Jungle Master Ministries

February 2018 Newsletter

USED BY GOD   by Joel McGee

As I reflected over 2017, I could see so many instances in which God had used JungleMaster and all of its partners to further His kingdom. One story in particular, though, will always remain close to my heart. In February, several representatives from JungleMaster traveled 15 hours in a speed boat to reach the very remote village of Dos Demayo, a community of approximately 100 people. Several of the pastors of the cofraternity also joined us on the trip. On the night we arrived in the village, we had a church service. After that service, Pedro, the local pastor, shared with us how discouraged he had become and how hard it was for him to be located in such a remote place. I took that opportunity to invite him, along with any other interested brothers or sisters from that church, to come to Nauta to take part in the seminary training that JungleMaster had already helped other pastors to attend. Pedro, along with his wife, his son, and three other Christian brothers, came to the first training session in March. They continued to come to all of the remaining one-week training sessions throughout 2017 and graduated from the seminary in December. Every time they would come to Nauta for class, I could see a clear difference in Pedro. After the first week of training, I could see a clear difference in his facial expressions; he just plain looked happier. When he came for his second session, I could see a difference in the way he was standing; he no longer had his head down and his shoulders slumped, but was standing tall, with his head held up. After one of the training sessions, Pedro told me how encouraged he was and that he was ready to go back to Dos Demayo to teach his community the things that he had learned.

God could have chosen anyone to encourage and equip Pedro, but what humbles me is that He chose us, JungleMaster, to do so. Thank you, God!

We are excited to see how God will continue to use JungleMaster to further His Kingdom as we head into 2018!
Joel with Pedro and Pedro’s wife and son

FINDING HEALING   by Janet Clark
In December, my family was privileged to travel to Peru and spend time with wonderful friends Joel, Amy, and Carmen McGee.
My children, Kelsey, Eli, Hannah and Tessa, along with daughter-in-law Anna Wüst and son-in-law Jared Bailey, were able to spend time traveling the river, visiting jungle villages, and meeting people who their dad loved.
After a year of grief, this trip provided us healing. Walking places where Tom poured his heart into Ministry, worshiping alongside believers in a church that grew out of the support and encouragement of JungleMaster Ministries, and experiencing the wonder of God’s creation as river dolphins leaped and splashed around our boat, are all memories that will be treasured!
I’m so grateful for friends of JungleMaster who have supported the work Tom did – work Joel and Amy continue to do, in jungle villages of Peru.
From left to right: Jared, Tessa, Hannah, Kelsey, Janet, Anna, and Eli

Joel, Amy, and Carmen have roughly 3 more months left of their 6 month Spanish course in Arequipa, Peru, and they are already making huge strides with the language. The improvement in Joel’s communication skills was evident when he visited the jungle in December. We’re praising God for their progress!

 Prayer Requests:

  • For us to stay focused on God’s vision for the ministry as we head into 2018
  • For Joel to keep his priorities in order: God first, his wife and family second, and the ministry third
  • For Joel, Amy, and Carmen to get as much out of language school as possible
  • That the benefits of knowing the language better will outweigh any disruption resulting from Joel being temporarily gone from our area of ministry
  • That the new class of seminary students in 2018 will be faithful in their attendance and successful in applying what they learn
  • For wisdom as we consider future projects in the villages

At JungleMaster we strive to use your financial contributions wisely and with the highest integrity. Your 2017 donations totaled $151,458. To the left is a summary of how expenditures were distributed over the year. 

September 2017 Newsletter

Pedro lives in a village located very deep in the jungle. This man is one of the leaders of the church in his village. JungleMaster is currently sponsoring Pedro and his family to attend the seminary training held by the Baptist Mission Society here in Nauta.
At a time when river conditions are right and the weather is good, it takes this family 5 days, traveling in a canoe, to reach Nauta. At one of the previous training sessions, Pedro had shared with me that it was going to be extremely hard to come to the training session to be held in early August, as August is the dry season and the river would be so low that traveling on it would be difficult.
The great news is that they did make it! When I asked him about the trip, he told me that it took the family seven days to get to Nauta. Because there was so little water, the first two days of travel were mostly spent walking, dodging stingrays, and dragging the canoe with his family in it. Praise God that they made it, and for the desire and hunger they have for learning more about their loving Father!

Continue to pray and to lift these villages and people up to God. Pray specifically that they will desire not only to learn the theology of God, but to have an intimate relationship with Him. For it is in this relationship that God not only gives us eternal life with Him, but will change our lives today.

Pedro and his family

Since becoming the official Director of JungleMaster Ministries in March, Joel McGee has thought long and hard about JungleMaster’s future role in the jungle. Because Joel lives in the Amazon, there are many worthwhile projects we could take on. But what is it that God wants us to focus on? After much soul searching, Joel has concluded, once again, that it’s the development of the cofraternity that should be the focus of our ministry in the Amazon. Although some of the cofraternity leaders have now received seminary training and a few among them are eager to be missionaries to other jungle villages, there is much to be done in order to bring them to spiritual maturity. Joel sees the need for him to provide the cofraternity with leadership: teaching and training the members, and providing them with much-needed accountability.
One event being organized to help further these goals is a 2-day retreat for the board of the cofraternity. Joel has enlisted the help of Pastor William, a native from the coastal area of Peru who has been working in Nauta for the past 11 years. Pastor William knows both the language and the culture, and actually specializes in the kind of training the ministry is looking for. The retreat will include one day of fasting, prayer, and self-reflection on each person’s walk with Christ, and one day of discussion on the how and why of boundaries. Please pray for God to use this retreat to deepen the relationship of each of these leaders with Him. 

Joel with some of the cofraternity leaders

Thanks to the generous financial support that is continuing to pour in from many, our missionaries, Joel, Amy, and Carmen McGee are now making plans to attend six months of Spanish Language School in Arequipa, Peru, beginning October 16, 2017. Gaining a better grasp of the Spanish language will aid Joel in having those in-depth conversations needed for guiding the cofraternity leaders along their paths to spiritual maturity. It will also help the entire family alleviate the feelings of isolation they have had while living for more than two years in a city where few people speak English.
Joel has been promised the flexibility to take long weekends once/month to travel back home to Nauta. In this way, he’ll be able to stay in contact with the cofraternity, even while attending school in Arequipa.

Prayer Requests:

-For the last of the funds needed for language school

-For the McGee family’s transition to Arequipa

-For a successful 2-day retreat for the cofraternity board

-For Joel as he guides and mentors the cofraternity leaders

-For successful negotiations as we seek to sell our old boat

June 2017 JungleMaster Newsletter

Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Joel McGee never “signed up” to be the Director of JungleMaster Ministries. In fact, when he made his first trip to Peru seven years ago, he never intended to do anything more than fix boat motors. But God had other plans. Joel considers what followed to be a sort of “bait and switch” experience. Whoever imagined that he would end up living in Nauta, serving as JungleMaster Ministries’ full-time missionary?
In November, after the sudden passing of our founding Director, Tom Clark, Joel took on the huge additional responsibility of leading the ministry: first as our temporary, Interim Director, and starting in March, as our official Director. This was yet another “bait and switch” experience. It was not Joel’s plan, but God’s. Joel willingly accepted the role and is doing a great job so far. But, although the transition is going smoothly, it has also been a challenge. Joel has found his new role to be both busy and exhausting. And, admittedly, without the accustomed camaraderie and the encouragement from Tom via their near-daily phone conversations, the path has been a lonely one for Joel.

The good news is that God’s work in the jungle is moving forward, thanks to Joel’s hard work and the faithful prayers and financial support from so many of you! Here are some of JungleMaster’s ministry highlights since Joel and his family returned to Nauta in January:

Developing and equipping the cofraternity leaders to be disciple-makers in the jungle: 
  • In March, after receiving reassurance that JungleMaster’s ministry in the jungle would continue as it had before, four more leaders began the seminary training in Nauta. This training will help them to be more effective in making disciples in their own communities and beyond. 
  • Pastors who have benefited from seminary training and/or teachings from past missions festivals are now putting their education into practice. In February, Joel and several representatives from JungleMaster traveled 200 miles upriver to the village of Dos de Mayo to see these leaders implement a program of bible studies, teaching, worship, and encouragement for that village.
  • The cofraternity has put together a schedule of additional churches they plan to visit this year (3-4/month), and are working to achieve their goal.
  • With funds from JungleMaster, the cofraternity was able to purchase a boat and motor that is making these trips along the rivers faster than before.
  • The cofraternity has begun to receive a small monthly stipend from JungleMaster which is to be used for things such as gas to travel to other villages. The pastors will need to cooperate amongst themselves in order to agree on how this money is spent. 
  • The cofraternity leaders from various villages have also begun to cooperate with one another to achieve mutual goals, completing new churches in Mundial, Progreso, and Nuevo Union.
Pastor Abram ministering to children in the village of San Roque

Pastor Eduardo of Parinari, (at keyboard), his wife, and others leading worship in San Roque

The cofraternity’s new boat

Besides making numerous trips upriver to meet with the cofraternity as well as to assist other missionaries, Joel has recently been involved with various other projects: 
  • Working with a filming crew, both upriver and in Nauta, to produce two videos for JungleMaster. These videos should be available to us within the next couple of months.
  • Surveying a total of 60 villages along the rivers surrounding Nauta, collecting information about the communities we are serving in, as well as discovering new ones. We will be organizing and reviewing that data soon.
  • Attending the ALTECO Conference in Colorado, a gathering focused on equipping South American missionaries to partner in ministry. The encouragement Joel received from this conference was invaluable.
  • Hosting a team from George Fox University’s engineering program, whose plan was to install solar panels on the JungleMaster missionary house in Nauta. The purpose of this project was to open up the students’ minds to using engineering for things other than just making money.
  • Facilitating needed repairs to the missionary house and yard

Once again, thank-you for your partnership with us in bringing God’s Word to the jungles of the Amazon! 

Prayer requests:
·         For strength (Phil 4:13) and encouragement (1 Thess 5:11) for Joel
·         For follow-through with classes and community visits for the cofraternity