March 25, 2020
Grace and peace to all,
It is a beautiful day in Cruzeiro do Sul. Looking out my office window, all looks as if all is well and the world is fine. You and I know that all is not well in the world. Even as isolated and far away as we are, our world has been shaken.
Beverly and I are well. Andrew and family are better than ever. Crissy and family are just fine.
The work is fine, but now it is quite different from 2 weeks ago. Our church held our Homecoming service on the first day of March. We had 874 present for the morning service and meal. We had 612 the same night and several folks were saved. The next weekend we had 1134 in those 2 services and more people saved, requesting baptism and others coming back into fellowship. The following Sunday we had 1197 in the 2 services and many more folks coming to Christ. I was able to win several people after services ended. Our attendance was growing at 15%.
Over the weeks my staff had been meeting regularly and often to try to put together a plan for the present global crisis. On Wednesday night, March 18, we had our doctors do a roundtable to explain to the church what the disease is, what can be done and how to take care of themselves. After their extensive presentation (3 doctors covering the disease, testing and prevention), which lasted over an hour, I shared our plan for the coming 10 days. There have been no cases of the virus in Cruzeiro do Sul, so we felt that we might have a few days to transition. We had hoped that we could still hold services for 10 days. The next morning the state and the city put everyone into “shelter in place”. Through social media we were able to inform everyone about the next phase that came into play immediately.
Recently we had created a YouTube channel and Facebook account to replace our waning local TV broadcast, so that was already operational for this new chapter. These have been our “services”. Internet here is still not where it needs to be for live streaming.
That was just one week ago today but seems like years have gone by. Recently I built a new office in the garage here at home. My old office is now Bev’s craft room. My office has become our new studio. I have 3 guys who work with me in media and have been with me for a lot of long hours. In fact, some days they even eat lunch and supper with us. Two of the other pastors are also helping with some of the media production, but most of the burden has fallen on me. The other pastors who still haven’t quite “gotten there” with cameras and studios have helped with messaging and calls, but otherwise have been told to stay home.
One day last week I was on the phone helping other pastors all over the country who needed to know what to do. The same day I spent many hours in the studio recording. We also have a daily radio broadcast (30 minutes at noon and 30 minutes at night) that needs materials. Since our preachers are not able to go and do the programs live, we are converting my sermons from now and the past to mp3 files.
It has been a long hard week. Besides all the work to feed the sheep in this new era, I have had to spend even more hours on my knees and in the Word. Just a month ago I turned 72. I am feeling pretty good but need you to pray that I will hold up under the added strain and frustration.
Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com