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.
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?
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