Friday, November 27, 2009


Please read Millie's latest letter and pray for them and the siblings far away from them.

Dear Faithful Co-Laborers in Christ,

Thank the Lord that we are back in communication on the Internet once again.
It still has its flaws but hopefully we will be able to keep you informed better of what is going on in our lives and where we are. Thank God He is always here and never leaves us nor forsakes us.

Joe is not very well at all. His memory is getting worse and we continually go over things to help him remember. I believe that he has had several mini strokes as at those times he will talk very mushy for awhile and not seem to
know what he is doing or what is going on. But then he will pull out of it
and become rational again. Sometimes he doesn¹t even know me but that may be because he is also almost blind and his hearing is very bad also. I have been going over our life together with him to try and help him remember things. I am even reading our book "ALL THE DAY LONG" again to him. He perks up and remembers things as he hears them being retold and it seems to help him get refocused for a time. He will be 90 in February if the Lord gives him that much more time. We¹ve had some really good talks about death, heaven, and resting and trusting in the Lord without fear.

Please keep him in your prayers as it is hard for him. He has always been so active and he finds it very hard to just sit. He can¹t see to read or do anything that requires sight so that avenue is closed to him. He constantly wants me with him talking to him and encouraging him so I find it hard to really get a lot done. I try to work while he is napping but sometimes I accuse him of being a yo-yo as I no sooner get him settled and get back to what I was doing when he is back out again. He loves me to read the Word to him and all the devotional books that I can get my hands on. This keeps him encouraged and he still loves to pray for anything that is going on here and faithfully for all our kids and their families. I usually take care of prayers for friends etc and other needs as he cannot remember so well but he faithfully joins in with his AMEN ever so often.

I have been tutoring 4 young men, actually they look more like boys and are kids that I taught when I was teaching in the school. Two are in their early 20¹s and 2 are still in their late teens. They were too old for the school here so were not allowed to attend and one boy (Joshua Santos) who was my prize pupil in Math came and asked me if I would continue to teach him Math as he still wanted to learn and not forget what he had learned. I agreed and began to put Math in a notebook for him which he would take home and do and then bring the notebook back for me to correct, grade and put more work in. Soon I was teaching his younger brother Alexis also and then came Elvis Rivas, and shortly after that Cristobal Perez (Bautista¹s younger son). (Pray for him. Some of the men from here who have turned their backs on the Lord and are living lives of sin out in Ayacucho, one being Cristobal¹s brother-in-law persuaded him to go out to Puerto Ayacucho with him recently. In spite of his father¹s pleadings he went out anyway. We are very concerned as the ones who have gone out there have gotten into alcohol, tobacco, prostitution and now even drugs. So pray that he comes back unscathed by these sins and that he will not have a desire to go back

The little thirsty blood-sucking gnats have returned with a vengeance and are making life miserable for all. I feel so bad for the women who come in with the skin all around their eyes sprinkled thickly with little red blood spots where the gnats have drawn blood. They try to cover their heads with old pieces of clothes and just leave their eyes uncovered so they can see to work the gardens. This leaves an unprotected area for the gnats to swarm to and get their blood. Who was it that said these people live in Paradise -- just leave them alone? Well, it's Paradise cursed. Paradise after the fall and believe me it is not an easy life for these people. The women work very hard and suffer to get the food that they carry home in heavy baskets on their backs after a hard day's work in the garden.

We had some hard days with a flu that was going around which many thought was the swine flu. Joe and I did not get it as our family and also the Yanomamö were very thoughtful not to come to see us at that time. Someone had told me that putting raw onions in saucers around the house would ward off flu so I tried that also. I don't know if it helped or if it was just the mercy of the Lord and His protection that kept us well but we give Him all the praise and glory. Faith's adopted son David and his wife Milaide were very ill with this flu and it took them a while to recuperate. Then just recently Susan's son Andrew (they live in the village of Jalulusiteli) was very ill with falciparum malaria with temperatures of 106. Thank God the last reports that we have are favorable. He has responded to the medicine and is doing better. WE were very concerned as he was hurting in the spleen and kidney areas and that is never a good sign. Please pray that he will fully recover and be completely well again. They live on a different river and have no contact with the outside world except for radio contact with Sharon and Faith once a day.

Thank you all for your faithful support through your prayers and giving.
Thank you for bearing with us during all the long seasons of no communication by email or any other way. These are hard times for us also but thank the Lord He is always available night or day when we call on Him.
No human force can cut our communication with Him.

In His Great Love,

Joe and Millie Dawson

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Living deep in the jungle like we did, often meant for unusual meals. Never more so than when it came to holiday meals. There is no Fool Lion or WalMart Supercenter to run to. No butter ball turkeys to be had. No Virginia ham or my favorite the sugar cured ham. If the airplane schedules did not sync up there were often no potatoes or other vegetables. So we had to look to what was there for the pickings. Meat, the main course on any thanksgiving table, was often variable and interesting. There is a bird they call a wild turkey but looks nothing like one here. The meat is all dark. Then if the hunter was really lucky, we might have tapir. Don’t know what a Tapir is? Well, the meat is indistinguishable from beef. Looks and tastes the same. The photo shows you what one looks like. Maybe catfish would be on the menu. That would not please me as I am not a fish eater but most that are proclaim it delicious. My LEAST favorite of the possibilities is what has been called a glorified rat. Yes, it is of the rodent family but many like it. It is called PACA in English but you would hear us call it a LAPA, the Spanish name for it. It is a rather large rodent like animal but is favored among most. I ate a bad bit of one once and never could go it again.

Then there are the sides. If potatoes could not be flown in, we looked for alternatives. There are a few. Yucca is one that could be eaten boiled or fried. They have something they call yams but again looks like none of what is in the U.S. The meat is white and kind of dry but not bad. Then there is mapue (mah pway). (not sure I know how to spell that) The taste is very similar to potatoes once you get past peeling it. There is a slim under the skin so you want to peel it under running water. But then you boil and mash it just like you would potatoes. The MOST surprising thing is that when you are done you have a bowl of very PURPLE potatoes. Yes, I said PURPLE. But they are really pretty good.

Vegetables are not that plentiful in the jungle. Not naturally anyway. Sometimes the villagers would grow corn and we would buy it from them but often they didn’t pick it until it was hard. Canned veggies could be bought so often we had them flown up. But if we didn’t have any at the time we had the starchy ones mentioned above and often some kinds of fruits. Fruit found there are delicious. Papaya, pineapple, bananas (lots and lots of varieties), citrus, others such as guava and the list could go on.

Flour and sugar were usually bought in abundance so there was never any loss of sweets. Mostly no pumpkin pie but other things made up the difference. If bananas were overflowing there would be banana bread, banana cake, banana smoothies, banana whatever. Had to get creative because when they ripened on a stalk 3 or 4 feet tall they ripened all at once. One can eat only so many bananas.

Whatever the dinner, many thanks for souls saved, family and friends that loved us were offered up. Most of all we were thankful then as now for God’s amazing love.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dear friends,

Many of you know that life in Venezuela is not what it was and that we have not been living down there. We have been serving wherever we can and seeking anything the Lord wishes for us to do. We have been feeling for months now that the mission work for us will take on a different look. We will continue to need your partnership and indeed are seeking more of you to jump on board.

Steve made a trip to Haiti and his heart was really touched by what he saw there. He wishes to be greatly involved in helping to build the school and orphanage there. Also he has been asked to make a trip to Venezuela early next year to go on a survey trip. Many times over the years they hear reports there is a tribe that has never been reached. They wish to try once more to go to the area and see if they can find any concrete evidence. They also want to make trips to the villages they had been working with. Mike plans to work toward having the gas to go and he and Steve and the believers of Cosh take a month or more and go up and down the waterways.

Because of our totally American status we do not feel living in Cosh is an option for us right now. Getting supplies has become very difficult so the fewer
that live there the better. But our hearts have never left behind the ones that were struggling to grow in the Lord and need help. We believe the Lord would have Steve make trips down to work with Mike and others to do what they can to get out and reach those that need help. Mike and Gary both have asked him to do this. They have obtained a piece of property down river in Las Esmeraldas where they hope to begin holding the seminars they were having before. They would like Steve to come down a few times a year to help develop this property and help with the seminars.

We also believe his skills in building can be greatly used in helping to build churches and other needed buildings wherever help is needed. In order for him to be able to go whenever and wherever we need to raise the support to live on and for his travel. We are asking for continued support, increased support and new supporters to raise the level we need to concentrate on his going out.

The JUNGLE for us now could be in many places. And with your support, together lives can be changed with many different languages, faces but with one Spirit.

With your help we can add more countries and faces. Will you partner with us as we seek to follow the Lord’s work wherever that might be? With the needed funds we can be prepared to go as needs arise.

Your tax deductible gift can be mailed to:
Christian Light Foundation
P. O. Box 23881
Jacksonville, FL 32241-3881

Checks made out to CLF
Designated for Steve and Theda Dawson
Give on line too

Steve and Theda Dawson

We are available to come present what our hearts are leading us to do if you would like. We are looking for more individuals and churches to partner with us to reach those whose only hope is Jesus.
Below is a recent letter from Steve's brother, Mike. Its contents will reveal some of why Steve is feeling the time has come for him to return, making the trips to help them to reestablish the seminars.

Dear Praying friends,

Just a note to bring you up to date on what has been going on here.
This finds us fine and in good health. We have a lot to be thankful for. Dad's health continues to be good. Thank you for your prayers.

We had a German telivision crew up show up here and they had a lot of questions. We decided it would look better if Keila was our "spokesperson" since she is the only one that is not also an American.
This way, no one could say, "well, there are those Gringos! What are they still doing here?" I think her interview went well, they had some good questions and Keila did really well. While walking past Dad and Mom's house, they saw Dad outside and asked if they could ask him a few questions. Dad also did real well, and after only one question (A real easy one for Dad, it was "Why do you think the Yanomamö needed to hear about a "western god") After Dad answered his question he turned it around and was very graciously witnessing to the gentleman doing the interview. I am pretty sure most of this will be edited out, but at least the 6 people doing the interview clearly heard the gospel and the reason we are here.

Our hearts have been burdened that we have not been able to continue our seminars due to lack of fuel up here. Since many of us have to go to Las Esmeralda once or twice a month we have decieded to build a place there where we can spend a few days a month meeting with and encouraging the different students that do make it down there. we realize these meetngs will have to be a bit clandestine and we will have to be careful, but we think this might be a good opportunity to continue ministerying to these guys. I have already been talking to a lot of them and have been trying to encourage them. This last month we went down there a couple of times and have started working on the place. During this time, i have had many opportunities of talking to some of our students. a few days ago i spoke with our student from Bodomawä. He is excited about us continuing classes down there. "I really want to follow the Lord, but I fall so often." he told me. "It is so hard serving the Lord when you are all by yourself, but I still talk to God and ask HIM for help. I can't wait until you all start meeting down here, i will come down as often as i can."

I was speaking with Carlos from the village of Seducudawä. He paddled down to bring his wife to the medical dispensary as she had been stung on the foot by a large stingray and was in a lot of pain. Carlos at one time had been one of our most promising believers in Seducudawä and was a big witness for the Lord there. His grandfather, uncle and younger brother were all powerful witchdoctors but we had believed the power of Christ had allowed him to break the cycle. Then a number of years ago he had an affair and later on divorced his wife and married the other woman and since that time has not wanted much to do with us.
Then about 4 years ago he almost died with malaria but slowly recovered. After his recovery he attended one of our seminars and publically made things right with the Lord and the church here, but for some reason, as soon as he returned to Seducudawä he fell off the deep end. The next thing we knew, everyone was saying he had become a witchdoctor. It is hard not to take these defeats personally and frankly, setbacks like this are always hard to take, so we were feeling very defeated as far as both Carlos and the work in Seducudawä was concerned. So i was surprised when he came in yesterday and sit down to talk with me. For the last three years or more our relationship has been strained and cold, to be honest, he mostly has avoided us.

I invited him in and after some small talk I asked him how he was really doing. "Not good" he admitted. I am not happy anymore. "Yes, I heard you had now become a 'shaboli,' (a witchdoctor)" I told him. He shook his head no. "I tried," he admitted, "but i just never could make it. I chanted and chanted, the jecula came close and taught me many chants to use, but they kept telling me I had to get rid of the light. I made my heart as dark as I could, i took dope almost non stop, i chanted all night long but every time the spirits would approach me the small little light in my heart was still shinning and would neither go out nor go away. I did all I could do, but the spirits finally even just quit coming. So to answer your question, I am not a witchdoctor but i did try." (Sounds like a great argument for eternal security, doesn't it?)

"What do you think the light was?" I asked him. "I know it is God's Spirit. In spite of all I have done, HE has never left me, so the jecula would not come. My heart is so heavy, but I just don't know what I can do." God's Word says if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sins." I told him. "Pray for me." he said, "I need to take my wife home, but I will come back and talk some more soon."
he told me.

Prayer and Praise!
Pray for Cesar from Bodomawä
Pray for Carlos from Seducudawä
Pray for wisdom for us as we seek to take advantage of everyone
having to go down to Las Esmeralda, that we might be able to
continue teaching our students.
Praise for being able to purchase 9000 liters of diesel fuel for our generator! God continues to provide a table in the wilderness for us!
Thanks for your prayers!

Michael and Keila
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