The Meaning of ‘Curare’

[This article is from Hendrik and Nehlsie DeBruto. They serve as Grace Fellowship International staff in South Africa. The name of the South African ministry is Curare. Nehlsie testified of how God led them to this name. – JBW]

In 2002, God instructed me: “I want you to call the place Curare.” I inquired what it meant. “To cure” was His answer. Hendrik confirmed that it was the Latin word for ‘to cure.’ Whenever people asked us about the name, most would say “But Curare is a poison.” Whenever this happened, I doubted deep down, although I bravely said: “Yes, it still is poison for the unsaved.”

Then Helette Louw brought me this excerpt from a book. As I read it, I was filled with awe and joy.  It was as if my Father was encouraging me and reassuring me:

“BEWARE OF CURARE

In 1799, the famous Prussian explorer and scientist Baron Von Humboldt discovered a potent drug called curare. On an expedition into the jungles of Venezuela, he watched an Indian hunter bring down a large animal with a single shot from his bow and arrow. The arrow had been poisoned with curare, a potion with two curious properties, derived from the jungle plant.

Curare injected into the bloodstream, as it was when hunting animals, was deadly. It immobilized the body, attacked the vital organs, and cause death almost instantaneously.

Humboldt discovered the second property of curare in a more dramatic fashion. He became sick, and a native witch doctor forced Humboldt to drink some curare that had been diluted with water. Terrified that he was going to die, Humboldt was surprised to find that after drinking the curare, he felt significantly better. Curare, when it was diluted and taken orally, he discovered, could have a positive medicinal value without causing any damage to vital organs.

The key to curare’s impact lies principally in the way it is taken into the human body. Injected into the bloodstream, it’s a deadly killer.  Ingested orally, it’s a soothing muscle relaxant.

Application:

Christianity is a lot like curare.  Its impact depends chiefly on how it is received.  Maybe people choose to take it orally, diluted as much as possible, so that it has few side effects and makes them feel better–but that’s not the purpose of true Christianity.

Christianity’s purpose is to change us into new creations in Christ. In order for us to become new creations, we must die to our old selves [1] and be born again, trading our old lives for new ones. Those who want “safe” Christianity that costs them little have a difficult time accepting death and new birth. True Christianity is not safe–it costs you your life. It cost God His only beloved Son, and it will cost you everything to follow Him. Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20a).

Don’t settle for a watered-down version of Christianity.  It can’t be taken orally. It has to be injected.”

Thank you Father for encouraging us in this precious way.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[1] This the author of the article’s words. I would replace it with: “Our old man”/ sinful nature must die (Rom. 6:6).

You can contact the DeBrutos by e-mail: nehlsie@eject.co.za

You or your church can partner with them in sponsoring this strategic South African counseling and training ministry. Financial support can be designated to Curare and sent to Grace Fellowship International P.O. Box 368 Pigeon Forge, TN 37868 (tax deductible in the U.S.A.) Their personal testimonies are at https://gracenotebook.com/category/testimonies/.

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