepared a few skits and fun things for the kids. We shared our stories of God’s goodness, and utilized a movie as the big attraction. The movie was called the “God-Man.” It started with the creation and ended with Jesus. In every village, the excitement for the cinema, as they called it, was electric!
We showed up early at each village and walked around greeting people and telling them about the movie that would be shown later that day. As we were walking around in one of the villages, we were told about a man who had died. They brought us into a home and said that he had been dead for 30 or so minutes. Our group, along with Pastor Pedro, decided to pray over him. I will let you imagine the scene. A small indigenous village off the Amazon River, our group now in a small hut with a dead man. God had big plans for this man to be used to have the name of God glorified! As we prayed, the man came back to life. He stood up, came to the “Cinema,” heard the gospel, and accepted Jesus as his savior! Not only the man himself, but almost the whole village, followed his lead. They witnessed a miracle that day! (We all did!)
That was a trip that I will never forget for many reasons–not just canoeing on the Amazon River, sleeping in tents in the Ecuadorian Rainforest, introducing Jesus to people who have never heard of him–but also in seeing a man literally come back to life. With God, life is an amazing adventure!