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. The March trip 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 having a place to do ministry without walking up the steep banks of the Villages.
It is very hard to find a large boat here that is not built in a cookie cutter factory. We needed a boat with air conditioned rooms on the first floor that was also easy to load and unload from.
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 trip was a real blessing for all.
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?” Well, we only got lost two times on the 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. What would a trip into the village be without a little adventure included?
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.
Click here to see photos from the Services.
Click here to see photos from the Baptisms.
Kenneth had 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 alter call, the Chief and his family of 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, Raimunda has been making weekly canoe trips to Deusiani’s village to disciple her. At first Raimunda said it was just Deusiani, then a couple of other girls, then most of the youth, and in the last two months the chief, his family, and all the others. We baptized 3 from their village, saw 5 renew 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 from 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 as we do with the other villages. Now though, we expect a revival to happen there and possibly be the next place we will start doing church services.
Here we are praying for those who had come to Christ on that night.
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?
Our children helped greatly on this trip. 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.
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.
Please pray for those whom we think are future leaders: Vitor, Nelson, Armando, Deusiani, Lucia, Alsimara and Simone.
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