Atacuari is the very last Colombian community on its southern border with Peru-

in the Amazon basin.  FIM missionary, Dave Love, and national pastor, Nixon, heard reports about unreached indigenous communities that are likely hostile to the outside world.  They sought to reach these people.  Dave wrote the following account.

Turning a bend in the river, the village on the shore came into view against the lush dark green jungle background. We cut the engine and glided smoothly up onto the muddy bank.  I quickly glanced up the hill wondering if we would be received as friends or foe.

Suddenly, an armed man appeared at the horizon, a police officer. Those in the jungle many times are a law unto themselves.  At least there was a measure of law and order in the village.

Pastor Nixon and I slowly walked up to the lawman and introduced ourselves as evangelical missionaries who have come to share Good News with this village.  The policeman directed us to a village leader who in turn directed us to the village ‘curaca’ (chief) to secure his approval for our visit to reach this entire unreached area.

As we walked toward the ‘curaca’s’ house, we noticed a shirtless man with a machete emerge. Nixon took the lead and introduced us. The chief called for three chairs and we sat down along the river under a canopy.

About 30 minutes into the conversation something unusual happened.  The chief opened his heart and started to talk about emotional pain which his father had afflicted on him for many years. His eyes welled up with tears.  The possible hostile encounter unexpectedly became a friendly visit!  We quickly put our pastoral hats on.

The chief was so grateful for a listening ear.  He told Pastor Nixon that we are “more than welcome here, in fact you can begin the Bible studies immediately.  And if you need land to build a church, here it is right here!”  I about fell off my chair!  I looked at Pastor Nixon, who rarely smiles.  He had a smile on his face!  We prayed for the chief, gave him a Bible and with a new spring in our step returned to our boat.

 Pastor Nixon suddenly stopped, turned to look at me and said, “I cannot believe what just happened.  This is a dream come true.  Since I was saved, I’ve dreamed of reaching all the way up to this border where Colombia ends.”  I blurted out, “Me too, brother!”  We stood there on the edge of Colombia looking across the river a stone’s throw to Peru taking it all in.   It was like we both had run a marathon and just crossed the finish line!

Photo of Pastor Nixon (left) and Dave Love (right) in Atacuari, Colombia.  Pastor Nixon is smiling—one of the happiest days of his life.