For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
—UPDATE— January 2018
The family just returned from another amazing trip to the village. These “amazing” trips do not come without their own struggles though. For whether we are lost in the jungle, bit by some unknown spider, get infected feet or sores, or any other number of the plethora of dangers associated with ministry here, we still look beyond, pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Php 3:14
Although we arrived at the jungle house at 4am, and I (Brad) had not slept yet, we still had a boat full of food and supplies that needed to be carried up the 100 yard embankment in the rain soaked jungle mud path. Josiah and I carried what we could, but got exhausted by 6:30am. I went down the path a ways and talked with Jovani who was just waking up, and he in turn talked with Domiginho and Jaco, and in about 20 minutes they had carried everything else. I crashed in my hammock at 7:30, not rising again until 12:00pm.
Hustle and bustle, people coming by to say hi, some wanting to study the bible right away, some just interested in what all of the commotion was for 2 hrs at sunlight, we love the response from this meek group of people, quiet, and loving, simply wanting to know God better, and to live another day.
We had a big lunch that day, having 5 chickens provided by the owner of the big boat which brings us up the river, along with 4 liters of soda, we donated 3 kilos of rice, Sandra and some of the other ladies cooked, everyone in the village ate.
The people here are continuing to grow. It is such a pleasure to see this, and know that somehow, someway, God was able to use us in such a marvelous way.
We had 18 church services in 14 days, between the church at Vila Nova and the church plant at Aldeia Nova. We also had 8 leadership/comprehension classes in our jungle house, along with 2 women’s meetings and 2 kid’s clubs. Every day was filled with visiting people, opening the word, explaining ministry techniques to some, salvation basics to others, and how to live today for Christ in a sinful fallen world.
The water has risen 12 feet since our last visit in October. It still has another 25-30 feet to go before it crests again. This makes it easier to get to our house, as well as to the other villages to preach and evangelize.
The 4th day in the village, 4 young ladies from another village chased Melissa down and asked her help in (literal translation) “Finding the road that encounters Jesus as our Savior.” Melissa was quick to help, bringing them back to our house and involving me. I said, “Hey, this is on you! God led them to you, you do it.” Smiling all the while. She explained the significance of repentance and by faith trusting in the word’s of Jesus and the work that He did on the cross, and with tears flowing down their faces, one by one, three of them entered the kingdom of God! One said no. Will pray for her? We visited her house several days later, and gave testimony, and she had tears that day too, but still hard in the heart. Her name is Solange.
A few days later, in Aldeia Nova, after church service, the chief’s wife and one of his sons asked for help in receiving Christ as their Savior. The angels in heaven were all standing and praising the Lord God almighty!
When we left, we invited Oscar and Analucia to come back to Manaus with us to study the word deeper, and to discuss their desires to become missionaries to another village. So they, along with two of their boys, Analia, Oscar’s mother, and MariAntonia, Oscar’s sister, and a couple of little girls, all came out of the village and are now in our house here in the city.
Analia and MariAntonia want to find Claudio, one of Analia’s sons who came to town close to 20 years ago for kidney failure, and because of a dialysis routine 3 times a week, they have never seen him again. Melissa and I know where he is, as we have regular contact with him, and later this week, we all will go to visit him.
There is so much more to write, but we will hold off until next time. Until then,
God bless you and keep you!
Brad and Melissa and family
–OVERVIEW OF THIS MINISTRY–
We are working closely with the leadership to bring them into a deeper walk with the Lord through Personal Bible Devotions, Leadership Unity, and by teaching how to Pastor the flock of God.
We have three goals:
1) Leadership Training
2) Teach the Bible
3) Evangelism of the other Villages
We always pass by all the houses and families of the village, sharing our lives as they share their’s with us, encouraging, consoling, and continuing to build relationships.
Please pray for the Apurina people! There is an ongoing spiritual battle in their village right now.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
There is always a real danger of Malaria, Yellow Fever, snake bites, and other things.
—Background on this Ministry—
We minister to and with the Apurina people. We are following the work of two Wycliff missionaries, Judy and Cathy. They were ministering to the Apurina for 37 years.
This tribe is about 2 days travel by boat from Manaus.
Our goals are to continue to augment the lives of the believers in the Tribe while seeking the opportunity for the furtherance of the Gospel to those unreached in the neighboring villages, which are currently opening up through our evangelical boat trips. We are doing this by systematically teaching Through the Bible, teaching Old Testament history coupled with New Testament revelation and applying both to the lives of the people.
We are so grateful for the work of Judy and Cathy, who learned the heart language of the people, made an alphabet, and created teaching material for future missionaries, such as us!
Currently the Tribe does not have the whole Bible translated in their language. They have the total New Testament, the books of Genesis and Exodus, and part of the book of Psalms. As our relationship grows, and we learn the Apurina language, we will continue the translation of the Old Testament scriptures that Judy and Cathy started. In the meantime, we teach in Portuguese from the Apurina scriptures and have one of the leaders translate that into Apurina.
Please pray about joining us in this large work, which is the main focus of our ministry here in the Amazon Jungle.
Please pray for these people as the spiritual warfare is intense, unlike anything we have experienced in the U.S. The leaders who would like to have prayer are Makoaa, Domiguinho, Doval, Patricio, Pedro, Oscar, Analucia, Valdicis, Raimunda and Chico.