February 4, 2016
Bev and I have visited a few of our congregations and churches in this first month of the new year. We visited Assis, Brasil again. We were with the new congregation at Colônia for the first time ever since they started.
This work is one of those things that happen to Baptists that isn’t really ideal, but has to be. We already have a church at Colônia; however, starting in 2011, the longtime pastor, who is getting up in age, started to treat the church as his own personal piece of property. He sold the corner lot to a bar, for starters. Then he told all the musicians that the church is his and they could only practice and play if he said so. I tried to help them through this, but to no avail. While I was on furlough in 2011 they called me a few times to get my input. At that time 50 members left and became members of one of our other local churches. A few months later they bought property and started a new work a couple of miles down the main street of town. They now have a beautiful big building and are growing leaps and bounds. Bev and I were with them on a Thursday night. There were about 100 present. Their average attendance on Sunday is 150.
We also visited our congregation at São Pedro. It rained all night and all day before and during our visit. Needless to say, there weren’t many people present. When I started preaching that morning my mind “glitched” on me. It was just a momentary skip, but very disconcerting. I had to ask somebody to take care of the rest of the service. Bev drove us home. The next day the doctor had me put through one of those tunnel machines (don’t know what it is called in English) to scan my brain. No brain was found, so I guess all is normal… for me. She is trying to get me set up with a specialist (neurologist?) to see where to go from here. Physically, I feel fine. For a few days I had been feeling sluggish and low on motivation. The doctor asked me to slow down. Since I am already slow by nature, I guess she wanted me to stop.
We are getting ready for the first big camp of the year. For the past couple of weeks I have been working on the new driveway and entrance at Camp Salem. There have been a lot of guys from church going up to help me. When the road was being paved they used our entrance a lot and the heavy machinery destroyed the part that we had paved with brick. The camp property is 400 acres 22 miles east of Cruzerio do Sul. This first camp is for youth. Right after this one will be the “tweens”. There will be a couple of camps every month for the rest of the year.
On the 25th Dauro and Crissy had their fourth child. They named him Brendon Michael. Brendon in honor of the first missionary in Cruzeiro do Sul – Joseph Brandon. They settled on Brendon to trick our Brazilian friends into saying Brandon. Otherwise it would come out Brahndon. I don’t know where they came up with the Michael part. We are having fun!
On the 29th the church helped me celebrate my 50th year in the ministry. My surrender was on January 29, 1966.
My first sermon was 3 days later. We had over 400 present on Friday night. Plenty of great music, cake and soft drinks for all. It was a lot of fun.
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