Are you dreaming of going places where you have never been, seeing things that you have never seen? Watch this 5 minutes video documentary from our latest trip to the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador visiting remote places.
As a traveling preacher, I always take time to go around to see places and enjoy God’s creation. So far I have visited more than 70 nations. I know preachers who go from airport to hotel, to church and back without seeing anything of the country or the state they go to, but that is not my story. Taking time off, meeting new people inside and outside the church and keeping my program for adventure keeps me original and fresh, on fire but not burned out. I have been doing this since I started fulltime ministry in 1996.
This year I have been two times in the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador to preach the gospel. First time I went with a group of pastors, and as I checked into my hotel, I decided to go fishing. It turned out that the owner of the hotel had a brother who was an expert in jungle trips. We spent the afternoon fishing, and his wife cooked the fish for us in the evening. This was before the crusade, and I was overwhelmed with joy when I saw the tour guide at the meeting, standing in front of the platform, giving his life to Christ later at the crusade!
The second time, I went with my youngest son, a Danish pastor and a ministry friend from Texas. We came two days before the meetings so we could have time for adventure. The tour guide picked us up in the airport, and we spend the first day in the jungle with him, visiting remote villages, fishing, eating fresh fish, swimming in waterfalls and river rafting on the Postaza River. While we were doing this, another tour guide ended up giving his life to Christ! This was priceless, such a blessing, both for me and for the team.
The next day, a lawyer whom I had met on my first trip came to see us. He was flying in a little two-seater ultralight plane together with another new missionary friend of mine. They flew us into the deep jungle to visit and to preach to the villagers. I used to fly my own plane years ago, so they allowed me to fly on the way back and land the plane. How cool was that! I felt so rich, knowing that we could not have paid that day with money, this was the blessings of God!
The crusade in Puyo was powerful. We had heavy rain because of the season, but still, 3-500 people showed up during the evening meetings. I was interviewed by radio and television, we ran a Facebook campaign to advertise for the event, and many people got saved, healed, filled with the Holy Spirit and set free. For me this is the ultimate adventure, nothing thrills me more than witnessing God touching peoples lives.
After the meetings I went with my son and the lawyer across the Andes, which are the biggest chain of mountains in South America. We were riding motorcycles, and the lawyer followed in his pickup truck as a backup in case something should happen. At one point I could not see the car in front of me because we were driving so high in the mountains, actually, we were driving through the clouds, through heavy rain showers, for 10 hours till we finally made it to a hotel surrounded by natural hot volcanic baths. We were frozen to the bone so we stayed in those hot baths for a long time!
Next day we started the descend to Esmeraldas on Ecuador’s Pacific Coast, I found out that the lawyers family own an apartment there right next to the beach. It was dark when we arrived, we were so tired, but waking up early the next morning was worth the drive. The ocean with its big waves was speaking to us about Gods greatness. “Let’s go fishing”, I said, and right there at the table in the breakfast restaurant, we found a young guy who knew a fisherman who would take us out on the ocean. Within a few minutes, we were sitting in his boat, miles off the coast with lines and hooks and bait catching lots of fish. God must have been smiling to us because the fish kept biting and biting.
On the way back I asked the fisherman if he knew how to grill the fish. We made a fire on the beach, and I invited him and his whole family to come and join the party. He had seven children and no wife, was poor and sweet and hardworking and that night was again priceless around the fire with the wonderful man and his children and friends. As we were eating, my lawyer friend started telling his testimony of how Jesus had grabbed him when he was at his lowest. We were all touched, and late that night around the fire the fishermen and their children gave their lives to Christ. Some of them got baptized in the Holy Spirit right there on the beach and spoke in new tongues.
That night we walked back to the apartment on the beach with the big waves rolling in, thanking God for his goodness and kindness. Tired and satisfied we returned to the airport the next day, meeting up with the rest of the team who had been preaching in different churches. We boarded the plane at midnight, and landed at 5 o’clock in the morning, picking up a rental car that brought us back home, just in time for my son’s wedding the following day.
Some people think that Christians are boring and that all they do is pray and go to church. I must say that is such a wrong presumption. My life is never boring. Life with Christ is a blast.
On my recent mission trip to Ecuador my son, Hector preached for the first time in a church in Puya. At the meeting was a lady who travels among the tribal people and she liked his message so much that she invited him to come and preach for one of the Huaorani communities in the jungle. He was the only white man, 23 years old, and she wanted him to share his testimony with the young people in the tribe. He had to be there at sunset which meant that she would come and pick him up from our hotel at 3 am in the morning!
Going to bed after the meeting he was so tired that he wished she would not be there, but he was still excited to go when she came and knocked on the door. They went an hour by car until they came to a small village. People in the community were sitting around the fire waiting for him, and he was received as a king. First, they painted his face and gave him a crown on his head. Then they gave him a necklace and an armband and a drum around his neck. Together with the other guests this morning, he started strumming the drum and walking around the fire. He had no clue what was going on since he did not speak their language, everything he said was translated, first from English to Spanish and then to their tribal language. At one point they wiped his arms with a plant to welcome him. Later he had an allergic reaction on his skin and found it that it was a poisonous plant! As the ceremony went on, he got served chicha, a fermented drink made of spit and yucca. He was served by each family and like this, he officially became a part of the Huaorani family.
As they were sitting around the fire, they all had their bible study with prayer and worship. For breakfast, they were served fish and banana wrapped in banana leaves. After breakfast, they took him to the river. They use bongos as transportation which are boats carved out of wooden trunks. Quite impressing how these bongos are able to float and transport people through the enormous Amazon delta!
Visiting the Huaorani people was a “one in a lifetime” experience. Hector was the only gringo invited to take part in this adventure, the rest of the team had to stay behind. When he came back before noon and I saw the painting on his face, the pictures of the tribal people, and the videos, we had a good laugh together, this was so unexpected, one of those things that God puts together for his people to enjoy.
When we came to the crusade in the evening, God and the Huaorani people had another surprise for us. Now it was my turn to receive the honour, and for this, I still give God the glory. My son and I received a crown and a necklace as a sign of respect, one more time, and now I rightly can call myself Warrior of the Huaorani …
If you click on this link you can see how Hector and I were crowned by our hosts at the last night of the crusade!
Coming home from the last miracle crusade in Ecuador my wife would pick me up at the airport and ask me a ton of questions. I was gone for a week, and even though we have had our daily updates through Facebook, it seems like my wife always wants to know everything. Not so much about the trip, but more in details about the people, the miracles etc. Questions like, how many people got saved, what did you preach about, what was the biggest miracle and so on …
As usual, I let her talk because I don’t know how to answer! After preaching my brains out several times a day I am so tired, not to mention the travelling and the past two days of only a few hours of sleep. What was the biggest miracle? Was it the little blind girl that got her sight back, the deaf ears that opened, the man with the kidney problems that got healed, the woman that was crippled by arthritis who suddenly had no pain, the man that was delivered from unclean spirits or the owner of the kayak rental and his family that got saved.
Every person is unique, created in the image of God. You can’t compare miracles, so why even try? All I can say is that I am so thankful that I was invited to be in this crusade and see the mighty move of the Holy Spirit. It was awesome to see how peoples lives were touched and forever changed. The meetings were held in a big basketball stadium. First night 250 people came and the second night 600 people came. More than 150 prayed the prayer of salvation. If we had continued one night more, I believe the place would have been full.
Our son Hector was with me on this trip and I saw God’s gift over his life unfold. He was preaching for the first time and was ministering with words of knowledge and prophecy. After he preached he received a special invitation to go to the jungle to share the Word amongst the tribal people. He was picked up at 3 am in the morning to get to the village. They gathered around the fire before sunset for worship, bible study and prayer. They welcomed him like a king, brought him gifts and painted his face. He was the only white man visiting. Every family gave him a drink to show him honour and he was officially adopted into their tribe. When he came back to the hotel, he still had the paint on his face, and at the evening meeting, the indigenous people had prepared another ceremony for him. Here they put a crown on his head, and next thing, they did the same to me, as a token of honour and love.
Preaching the gospel is a privilege. As a young man, I gave my life to Christ so that He can live His life in me and through me. Now I live my life for others to see and experience the life of Christ. It is such an honour to serve him and I don’t take it lightly. Going to Ecuador, to the exact same area where American missionaries got killed by Huaorani tribesmen in the 1950’s for preaching the gospel, was a privilege. We were literally walking in the footsteps of the men that were killed and the wives, that went to the jungle to fulfil the mission of their passed husbands, preaching the gospel to the tribal people. We went to churches established by people who were saved through their testimonies. What we witnessed over this past week was the fruit of the sacrifice they gave, as we were passing on the baton for the coming generations to be saved.
In 1992 I made an adventurous trip through the Amazon Jungle. I went together with a friend to Boa Vista, Venezuela, and hired a local with a “bongo” that could take us from the Orinoco River to the Rio Negro and onto the Great Amazon River. Through the rainforest to the Yanomami Indians which was the latest discovered tribe in the Amazon jungle. It took us several weeks on the rivers before we arrived, and when we finally got there I suffered from an ear infection, my head swallowed up from swimming in the river with the chief, and had to be transported by boat down the river to receive medical treatment in the nearest village
It was a wild trip, meeting the indigenous people, sleeping in hammocks, fishing piranha, monkey hunting, encountering wild animals and all kinds of poisonous snakes, fighting mosquitos and being stopped on the rivers in the night by the military. When I finally made it to Peru five weeks later I could not wait to go home to my wife!
Back then I was studying Spanish at the Business University in Copenhagen and every year I would go to South America to improve my language skills and to explore business opportunities that would pay for my trips. This was before God called me an evangelist. I used to be an adventurer, but after I surrendered my life fully to Jesus he became the ultimate adventure of my life. There is nothing like serving him, travelling with him, walking in the miraculous, experiencing this predestined Christian lifestyle.
When I went through the Amazon Jungle as a young man, I wanted to serve him. Little did I know that one day, 25 years later, he would take me back to the rainforest, not as an adventurer but preaching the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love people and I can’t wait to meet the people in Puya. I know it’s gonna be a wild experience. I expect God to do wild things as we travel around to churches, minister to leaders and families and preach Jesus to the people that are not yet saved.
One time I was travelling with my friend, we met this family that was living in the jungle. The mother was paralyzed in both legs and was sitting on the floor in the cabin where they lived. I told her about Jesus, and when she received him as her personal Lord and Savior, the woman was healed. We led the whole family to Christ that day and they got baptized in the Holy Spirit. When we left they were all smiling and the mother was walking around.
This time I will only be going for a week, together with my son Hector and some of my pastors’ friends from “Heart of Titus” which is an American mission organisation, and I am set up for a crusade in the Ecuadorian part of the Amazon Jungle in a smaller city called Puja. If you have ever heard about the movie “The End of The Spear”, this is the same area, where American missionaries died on a mission in the 1950’s and sparked the revival among the violent Waodani tribe.
I expect God to do great miracles during the crusade in Puya. Keep us in your prayers as we travel next week. God has called us to go, not only to the highways and byways but to the ends of the world. My prayer is always, “God, do something I have not seen before” and He keeps doing it. When I think I have seen it all, there is still more.
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor. 2.9.