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NEW TRANSLATION! 50th Country

bush negroesAwe Star will be traveling to our 50th country this year- Suriname. We will be living among the Saramacca  Bush Negros. The Joshua Project has labeled this people group as UNREACHED. Our team will be using Chronological Bible Storytelling as a tool to draw crowds and share the Gospel. The Gospel will be shared in their native heart language-Saramaccan. Last week we received this new translation and it sounds great!

You might ask how in the world did we get connected with a place like Suriname? I am so glad you asked.

I got a call one day from a soft-spoken man named Clayton Posey. 

For years, Clayton lived and worked exporting lumber in the country of Suriname. During his time there, God did a mighty work among the jungle people known as Bush Negroes.

When I mention the country of Suriname, most people have no idea where it is. This small South American country, just north of Brazil, lies between two other forgotten countries, Guyana and French Guiana. Ruled by the Dutch until gaining independence in 1975, Suriname is as unique as it is diverse. Until the early 1800s, the Dutch colonists brought slaves from Africa to work in their coffee and sugar plantations. Many of these slaves escaped to the country’s interior. Here, they recreated their West African culture and acquired the name they bear to this day, “Bush Negroes.”

As Clayton began to tell us how God was working there, our hearts were moved. He told a story of a Saramaccan witch doctor named Anakay who had a dream in which God revealed Himself. He told Anakay His name was Jehovah and that He had a Son named Jesus. In that same dream, God told Anakay to throw all of his witch doctor and sorcery tools into the river, so he obeyed. Next, God told him that one day, a man with a black book would come and tell the people more about Jesus.

When Anakay reported this dream back to his people, they kicked him out of the village, fearing an evil spirit had come upon him. From then on, he prepared his family for the day the man with the black book would arrive. He taught his people to pray and to thank God for their blessings. He was bold and told many others about his God. A pastor heard this story from one of the descendants of Anakay and new that it was from God. He asked, “What is the name of your God?” The man replied, “All we know is that His name is Jehovah and has a Son named Jesus.” “That is my God!” The pastor excitedly replied. “We have been waiting for you for 60 years to tell us more about this God.” said the man with tears in his eyes.

From that day forward, this village embraced the life and teachings of Christ. But now, they want to evangelize the other villages and need help. This past spring, our ministry sent Chad Thompson, vice president of Awe Star, to Suriname. There, he met the witch doctor’s grandson, now the pastor of the church there. This pastor invited us to join him in reaching the other Bush Negroes who live deep in the interior of their country. This summer, we will send a team of students to live and work there for five weeks.

It may take you a moment to understand the full scope of what happened. First, God revealed Himself to a witch doctor in the interior of Suriname. Sixty years later, a man with a black book showed up and began to tell them, as Paul Harvey used to say, “The rest of the story.” A man from Oklahoma who worked in Suriname met the man with the black book. He used his business to help build community centers that will be turned into churches when the Bush Negroes embrace the gospel message. This man, Clayton Posey, knew the Bush Negroes needed help to bring the vision to fulfillment. He contacted us, and soon, Awe Star will serve in the country of Suriname.

Children

What is even more incredible is that God will speak to someone’s heart, even now as you are reading this, and go on this trip. And this summer people who have never heard the Gospel will come to Christ, and the church will be established among the Bush Negroes.

That, my friend, is how big a God we serve! If you are 16 or older and would like to join Team Suriname and head upriver to live and serve among the forgotten Bush Negroes, please contact Awe Star Ministries. You can find more information at www.awestar.org, or call our office at 918/664-3500 and talk to one of our mission counselors.

God is still writing the rest of the story. Will it include you?

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