What, you may ask, could a five and seven year old possibly have to offer these insurgents, and more importantly, why would their mother allow them to render aid to some of the most hateful and fierce fighters that currently occupy our planet?
The facts: Colombia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. It has been ravaged by decades of civil war between revolutionary left-wing guerrilla groups such as the FARC and the NLN. Although these terrorist groups claim lofty goals such as representation of the rural poor, opposition to meddling by foreign governments, and protection of natural resources, their covert agenda seeks to overthrow the government and establish a communist agrarian state, control the country's lucrative drug crops, and make some extra cash through kidnapping and ransom, extortion, and a mafia style "tax" on peasants for "protection."
These are no ordinary soldiers with ordinary weapons. Sure, these insurgents possess an enormous arsenal of guns and bombs, but they do not limit themselves to traditional weaponry. The FARC and NLN fighters also rely on terror, assassinations, gang rape, and coercion of children in order to train them be killing machines and perform the most dangerous dirty work in their stead.
A commonality among the various rebel groups is that they preach atheism throughout their ranks, wanting fighters to only pledge allegiance to "the cause." Christianity is especially hated since followers of Christ teach a message of peace, forgiveness, and love for one's enemies. Missionaries have been run out of the country or summarily executed. Those unfortunate believers trapped in the jungle with the guerrillas have seen their churches burned, their Bibles confiscated, and have frequently been murdered in cold blood for refusing to renounce their faith in Christ.
Often the Colombian government has met for peace talks with the various guerrilla factions. These talks have been anemic, fruitless, and have always devolved into ever-increasing cycles of violence.
Sound hopeless? Are these radical guerrillas "too far gone" to experience God's grace and mercy? To a rational mind, it would seem so. However, there is One who can bring peace, healing, hope, and redemption out of even a hell on earth inhabited by evil and violent men bent on death and destruction.
Most encouraging is the testimony of the Apostle Paul, himself an enemy of Christians and a mass murderer. Bent on exterminating Christians, he exclaimed after conversion that "...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst." (I Tim. 1:15). If God can change a heart like Paul's, then he can change the heart of a Colombian guerrilla.
Because the jungles are very difficult to penetrate by land and dangerous to navigate, a Christian pilot named Russell has been taking to the skies. He flies over the Colombian jungle and deposits small parachutes with an attached bag containing Christian books in Spanish and a short-wave radio pre-tuned to a Christian station.
Russell, operates at great risk to his safety. If he flies too high, the Colombian government will shoot him down, assuming he is a drug runner. If he flies too low, the rebels will shoot him down, assuming he is an enemy. If captured, he faces torture and execution.
Our family has ordered parachute kits from Voice of the Martyrs, an organization striving to get the Bible and other materials into this difficult-to-reach area of the world. We have been constructing parachutes using a simple pattern and directions. When we return the parachutes, a bag with the books and radio will be attached and Russell will drop them and the other parachutes collected from all over the world deep into the thick underbrush of the Colombian jungle.
Our parachute kit included a video interviewing Russell and actually showing him going on a mission and dropping parachutes from the sky. Amazing! The video additionally features some former assassins who have come to Christ, laid down their weapons, and are now preaching the gospel to their former comrades as well as former enemies.
Any new convert in the Colombian jungle has likely signed his death warrant. If he speaks up to share the good news of the gospel, he stands a great chance of being killed by his former "friends." However, there have been amazing movements of the Holy Spirit where the message is getting through and soldiers are receiving it. Instead of retaliation, they fall to their knees and seek forgiveness and peace.
There is a saying, "A racehorse can run just as fast in any direction," said a missionary on Colombia. If you get guerrillas going the right direction, they become powerhouses for the Lord." Guerrillas are trained to be fearless, and some new believers have decided to be fearless for the cause of Christ.
Is penetrating the Colombian jungle with the gospel extremely difficult and wrought with danger? Yes! Impossible? NO! "What is impossible with man is possible with God." (Luke 18:27) The gospel is good news, and history tells us that in many different contexts all over the world, the gospel is powerful and the message of Jesus cannot be stopped.
Mika and Macy are very excited about a hands-on opportunity to provide parachutes and join the mission! They have been busy cutting, gluing, and assembling; construction of ten parachutes is near completion. Before mailing them off, our family will pray for the hearts of the guerrillas who will receive these airborne materials as they are strategically dropped in and around the guerrilla camps.
We are covert suppliers to the Colombian guerrillas of the greatest weapon in the world, "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Eph. 8:17)
For more information, or to order a parachute kit(s), see http://www.voiceofthemartyrs.org/