“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
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