Sunday, October 21, 2007

New Tribe found

Today, while chatting with my brother on the phone, he asked if there were still indians living in the jungles of South America. Just a few hours later, I read the following article from the BBC: In essence it states that a new tribe of nomadic indians has been spotted in the Peruvian jungle, near the border with Brazil. This is facinating to me and I'm looking forward to befriending and ministering among the indiginous people of the Amazon. (We have two Latin America ChildCare Schools in the jungle, though not among unknown tribes.) Unfortunatly, contact with outsiders can be deadly for tribes such as these, since they have no immunity to infectious diseases. I tend to think of the outsiders that they would encounter as missionaries, but the truth of the matter is that missionaries are not usually the first or only people to forge into the jungle. 100 years ago, it was industrial firms searching for rubber. Now, it is frequently oil firms, logging companies or environmentalists. (It would be a horrible irony to catch a deadly disease from an environmentalist. It's important to note that environmentalists can also catch diseases from jungle dwellers.) When Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador, returned to Peru for his second visit, 1/3 of the population had been decimated by infectious diseases contracted from the Spanard's virst visit. Unfortunately, another 1/3 died from civil war, so that contact with outsiders is not the only evil that may befall native peoples. In the end, keeping a people group alive by restricting their contact with the outside world is an impossibility. They will eventually die of something. There are infectious diseases and deadly dangers that have nothing to do with people from other communities. Jungle natives, like their city dwelling counterparts, have no immunity against sin or death--both of which they are guarenteed to experience. That's why we're going to Peru. There are a lot of people who are lost in the jungle--whether it is the Amazon Jungle or the concrete jungle of Lima (with over 8 million people). They all need to know the good news of eternal life that is the gift of Jesus Christ. C.S. Lewis said that the Gospel is like a virus and that our job is to infect the world.

(The picture above is of the Yagua tribe.)

No comments: