Although it had not rained in 50 weeks leading up to the reconciliation meeting it rained almost every week for the next year. Some may say that it is just coincidental. Others may say that it is phenomenal. I say that it’s a miracle.
One of my friends, a pastor who had participated in the meeting, went back a few months later to Nueva Pompeya. He bought a watermelon that was so large he could not put it in the trunk of his car by himself. It took two grown men to pick it up, and load it. What is so remarkable is the fact that for many years the harvests had been so poor in the Impenetrable no one ever had any produce to sell. Ever since the reconciliation took place, truckloads of farm produce have been regularly shipped out to Resistencia, Castelli, and other cities. That may not impress someone who doesn’t make their living from the land, but it did impress the Toba leaders way over at the reservation in Nalpalpí.
You see, Nalpalpí had been the site of the last big massacre of Native Americans by the Argentine military on July 19, 1924. Over four hundred Toba and Mocoví men, women, and children were slaughtered because they refused to harvest the white farmers’ crops. Their bodies were mutilated, and their severed heads and genitalia were put on public display to warn any other unruly Indians.
The evidence that the curse had been broken in the region around Nueva Pompeya was so clear to the Toba leaders in Nalpalpí they wanted to have their own reconciliation meeting. They knew that their land, and their hearts, also needed to be healed. That meeting took place in 1999. It was a tremendous event accompanied by signs and wonders, but that is a different story for a different day. I may get around to telling it sometime.
The favor of God is an interesting concept to me. Have you ever noticed that no matter how hard some people work or strive to accomplish things, nothing ever seems to go their way? Everything they touch seems to go wrong. Then there are other people, who for all intents and purposes just seem to have the Midas touch. Everything they touch turns to gold.
I have also observed that many, who are attempting to do good things, quite often encounter insurmountable obstacles until they come to the utter end of their strength and ability to continue. Then suddenly something changes, and they are caught up in a flow of unmerited blessing. Many people become attracted to their cause, and want to come alongside to help for no readily apparent reason. That is favor.
Barry Morley, a very dear friend of mine who is no longer with us, used to frequently say to me, “Jim, just keep walking in the fog.” He meant the Favor of God. Just keep walking in the “F.O.G.” That sounds great, but how exactly do you do that?
Solomon said, “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel is what will stand.”
I believe that when we align ourselves with God’s heart, walking in forgiveness and mercy, we can expect the favor of God to eventually manifest itself openly in our lives. That is what I really saw happen in the Impenetrable.
There is something cosmically powerful about receiving and giving forgiveness for the deepest wounds we have suffered, which invokes the favor of God over our lives. I have even seen that spiritual principal work for an entire geographical region.
Since 1998, when the reconciliation meeting took place, the needs of the people and the region of the Impenetrable have been in the national limelight. Newspapers and television stations sent reporters to call attention to the poverty and living conditions of the Wichí and Toba tribes. Every politician, from every political party, in every election, whether national or local, pledged to help, more than anyone else ever had before. I am neither saying that this was entirely motivated by altruism, nor by self-serving political expediency. I am simply saying that it seems notable to me that this attention to the needs of the Impenetrable was not deemed news worthy before the meeting, but certainly was afterwards.
As a result, roads have been improved, schools have been built, government programs established, and money has been invested into infrastructure. The progress in the region has by all accounts been extraordinary. This has not been achieved without great effort, and as in all human endeavors, there have also been some problems.
A long time friend of mine, Dario Gonzalez, now works in the first Judicial Court House and Public Records office ever built in Nueva Pompeya. He says, “Undoubtedly, after the reconciliation between Native Americans and the descendants of European Christians the Lord began healing the land, and the hearts of the inhabitants of Chaco’s Impenetrable. The rains certainly became more plentiful, although in some years there have been periods of drought.”
Dario goes on to say, “The vast majority of Aboriginal, and 40% of the criollo population now live on pensions from the national government. As no one now needs to work, they do nothing, loitering, and drinking alcohol with all of the negative consequences that entails. Unfortunately, drugs are now also readily available, and many Aboriginal teenagers have become drug addicts.”
As you can see the situation in Nueva Pompeya is not simple. Where there are real people there are always real cicumstances and complications. I would like to report that once God broke the curse off of the land, all of the people decided to follow Him, and lived happily ever after. Unfortunately that only happens in the idealized accounts of some religious leaders who have personal motivations to make every thing sound better than reality.
In the Old Testament, a book noted for its brutal honesty about its heros, we can find the story of King Josiah of Judah. The Bible says “Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.” He walked out the rest of his life in the favor and blessing of God. This favor and protection was extended to the whole nation of Israel during his lifetime.
However, when Josiah’s son, Jehoahaz, was crowned king he “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” Not long after taking that course of action for his life Jehoahaz was thrown into prison by Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt. He did not walk in the fog of God, but out of it, and into the fog of deception. Jehoahaz died a prisoner, in bondage, and down in Egypt. He did not take advantage of the blessings his father had gained.
The blessings that have been poured out over the Impenetrable like abundant rain have been wonderful. That does not mean that every inhabitant of the region has profited from them. Just like everywhere else there is a great difference between those who receive the blessings of the council of God, and those who choose to follow their own hearts to another destiny.
Today as I write this account of the supernatural events I witnessed in the Impenetrable, and the continuing fruits of that reconciliation meeting, my heart cries out for my own nation. It seems that there is a growing dark malignant cloud of un-forgiveness and division hanging over us. Every day the news is filled with strident voices that are sowing seeds of bitterness, anger, and accusation. Wrongs done justify and require wrongs in return. That is the cry in the streets. God have mercy on us.
I have seen with my own eyes what happens when curses are invoked and provoked on the land. I have also seen what happens when hideous unforgivable wrongs are repented of, and forgiven. To give and receive forgiveness is the path to favor. May we learn to walk together in the F.O.G.