June 1, 2015
The middle of last month I left for a long trip up the Juruá River. Zico (Francisco Nunes), who is our missions director at First Baptist, went with me.
The river has started its end of rainy season “retreat”. It has gone down at least 30 feet already, but the rains still haven’t stopped. It rained all day the day before our scheduled departure. Then, for good measure, it rained all day the day we had set for the trip. That was Saturday, May 16th. When I am out on the river, I don’t mind too much if the rains catch me, but I hate leaving when it is raining, so we didn’t leave until Sunday. The weather was cool and clear on Sunday.
About a half hour into the trip the engine quit on me. I had taken it out on Thursday to do a test run and all was working pretty good. It took me 45 minutes to repair. I had to pull off the carburetor, tear it all down, clean it then reassemble. After that it worked fine for the rest of the trip.
We had to go all the way to Thaumaturgo where they were expecting us for the evening service. The small open boat with 25hp motor took a long time. This leg was 190 miles. We finally got in at just before 6:00PM. We had a good service even though the electricity kept going off. The church is doing very well. They have bought lots on the corner beside their new building, lots and nice house across the street and a piece of land for their camp.
The next morning we went on up another 85 miles to Foz do Breu. We spent one night with the folks there, but because the river was going down so fast we decided to go ahead a make the visit to our 2 missionaries in Peru.
We spent two full days visiting our tiny group of believers in Tipisca, Peru. José Maia and family (Brazilians) serve there. We also support a Peruvian family, Brother Eduardo. He, his wife and children are also Caxinauá Indians. We already have a building up, but not many believers. The little town only has about 300 people. There is an army outpost. The soldiers spend all their time and money on liquor and prostitutes. They are in the barracks most of the time and don’t come to church. There are a few Peruvians who have government jobs. A few of these come to services. The bulk of the population is made up of Indians from four different tribes. There are a few Brazilians in the town, too. This means that 4 languages and 2 other dialects are spoken. As you can tell this is one tough field of service. We decided to not have regular services, but informal Bible studies while there. We had 5 nationalities sitting around the table in José Maia’s kitchen. Songs were sung in 3 languages and 3 musical styles. This is fun, but daunting.
José and family are still living in a primitive thatch covered house that was on the property when we bought it. It was built by an Indian. Now it is falling apart. He will be building soon. I am going to buy the roofing for them and am building him a trailer to haul the lumber out of the jungle. They are trying to break through to the village through daily work with the children and teens. José and Eduardo also have started visiting the tribes along the rivers. This is all slow, hard work. All I can say is, WOW! What missionaries!
On the way back downstream we spent another full day and night with the congregation at Foz do Breu on the Peruvian/Brazilian border. We don’t have a missionary family there right now, but hope to fill this void soon. Pray with us about sending a missionary. The congregation is doing well though.
Further down river we stopped to visit our congregation and missionaries at Vila Triunfo. We were with them for 3 days. They now have electricity in the village. We were there for the installation of air conditioning in their wood frame building! How weird is that? The first night we held a couple’s meeting with 27 couples. The next night there were regular services with 148 present. Then on Sunday we had 184 in the morning and 217 at night. There was one profession of faith and request for baptism. Fredson and Auriane are doing one great job. The village has been transformed by the gospel. The village has cleaned up in just about every way. There may not be much they can do about the clouds of blood sucking gnats by day and voracious mosquitoes by night, though. My body is nicely dotted by tiny blood blisters, but so what else is new?
Zico and I travelled 970Km (606 miles) during our 9 day trip. We got to visit 4 of our missionaries in 4 locations. We were able to share the gospel to people of 5 different languages. One person was saved. We didn’t get rained on. Not a single drop. Even though the river was dropping so fast (7 feet one day) we didn’t have to even take off our sandals one day. I can’t remember the last time when I made this kind of trip that I didn’t have to wade through all kinds of mud. We were in the sun for many, many hours (protected by 100 factor sunscreen), but no burns. What a wonderful mission trip. HE was so merciful, again.
Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.
Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com