Tribal believers in Venezuela face a new threat to them spiritually.

By September 22, 2003

Venezuela (MNN) — Guerrilla violence in South America is forcing missionaries out of the jungle and into big cities. New Tribes Mission’s Merrill Dyck is one such missionary, who works with the Pume (poo-MAY) people in Venezuela. He worked in the jungle for 25 years before being forced out.

He says “We were in a very dangerous area, close to the Colombian border where the guerrillas were kidnapping people and causing grief. The warnings came in thick and strong. We suddenly packed up real fast. 10-days later the guerrillas hit the station.”

Pume church leaders travel to the city for discipleship. Dyck says, “We have Rendezvous with the Pume leadership team periodically in a safe location. We get together about three times a year” and help them in discipleship and leadership training. The end goal, says Dyck is to “give them the whole ball of wax, let them run with it and see the churches totally standing on their own.”

While this part of the work is continuing, Dyck tells MNN there’s a new threat to their work. “There’s an anthropologist in there who’s fighting hard to stop Christianity among the Pume. And, what they’re trying to do basically is poison the Pume and get them back into the old ways, the ancestral teachings, and give up everything that has to do with Scriptures.”

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