Brazil Update October 2020

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
Psalm 20:7

Greetings in Christ!

Reminiscing to March of 2020, before anything was shut down, before there were “mandatory” rules of masks and isolated distancing, we had just come back from the villages high on the blessedness of God and His exceeding abundance and goodness to His people.  During our March trip, we saw the effect and culmination of several years of strong Bible preaching and teaching under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit being manifested in the lives of the people.

New Believers from a new village

Having several different villages being represented in our Church services, we saw many give their lives to Christ and others recommitting to Him.  These “new” villages represented in our Church services were not so much because of our teachings to them, but were the direct result of the witness from those whom we have trained.

Victor Getting Baptized

Raimunda, along with Valdeci, Elsimara and Guerlermi, had held her own discipleship classes for the prior year in these other villages where, although I knew them and had visited them, I had not sensed a conviction or leading to hold regular teaching times there..

So on my return to the villages in July, after wondering how these new believers were getting along during and after the COVID restrictions, I found them to be growing in Christ and even more on fire with even more people seeking the Lord because Raimunda and her crew had never stopped their voyages and Bible teachings.  We started our first Church service in one of the villages and are ready to look at more full time work in another.

In September, as I was buying last minute supplies to embark on a boat that very day and return to the village, I jolted my right hip coming down some steps.  We had to cancel the village trip and seek immediate medical attention. We found out I had pinched and consequently torn the tissue between my hip ball and socket.  Glory be to God, this is something that has already started healing and with physical exercise will be strong again in no time.

We now look to the future.

This coming week, I will fly out to Recife, a city on the eastern coastline of Brazil, and attend our 1st Northeast Pastor’s Retreat.  I had become part of a new group of like-minded Pastors in November of 2019.  We have had weekly fellowship through Zoom where we organized what we hope to be an Annual Conference.

During the COVID isolation times, I also worked on a full translation into Portuguese of a doctrinal book called Calvary Chapel Distinctives. I will be one of four teachers during the retreat and will have the honor of going through the first three chapters of the translated material, the other three Pastors each teaching part of the remaining chapters.

That trip will be from October 6-12.  Immediately following the retreat, I will pack up and return to the village, planned for October 21st-November 20th.

Click Apurina Ministry to read a detailed account of the July trip.

Do you wonder if your support is necessary?  It is.  You too, can be a financial partner with this amazing work of God.  Please click on the link below or on the “Become a Financial Partner” button on this page and help us as we faithfully minister in the Amazon Jungle.

God bless you all in Christ,
Brad and Melissa Miller and family

Brazil Update August 2020

“And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Greetings in Christ!

What’s been going on with Brad and Melissa?  We have not heard from them since their last update in April.

I, Brad, must apologize.  I have sat down many times over the last 4 months to type out a new update, but have been at a loss of words as to what I should say.  Very quickly though I can respond that we are still here in the Amazon Jungle and the ministry is still growing and doing great!  “Then why,” you might ask, “are you at a loss for words?”

Let me start this update by giving our observations of things over the last 4 months.  1) COVID-19 came and with it many restrictions.  The Brazilian government shut down most of the means for transportation between cities, communities along the rivers, and between Indian villages on the reserves.  They stopped all boat traffic and were not letting most people leave the cities.  Even today, the buses between cities only run once a day, when they used to run buses every 30 minutes throughout the day and some through the night.  2) As people were losing their incomes in the U.S., missionaries in the field were losing their support.  We are in this category too.  Many of the missionaries we know here have left the field and returned to the U.S., some with no plans to return.  3) With COVID-19 came a fear upon most people which directly affects missionaries whose sole purpose is to “GO” to other places and “Preach the Gospel.”  We cannot let the spirit of antichrist restrict us from doing that which we have been called to do, and yet we also cannot be agitating the fear that is already in the people by ignoring the restrictions that have been placed upon us.  This is the time to be “wise as serpents” and “harmless as doves.” (Jesus; Mat 10:16)

We have found that people here in the city are very open to the Gospel during these times of fear and isolation.  But we know that “today is the day for Salvation” (2Co6:2) for many of these.  We have also noticed that many (Church) people have used this time to draw away from God and the church.  It would seem as though we are really in “the last days” as we see a great “falling away” (2Th2:3) in the Church but at the same time we are seeing many open to the Gospel out in the streets.  Who will go and preach to these if we are too scared to leave our houses? But our calling is not just to those outside on the streets, but to a people deep in the interior of the jungle who are so much harder to reach because of the restrictions and fears of the populous.

In Mid-June Makaoa, the main chief of the Indian Reserve where we work was able to contact us.  He said specifically that they had been in quarantine and that we could not return until July.  Excited to return, we made the plans to go.  Then we encountered two things; 1) we noticed our finances had taken a dip, and 2) we were involved in an accident with our vehicle here in the city.  If you want to have more information on those things, please contact us and we will share with you.  Because of the common practices of people here in the city, regardless of fault in the accident, we became financially responsible to provide basic necessities for those who were driving the other vehicle as one was injured and could no longer provide for his family.  Praise the Lord that He was our mediator with this family.  We had to decide if God was stopping the trip to the Indian village or if Satan was trying to discourage us.  Both situations involve money and support, compassion, and giving.

Brad said, “I will not go to the village until all of this calms down, maybe in September.”  Melissa said, “But Brad if we believe we are called here and we are in the last days, how can we not go back into the village asap?”  The question was before us: Do we ignore the finances and go forward in ministry, trusting in the calling and the promises of God to provide, or do we pay attention to the finances and stop ministry and enter conservation mode?  I, Brad immediately thought of the servant who hid his talent in the dirt until the Lord returned. (Luke 19:23)

Three days later Brad and Ben were on a boat going up the river.  Melissa, Josiah, and Veronica stayed in the city.  That was mid-July.

Click Apurina Ministry to read a detailed account of that trip. Very quickly the trip was once again another opportunity for us to see God working mightily among the Apurina and for us to realize that we have not been ministering there for the last 8 years in our own abilities, but in “demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That” the faith of the Apurina “should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God”.

Do you wonder if your support is necessary?  It is.  You too can be a financial partner with this amazing work of God.  Please click on the link below or on the “Become a Financial Partner” button on this page and help us as we faithfully minister in the Amazon Jungle.

God bless you all in Christ,
Brad and Melissa Miller and family

SUPPORT INFO:

For a quick and easy Tax Deductable Donation, click here and start changing lives:http://sgwm.com/blog/missionaries/miller-family/

Or send a check to:

Saving Grace World Missions
17451 Bastanchury Rd. Suite 203
Yorba Linda Ca. 92886
Write in the memo line – “MillersToBrazil”

Brazil Update April 2020

Jesus said, “…but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Greetings in Christ!

Our trip in March was not like our usual trips.  It was planned to accommodate both Judy and Cathie, the original missionaries to this people group.  We were in need of a boat specifically equipped to make it the safest and easiest for all to journey up river while, at the same time, having a place to do ministry without the need of leaving the boat to walk up the steep banks of the Villages.

It is very hard to find anything here that is different from the norm, even a private boat.   We needed a boat with air conditioned rooms on the first floor that was also easy to load and unload from.  The boat we found had a large area in back that was easy to load and unload from using a smaller boat.

We planned for 13 people on the trip, but in the end, the ladies were not able to make it.  So, we had a large boat with plenty of space and comfort.  If you have followed us and our journeys, you know space and comfort are not usually part of our boat rides to and from the Villages, since we normally use passenger boats.

This was also the first trip that I was the main navigator for the whole trip.  You might be saying, “But Brad, how hard could it be to go up a river and arrive at a specific place?  Doesn’t a river always start and stop in the same places?”  Well, we only got lost two times on this trip, once going up and once going down, both in the same place, each costing us about 25 minutes of time, and both after dark.  The photo on the right might help you understand why it is easy to get lost here in the Amazon Jungle Basin.  And in the end, what would a trip into the village be without a little adventure?

We were in the village for 6 days, plus the 3 days of travel.  In that time, we held 12 Services including Kid’s clubs, Women’s meetings, outreaches and daily church services.  We baptized 16 people, 7 from Vila Nova, 3 from Makauao and 6 from Aldeia Nova.

Click here to see photos from the Services.
Click here to see photos from the Baptisms.

Kenneth had been there before.  He visited the village very early on with Judy and Cathie.  He had come and baptized the first 10 believers in 1989 and then the second group of 10 in 1991.  For him to come and partake in another baptism, but this time including the grandchildren of those he baptized 30 years ago was extremely precious.  People had come from many villages up and down the river, in anticipation of their arrival.

There was another highlight for us though.  It was on the last night of our trip, at a packed Church service, during the altar call, the Chief and his family from a local village came forward.  This was a direct result of Raimunda, our Children’s and Discipleship leader.

For the last year, since Deusiani came to Christ in February 2019, Raimunda has been making weekly canoe trips to Deusiani’s village to disciple her.  At first Raimunda said it was just Deusiani, but after a few trips, a couple of other girls started sitting in on the meetings.  Then, most of the youth started to attend, and in the last two months the chief, his family, and all the others.  We baptized 3 from their village, saw 5 renewed commitments to Christ, and had 4 accept Him as their Savior for the first time.

This was exciting for us because this Village had always been known as the “Party Village” where many of the young girls come back pregnant with no father to their babies.  It is also where we had received the coldest welcome from the father of the chief and as such, I had not been making regular visits to them.  Now though, we expect a revival to happen there!  This may possibly be the next place we will start doing church services too.

Here we are praying for those who had come to Christ on the last night of the trip.

We are in need of more help now.  We are training our leaders and making good disciples, but we need more who can stand and preach in the pulpit in each of the new villages.  Do you think God is calling you to help? Answer that call, and let’s plan a trip for you to help.

This is a family and our children are very involved.  Josiah is making good friends with the local youth, Benjamin helps us set up the church services and Veronica is a future leader.  Look at this video of Veronica and Ben leading songs during one of the Kid’s Clubs. Want to know more? 

Click here: Apurina Special Update.
Check out our Facebook page here:  Millers To Brazil

Do you remember the young girls whom we asked you to pray for in our last update?  Well, 3 of them were baptized on this trip, Estiane, Jovanete and Alizandra.  Please continue to pray Giucilene.

Also, please pray for those whom we think are future leaders:  Vitor, Nelson, Armando, Deucilene, Lucia, Alsimara and Alcimone.
Please pray for our current leaders: Oscar and Analucia, Raimunda, Valdeci, Emerson, Andre’ and Domiginho.

Do you wonder if your support is necessary?  It is.  You too, can be a financial partner with this amazing work of God.  Please click on the link below or on the “Become a Financial Partner” button on this page and help us as we faithfully minister in the Amazon Jungle.

God bless you all in Christ,
Brad and Melissa Miller and family

Brazil Update January 2020

“…and ye shall be witnesses unto me…” Acts 1:8

Greetings in Christ!

So we head down to the docks, with the top of our van fully loaded with crates of food and supplies, suitcases and bags from floor to ceiling inside, having already brought most of our group to the boat on a prior trip, and we find the docks crowded and bustling with all types of people;  those with good and those with nefarious intentions.  There is no place to park, as cars and trucks are already tripled parked, the sounds of the marketplace behind us and those of the docks in front, cars honking, and people calling out various commands and orders.  Where will we stop and slowly carry our stuff down the long staircases and across the floating docks to the passenger boat we are scheduled to travel on?  We quickly formulate a plan: First, we must unload the stuff and park the van at some distance away, then one of us, the largest and most intimidating, will watch the stuff we unload on the street and the others will carry everything down one or two items at a time.  Everyone wants to help, honest people and those others who frequent the docks, living in the alleys and streets, thinking they have an awesome opportunity to make a few extra dollars off of the strange people who have just arrived.

And another village trip starts…..

At some time in the past Melissa and I both realized that here, too, on the streets in front of the docks, God wants to use us as witnesses.  Being a witness for Christ is usually not on my mind in these situations, guarding against thieves and robbers is.  But God has plans for us in every place where our feet shall touch the earth.  So, as I am the gnarlier looking person, taller, wider, and much more intimidating when I stand at full stance among these shorter people of the Amazon Jungle, I am watching the stuff, guarding the stuff, and staring with looks of intent at all those who seem to have evil planned out, when I find myself in a conversation with a man who was standing there waiting for a friend.

Are you from the United States?  What do you do here?  Me, “We share the Gospel.”  Really?  What is the Gospel?     And so my heart starts to melt and I realize once again that God wants to use us in every place we enter.

The Youth Share the Gospel

On this trip, we took 3 seminary students with us.  We were filled with excitement as Melissa and I watched these youth minister among the Apurina, people they had never known.  What a joy it is to see each of them nervously open their mouths to teach something, wondering if the people will be receptive.

VBS at Calvary Aldeia Nova
Vacation Bible Study Calvary Aldeia Nova

Then, as they continue to share, perceiving that the people in the villages have been eagerly awaiting for them to come and share truths from the Word of God with them, these same youth become encouraged as they share and see the reactions in the eyes of those who are listening.  What a joy it is to minister in such a place as this!

Mixirica, Simone and Naice all were on “Fire” from our perspectives, having planned for Kid’s Club, women’s reunions and a shortened Vacation Bible Study program for each of the two Villages.

Want to know more?  Click here: Apurina.

We continued with our School of Ministry classes.  We had a new young lady come to the classes this time, Estiane.  She accepted Christ last February.  What a joy to see the changes happening in her life as we clearly see the joy of God in her heart!  We talked with her and 3 other young ladies about being baptized in March.  Let’s pray for them: Estiane, Jovanete, Giucilene, and Alizandra.

School of Ministry

We held 8 Church services over the 5 days.  Mixirica gave one of the messages and on one night we had Testimony Night.  What an awesome time.

Testimony time in Aldeia Nova
Simone giving Testimony

Please check out these pages on our website, Home page, Who We AreMinistriesUpcoming Events, and browse around the others.

There is always more happening than what can possibly be written about here.  God is at work making new opportunities and opening doors throughout the whole area as our disciples continue to share the Gospel in the many surrounding villages.

Do you wonder if your support is necessary?  It is.  You too, can be a financial partner with this amazing work of God.  Please click on the link below or on the “Become a Financial Partner” button on this page and help us as we faithfully minister in the Amazon Jungle.

Mixirica Preaching

God bless you all in Christ,
Brad and Melissa Miller and family

SUPPORT INFO:

For a quick and easy Tax Deductible Donation, click here and start changing lives:http://sgwm.com/blog/missionaries/miller-family/

Or send a check to:

Saving Grace World Missions
17451 Bastanchury Rd. Suite 203
Yorba Linda Ca. 92886
Write in the memo line – “MillersToBrazil”

PAYPAL: bradlio@yahoo.com
Email:millerstobrazil@yahoo.com
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001203967024

In Brasil:
Banco Do Brasil
Bradley Brice Miller
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Contra Corrente: 29.628-7

Our Address:
Brad and Melissa Miller
Rua Jeronimo De Albuquerque #126
Dom Pedro
Manaus, Am 69040-470
BrazilCall us at 1-785-440-1777  Leave a message.

Brazil Update November 2019

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called,
them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 
Romans 8: 30-31

Greetings in Christ!

Many people have been asking how we have been, how is the ministry going, how are Oscar and Analucia, are we recovering from our various sicknesses, etc.  We must say, God is good and thank you for your love and concern!  It is because I have been recovering from Malaria that we have not been able to get an update out in a speedy fashion.

It is hard to explain, but this last bout with Malaria has been very vexing on my mental capabilities, causing an inability to group thoughts and ideas together in a way to relay to you the enormity of God’s presence in our mists.

As many of you know, Melissa and Veronica were in the United States visiting family and friends for the month of September.  They had a wonderful time of fellowship and relaxation in the Nebraska/Kansas area, sharing at a few local churches about the ministry and being able to spend quality time with our newest grandchild Logan and his sister Charlotte, son and daughter of Junior and Ashley.

The Completed Church Building

During the time they were in the U.S., Benjamin, Josiah and myself were in the interior of the jungle ministering among the Apurina Indians.  The ministry there is just bursting at the seams with fruit as our disciples are rising up and stepping out in their own ventures of faith, trusting the Lord, in order to bring solid bible teaching to various other villages in the area.

The Inside of the Completed Church

On that trip, we completed the construction of Calvary Aldeia Nova, our first church plant.  We also completely replaced the roof and rafters on our jungle house in Vila Nova..  We continued our School of ministry classes, had baptism classes, leadership classes, kid’s club, women’s meetings, and, in all, glorified God for He is good!

During the last month and a half, I, Brad have been recovering from Malaria again.  This bout has been extremely rough, but we are confident that recovery is now on the horizon.  I continue to be weak, but I am not anemic.  We have done various blood exams to confirm that the Malaria is gone and that my blood levels are good.

Your email and Facebook messages of encouragement have been a real blessing to me as I spent so much time bed bound, desiring to get up, but lacking the energy to walk to the kitchen and back.

While in the U.S., Melissa was able to see a specialist who confirmed that she did not have any heart issues.  The pain and symptoms she had back in August were related to an inflammation of tissue in the sternum area of her chest and may return, but was of no real concern.  He said that if it returned, to take a couple of Advil and rest.

We greatly appreciate your prayers and love.  It is not uncommon to suffer various illnesses and strange sickness here in the jungle, where it is so humid and hot, as viruses and ailments, parasites and other things thrive.  So we just ask you to continue to pray for us, trust that God is in control of even these things, and continue to lift us up before Him as useful utensils in His more than capable hands as we accomplish His will for the Apurina people whom He has given us to care for.

The Daily troop at the Jungle House

We have much on our pallet in the coming months and ask that you seek the Lord’s blessings and blanket these things with prayer.

  1. The Apurina people.  Oscar and Analucia our first disciples and trained missionaries, Raimunda, our local evangelist and women/children’s leader, Elsimara, an up and coming women/children’s leader, Valdici, the main preacher in Vila Nova and the leader of the church plant in Aldeia Nova, Emerson, Jarison, Jeson, Vitor, Nelson, all new disciples in Aldeia Nova and future leaders we think, Lucia, Vanilsa, Janet and Rosanilda, women disciples in Aldeia Nova.
  2. The new work that Oscar and Analucia are doing up in Sao Sebastiao.  Pray for the services, the messages, the people’s ability to comprehend and read.
  3. The studies that are being taken to new villages such as Makaoa, Bacuri and Joari.
  4. Our next village trip, scheduled for December 10-19th.
  5. The ministry planned in January 2020.  Two youth from southern Brazil will arrive here January 2-19th to go into the village and know our ministry.  Pray for an overall good experience, that they would return to the Bible College down south with a good report for possible future trips and helpers.
  6. January 23-25, First annual Pastor’s Conference in Northern Brazil in Belem.  I and possibly the whole family hope to attend and continue to form partnerships with other like minded people for the expansion of the jungle ministry among the Apurina people.
  7. The Group from England to visit the Villages, March 2-9th.  We are in the process of procuring a boat rental to bring the whole group to and from the villages right now.
  8. During these next few months as our normal schedule of teachings and preaching in the villages will be interrupted with shorter trips and groups.  Pray for the Apurina people and their spiritual growth and Christian expansion in the area.
  9. For our family.  Please pray for continued recovery from Malaria and now from weakness which are a result of the Medications for Malaria for Brad.  Please pray for Melissa and homeschooling, the pressures she has to run a household, a school, and ministry.  For our children, Andrea, Josiah, Veronica and Benjamin.

Do you wonder if your support is necessary?  It is.  You too, can be a financial partner with this amazing work of God.  Please click on the link below or on the “Become a Financial Partner” button on this page and help us as we faithfully minister in the Amazon Jungle.

God bless you all in Christ,
Brad and Melissa Miller and family

Miller July Update 2019

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Isaiah 6:8

Greetings in Christ!
Hello everyone in Internet land!
We just returned from the villages again. This trip lasted from July 8th – August 1st. As you can see in these two photos, we had a lot of stuff coming along for this trip. We are so thankful for a friend who lent us an extra boat just for this purpose!

These photos were from when we were leaving the large passenger boat from the main river.  From here, we had another hours across the lake and up the flooded creek to arrive at our jungle house located on the Apurina Indian Reservation.
We had so many supplies to bring up on this trip that we had to organize the rest of the stuff to come up on the next cargo ship which would pass by two weeks later.  So, these photos were from the first trip, and then we returned to the river two weeks later and filled the boats again.  Such joy!

We arrived to find that Valdeci had never returned from his trip with his mother to visit family many days of travel up river.  They had left the day after our last visit 5 weeks ago. He had contracted some sickness along with being anemic, and he is still in the city getting exams to figure out what he has.  His mother Analia, on the same trip, contracted Hepatitis B.  She, too, is in the city, awaiting medicines.  The type of medicine she needs is not covered under the national health care program. You remember that Oscar and his wife Analucia left the same time Valdeci did.  They went to Sao Sebastiao to preach and teach the word of God, making disciples.  Oscar and Valdeci were the two main men of the church in Vila Nova.  Because they are both out, there was a need for someone else to step up.  It sure is a good thing that we have been training several other men and women for the last 3 years.
Armando and Guirlermi each took turns along with Domiginho to run church services.  Domiginho does not really have the desire or will to preach or teach the Word of God, but he is a leader in the community.  It is good that Armando and Guirlermi both answered God’s call to be ready in season and out to give a reason for the hope which lies within them!
The main focus on this trip was to find a place to use all of the stuff we brought with us.  We brought construction supplies and chairs to fill a church building.  We got right to it in Aldeia Nova.  On our last trip, we had started the construction of our first Church plant, and the second day in the villages now we continued.  Here are some photos.

We had one skilled worker with us, Valmir, from a local river community outside of the Indian Reservation.  He, myself, and several of the men from Vila Nova and Aldeia Nova worked on the church building.
We worked for one whole week, mainly getting the work done between the hours of 8-12:00 o’clock.  It gets so hot after lunch that you cannot hardly lift a hammer, and when you do, you have trouble hitting the nails straight.As you can see, the work progressed fine.  In the second week, Benjamin and myself took an emergency trip to Tapaua to visit Valdeci and Analia.  We were concerned that one or the other may pass away before we ever see them again. They both looked fine, but they were both very weak.  There is talk that Valdeci may need to go to Manaus. They are in desperate need of your prayers.
Upon our return to the Indian Reservation, we continued to work at the church.  We were able to get it mostly completed before the Inauguration on July 27th.  Pictured to the right is the congregation of Aldeia Nova.  Remember that in July 2017 there was only one believer and we were teaching the bible on a weekly basis.

After the Inauguration, we baptized all who were new and solid in the Lord.  Several more of the congregation accepted the Lord over the same weekend, and so we will have another baptism in the near future.

Ten Baptized

Oscar and Analucia came back during this time in order to fellowship with us and relate what had been happening in their mission field since we had last been there.  They said that the people in Sao Sebastiao do not read very well and this makes it very hard to teach them.  But, still they have started 4 services a week, 2 on Sunday and 1 each on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. 
Along with these, Oscar has started a School of Ministry on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Analucia teaches the women on Friday mornings and a Kid’s Club on Saturdays.  The people are very open to the Word of God and want to grow in the Lord!
BIG NEWS!!!!  Oscar and Analucia had arrived the week before us.  Analucia started going down to another village, called Makauao where she was mentoring a group of young ladies, two of whom had received Christ in February when the SGWM team was here.  Also, Raimunda had decided to go down to another village, called Lazaru, to teach the Bible.  The people of Lazaru have been requesting for someone to come there and teach them for the last 2 years.  We made our first visit to them in May 2019.
Raimunda said that she could not keep from going since she had the Word, and it brings Life.  So, in the absence of a man to teach, she is filling the void.  We left enough gas for her to make another trip in August.  She will also continue a weekly trip to Makauao and keep up the mentoring that Analucia had started.  Please pray that the Lord lifts up a man to go to Aldeia Lazaru and preach, perhaps Emerson from Aldeia Nova.

It was great fun spending time with the people, training them, teaching them, showing them how to not only know the Word of God, but to live it.
What a joy it is to live the Christian life, to make a difference, to raise a people up, to be the feet of those who bring a message of glad tidings, a message of hope!Look at how the Lord has used each of you to reach and touch these beautiful people in the middle of the utter most parts of the earth!
Meditate on the goodness of God, on how He cares for us.

The crew and me

We now have returned to Manaus.  Our next trip to the Village is scheduled for September 2-26th, 2019.  Brad, Josiah and Benjamin will be returning, while Melissa and Veronica take a trip to the United States and visit family members in Kansas and Nebraska.
You know, we have grandchildren there who are growing up without know their grandparents.  One of them, Melissa has never met yet.  There is a sacrifice to be made to answer the call of God.  We understand a little of what Abram must have sensed when God told him to get up and leave his family and go into a land which He would show him.  

Please consider how you can get more involved with the works of God. For we were not saved to live for ourselves, but to glorify Him who saved us.  Not all are called to go like we have gone.  But in that going, there are always those who are on the sending side.


Thinking about coming down for a visit?  Contact us and let’s talk about it.  We have space for individuals or for a group.  We would love to host you.
Be sure to check out the other areas where we post things, like Facebook, or the Ministries.  God is good!


Check out Upcoming Events!  and Email us at millerstobrazil@yahoo.com

God bless you all,
Brad and Melissa Miller, Josiah, Veronica and Benjamin

Miller Family Update

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:25 

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, the only God and Savior of man,
And again I say, Greetings in Christ, may you be blessed by Him as you read this update.

We just arrived back from a very, very short trip to the villages.  As you recall, our trip in January was short also.  As my heart has accustomed to the culture in the village, I find myself not wanting to leave at the end of the trips.  Oh, how I yearn for them all to grow in faith, courage, knowledge, giftings, and blessings.

My heart is aching right now, as I realize I was only there a few days in January and even fewer days in February, and now I head to the United States for 2 months.  I long for the people to grow and mature in faith!  Please partner with us in prayer for the people of Vila Nova, Aldeia Nova, Popunha, and all other villages within our range of influence, where God desires to save the lost.

I don’t have a story of perilous times crossing the lake, with beady little crocodile eyes glaring back from the dark expanses of the jungle.  This time I don’t have any stories of dangerous pit vipers falling out of trees as we pick coconuts or poisonous dart frogs greeting us at our front door.

I do have stories of people getting saved, of our disciples showing forth their training and confidence in the Lord and of great fellowship amongst the people.

Last week, we were blessed with a visiting group of Pastors from Calvary Chapel Saving Grace, Yorba Linda California, representing our mission agency Saving Grace World Missions.  It was a special time with them intent on knowing first hand what is happening in the Apurina villages where we minister.

Because of this, we rented a speedboat to take us there fast.  You know the normal boat we use to go up and down the river requires 40 hrs of travel, and then, because they arrive at 1:30 am, we go in our little ministry boat another 1 1/2 hrs through the dark expanses of the Amazon to our jungle house.  There is always deep reflection on those trips, as you see the large boat drift off into the dark bends of the river and you are left “alone” in the “dark” in the middle of “the ends of the earth.”

This trip was not like that.  We scheduled to leave the city early in the morning and we arrived at our jungle house 11 hrs later, still before dark.  Of course, sitting on aluminum benches with only a 2″ foam seat for 11 hrs across a choppy and rainy 600 km stretch of the Amazon river is a story in itself, especially when you are travelling with children and people who are not accustomed to this type of travel.  Melissa and I are not accustomed to this either.  We think only the boat captain was.

We had services every night in the village, with simple expository teaching of the Word of God, visiting the people in their houses during the day.  We did two day trips, one to Popunha 3 hrs up river, and another to Aldeia Nova 20 minutes down stream.

We had Kid’s club on Saturday, packed with indigenous children and led by Pr Joel, Veronica, and Raimunda.  Want to see a video of that?  Click Kid’s Club.

We also had Women’s Bible study on Friday and a Baptism of new believers on Sunday.  And on top of all of that, 5 young ladies(14-22 yrs old) gave their lives to Christ!

Melissa quickly gathered the 5 young ladies, leading them into a committed time of discipleship with Analucia over the next several months while I am in the U.S.

Trent, Mike, Tim and Joel, the visiting Pastors did great.  Melissa and I reminisced our own arrivals 8 years ago, as we saw them stretched beyond their comfort zones, falling out of their hammocks, one deciding to sleep on the hard wood floor, walking through the muddy and spider infested paths of the rainforest, climbing up makeshift ladders into houses, and receiving the outpourings of emotions from Valdeci and the others, who were overjoyed with the Americans for giving up their lives and families to love on them and visit their houses in the the “selva” (interior of the jungle).

It was hard to leave after only 4 days.

In Aldeia Nova, after having a great Spirit led service with Pr Tim teaching in Luke 15, we saw where the people had cleared off a large section of Forest in order to start construction on the new church building.  I was impressed with the size of the land.  I am sure it will seem smaller once the building is on it.

New Church Site

A short trip, but there is much more I could share.  Want to know more?  Find out where I will be in the U.S. over the next two months and come hear a first hand account of everything the Lord has down through us, the people in the forest, and you by your faithful prayers and financial support. 

Brad & Melissa Miller and Family

Do Not Despise These Small Beginnings

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.
Zechariah 4:10 

Greetings in Christ,

Well, another year has passed and we forge on into 2019 with great expectations of the wonderful, and marvelous plans of God.  Who knows the plans He has for us?

(Psalm 35:10) 
I will praise him from the bottom of my heart:
“LORD, who can compare with you?
Who else rescues the weak and helpless from the strong?
Who else protects the poor and needy from those who want to rob them?”

And again….

(Psalm 106:2) 
Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD?
Who can ever praise him half enough?

Surely we can not!  We try on a bi-monthly basis to relate all that He has done here, using us, using you, administering His great power and glory amongst the Apurina people, but we are constantly searching for the right words to express all of this, knowing that we come up really short.  Suffice it to say, We will praise Him all our days and trust that you too are catching a taste of what we are trying to relate.

2019 is looking very bright from our earthly perspective.  Let’s start this update with another story from our trip into the village last week.

It was 1:30am as Brad arrived at the mouth of the Indian reserve, pitch black, the main river swollen from the raining season having arrived, large tree trunks ominously bobby through the strong currents fighting to get downriver, the steady beat of the large passenger boat which had transported him there was quickly buh,buh, buh, buh, buhhing off into the dark.

The mighty Purus river is not like any river we have in the U.S.  It is massive, powerful and yet deceivingly calm on the surface.  It is deep, averaging 140 ft, and wide, 5 minutes to cross at full speed in our boat.  Of course the depth of the river just plays with your mind at 1:30 in the morning as you realize you are all alone in the middle of the jungle.  To further add to the games that were being played in his head, as he entered the 15 mile long lake he was greeted by a very dense fog which brought visibility to 20 ft, slowing the boat to a speed just above idle, and navigation solely by his compass.  Thank God for the Holy Spirit who helps in every hour of need.

Brad arrived at our jungle house at 3:00 am.  Everyone in the village had been asleep, but when a boat arrives, the foreign noise from the motor is assured to be heard by most of the people, as normally they only hear the sounds of frogs, birds, monkeys, and other random animals.  By 5:00 am he had carried everything up to the house and by 5:30 had taken a shower, cleaned one small part of the house, hung his hammock and mosquito net and was zonked out.

6:30 am…….people are milling around outside the house.  knock, knock, knock…Pastor? You arrived?  There are of course sacrifices that must be made in order to be part of great works of God.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  (Matthew 16:24)

This trip only lasted 5 days in the villages, 8 days total with travel times.  This short trip was planned though.  The main goals of the trip were to: 1) remind the people that we would be back the first week of February with a group from California and 2) to visit a village upriver and negotiate the arrival of Oscar and Analucia, the first missionaries to be sent out from our ministry, preaching and teaching the Gospel, with plans to plant a church as the Lord blesses.

We accomplished both goals!  This other village is quite a ways from the reserve where our house is.  In fact, it is on another reserve, about 75 miles up river, and we get there in our ministry boat using a 40hp motor.

You may recall, Brad has been to this new village three other times, holding 2 Bible Conferences, evangelizing, teaching, and watching the Lord work His wonders.  The first time he went there, the people had a small statue of a Catholic saint which they were offering sacrifices to.  They accepted the Gospel on that first trip and destroyed the idol, requesting that we return and work with them, hungering for more of the life changing, powerful word of God.

We are not making this up, although in the U.S. it may sound like we are embellishing it.  We are not.  That had been 3 years ago.  We are really excited that Oscar and Analucia have heard the call of God to return there and start a new work, for we ourselves cannot work in three villages at the same time, lacking manpower and resources.  For this we look to the scriptures.

Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. (Luke 10:2)

Do you sense the call of God to enter into His harvest?  Step out in faith and test the waters.

Even though Brad, Oscar and Analucia and a couple of others had gone up river to this new village, called Sao Gabriel, he still held 5 church services on the other 4 days of the trip, both in Vila Nova and Aldeia Nova.

Want to know more about these things?  Follow the links above to the ministry pages or click Apurina  or Support Oscar and Analucia.

Are you still reading?  We have another story from this trip. Saturday night, on the full moon, when many of you in the U.S. saw a blood moon, the indians also saw a lunar eclipse.

Brad had been so tired from the travels that he had decided to use ear plugs and did not wake up when the people were knocking on his door to ask him what was happening with the moon.

In the morning, Domiginho came over and said, “Pastor, did you see the moon last night? It ran away and hid.”  Brad answered, “No, I did not.  I was sleeping with blocks in my ears. I am sorry I did not hear you call me.”  Domiginho responded, “Is it true that people die when the moon hides?” Another asked, “Do we need to bang on things and make lots of noise to keep people from dying?”

Our hearts pour out for the people and some of their superstitions.  We also realize most of us have weird little superstitious things that control our lives too, like step on a crack and break your mother’s back.  Still to this day I step over cracks in the sidewalk, although I know it has no effect on my mother. Here, in the city of Manaus it is impossible to not step on cracks in the sidewalks.

We do our best to comfort the people in these things and took this opportunity to show on the chalkboard what happens when the sun, earth, and moon align in certain ways and to assure them that the eclipse itself can not harm them although at the end time the Bible does say that there will be a blood moon and many people will die under the wrath of God. This was not that blood moon though.

Continue to pray for all of the people in the villages, especially for our disciples, Valdici and Oscar and their families.

Please consider supporting us Become a Financial Partner as the ministry is expanding and with that expansion, God is providing the necessary support.  Will you be a part of this expansion?  Will you be a part of God’s provision?

Email us at millerstobrazil@yahoo.com and give some encouragement, it is always welcome.

Brad will be in the U.S. sharing about the ministry and raising support next month, February 21 – April 25.  Want to know where?  Click Upcoming Events.

God bless you,
In Christ,

Brad and Melissa and Family

Keeping the Unity of The Spirit

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:3

Greetings in Christ!  November 2018 Update

 

I, Brad, Just returned from the Interior again.  There are many great things happening with the Apurina people!  Enjoy the photos I have uploaded here.  We have videos too if you follow the links to our Blog. Enjoy and please email us with your encouragements and blessings! God bless you all!

You know, I have now made at least 30 trips into the same village, up the same river, and have navigated the last days worth of travel along that same river in our own ministry boat multiple times.  And yet, I was going into the village on November 7th, with the plan to arrive at the mouth of the reserve by 4:30pm, to meet both Valdici and Oscar there, who were going to help me push and pull the ministry boat up the creek to the village, pushing and pulling because we are at the lowest water levels of the year. As I was navigating the main river, I veered off into a shortcut that I had taken numerous times before, and I found it not to be a shortcut this time.  45 minutes later, being way back into the shortcut, I came upon a dry creek bed.  I had to turn around and head all the way back out to the main river, and then take the long way around.

Not only did I use up all of the remaining daylight I had, arriving so late that Oscar and Valdici gave up on my arrival, returning to their village, but I used up all of my extra gasoline that was to be used to visit other villages on this trip.

I learned a valuable lesson.  In the Amazon “Rain” forest, shortcuts are not always shortcuts….

I spent the night out on the river, in a boat the Indians own and headed into the village early the next morning. Without a guide, navigating the lake at low water time is very difficult, as the lake is just pools of water with bushes, and shrubs and dirt sticking up like islands. This is why I needed Valdici and Oscar.

I ran aground several times and had to push myself off of the underwater mounds infested with crocodiles. The normal 25 minutes journey into the village ended up being 2 1/2 hrs, but I did arrive by 9 am Thursday morning.

Oscar and two youth heard me arriving, and came down to help carry my stuff up to our jungle house. This is good as during this low water time of the year the walk is 650 yards up a path through the jungle.  On the flip side, during high water times of March thru July, we park the boat 20 yards behind our own house.

For a good perspective on this, watch this video I uploaded:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-3stfMIb5s&t=30s

The upside to taking the shortcut that wasn’t a shortcut yesterday was that I did not have to carry the extra 15 gallons of Gasoline that I had brought in for our generator.

Oscar and Valdici and a few youths were the only males in the village when I arrived.  All others were down river at another reserve, one of which has invited us several times to bring the Gospel to them and teach them, but we have as yet to have the time or resources to go.

They were fishing for the great Pirarucu, or we call the Arapaima. There is one time a year that they are allowed to harvest this fish and sell it, and I arrived at the tail end of the season.  They harvested 192 Pirarucu, each one being 2-2.5 meters long and 180+ lbs.

We still had church services each night with women and children present, pretty much everyone else in the village, averaging 45 people for each service.

When the men returned late Sunday afternoon, we planned for replacing the church roof, starting the next day.

Patricio, Valdici, Oscar, Adalto, Jovani, and Edinaldo all helped, and we worked each day, except for Tuesday, and by Friday we had all of the new rafters up.  On the Tuesday we did not work on the church, we did take down three trees, one of which was a huge Amazonian Olive tree which was overhanging my house. It was in full bloom as it was full of fruit, and every night, between the hours of 11:30 to 2:30 am, birds, rats or some type of animal would be eating the fruit, dropping the hard pits onto the sheet metal of my house.  Oh, what a ruckus it was.  Not even headphones could keep me asleep.  I was so blessed when Danilson came on that day and cut the tree out.

Here is a link to a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YvKT1C0xLE

Okay, numbers…….

During the week of the church construction, I still had daily morning classes in our jungle house.  I had an average of 6 people studying Baptism.  We plan to have a baptism in February 2019.

The last week of my stay, after completing the church, we had daily morning classes with 7 people, studying Communion, and/or the importance of being united physically and spiritually.

We had nightly church services, with preaching and teachings, prayer services, children’s clubs, women’s meetings, and movies.

For each of the 3 Saturdays of this 3-week trip, a few of us went downstream to Aldeia Nova and held church services.  This was a very fruitful trip for the new Congregation of Aldeia Nova.  We will have a baptism there in July, 2019, and pretty much everyone in the congregation will be baptized, as they have all accepted Christ in the last year.

We marked out the land and discussed the logistics of building a church there.  Oh, what exciting times!

Animals

We found a poisonous caterpillar one day.  On another day, Valdici killed a very poisonous snake in front of my house while cutting the grass(Pit Viper).  I also came home to a very brightly colored frog(Poison Dart Frog) on my porch one day.  I did not touch it though, as I was not sure of Brightly Colored Forest Frogs.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am very excited as I have returned to the city thinking about how much the Lord has done through us, through you guys, and as I consider what else He has planned for the coming years.

Our next trip is scheduled for January 15-23, 2019.  It will be a very short trip, and I Brad will be the only one going in.  I am only going in to remind the people of my return the first week of February 2019 with a group from California and to make a special trip to another Village and discuss a future church plant.

Other Big News

I will be coming to the U.S.  The trip is planned for Feb 21- Apr 25th.  I will start in Miami, with a rental car, drive up through Washington D.C., over to Kansas/Nebraska, then to Texas, and end in California.  If you are in any of these areas and would like me to come by, please let me know.

I will post a speaking schedule later on, once I have finalized the schedule with our supporting churches.

Prayer Requests

Please pray for the people, both in Vila Nova and Aldeia Nova.  Please pray for their influence in the surrounding villages, all of which are begging for us to come and bring the bible to them.

Pray for Valdici, Oscar, Guirlermi, Analucia, Elsimara, Emerson, Evandro, Lucia, Rosanilda, Vanilsa and Josevandro.

Pray for our Family.

Pray for the two groups coming down in 2019.

In Closing

We trust you are encouraged by this good report!  Of course all things are always working out for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes!  Romans 8:28

God bless you all,
Please contact us to come visit and experience the amazing work of God and the Amazon life firsthand.

In Christ,
Brad and Melissa and Family.

The Millers to Brazil – October Update

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58

Greetings in Christ!

Brad and Melissa here, letting you know all that the Lord has been doing in and through us over the last 6 weeks.

We were all in the Indian village from September 11th until October 3rd.  It was a very prosperous trip!  Highlights are the growth of the Vila Nova Church, plans for a new Church construction in Aldeia Nova, and the Children’s ministries!

Vila Nova:  This is where our jungle house is and also where the original Church is located.  Church growth continues there, as the children’s group is continually growing along with the youth group.  Our children’s group, made up of 5-13 yr olds, makes up about half the normal congregation on Sunday services.

We also built new tables for our morning Bible Comprehension Leadership classes.  We had a normal sized table, 3′ x 7′ which sat 5 men, with 3 women sitting on a bench without a table.  We built three new “classroom” tables and can now seat 10 people.  It filled up the first day, and thus we will consider enlarging our teaching room in the future.

Quite the problem to have, don’t you think?

 

Aldeia Nova:  After hitting a bump in the road on our last trip in August, we were unsure of what was going to transpire on this trip.  We are happy to inform you that we are back on track, tears having fallen from our faces (both the people and ours), traded out for joy and hope!

We will return to Baptism classes on our next trip in November, and set a date for those who want to be baptized, possibly in February?  We plan to mark out the property and start clearing the land for the Church construction, hopefully, to be completed in July 2019.

 

 

Please pray for Chief Evandro and his family, and the continued growth of the congregation there.

 Children’s Ministries:  The Children’s Ministry, which consists of Kid’s Club, Children’s Choir, and Sunday School, continue to grow.  The Sunday school is starting in Aldeia Nova, while we have Kid’s Club in Vila Nova.

We plan to break the Worship Service up to have both a service and a Sunday school in Aldeia Nova, where Melissa and Raimunda and Elsimara can start both women’s and children’s programs there.

 

We trust you are encouraged by this good report!  Of course, all things are always working out for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes!  Romans 8:28

Check this link for more current info on the last trip:  https://millerstobrazil.com/ministries/apurina-tribe/

Please continue to pray with us for everyone in the villages.  Here are some specific prayer items:

  1. Brad’s next trip, November 6-28th.
  2. The Leadership.  Vila Nova: Oscar, Valdicir, Guerlermi, Pedro and Domiginho and their families. Aldeia Nova: Evandro, Emerson, Jailson, Josevandro, Cirinei, Renneson, Bida and their families.
  3. Our family.  Brad and Melissa, our eldest son and family in the U.S. Brad Jr and Ashley, Andrea, Josiah, Veronica and Benjamin, along with Naice, who lives with us in Manaus.
  4. The Holidays and our plans for the coming year.

Possible 2019 plans: a) SGWM team in February, b) Brad going to the U.S. in Feb-Apr, c) CC Cumberland team in July, d) renting of boats for the teams, e) training involved and f) preparations for all trips.

God bless you all,
Please contact us to come visit and experience the amazing work of God and the Amazon life firsthand.

In Christ,
Brad and Melissa and Family.