Spiraling down the terraces of banana plantations, tail coiled around the unsuspecting homes of spiritually and physically impoverished families, claws bearing into the hot soil, head peering through the misty mountains, in the heart of these valleys lies a dragon.

For a thousand years or more, his devilish grin twists upward as he guards his goldmine—thousands of souls, lost, consumed, empty, forgotten.

For a thousand years or more, his devilish grin twists upward as he guards his goldmine—thousands of souls, lost, consumed, empty, forgotten.

His name is Poverty. Striving. Lack. Hopelessness.

Beauty unmatched in these mysterious valleys, it is easy to forget the depth of the lostness felt. Home to the unreached. Heart of the precious despised.

In the heart of these valleys lies a dragon

who feasts on the the tipping red bowls of pagan ritual; whose sly smile curls around its teeth as blood from chicken and dogs drips into the soil in animistic activity.

His name is Spiritual Darkness. Deceit. Liar. Fang. Claw.

There is a goldmine of souls in these valleys that the Body of Christ has largely overlooked and forgotten as the great imbalance of global missions is misunderstood.

Guard of the goldmine, the dragon’s name is Persecution. Abuse. Hostility.

A goldmine of souls waiting to be discovered. Opulence. It’s the jackpot, heavily guarded. To go down into the goldmine to dig will evoke a power struggle.

A goldmine of souls waiting to be discovered. Opulence. It’s the jackpot, heavily guarded. To go down into the goldmine to dig will evoke a power struggle.

The great Dragon—ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray—thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth. Then I heard a strong voice out of Heaven saying, Salvation and power are established! Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah! The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out, who accused them day and night before God. They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. They weren’t in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ. So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there, but doom to earth and sea, For the Devil’s come down on you with both feet; he’s had a great fall; He’s wild and raging with anger; he hasn’t much time and he knows it. — Revelation 12, Message

in-the-heart-of-these-valleys

10 years of being in the trenches has unearthed amazing riches. New souls coming to the one true God. Salvation. Baptisms. Hope restored.

The dragon does not like this.

He trembles at the gentle footsteps of foreign missionaries.
He shudders at the faint echo of a new local Christian’s whisper.
He thrashes through the valleys—a struggle for survival—as he sees light breaking through the darkness.

He thrashes through the valleys—a struggle for survival—as he sees light breaking through the darkness.

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He grabbed the Dragon, that old Snake—the very Devil, Satan himself!—chained him up for a thousand years, dumped him into the Abyss, slammed it shut and sealed it tight. — Revelation 20, Message

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global

David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.


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