January 13, 2016
What? Half way through the first month of a new year already! Closing out the old year was busier than ever. Besides making the rounds taking care of churches and congregations, counseling pastors and missionaries, I helped out with the Musical de Natal (Christmas Musical) at our home church. Fortunately my part is building the stage and props. My daughter Crissy and her team write the script, select the songs and produce the whole thing. There are teams that do advertising, direct traffic and parking, care for the motorcycles and helmets, crowd control, reception, nursery, children, reception, ushers, decisions, counseling, stage hands, refreshments, besides all those who participate directly in the production. We have over 350 people working.
The preparations start out a year in advance. Every year is a new story and all original materials. The last three months are crazy. Then with a month to go we have to alter our services and all activities at church. There are activities going on for 20 hours every day right up to the last dress rehearsal. I put in some 16 hour days along the way.
This year we had one night just for members. Since the whole program is visitors only we have had quite a bit of griping from some members over the years. That night was Saturday, December 19. It rained and yet the building was full. Then we began the official program on Sunday, December 20 and ran it through Christmas night. It ended up being a whole week this time. From Sunday through Friday we did not have any rain at night. It rained almost every day, but not at night. The main building was standing room only every night. We have overflow on the third floor of the annex. We can seat 600 there. It too, was standing room only on Sunday and Christmas.
We can gauge the crowds by counting the number of motorcycles in our parking garage. I’m sure that sounds strange to all of you. Small motorcycles are still the most common kind of personal vehicle in Cruzeiro do Sul. Our previous record had been 122. The first night we had 136. The last night we had 181. Since we can’t really count people in the two venues, we count motorcycles. Cars also line the streets for blocks from the buildings. It was tough to see hundreds of people turning around and going home, because they could not get in. The good news is that 37 people were saved. Some of these are already in discipleship, small groups and have requested baptism.
In January we give folks a break. We only have Sunday night services. That means that five other regular weekly services are put on hold. All the training programs stop. There is still a lot going on, because this is when we do all of our planning and preparation for the year. The two Sunday services of the year have been overflow crowds. Pastor Pedro and I are doing all the preaching this month. The other pastors, all the ministry leaders and teachers are all resting up. We have already had 5 more saved, 3 new members by letter and several requests for baptism.
Please pray for Beverly. She has been diagnosed with diabetes and a couple of other things. Her treatments start today. She is really tough, but right now she is discouraged.
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