Monkey Island Visit

Monkey Island Visit

I write this post as close to fifty people flow in  an out of our house. This is the weekend we have be praying for since we returned. The mingling of our sponsoring church, Monkey Island, and the church plant here on the island of Cotijuba. The combination of both totaled a gathering of close to 100 people. It was great!

This has been a dream since we developed a partnership with the Monkey Island church close to a year ago. It is a celebration of a successful ministry front that has seen years of struggle. This is a partnership that brought Jeu and Ester on our team and the involvement of this church has been a shot in the arm that has propelled us forward. We are anticipating four or five baptisms in January and it is clear the Holy Spirit is forging a group now at 30 strong into a new church. So there is a lot to celebrate this Christmas season.

Just A River

Just A River

I have lived here for years but the massiveness of the Amazon river never stops to amaze me. We cross a small section of this river on a weekly basis as our island is located in the middle of two deep water channels that ocean going cargo vessels travel day and night. At night we can see the lights pass in front of our house, while during the day ships will blast their horns warning the small fishing boats to clear out of their way. These are big ships that tower over the small boat as we pass by them on our way to the city. Some might ask, do our boats have problems out on this river and the answer is yes. These little boat do break down and we get stranded till another boat can come and recurse the passengers. The longest you have to wait is a half hour but it can still be nerve racking floating down river on a boat without a working engine. So remember to pray for us and our safety as we travel.

Vision Of River Ministry

Vision Of River Ministry

fb20161204It has been our dream for years to build a wider river ministry in partnership with our existing Brazilian churches. This is a vision that has yet to be realized, but one the Lord has placed on my heart. It has been a long road but this year we seem to be making some headway and need your most fervent prayers over the next few months.

As in many churches December and January are business meeting months for many churches, including churches here. Over the next two months we have five churches considering building a ministry alliance with us. This would be a more formal agreement and deeper commitment to reaching the people on the river with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Why do I need the help? It is a big task that requires a small army of volunteers to just reach a hand full of closed communities out here on the river. The vision is to work through the local churches to plant culturally relevant churches out here on the river. It needs to be Brazilian at the core with our Brazilian brothers leading this effort for it to succeed over the longterm. This is what is starting to happen. Through our work on the Island of Cotijuba they see hope and what the Holy Spirit can do through them. Please pray that we can develop this partnership that will last for years to come and that Jesus will raise up workers for the coming harvest on the islands of the Amazon.

Gold And Money

Gold And Money

fb20161203bThe Brazilian Real (Dollar) has not been a stable currency like the American dollar.  When you become a missionary you learn all about exchange rates and the banking systems of at least two countries.  Like anyone living on a limited income, we try to stretch our money as far at it will go. So exchanging dollars for Brazilian reais is always in the for front of our minds. Unlike the USA dollar that has looked the same for most of my lifetime that is not the case of the Brazilian currency.   Here the bills have changed their look, feel and size over the years. The question you always have to ask – is it real?

Since we were in Brasilia the capital, we stopped by the central bank.  They have a money museum. It show all of their different currency for the past 400 years. Over the past twenty years their currency has crashed twice and they have issued new currency. Their displays featured a number very creative bills that no longer exist. Then there is the display cases of existing bills and the many different formates that they have taken. Then there was the Gold section. Brazil is one of the larger gold producers in the world. In the state we live in they have one of the largest open pit mines that looks like the days of the California gold rush.  The have put out a number of gold coins over the years but these are not sought after items.  In the culture we live such luxury items are not part of life and because there is so much thievery many people were only fake jewelery. It was great to see all this gold but for most of the common folk gold and money are not dependable.

Standing Room Only

Standing Room Only

fb20161202Our not so little group is learning to tell the Story of God, and it is great to see. The group has grown to the point if we got everyone together we would run out of chairs. I understand that last week while I was away it was standing room only. These are great problems to have as we see the Father draw these people to Jesus.

A group of eight from our band of people went and visited the sponsoring church and this helped energize the group. I think just to grasp the understanding they are now part of a much larger body of believers is an inspiration to them. One that is helping them share the stories of Jesus they are learning and inviting other to join them at the Bible Studies and Spiritual Family time we have. It is exciting to watch. Please keep all of this in prayer. We are a target for the enemy and he like to make things difficult.