- Caleb Brooks
Send Us A Pastor!
By Caleb Brooks
The monotonous noise of the motor droned. Brilliant blue skies contrasted against the bright and expansive lush Guyanese jungle below. Inside the small bush plane, no one spoke. Clifton Brooks piloted the plane with an aching heart. His mind whirled with painful confusion as he thought over the past difficult days. Earlier that week he flew a young man and woman from Chenaweng, a remote Guyanese village, to the hospital in the capital city of Georgetown. But today, that same young woman lay dead, her body wrapped in trash bags. Her husband sat beside Clifton as they flew home for her burial. He was a strong man, but his agony was clear. The man sat staring out the window, unable to talk. His lips pressed firmly together, attempting to hide the agony crushing his spirit. Clifton yearned to relieve the young man’s grief. His beautiful and loving wife was dead, but why? Did she know Jesus? Did she have the chance to hear the priceless gospel? Just days ago, the couple flew in the opposite direction joyful, now death and sorrow returned to a family that would never see her again. She would never again experience the joy of jungle life or the compassionate care of the Chenaweng Village.
As the little yellow and white bush plane circled high above, a group gathered at the Chenwang strip. Anticipating eyes watched as its little white wings wobbled, doing their best to line up perfectly for the approach. Within a few seconds, it touched down, bumping down the runway and bringing a sense of awe but pain in its wake. A colossal group parted as the plane taxied towards them. Grief washed over them as the husband stepped from the plane. Clifton recognized the family immediately. Their bodies lay spread across the sand as they beat their fists into the dry turf. Wailing and screaming pierced the jungle air with their uncontrollable agony. Clifton saw the despair on their faces. Their tears fell like rain spilling onto the jungle floor. He longed to comfort these people, but his heartache stole every word from his heart.
Discouragement flooded every soul as despair permeated the air. The people pressed around him, as the village elders lifted the woman’s lifeless body out of the back of the small plane. Maybe it was the grief or the overwhelming emotional instability, but unloading the deceased proved a difficult challenge.
Men nailed a few boards together to make a crude coffin and placed the woman inside. Weeping villagers followed behind, filling the jungle with their cries of despair. For miles around, there was no one to comfort. The village had no antidote for death, no hope of a future beyond. Death was waiting for all of them, and nothing could ease its pain.
A funeral was held that day around the woman’s shallow jungle grave. The chief and Tasao (tribal captain) shared memories of the young woman and lamented over her short life. A dark spirit hung over the village, engulfing it in pain and misery. Hundreds of miles from civilization, these people were torn down and shaken by their lack of something they could not understand.
After the funeral, the Tashao ran to Clifton and spoke with tears flowing down his face, as the villagers watched, eyes gaping from the fear and pain they held.
“We see that you have something we do not. Our spirits are crushed by this loss. Where can we find comfort and peace? Where can we run for help? How can we have joy in our lives? Please send us a pastor. Send us someone who can teach us to have the peace we long for. Please bring Jesus to us!”
Clifton’s eyes glazed with emotion. Where were the ministers, the missionaries, and the Bible workers to comfort these people? The words “send us a pastor” imprinted themselves in Cliton’s mind. These people had a void in their hearts and wanted the truth and peace Jesus brought. They longed for His joy in their lives, but there was no one. No one to reach out to these hungry, dying souls. No one to share the simple, powerful message of Christ’s love.
Why couldn’t these people have the same peace and comfort as Christians in America? The harvest was ready. People were hungry for Christ’s redemptive love, but there was no one to give it to them. The fruit was ripe and overflowing, but no one was willing to harvest it, as it fell to the ground wasted. Where were God’s ambassadors? Where were the laborers to give up their lives of vanity and comfort to share God’s comfort with an aching soul? All over the world, opportunities to share are profuse. Souls need God's bright light.
That day Clifton’s mission came into focus. He would equip missionaries to reach these helpless people, dying of spiritual starvation. No matter the cost, these souls needed to hear of the love of Christ before it was too late. Chenaweng and countless other villages would receive the light of the Holy Spirit to comfort, brighten, and encourage their lives. He was committed, and his God is powerful.