Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life;
and they are they which testify of me.
(Jesus of Nazareth)
Greetings in Christ,
In our last update, we had written, “Coming back from the U.S. …knowing that we are returning to what we were created to do…” and yet at the same time, suffering from “…the sense of separation we go through “…leaving family and friends behind…”
This is the reality of missions in a foreign land. Wanting to return to the field, not wanting to leave our own culture, family, and friends….
And when we arrived in Manaus, on March 5th, Brad started making preparations again and headed back to the Indian Village. Wanting to return to “that which we were created to do” ministering in and among the Apurina people.
That trip lasted from March 27th until April 19th, 23 days.
Upon arriving, I, Brad, was told that Emerson, had been visiting all of the houses in his village on a weekly basis and reading/teaching the bible to them along with traveling many hours upriver to visit his in-laws to share about Jesus. He told me, “They will die without Jesus if I don’t tell them.”
Does good news get any better than this?
I had arrived with our ministry boat completely loaded down with extra diesel and gasoline, as we had planned to take a trip 14 hrs upstream to the 3rd village, where we had done two other outreaches/bible conferences in the last 2 years, successfully sharing the Gospel and winning the chief to the Lord 3 years ago.
I was by myself on this trip because after returning from the U.S., the whole family was not able to make the transition back to Brazil smoothly, having our routines all mixed up. We made the decision for me to go alone and for Melissa and the children to return to a good homeschool schedule. Please pray with us for our daily routines to return to normal.
For anyone who thinks moving your entire family to the Jungle is easy, let us tell you it isn’t, and that…..The Struggle Is Real!
But, with the struggles, comes the joy of living in the Lord’s will, which makes it all worthwhile. Now, let’s get on to the reasons why we are so encouraged to make these sacrifices, which are required for us to live and minister in a foreign land.
I, Brad, arrived in the village on the 29th of March, which was a Thursday. As I was heading into the Jungle, I learned that the big boat which takes us upriver was no longer making weekly trips. They only go up every 2 weeks now, which causes my minimal trip to be shortened by 1 day, and a normal trip to be extended by 6. On this trip, I had brought enough provisions for 2 weeks, but would now be staying 3.
Talking with the Chief in village #1, we decided to immediately head up to the 3rd village, and have a 2-day conference there, making plans for a family from the 1st village to come as missionaries, and to talk about planting a church. We spent 4 days on this trip, 1 day to travel upriver and 1 day to travel down. We had 8 classes in which I taught over Matthew 5-7, the sermon on the mount, “How we should walk as Christians.”
The people there are anxiously waiting for us to start a church, wanting to learn more about God, Jesus, and the Word. We are waiting upon the Lord to guide and direct us in this manner.
Returning to the 1st village, I set up the next 2 weeks to be divided between Villages 1 and 2, having leadership/comprehension classes in both, and also evening services every night of the week.
We will have Baptisms in the 2nd village on our next trip. We believe there will be 7-10 baptized.
Is that Good News? This is what gets us excited!
You know what else get’s us excited? Poisonous snakes! I killed two jungle snakes on this trip, one a very poisonous one, and the other, well, hey, it’s a snake! Valdicis was trimming our coconut tree in front of our house, up on an 8 foot ladder, when suddenly, right in front of his face, out comes this Amazonian pit viper, one of the most dangerous snakes in the jungle, which a bite from one of these can lead to death in 15 minutes. He quickly swung his machete and hit the snake mid-body and it fell to the ground where I took a picture of it before lobbing off its head with my machete.
Back to ministry…..wait, snakes and dangers are always a part of ministry for us. But, let’s return to the regularly scheduled programming.
We have discerned to spend more time in the villages, less time in the city, focusing on ordaining leadership and Pastors for each church, hopefully within the next 2 years. This means we now get to watch how God will raise the needed resources to increase our time in the interior.
By the numbers…..I, Brad, was in the villages 21 days on this trip. Besides traveling between 3 different villages, we held 19 Church services, 20 Bible study classes, 6 children’s services and 3 women’s studies, for a total of 48 meetings. In village #1, our leadership studies averaged 7 people, church services 40 people, children’s services 70, and in village #2, our leadership classes averaged 15 people, and church services 25.
Want to know about this ministry? Go to millerstobrazil.com and click on the ministries tab, Apurina.
Please pray for the following things:
1) An unspoken development in the ministry. (oh, the suspense)
2) The people in Village #1 to come together in the Lord, and be renewed and awakened
3) Our leaders from Village #1
4) Our search for church leaders in Village #2
5) Village #3 and the future work there?
6) The other villages unspoken of, who are requesting we bring the Word to them
7) Our own family, those here in Brazil and in the U.S.
Please email or call us anytime. You can find the contact info at the bottom of any page on our website: millerstobrazil.com
God bless you all!
Brad and Melissa, Josiah, Veronica, and Benjamin