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The Knott's September 2018 Update
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The following is a summary of DJ's presentations during our trip to the US in August/September. You can copy and paste this link into your browser for a 20 minute video presentation. (Starts at 12:31)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUy7CdRpa7k&t=1755s

Spirit of the Pioneers

 

J.W. Westphal had a problem. As President of the South American Union he was eager to recruit new foreign missionaries, but there was no money to send them. 


The year was 1909 and the General Conference was meeting in a tent in Tacoma Park, MD.

Mingling with the delegates were two young gospel workers. They had left the successful sanitarium they had founded in Akron, Ohio to attend the GC session. The reason? They were volunteering to take their family overseas for service in Africa or South America. Their names were Fernando and Ana Stahl.
Stahl Family - Photo from Adventist Heritage Vol. 12 No. 2
The G.C. was willing to support them but there was no money for the passage to Lima, Peru. Westphal was reluctant to break the bad news to the young couple. When he finally told them about the problem, they didn’t hesitate for a moment. “If money is the problem,” Fernando replied, “I have the money and we will gladly pay our own transportation to have the privilege of serving God in a difficult field.” 
 
Privilege? Yes! It reminds me of something David Livingstone said years earlier…

“If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”
Stahls in Peru - Photo from Adventist Heritage Vol. 12 No. 2
The Stahls sailed to Peru and crossed the Andes mountains to begin work in highland regions of Bolivia and Peru. Teaching the Indians to read the Bible for themselves upset the whole feudal system and the missionaries faced fierce opposition. Although attempts were made to stone, burn, lynch and jail both the missionaries and their converts, the church grew to over 2000 members in just a decade. Dozens of native teachers, trained in the Stahl’s school, spread across the highland regions, opening schools and raising up new congregations.
www.adventistas.org
What an inspiration the Stahls have been for us. When we began our work in Bolivia nearly a century later, it was difficult. The mountain people were highly suspicious of our intentions. Nevertheless, one local leader believed our story and invited us to his village, thus beginning a work that has yet to be completed. The connection? This man attended a mission school 40 years ago that was founded and run by graduates of the Stahl’s school/missionary training center.

Here are a few more recent stories of our dedicated volunteers.
Alex

We had been on the trail 3 hours by the time we reached the Rio Plata. Everyone threw down their packs for a rest. We had been told it was a 3-hour hike and after crossing a pass and descending 1000 ft. into this river valley everyone thought we must be close. Finally, someone asked our guide if we were close to the village. He pointed to a lone Eucalyptus tree, 1500 ft. above us on the far mountainside. Eyes were big all around.

“How long,” someone ventured to ask.

“About an hour,” was the reply but everyone also knew that was the estimate for a local (ie speed-hiker).

Dr. Alex looked nervous and his eyes popped even wider. I was sure he would never come on another trip with me. He likes to be “well-prepared” and his pack was the heaviest of all. How his scant 120-pound frame managed to haul it up these mountains at 12,000 ft. was beyond me. Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of Alex’s woes.
The next morning the evidence showed that Alex had the sweetest blood, the fleas preferring him 10:1 over the rest of us. Another two-hour hike, attending people in the cold chill of the thick-walled adobe huts, and a final 5-hour hike filled the next day. We decided to leave our sleeping bags behind to lighten the packs but had many hours that night to contemplate our folly. The heavy wool blankets our host provided us were very stiff and let in drafts of cold mountain air. To make matters worse, the sheep fleeces under us were damp and the fleas must have thought they were having Thanksgiving dinner. There was no way Alex or any of the volunteer doctors would come with me again!
 
That was nearly 3 years ago now and Alex is one of my closest friends. We have benefited from his cheerful professionalism on 15 trips. He knows the villagers by name and is the first one up the steepest climbs, albeit with a much smaller pack. He never forgets a sleeping bag though… or flea repellant. And I always find myself inspired by his missionary spirit.
Brother Fermin

Last February we were traveling into the mountains to visit a community that had asked for a church. Along the way we stopped in a small town to pick up some of the local Adventist elders as translators. In the Bolivian culture, plans always change and it is very normal for people to cancel and pull out of things at the last minute. I was not worried when only 2 of the 3 recruits were able to go with us. Brother Fermin had things to attend to at home.
 
The community we went to was very receptive and our group split, each taking a translator to visit individual families. The thatch-roofed huts were spread out over several kilometers of mountainside, a five-hour hike from the end of the road. We would be hard pressed to visit them all before our time ran out. I was wishing for Brother Fermin’s help. After spending the night with a family over the hill, the Pastor, our translator and I returned to Gregorio’s house where we met the other half of our team. Kevin and Brother Pascual were deep in Bible study with Gregorio’s family as we slipped inside to join them.
As Pascual explained grace in the Aymara language, my eyes adjusted to the darkness in the windowless hut. To my great surprise, there sat Brother Fermin, whom we’d left behind. I could hardly believe my eyes. When the study was over I asked how he had caught up with us. “I finished with my other obligations and walked here,” he said quietly.
 
I looked down at his tough feet, clad in homemade rubber sandals, and did a quick mental calculation. It would have taken him at least 10 hours on foot to cover the ground between his home village and this one. All he had brought was a coat and his sheet of plastic to guard against the rain. I suddenly realized that I had misjudged this humble 72-year-old farmer. Inside, his heart burned a missionary spirit much stronger than my own.
The local translators: Brother Pablo, Brother Pascual and Brother Fermin.
How is your faith today? Do stories of these dedicated and tireless pioneers inspire you? What about the missionary flame in our hearts? Is it burning brightly or do we need a refill of the Holy Spirit’s anointing oil to burst back into flame?
 
God has a missionary call for each of us today. Some need to “go home” like the healed demoniac in Decapolis; others need to go across the street, across town, or across the globe. Will you commit with me to be willing and available to do God’s assignment for us, no matter what our age, our circumstances, or our assignment? Lord, please begin today and grow us into the missionaries You want us to be.
 
-The Knott Family
Facebook: GMA Bolivia Highlands
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Super Cub

In Process

We've just paid the registration costs on the Super Cub and are told that it is should be flying by the end of the year.
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Ways God has Provided:

1. Pilot's License Conversion - $500

2. Progress on Airplane paperwork and licenses.
Needs From Here Forward:

1. Expected Pilot's License Conversion Cost - $300 remaining

2. BSISA permission to buy airplane fuel - $1000

3. Megavoice Project: MP3 players with Bible stories and the New Testament in Aymara. $1000
U.S. Trip
DJ shared about our mission project in six different churches throughout northern New England and the GA-Cumberland area.
We cleaned up a donated 172 that had been sitting for a while. A friend is fixing it up. It will eventually be sold to raise money for the aviation project in Bolivia.
We had some family fun along the way too.
Hadassah's first time to the Atlantic Ocean! She was a fan of the beach but not the water :P
It's always a blessing to spend time in the States doing the things that we don't get to do in Bolivia like lake swimming, camping, blueberry picking, and hiking in mountains with trees.
God gave us a special gift and we got to use our local library's free week-long pass to the Chattanooga zoo. This only comes available every 4-6 months and it had to have been divine providence that we had our "turn" right in the middle of our two weeks in TN!
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Gospel Mission Aviation, Inc.


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Please include a note stating “Bolivia Highlands - Knott” or your project of choice.



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