The Little Pastors
In the jungle of the Philippines, a missionary is faced with a choice.
Mike Cordes sits on a riverbank, taking in the sounds of the jungle: insect wings buzz, the river murmurs under a carpet of water lilies, a Kingfisher chirps nearby. He is listening for the rumble of motorcycle engines which will herald the arrival of his medical missions trainees. The trainees live in a remote village and have faced an arduous 2-day journey to attend training: traveling on foot and via motorcycles (when possible). Towards the end of their expedition, the plan was for Cordes to meet them here and guide them the rest of the way.
“Here in the mountains of Mindanao,” says Cordes, “there are communist rebel forces. Because of civil unrest and cultural changes, we have also seen much division within the tribal groups.”
“As I was sitting by the river,” he remembers, “I could see, about 40 meters ahead, a person watching me.”
Cordes is a part of GoBeDo Missions, an organization committed to enabling and training local Philippine missionaries in Bible, agriculture, education and medicine and then sending them out into remote mountain villages where people are in need. This holistic approach yields positive results in countries, like the Philippines, that fall within the 10/40 window (the areas between 10 and 40 degrees north latitude). This area of the globe has the highest level of socioeconomic challenges and the least access to the Christian message.
The odds were quite high that this unknown observer was not a believer. Cordes was faced with a choice: greet the individual or run. “My first line of defense was to pray and claim a promise. Knowing that every person is a candidate for heaven, God gave me the strength to move forward to greet this individual despite not knowing their intentions.”
To Cordes’ elated surprise, he found the person to be a teenage boy with a mental handicap. “As an American, I could not speak his language so I was thankful I had one of the solar players by MegaVoice in my backpack,” he says. “It created a way for me to connect with this child.”
This was not an isolated incident either. “Many missionaries have been inspired to trek these into remote mountain villages,” says Cordes, and they are using MegaVoice players (lovingly referred to as ‘Little Pastors’ by the locals) as a tool to connect in friendship. In a historically animistic culture, “many chieftains are now hearing messages of hope that can only come in knowing our Savior Jesus Christ.”
“That day laughing and praying with this boy made me realize more than ever,” remembers Cordes, “that God is the only real connecting link that can heal us as broken people.”
You can help Mike Cordes and GoBeDo Missions continue to distribute “little pastors” using the link below.