June 8, 2017
First Baptist Church turned 88 on May 12. The church was organized on May 12, 1929 by missionary Joe Brandon with 13 members. God has blessed her and brought growth in many areas. For many years we held our missions conference during the last week of July. This was mostly due to the weather! That is our dry season and made it easier for our workers to get to town. The roads have improved (a little) so we decided to make our conference coincide with the church’s anniversary. For the past three years we have held our annual missions conference in mid-May. This year it was May 12 through 14.
The Sunday morning service was a red-letter day. We started out by adding 26 new members by baptism followed by the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. We also had reports from more of our missionaries. The big deal though was the approval of 2 new missionaries. One is a Brazilian who will be taking care of the field at Foz do Breu on the upper Juruá River at the Peruvian border. José Costa and wife are already installed and will be taking care of the congregation there and the preaching points down stream as far as São João. The other new missionary is Freddy and Felicinda. They are Peruvian and also of the Kaxinauá people. They are now in Tipisca, Peru. They have 2 major tasks: working to win people from the several ethnic groups in Tipisca and to continue to reach the 5 Kaxinauá villages on the Breu River. We already had inroads into 3 of the villages through Cosma and Damiana’s family. Now we are in all 5 villages.
As you may recall, we already have a Brazilian couple working in Tipisca: José Maia and Silvânia. The work is really tough there. The town is only a thousand or so people. There is a Peruvian army outpost there. The soldiers make very meager salaries. Most of them spend their money on drinking and prostitutes. None of them come to church. They are isolated and hard to reach. There is a handful of native Peruvians who work mostly in government jobs. These, too, stay closed away. Then there are the folks from the tribes. There are Ashaninka, Jaminauas, Kaxinaua, Amauaca and Arara. The Ashaninka have one linguistic line. The other 4 tribes speak different dialects of a completely different language strain. You walk just a few feet in the town and hear Spanish and the indian languages. What a mess. These different tribal groups are open to the Gospel, but how to communicate? Progress is being made, but very slowly.
It had been some time since I checked on the works on the lower Juruá River. Pastor Rondisson went with me to visit Ipixuna. This town is in the state of Amazonas and is over 150 miles downstream. The river is still pretty high, so we had an easy 5-hour trip. There is a Baptist convention church there, but it is Pentecostal. The pastor is from the Assembly of God! We don’t have any contact or involvement with them. There is also an evangelical church that is identical to us in every way except it just isn’t Baptist. They are mission-minded and we have encouraged them and got them going on several mission projects. We started 3 congregations that they visit regularly. We don’t have a missionary to send there, so we do what we can to help. There is a large village called Pernanbuco a few miles further down the river that has over 100 families. We plan to take our medical team there soon as a first step to getting a work started in the village.
Thanks for all 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