Off to Brazil

October 10, 2007 at 1:17 pm

Dear Friends and Family,

Our lives have been changing so rapidly in the past weeks; it has left us kind of dizzy. As many of you know, Brad and I finished our studies this summer. Brad is now a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and is working in a family practice and in the emergency room (both part time). I am now a Registered Dental Hygienist (in addition to a nurse) and am working two afternoons per week at a local dental office. We had plans to work for a little while and pay off our school loans. Then we planned to go work in Brazil as missionaries.  We returned from Bolivia in 2005 with the goal of better preparing ourselves for long term mission service.  We wanted to finish these degrees and then be used by the Lord to help finish the work and share the news that His return is SO imminent.

The end of July we took 23 people from our local church on a short term mission trip to Costa Rica to do an evangelistic series and construction work mission trip .  When we returned the beginning of August, we had an email from a man telling us he had heard about our program plans and had a boat that he was interested in using in the Lord’s work.   We wrote to him and that same day he called us by phone.  After much time of talking and sharing all the plans that the Lord had laid on our hearts, the man was convinced that his boat was made for this program.   He shared how he and his wife had lived on the boat for the past 5 years, and how his wife had recently died of cancer.  Facing such a crisis in his life, he questioned what the Lord wanted him to do for the rest of his life.   He decided that everything he owned was to be put into finishing the Lord’s work.  So he donated the boat to us so we could start our program.

Let me share briefly what our program will be.  The Adventist church had a medical evangelistic launch on the Amazon River and its tributaries from the early 1930s until it was closed in the mid 1990s.  The program was closed for a multitude of reasons, the top two being lack of finances and lack of volunteers.   In its time, the program was a very effective tool for evangelism on the rivers.  The basic premise is to enter a jungle village by way of the water and open up a clinic, caring for the sick and healing the wounded.   After you have attended to their physical needs, the people are open to spiritual matters as well.  Then you can share about Jesus and the glorious hope of His soon return.   The long term goal is to them place a Bible worker in each village to continue to study with the people and teach them as the boat continues to move along to other villages.   The boat is then able to travel back and forth between many villages to continually provide medical care and Bible based programs.

After spending some time in Manaus, Brazil in 2004 and reading the books written by Leo Halliwell, the original pastor who started the program, we felt God calling us to restart this program.   We prayed continually and asked the Lord where we were get such resources to run such a large operation.  The Manaus Seventh-day Adventist conference was very supportive, but very up front about not having the money to fund it.   So we took hold of the Lord’s MANY promises to supply our every need and moved forward in our planning. 

At that point we got the boat donated to us.   The boat is a dual-hull catamaran, with two diesel engines.  It can hold enough fuel to cross the ocean and is fully equipped with navigational equipment to make the trip easier.  

We praised the Lord and immediately pledged to go start the program as soon as we paid off our $20,000 of student loans.  We also prayed and told the Lord that if He wanted us to go sooner, then He could pay off our loans.  The next day….. we got a call from a man who felt impressed that we should move forward with our plans.  He then pledged to pay dollar for dollar every thing we could get donated towards our loans , up to half.  We were dazzled and speechless. Upon our knees, we felt the Lord telling us to move forward.  Brad shared the news with the doctor’s office he works in to tell them that he would be leaving sooner, pending the Lord providing the money.   The two other providers in the office felt that God was definitely opening the doors, and they wanted to be a part of if.  Between the two of them, we received $5,000 towards our loans!!!  Which, being doubled will be $10,000.  This leaves God only $5,000 more to come up with!!

We are packing up our belongings and planning on leaving the end of October.   There is still much planning and preparation to be done.  We are working tirelessly to get the boat legally imported into Brazil.  Then we will be boarding the boat and driving it from California to Brazil, with the donor coming along to teach us how to operate the boat. 

One other very exciting part- About one month before we received the boat, the Lord impressed another family to sell their house and move to Brazil with us to help start this program. Elilia, the wife is Brazilian and the husband, Chad, is American.  They have two children, Josh and Kyle, which have citizenship in both countries.   They are currently placing their house on the market in Montana.  The housing market is extremely low right now, as you know.   However, we all are confident that the Lord is not limited by the housing market.  Please pray that the Martz family will be able to quickly sell their home and accompany us on the boat to Brazil.  Elilia is fluent in Portuguese, which will be an IMMEDIATE asset to have.

We can see God is working swiftly.  We truly feel that this world does not have much time left.   Jesus is desperate to return and take his children home.  Won’t you place your whole heart in His service?  Please pray for us and our program.  Please pray for the people on the Amazon that do not know God.  Please pray that the Martz’s house will sell.  

God Bless, 
Brad, Lina, and Levi Mills

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Entry filed under: October 2007.

Now in South America

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