Bruce Olson went to the jungles of Colombia as a 19-year-old in 1960. He's now 80 years old. He has brought the gospel to 90,000 unreached tribes in Colombia by translating the Bible into 19 languages and helping them maintain their customs while becoming Christians and dealing with the Western world. His amazing story is told in his book Bruchko and a sequel a few years later. He was on the cover of Charisma years ago, and we have written about him many times.
Christian Life magazine, the forerunner to Charisma magazine, reported on his missionary work, and Charisma continues to do so. The support is ongoing through the partners of Christian Life Missions, our nonprofit partner. When I learned of this critical need I recorded a video that I also put on my Strang Report podcast, hoping that by sharing the burden, we can raise the $20,000 he needs.
The video explains it better than I can. I hope you watch it. We at Christian Life Missions are asking you to help us raise at least $20,000 to assist Olson in his ministry in the jungles of Colombia. All of these funds will go to help him underwrite the tremendous costs of training and equipping personnel to protect the indigenous people medically from sickness and disease the Western world is bringing into their regions. You can click here to donate to this special need. As I have said many times, every dollar you send Christian Life Missions for Olson will go to help him and the 19 tribes he serves.
Our relationship with Olson is one of the longest-standing ministry relationships anywhere in America. Who else do you know who started working in ministry in the 1960s and is still active today? Olson will turn 80 years old later this year, but he as you can see on the video, he still looks great for his age.
Over the years, Olson has worked specifically with the Motilone and Bari Indian communities in Colombia. His ministry, however, has expanded, and he is now working with and ministering to tribes in 18 different languages with a total population of more than 90,000 people.
"After so many years of ministry and training tribal youth in medical procedures and tropical agriculture, these professional people are moving into new tribal areas, insolated populations of indigenous people who have had no contact with the Western world," Olson tells me. This means the great challenge is that we have to underwrite the expenses of the medical doctors as well as provide tools and solar energy sources to help the people where they are.
"Transportation, medication—these are all great needs," Olson says. "I have replicated myself through these tribal youth who have finished their education and are on location. We are in 15 new locations, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and sharing the social needs of the people. It's important to understand that these tribes are isolated, and when colonization moves into their areas, they bring into these locations diseases and sicknesses. It's so important that there is a preventative medical program to protect the health of the new tribes we're moving into."
The Motilones called him "Bruchko" because that is how they pronounced his name. In 2006, Charisma House published a book titled Bruchko: The Astonishing True Story of a 19-Year-Old American, His Capture by the Motilone Indians and His Adventures in Christianizing the Stone Age Tribe, which became a bestseller. To learn more about Olson's missionary work, click on this page on the Christian Life Missions website.
In addition to your financial contributions, Olson also asks for prayer support for his ministry and the Colombian nationals as they face these overwhelming challenges.
"We are moving with the gospel into new, unchartered territories," he says. "There is the resistance of the evil forces who do not want the liberation of the gospel to come among many of these tribal lands. There is the competition with the guerilla forces, the competition with drug trafficking. I want to make it clear that the natives I'm involved with are not involved with this type of activity.
"'The 18 tribes we are working with are uncultured tribes," Olson says. "They say, 'We knew God in the beginning of time, but we were separated from God when we went on our own hunting experiences. And, when we would like to return to the horizon through the boat of God, we cannot find the horizon. God lives beyond the horizon; the spirits are beyond the horizon. The further you walk, the further away the horizon gets.'
"I tell them that God has become incarnate in Jesus to walk this trail and to take you to His horizon," Olson continues. "I say God is incarnate in Jesus to walk your trail of life's experiences so you can place your feet into His footprints. Then they learn about the death of Jesus because of separation from God.
"I don't want to use the gospel to destroy any traditional values they may have," he says. "But once they understand the sacrifice of Christ and His Resurrection, there comes the Holy Spirit who lives in their heart. There comes the responsibility that we have to translate the New Testament into local languages. We're not in the third translation into local language of the New Testament, and God's Holy Spirit works in the hearts of those who read it."
So, you can see just how important Olson's work is and how important it is for us to support him both financially and with our prayers. We have already provided $5,000 toward that goal, but I'm hoping that by telling Olson's story, we can raise much more than the other $15,000.
There is a need, and there is a sense of urgency. That's why we're doing this. We are not just fundraising for the sake of fundraising. We're not fundraising to pay people's salaries or overhead expenses, either. Christian Life Mission's expenses are taken care of so every single penny donated to Bruce Olson goes to the Motilone Indians in Colombia and the many other tribes he serves. We will acknowledge your gift, and we will send a receipt for your income-tax purposes, as any other nonprofit in the United States does.
There are several ways to give. Visit christianlifemissions.org and click on the "support the cause" button to make your tax-deductible contribution. You can also do it by postal mail at Bruce Olson, Christian Life Missions, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, Florida, 32746.
Make sure to listen to this compelling edition of the Strang Report podcast. And please subscribe to the Strang Report and God and Cancel Culture on Apple Podcasts or at cpnshows.com for more podcasts to inspire you to experience the power of the Holy Spirit.
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