October 7, 2015
Bev and I spent 10 days in southern Brazil on vacation. This was all the time I could get off, but it was enough and it was relaxing. Pastor Pedro and his wife were in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina. He was there finishing up his masters degree, so we met up in Rio Grande do Sul for the short vacation.
We have had a very busy time since then. I have been helping two of our missionaries work through some problems. Bev and I have been meeting regularly with our missionary at Guajará, Amazonas. He and his wife have got out of control with their finances, so we are walking them through the process of getting out of debt and restoring his testimony in the community. The other missionary has been working at Profeta on the upper Jurua River for 5 years. He has been struggling since the beginning of the year with deep spiritual and mental frustrations. The congregation there just sees him as their “hired hand”. They refuse to help with anything. They won’t even help with the spreading of the Gospel. Now some of you pastors are saying, “Well, what else is new?” To me this is NOT normal and I would go crazy, too, if my church did not pull their load with me. So pray for Antônio. We have brought him in from the field for treatment and possibly deploy him to a new field.
As some of you may recall, First Baptist Church bought 18 acres of land for expansion in the near future. It is about a mile past where we live. On one of my evening runs I decided to swing in there and check up on things. I discovered that a man had just cleared about 3 acres of land on our neighbor’s ranch and planted some new manioc on his place and in ours, too. The rancher paid the guy some cash to get him out of his hair and not have to take him to court. Since the church doesn’t feel that it would be appropriate to pay the man, we have decided that now is the time to get all of our fences and gates up to par. I have been working out there for several days now. Several of our men have taken time to help out, also. We have been cleaning out brush, did some plowing and fencing. I could tell you more, but let me just say: September and October are our hottest months of the year. This afternoon I decided to sit in the AC of my office and write you. Thank you very much for stopping my machete!
We have been having huge crowds at church for weeks now. We have actually had 48 more in September on average over August in our evening services. The morning services added another 146. We have had 3 people saved in each evening service for the past 5 weeks (all of September and the first Sunday of October). We have had several more requests for baptism. Of course several have moved away, too. Levi and Eliane just retired from Bank of Brazil and moved to Curitiba, Paraná to take care of her elderly mother. Levi was still single when I became pastor. He married a Presbyterian, who I baptized many years ago. Hard to lose such faithful people. He was one of those original 40 members that I had when I became pastor 37 years ago.
Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com