A Journey in the Amazon!

Philippians 3:14, Ephesians 2:10

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

Greetings in Christ,

The family just returned from another amazing trip to the village. But first, we have a story to tell.

You see, we actually got lost this time.

You have heard me tell the story before, arriving at 1:30am in the middle of the Jungle, pitch black, crocodile eyes everywhere, and not a light of any kind anywhere in sight. We pack into our 7 meter boat with all of our supplies and leave the bigger boat, weighted down from all of the food baskets we are bringing into the people for Christmas, the water pushing and spraying out in front of us as the nose of the boat is deep in the water, as well as all the way to the back of the boat, which has the water passing by just under the rails by the motor. We creep away and watch the big boat disappear into the night.

But on this night, something else happened. It is also raining hard and we cannot see the edges of the shore unless we are right next to it, but the shores are not visible now, the water levels have risen again, and only the tree branches hanging out make up the shore, the trunks completely under water.

We have about 25 kilometers to go like this. There are also other trees and brush sticking up out of the water. It should be about an hour at this slow speed, that is, if we were traveling by day. But then, 1 1/2 hrs go by and we start to realize that something is not right. 2 hrs pass and we realized that somehow, in the darkness of it all, raining too, that we got turned around on the big lake, and we ended up going in circles, arriving at the mouth of the lake again.

That is when the excitement starts to flow out, and dread and the realization of just how tired you are enters in. Benjamin and Veronica are sleeping while the rain is still falling and hitting them, all of us getting soaked.

Then a miracle happened. I turned on my iPhone to check the time, (no, that wasn’t the miracle) and Melissa says, “Does Google maps work?” Of course it does not work, there is not a cell tower in sight for miles and miles and miles, plus I have tried it on countless other occasions, and it never works out here in the jungle. She said, “Try it anyway.” Guess what? It worked. It led us across the lake, well the GPS part of it did, through the various trees and brush sticking up, pelted by rain in our faces, to the mouth of the small creek at the other end of the lake. We now know exactly where we are and the path is very easy to follow. Then…….google maps quit working and did not work again until we left the village 2 weeks later arriving closer to the city. Praise the Lord.

30 more minutes and we arrived at our jungle house, it was 4am.

I ask you, what are you willing to do to bring the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth? If not this, are you willing to at least support those who are? Praise the Lord for calling people to work in his vineyard! Some plant, some water, but the Lord reaps the harvest. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10

What can a person say? We are but sinners, saved by grace, but who can fail when the Lord is on their side? This trip was AWESOME!

We had 5 people ask us to help them receive Jesus as their Savior this trip, the church plant in Aldeia Nova is growing under the faithful work of Valdicis, the deacon in the church of Vila Nova where our jungle house is, we had unprecedented numbers in church attendance at all services, 18 services in 14 days, 8 leadership classes, 2 women’s meetings, and 2 kid’s clubs.

The food baskets you provided were given out. We miscalculated by 2, but that was okay. We gave out 24 in Vila Nova and 6 in Aldeia Nova.

We had a very special Christmas evening service, in which we had invited the 3 villages close to us to come, and there were some people from another village farther out which came also! This is BIG news, as one of those three villages has an Assembly of God church, and us being more Baptist, there has always been a wall between the two villages, as far as Spiritual fellowship goes. We have been working on tearing this wall down over the last year though, teaching our disciples to show the love of God, and not debate over the traditions of men.

The village farther out, Aldeia “Anonymous”, asked us to come and preach the Gospel to them. A few of the people had received Christ through Judy and Cathie, the missionaries before us 10 years ago, and were faithfully waiting for someone to return and continue working with them. I was able to talk with the Chief of the village and confirm that no one else is working there, or trying to enter. Will you pray with us about this new village? We lack the resources for gasoline to go there on a regular basis, and we lack the manpower from our village right now to continue the work while we are in the city, but we are completely of willing heart, mind, and soul.

Melissa and I have felt a great burden upon our hearts for the people of Aldeia Nova. We need to spend more time there, building foundations for the women and children, along with the future leadership in the Church. One of the problems? Time. Another? The women there cannot read or write. Please pray with us that God will give us a solid plan of action to lift this burden we have and accomplish what we believe is His will for all involved.

Good news! Oscar and Analucia, Oscar being the one who has been leading the church in Vila Nova for the last two years, is feeling called to go upstream and plant a church in the village we evangelized two years ago and returned in June 2017 to do a Bible Conference. Please pray that God would give clarity in this to him and Analucia.

Valdicis feels called also to preach. I see a great gift in him of evangelism, and I see him growing in the area of preaching and teaching. It could be that God is calling him to a Pastoral position in the future in some new village. Please pray for him.

Please pray for Guerlermi and Elsimara. We baptized them in July. I see great things in him for the future. I believe with Oscar and Valdicis possibly leaving as missionaries in the coming year, that Guerlermi may be the one who takes the reigns.

Please pray for the men, women, and children in Aldeia Nova. We believe they will become an evangelical hub for the other areas in the future.

Please pray for Aldeia (Anonymous) who are calling us to come and preach the Gospel to them. Pray for discernment, wisdom, manpower, and resources.

!OTHER THINGS! Are you still with us?

Melissa is organizing a big outreach for January 27th. It will be held at a smaller congregation here in town, Congregacao Ebenezar. They are a daughter church from our Baptist church we attend. We will have Doctors, Dentist, Barbers, Cosmetologist, masseuses, and more. Our main goal is to preach and teach the Gospel while edifying the people in the Spirit and in Physical well being. We are expecting several hundred people to show up.

We are coming to the U.S.!

On January 30th, we fly out to Washington D.C. to relax and refresh with Calvary Chapel Cumberland, Maryland. We will be there for 5 weeks. If you are in the area, come visit us, or if you would like to schedule us to speak with your church, small group, or youth group, contact us at millerstobrazil@yahoo.com.

As always pray for the people we minister to, pray for our family, and pray about coming to visit us.

God bless you all,

Thank you for your prayers,

Brad and Melissa, Josiah, Veronica, and Benjamin.

Christmas in the Summer!

Merry Christmas from the depths of the Amazon Jungle!

 

It may be winter there in the U.S., but it is Summer here, and very warm!  Nonetheless, we still celebrate Christmas with the love and Cheer we always do, but with just a little sweat mixed in!

 

We decided to open Christmas presents on the 16th of December this year because we will not be in the city over the holidays. You can see pictures of our Christmas here: https://www.facebook.com/millers.brazil

 

This is a quick update as we leave tomorrow morning, the whole family, going once again deeper into the jungle, away from Cell phone towers, Electrical lines, all roads, dirt and asphalt, street lights, Christmas lights, and all modern conveniences.

 

We will spend Christmas and New Year with the people in the village. We are also taking in food baskets that you all supported and bought, enough to hand out to each family in two villages. We have 30 altogether.

 

We leave on the 19th of December and will return on the 6th of January.

 

Please pray for the people and for the blessing of the Lord! We will continue our focused teachings on Christ, what it means to be a Christian, and what our part or role in the plan of God is.

 

Look for pictures and videos upon our return.

 

P.S.  It is not too late to be a part of the blessing of God for this Christmas season upon the people where we minister! Yes, we already bought the food baskets, but there are still great financial costs involved with ministering back in the jungle and every dime counts. Join us today by clicking on the link “Become a Financial Partner” to start getting connected with people halfway around the world, producing heavenly fruit that rust and corrosion will not touch.

 

God bless you all!
Brad and Melissa Miller and Family

Brazil Update November 2017

 

Ezekiel 37:5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live

 

Greetings in Christ, Brazil Update November 2017,

 

I arrived at 1:30 am, middle of the Amazon Jungle, in our ministry boat, pitch black, tree stumps sticking up out of the creek, crocodile eyes all around me, and I knew, if not for the Lord sending, how would they ever hear?

 

Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent?

 

That’s how it is here, when we visit the Indians during dry season. We always arrive at the entrance to the reservation in the middle of the night. The problems are many, as listed above, plus mosquitos, piranha, and another 20 miles to go, navigating this little crocodile infested creek.

 

With certainty, it is much easier to arrive during the rainy season, but ministry cannot stop just because the rain does.

 

I (Brad) just returned from a 3-week trip. Things are going great there! The people are continually growing and are now evangelizing other villages.

 

Follow this link to read more and see photos and videos from the trip: https://millerstobrazil.com/ministries/apurina-tribe/

 

We had daily Bible classes in our jungle house from 8-11 each morning, Mon-Fri, and nightly Church services, teaching Genesis and/or teaching from one of the morning lessons. We have a group of 7 that faithfully come to morning classes and we averaged 40 in the nightly services. We also had a movie night where we showed “The Passion of Christ” dubbed in Portuguese. It was too long for one night, so we watch half on one Saturday and the other half a week later.

 

We are also starting church services in a new village.

 

The chief in this new village is on fire for the Lord. He was especially excited about how he has seen God working in their lives since our last visit in July, when he and his sons accepted Christ as their Savior and the Word of God as their life manual.

 

It is a real blessing to see the fruit of not only our labors in the last year (as we were visiting them every two months) but also the labors of Judy and Cathy, the two missionaries who labored here before us.

 

This chief and the people in his village had left our village several years ago because we were “Christians”, but now, he has returned, in Spirit, being reconciled to God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Valdicis, one of our disciples, made a commitment to return to this new village. He will continue to go there on Tuesdays to ensure that the work does not stop while Melissa and I are in the city in between trips.

 

We have also been invited to another village, about 2 hrs. away, to bring the Word. I was asked by a young Christian man who was visiting our village. His name is Isaias. He says that he has a small group of men who meet with him in his hut and study the word in Portuguese. I asked him if there was any other missionaries or Pastors visiting them, and he said, “No.” On our next visit we will head down there and see what God wants to do.

 

That next trip will be in December and we will stay through the new year, Lord willing, celebrating Christmas with the people.

 

Please pray for the people there. Oscar and Analucia, Domiginho and Sandra, Makao and Cosma, Pedro and Eliete, Guerlermi and Elsimara, Evandro and Vanilda.

 

CITY MINISTRY:

 

Melissa is organizing a big medical outreach here in Manaus for the last Saturday of January. She is working with our local church and plans to hold the outreach at a sister church in a poor area of town. We will involve evangelists, doctors, dentists, a pharmacy, and others.

 

Please pray for this outreach. We hope to see 200 people show up, mostly mothers and children.

 

JARDIM TROPICAL:

 

Sometimes, we have set-backs in ministry. We don’t like to talk about these, but I feel it is important.

 

The work in Jardim Tropical went in an unfortunate direction in early August. While we were in the village for most of July and then in Fortaleza (a coastal City), the second week of August, the leadership in the church of Jardim Tropical decided to change the form of ministry they had and they named the Church, Pentecostal Church of the Living Lamb. They started focusing on healing ministry and prosperity teaching. It is amazing how much can change in just a few weeks.

 

Immediately the church split in half and they lost 45 people. In the last two months, the leadership have crumbled, most having left. Those who were leaving were coming to me complaining.

 

If you remember, upon returning from the U.S. in May 2016, we started working closely with Artur and Merinete as he was preaching the Word to a faithful 7, two nights a week. The congregation quickly grew to 20, we started leadership/discipleship classes in our house for the leadership they would need, and by December, we started raising money to build a Church for them, so they would not have to stand in the mud. We opened the church the first of July 2017 with 120 people in attendance, and it continued to have 70-100 each week.

 

Returning to now, they are in shambles.

 

I talked with Artur, the man we have been supporting and working with for the last 2 years, and we decided it was better if Melissa and I did not come around for a while. We did not want to divide the people into those who follow Brad and those who follow Artur. We are still working with Leandro and Roberta though, whom we have weekly contact with here at our mission base.

 

We hope to have reconciliation there soon, and for Artur to either return to sound biblical doctrine or turn the work over to us. We appreciate your prayers in this matter.

 

Please pray for the people there, specifically for Artur and Merinete, Leandro and Roberta, Sergio, and Samuel. We hope to start working there again in the future.

 

Ezekiel 37:7-8, 10 I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. So, I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived

 

God bless you and keep you!

 

In Christ,

Brad and Melissa and family

Brazil Update August 2017

Greetings in Christ,

Where has the time gone?  That is the question we are asking ourselves.

Two months have passed by, and we have not been able to slow down.  And besides that, where do we start with sharing?  There is too much to tell, too little space to write it, and quite frankly, people don’t want long drawn out updates.

So, how do we crunch the numbers into a smaller, easier to read format?  I don’t know.  Sorry, that is not my specialty, but we have done the best we could to write concisely.  If you want to know more about any of the things written below, be sure to follow the links to our website and read the longer versions or call us on our internet phone 1-785-440-1770.

Here we go.

We finished writing the last updates in June.  We actually had a few weeks to rest, but that did not happen.  We prepared and shared at our local church about the work that is happening in Jardim Tropical.  I Brad, was busy most of the weekdays building the church building in Jardim Tropical with the resources many of you gave.  Melissa was busy going through and sorting the mountain of drugs and supplies that were donated to us.  And last but not least, Becca arrived from the states for a 3-month mission trip and is staying with us.  Lots of work, but what a great blessing for all!

Well, the church building in Jardim Tropical is almost done.  Make sure you check out the photos here: http://millerstobrazil.com/ministries/jardim-tropical/     We also have the photos of our leadership/discipleship classes there.

The work in Jardim Tropical is continuing to be a huge blessing! We have opened a new support page for them through GoFundMe.com.   To donate specifically to this ministry, click here:   https://www.gofundme.com/jardim-tropical-support  Your support is greatly needed and is making a difference.

Since we started the leadership meetings and church construction, the congregation has grown almost 4 fold to 70+.  The new building was to house up to 60.  At the time, the congregation was just 20, and that seemed big enough, but now, the church is completely packed several nights a week.

We have also noticed something else.  The church steps have become a meeting place for the kids to hang out and play.  What a joy and blessing it is to be a part of the Lord’s work.  Consider helping these people, money goes farther here than in the U.S.

When July entered, we started preparing for the Wordless Ministries team to arrive.  A team of 22 arrived on the 13th and we ministered along the Amazon river for 7 days.  Brad was able to bring along Leandro, one of the men from Jardim Tropical who received Christ as his Savior last.  This was the perfect opportunity for him to work side by side with Pr.  Joel, a very gifted evangelist.

While Brad was on this trip, Melissa was in Jardim Tropical daily ministering to the people.

Click here https://millerstobrazil.com/ministries/wordlessministries/ to see the pictures from this group.

The day after that group left, we packed up and headed to the Indian Village.

We arrived at the mouth of the Indian Reservation at 1am.  Imagine arriving in the middle of the largest rain forest in the world.  You leave the safety of the “big” boat and load all of your supplies into your ministry boat, just big enough to haul your cargo and food for the next week.  As the “big” boat continues it’s steady ‘buhbuhbuhbuh” up the river, and your boat is being towed alongside, the workers call out, “NOW!” and they release the line from your boat and you skimmer across the dark water, under the darker, star ridden sky, and watch the “big” boat disappear into the night.  With your flash light in hand, you start searching the far shoreline for the mouth of the lake, which is just a small doorway in the otherwise thick covering of rain forest growth, and you head that direction.  You are now on your own, no cell phone service, no street lights, and you have another hour of travel, navigating across the flooded rainforest, looking for familiar areas to guide your way into the remote Indian Village.

This is how it is on every trip we make into the forest.

We arrived at the jungle house at 2:30am.  We clean, sweep, throw up mosquito nets and hammocks, first for the kids, and then for ourselves.  And although we should be tired, we are full of anticipation and the coffee we chugged down at 12:30 in order to not be sleepy navigating the forest, we calm down, relax and sleep by 4:30, knowing that by 7:30, the villagers will start arriving at your door to greet you.

Knock, knock, knock, “Pastor?” It’s 7:00 o’clock.  “Do you want to have leadership class this morning at eight?”

There is no greater joy than to see the vigor in the people under your care, hungry for the word of God!

We held 15 church services and bible studies in the 7 days we were in the village.

Click here https://millerstobrazil.com/ministries/apurina-tribe/  to read more details and see pictures.

We baptized 4 people on this trip, Guerlermi and Elsamara, Leonete, and Raimunda. Please pray for them, and for Aldeia Nova, the new village which has asked us to start church services.

God bless you all,

Thank you for your prayers,

Brad and Melissa, Josiah, Veronica and Benjamin.

Brazil Update June 2017

Greetings in Christ,
We are officially into the “dry season” here in the Amazon Rain Forest.  Sounds weird, huh?  Dry?

 

Yes, it is dry……er  here in Manaus.  In fact, it will slowly stop raining and will altogether quit by the end of June.  Then we  won’t see any rain again (except for sporadic sprinkles) until mid September.  And when it get’s dry here, whew!  The heat comes on!
 

That said, let me tell you what God has been doing through us the last couple of months.
 

I, Brad, just returned from another extremely fruitful 19 day trip into the Indian village.  The day I arrived in the village, I quickly unpacked and then repacked again into a smaller bag and went on up river 14 hrs with Chief Makao, Oscar and Analucia, Oscar’s brother Valcidis, sister Nilza, and Raimunda.
 

 We were heading back to the village we went to two years ago where the Chief and his son repented from their idols and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. On that trip, the Chief had not let us talk with the whole village, but just his immediate family.  On this trip, at his request, we were coming in to teach a Bible conference to the whole village, with 4 other villages invited. We held 10 classes over the 3 day conference and showed the Jesus Film in their language.  They would like to know more and build a church.  For more details on the conference, click here: https://millerstobrazil.com/ministries/apurina-tribe/

 

Upon returning to our village, we held our normal daily leadership studies from 8-11am and nightly Genesis studies, with a movie night on Saturday and two Sunday services.  I stayed for two weeks and returned at the end of May.
The whole family will go on the next trip, the 3rd week of July.
 

I did some construction projects on this trip also. I tore down and rebuilt from scratch the front water tower on our Jungle House. I placed two 500 liter water tubs there, one which feeds our kitchen and the other at ground level, which the people can get fresh water from during the dry season.
I also rewired the church with new light fixtures, wires, and outlets powered by our Diesel Generator.
Upon returning to Manaus, I started prepping for a wedding ceremony I would officiate between an American man from California and a Brazilian woman from Belem, a city down river from us.  The man was from one of the Calvary Chapel churches in Southern California and so we had a common connection. We had the ceremony last Saturday, May 27th. Click here to see a photo: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1515690278481090&set=pcb.1515691961814255&type=3&theater

 

The work in Jardim Tropical is continuing to be a huge blessing!  Our leadership classes are helping them as they strive to reach their own community with the Gospel through open air preaching and teaching 4 nights a week.  We are supportive of their work and would like to bless them with a church building, which will help us too by getting the outreaches we do and their services up out of the dirt and mud.  Our Saturday Leadership class could then be moved from our mission base to the community, and possibly grow.

 

Our Saturday morning Leadership Studies are blessing the people there.  Each Saturday I lead an Inductive Bible Study class in our mission base  to Artur, Leandro, and two others.  They take the things they learn in the class back to the Jardim Tropical community and lead Bible Studies and and evening services. They also started a kid’s program during evening services and a kid’s club on Saturday.
 

Visit the Jardim Tropical page and see recent photos here: https://millerstobrazil.com/ministries/jardim-tropical/

 

Would you consider a monthly donation of any amount to help further the Kingdom of God here in the Amazon Basin?  Perhaps a one time gift?  Has God called you to invest more in His Kingdom?  Matthew 25:14-46  click here: https://www.egsnetwork.com/gift2/?giftid=578DEFE9E5AA486 to help.

 

God bless you all,
 

Thank you for your prayers,

 

Brad and Melissa, Josiah, Veronica and Benjamin.
SUPPORT INFO:
Visit our support page at http://sgwm.com/blog/missionaries/miller-family/ and click Become a Financial Partner.

You can also send checks 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

In Brasil:

Banco Do Brasil
Agencia: 4219-6
Contra Corrente: 29.628-7

Our Address:

Brad and Melissa Miller
Rua Jeronimo De Albuquerque #126
Dom Pedro
Manaus , Am 69040-470
Brazil

Call us at 1-785-440-1777  Leave a message.