If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed
Greetings in Christ!
Oh boy, a lot has happened since our return from the village in late May. These happenings, many of which you are aware of perhaps, caused a delay in putting out this update, and has made us pressed for time in all other areas.
We are so grateful that we uploaded some of the photos we had from the May village trip to Facebook upon returning, on account that our laptop and the backup to the laptop were stolen last week, causing us to lose all of our photos since 2016.
But, on to happy thoughts…….Let’s talk about the work that God is doing in the Apurina villages.
We arrived to the mouth of the Indian reserve at 12:30am, at our jungle house by 1:15am, had our hammocks hung and sleeping by 3:30am. Ministry starts early there, and sleeping in, we were able to get up and visit people by 7:30am.
On this trip we shuffled School of Ministry classes between both Vila Nova and Aldeia Nova: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in Vila Nova and Tuesday and Thursday in Aldeia Nova. We continued having normal church services both in the morning and evening on Sundays and nightly Studies Monday- Friday in Vila Nova, along with Saturday Church services and “Sunday” school for all ages in Aldeia Nova.
There are no days off.
The second week we suspended all School of Ministry classes and worked on the construction of the Church in Aldeia Nova. Helping Valmir, the carpenter from a nearby river community, the Indians got all of the framing done in about 5 days. In that same time, Josiah, Valdeci and myself built an outhouse. It is hard to understand how hot it is and how hard it is to work at a continual pace in the Amazon Jungle. Here are some pictures.
Melissa’s presence in the Aldeias in always a blessing. Here is a photo of her working with the Women in Vila Nova. She headed up a new daily teaching session among the women there using an illustrated book called “The Lamb”. She encouraged the Christian women to invite all of the other women to these classes. Many of the women who would not come to the “Women’s” bible studies in the past, came, heard, and two even gave their lives to Christ.
In Aldeia Nova, she headed up the “Sunday” school divisions held after our Saturday Church service. She enrolled Raimunda as the children’s teacher and she led the women while I led the men. For more photos of Melissa’s jungle ministry, click here: Melissa’s Ministry.
This was an awesome addition to the ministry in Aldeia Nova, although I don’t know how I will continue this format when she is not there, as the people in Aldeia Nova are not able to step up yet and we don’t have anyone in Vila Nova as of yet who has committed to this type of role. We had Analucia but her and Oscar have left to start a church in another Aldeia.
We also visited a new Village called Lazaru. We drove our ministry boat there with a delegation from both Vila Nova and Aldeia Nova. Upon arrival, we entered the Chief’s house as is our custom, and heard the history of this small village. Then we opened the word and talked about God the creator, sin, and the plan of Salvation.
We had been invited here by the chief, who has a drinking problem, but also has a son who was led to the Lord by Judy and Cathy several years back. His son, Andrew, has been pleading for us to come there and begin teachings. It has been our desires to come for two years now, but we lack the manpower to continually return. Please pray that Valdeci or some other will step into this role of returning on a regular basis and preach to the people of Lazaru.
After a 1 1/2 hr study, they asked for a church service. We met in their school building and the whole village came, about 15. Here is a link to the photos we have on Facebook from this trip: Lazaru.
Alright, what happened after this trip? Upon returning to Manaus, I was fine for the first 5 days. In that time I ran errands and bought supplies for the next village trip, sending some of them on the boat up river that same week so that we would have less things to bring in July. But after these 5 days, my whole body started aching. Then a high fever. I knew immediately that it was Malaria.
12 days of medication and laying in bed with zero energy to get up and even walk around. The medicine for Malaria is best explained as chemotherapy in pill form. You continue to get weaker and weaker the longer you take the pills. The day after I finished with the medicine, I boarded a flight to southern Brazil to attend the Calvary Chapel Pastors and Leaders conference. Within 2 days most of my energy had returned.
I took my computer and all of our photos, as I planned to work on this update and our website, if I had time. Upon arrival in Maringa’, my backpack was stolen. It had my passport, Brazilian ID, computer, backup hdd, books, Apurina Journal notes for all of the last year, and many smaller items, items that are irreplaceable.
Here, Non-Brazilians are not allowed to fly without a passport, period. The only way to get a new passport is to enter a consulate, which you pretty much have to fly to the nearest city which has a consulate in my case was many hours of travel by bus. It is a no win situation. After discussing with the authorities at the airport and three days of running around between the Civil Police and the Federal Police to get documents of intent to travel, with much disputations, and the grace of God, I was able to board a plane and return without a passport.
We are all back together in Manaus now.
In the time while I was down south, Josiah went on his first solo mission trip to Huacho Peru. He was fully supported by your wonderful donations. He will return July 4th.
We now are hurrying to prepare for our next village trip. I leave on the 8th of July, Melissa and the kids on the 16th. They will meet up with me in the village. We will be there until the 7th of August.
Thank you for your prayers and your continued support. God is so good!
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God bless you all,
Brad and Melissa Miller and Family
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