February 6, 2017
It has been a long time, but I am back. Way too much work and far too little internet. We have been without internet service for a couple of weeks. Before that it has been off and on. Mostly off! For the past 3 months I have been working probably more than I should on construction projects and other church programs. Most days end up being 12 to 14 hours. Just last Saturday was only 10 hours but without a break even for lunch. Beverly is not happy with me. Hopefully I will be able to slow down a little.
The church has been on my case for a long time to break out walls to 6 rooms in our main building to make room for bigger crowds at regular services. What they did not understand is that to do that would be easy, but the hard part would be finding space for those classes to meet. I bit the bullet and jumped into our first major remodel since 2008. We now have added 24 more pews and 80 chairs on the sides. We are pretty much already filling the new space. We still have a small margin for growth for a few months. In the meantime I had to finish out the annex to make room for the 6 class rooms that were bumped out of the main building. It is turning out really nice, but it is a ton of work. This is the part that the church doesn’t really feel.
While all of this has been going on we are also putting up a new steel structure over the whole of the old main building. The frame is up and waiting for the roofing. This means that later this year I will be taking out ceilings, roof, sound system, lighting and AC to make way for a whole new balcony arrangement. This will allow us to double our seating capacity. Lots of work and many challenges just ahead. Pray that God will grant me wisdom, protection and stamina.
Now about the actual, real work. Our Christmas program was 8 nights this time. We had the building packed and overflowing every night even with the extra 200+ seats we added. Think about this blessing: 8 nights without rain in Cruzeiro do Sul in the middle of the rainy season. That just doesn’t happen, but did. We had 24 people saved and several requests for baptism and church letters.
Even with the flurry of activity I have managed to squeeze in visits to Cruzeirão, Cruzeirinho, Miritizal and Rodrigues Alves. There were a few professions of faith at these congregations.
January is usually a little lighter at First Baptist. Last year we only had Sunday night services before going back to the full schedule in February. This year we only cancelled the Friday night service. The Kid’s clubs, Teens ministry and training programs are all off for December and January. Three of our 5 pastors were on vacation for all of January. That meant that besides all the construction work I was taking care of almost all preaching and teaching for the month. Pastor Benjamim was able to help with Sunday school and Wednesday services a couple of times.
Even so we had a good month of January. We had over 10 people saved and more than that making other decisions. The crowds were really good although we had lots of rain. More about the rain later. Our offerings were up more than R$10.000,00 (about US$3,500.00) over January 2016.
Thanks for all of your prayers, support and patience. 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