December 12, 2014
Youth With A Mission
Amazon Ministries International
ccm Cross #0065
Additional photos after Testimony
3715 cdd Shining The Light
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 16 Number 009
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Acts 13:47
“This is what the Lord told us to do, saying: ‘I have made you a light for the nations; you will show people all over the world the way to be saved.'” NCV Bible Paraphrase
Hello, my name is Jamie Useche and together with my wife Lori we are directors of the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Base in Leticia, Columbia. This is my testimony of how Jesus Christ entered my life and how nothing has been the same ever since.
The year was 1951 when my mother and father decided to enter a Colombia Government lottery. This was not your typical lottery. You see Peru and Colombia were engaged in an argument over territory surrounding the Amazon River. The area in dispute was an un-inhabited land mass attached to Colombia. The Colombian government determined to inhabit the land and make sure Peru did not claim it.
Thousands of people entered the lottery as a way to pioneer the Amazon. Ten families won the drawing. We were one of them. The year 1955 rolled around and I was one year old. As the youngest of five children I had no idea what was happening but the Colombian government moved us to a tiny remote outpost called Leticia. Life was a challenge from the beginning but my dad did his best to pay the bills and keep a roof over our heads.
Dad built us a house just down river from Leticia, in Ronda. He was an engineer by trade and his job was to identify and build the roads that would become the Amazon River city called Leticia, Colombia. Once a month the government promised to send us a plane with supplies but unfortunately that stopped abruptly. We were left to live off the land — Dad, mom and five children. Back then it was difficult to see God’s hand in our lives but as time developed He showed us The Way.
When I was four years old malaria struck. I was the only one to get sick and mom hurried me to a small clinic — they rushed me off to the nearest hospital hundreds of miles away. The doctor, after examining me, determined that this type of Malaria was incurable. He gave me no more than three months to live. The doctor suggested that mom leave me at the hospital and they would give sufficient care until my passing. Mom shouted, “No way, Jamie will be with me and the ones who love him until the end.” We left the doctor and hospital.
Once back in Ronda I began deteriorating fast. Dad and mom were not Christian people but every day mom read the Bible to me. She was desperate to find an answer for my Malaria and looked to the Bible. Six weeks later, as the Bible reading continued, a lady showed up at our door. Mom had never seen her before and the lady asked, “Why are you so sad?” Mom could hardly speak but managed through her tears, “My son is dying of Malaria and I’m just sitting here determining where I will have to bury him.” The woman speaking with a compassionate voice said, “Seven days from now I will return to you with a medicine that will heal your son — just believe.”
Mom continued to read me the Bible and seven days later the woman returned just as promised. She had a jar of white liquid and asked mom to administer it to me every day, until gone. Mom did as she directed. Each day I got stronger and better. Three months later the angels’ miracle was complete as I was totally healed.
Mom returned to the hospital some time later for a different situation and the doctor said to her, “I’m sorry there was nothing we could do to save your son.” Mom spoke up, “He didn’t die. He is alive!” Mom went on to tell him the whole story. The doctor in shock answered, “Surely only a miracle from Jesus could have done such a thing.”
One year later a strong storm hit the Mid Amazon Basin. The strong storm washed our house away.
Fortunate for us my dad knew just what to do. We stood on high ground as our house floated down river and disintegrated before our eyes. Dad hastily assembled an escape raft. We placed all our remaining earthly belongings on to the raft and floated our way from Ronda to Leticia. The next five years we rebuilt our lives there. My mom had wanted me to be a priest but rebellion set in and my life spun out of control. For me God was dead. For the next six years the streets were my kingdom. I learned watch making skills and bought a small shop.
Then they showed up — two young men from YWAM (Youth With A Mission) who were spending a prolonged time in Leticia for an evangelistic crusade. They intended to reach the people of this area for Jesus Christ. They spoke about the love of Jesus but I didn’t believe them.
Several days later they returned to my shop. They said, “Jesus is not responsible for what you do.” That’s what they said but what I heard was that my decisions have consequences. And I am responsible for what I do!
At that time there was a small movie theatre in Leticia and I was drawn to a movie about the Roman Empire. It ended up being a Christian film about the persecutions of Christians in Rome. As I watched the martyred Christians and what happened to them I heard a voice say, “I want you to be like one of them.” I had never heard Jesus speak to me before and I was scared. I spent a sleepless night wondering what this meant.
The next day the two young men from YWAM returned to my shop. I shared what happened to me and the voice. In unison they said, “Jesus is calling you.”
That night I attended the YWAM Evangelistic Crusade event. As I listened to the preacher I was sure he was speaking just to me. There were thousands of people present but in my heart I knew he was speaking to me and he knew everything about my life.
Next day the two young men returned to my shop and asked me what I thought about the meeting. I said, “It was going good until the preacher started telling everyone in the place about every detail of my life.” Once again they said, “Jesus is calling you.”
I went back three times to the crusade. Then the strangest thing happened on a Sunday night. Once again the preacher spoke of my life and then he held an altar call. I can’t tell you how but in just a few moments I was in front. When the preacher came to pray for me I said, “Don’t pray for me — I want to pray for myself.” Now that was very strange since I had never prayed before!
I began praying by thanking God the Father for all His goodness. Then I asked for forgiveness for all my sins and asked Him to change me. I fell to my knees and started crying. I’m not sure how long, but after an extended period it was clear that Jesus took away all my sins and He cleaned me up. When I stood up I was a new man in love with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That was one incredible Sunday night.
Monday morning I was back on my kingdom streets. I was preaching to everyone I met. I didn’t know anything spiritual, no Bible, no special prayers, no creative words — just the testimony of what had happened to me. I asked everyone I met to come to the Crusade that night. Because of my enthusiastic behavior for Jesus many of my friends came to the meetings and received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in their lives.
The YWAM Crusade was over and they moved on to a new location. I prayed and asked Jesus what he wanted me to do. He answered me over a 4 month period.
1. In a sermon Jesus showed how missions was established as my call.
2. In a prophecy Jesus defined my preaching throughout South America.
3. In a dream Jesus revealed that I was going to be preaching to multitudes.
4. In His word Jesus confirmed in Acts 13:47 that I would carry His light with me.
In 1976 I attended the YWAM training base in Bogota, Columbia. Upon graduation I traveled throughout Colombia leading evangelistic teams. Then I was known as a “Crazy man for Christ” and traveled throughout Mexico as I led teams preaching about Jesus.
In 1987 I married my wife Lori and my life was complete. Jesus provided a help mate who was equally as enthusiastic about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In 1989 the Lord added our son Wesley to our lives and in 1992 our daughter Emily was born completing our family. Today both are part of our team for Jesus.
In 1995 I was assigned to teach for YWAM in Costa Rica. While there we prayed for direction in our lives. Then the Lord spoke to me again. This time in a dream. I was on a boat in a very dark and dirty looking river. I was handed a fishing rod from a man but I could not see his face. He said, “Fish.” I threw out my line and immediately caught a fish and reeled it in. The fish when pulled in was already cleaned. He said throw your rod again. Same result. Again and again and again. Every fish landed was already cleaned. Then the Lord spoke to me, “That is what I want you to do for me in and along the Amazon River.”
I was awestruck and could hardly speak saying, “Yes, Lord I will.”
We moved to Leticia, Colombia in 2000. And by the grace of God we have been fishing ever since. The following information is what the Lord has done in the past 14 years as Amazon Ministries International (YWAM Leticia).
Built 50 churches
Planted 70 Churches
Evangelized 170 communities
Trained 25,000 Pastors for service
Conducted yearly Pastor “Explosion” Conferences
Accomplished Children’s Events for more than 700,000
Graduated nearly 200 from the YWAM discipleship program
Delivered more than 250,000 Bibles to Pastors and Churches
Held Evangelistic crusades with more than 200,000 commitments for Christ
Our most current endeavor is to establish an indigenous training center to develop missionaries to the thousands of villages and jungle inhabitants along the Amazon River. To send out the message of Jesus Christ to all who have not heard. And establish a legacy of a new generation of Gospel preachers throughout the region.
Next year we have plans to establish YWAM Kings Kids which will meld the Gospel with Godly values and principles for children of all ages.
We currently reach out to 4 major indigenous groups. The Ticuna, Yaguas, Cocamas and the Huitotos. There are hundreds more that need Jesus! We do not plan to rest until every community has the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a church planted and an operating pastor.
Pastor Bill, thank you for coming to the Amazon to hear our testimony of what Jesus Christ is doing and thank you for the Cross at our main base which will be a light to all who pass by.
One of my favorite Bible verses that we take very seriously and try to apply daily in our lives is the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” NKJV
Prayer: Father thank you for Jamie’s powerful testimony. I pray his testimony inspires everyone who reads this to want to hear your voice and obey. That their testimony, in turn, would inspire others for Kingdom purposes. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
This map shows the locations of the three Crosses we planted along the Amazon
The Cross would be placed inside an empty street side planter.
The location had numerous problems since the area is laced with power lines.
Caution was in order.
Lining up the Cross to miss power lines.
This effort did not work so we needed to be more creative.
We turned the Cross around and lifted the Cross bar onto the roof.
Keeping clear of the power lines.
It was necessary to raise the Cross above the house
Then drop it into the hole
FIRE IN THE HOLE
John Fenske and Greg Thomas attach the plaque
Jamie and Lori Useche YWAM Directors “Declaring God’s Glory” over the Amazon
Amazon Ministries International (YWAM Leticia, Colombia)
Plaque in Spanish “Declaring God’s Glory”
throughout Leticia, Colombia and all of the Amazon River