Saving Hearts and Souls

April 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm

            “Lub dub, lub dup.”  Heart: normal rate and rhythm.  “Okay, take a deep breath in for me.”  I stand beside Marlene with my stethoscope pushed against her sweating chest, listening to the sounds of life coming from within her chest.  Mosquitoes and biting gnats fly around my face and neck and I swat them away, trying to focus on hearing her lungs above the chatter and excitement of so many children.  It has been a long time since doctors, nurses, and evangelists have visited their isolated village. Everyone wants their turn to be examined and cared for.

            “Well, Marlene, your lungs sound clear and your heart is strong,” I assure her.  After giving her a small talk about the need to increase her daily intake of water I reach over and hand her a small bag of vitamins and ibuprofen, two staples for rivers dwellers.  As she prepares to leave, I ask her if it would be okay with her if I offered a short prayer for her and her family.  A smile breaks across her dark toned, sun worn skin.  Marlene slowly reaches her hand over and grasps mine in hers.  She begins to tell me of the dream she had that she would see a doctor who would offer her more than just physical healing.  An isolated tear trickles across her face as she lists several prayer requests that she would like me to pray for.  Hand in hand we bow our heads as I ask our Great God to bless this simple lady located far out on the Amazon River. 

“Do medical missionary work. Thus you will gain access to the hearts of the people. The way will be prepared for more decided proclamation of the truth. You will find that relieving their physical suffering gives an opportunity to minister to their spiritual needs. . . .

     The union of Christlike work for the body and Christlike work for the soul is the true interpretation of the gospel.”  Evangelism, Page 514.

            We are finding doors opening before us daily at our new base for medical missionary work.  The base is situated roughly 35 minutes outside of town, in a very poor neighborhood located on the edge of the Amazon River.  Cleber and I went door to door visiting our neighbors, learning their names, and telling them that we are here if they need any medical assistance.  At first, no one came.  Then, one by one neighbors began coming.  First, a two year old with a lacerated finger. Second, a man stung by a stingray.  Finally, one day I was working on the computer when a small canoe with an outboard motor came putting up to our house with 14 people on board.  They had heard that there was a medical care, and wondered if the clinic was open.  I quickly threw on my stethoscope and “opened clinic”.   As I sit peering in ears and throats, our other volunteers at the base get to know our neighbors.  We have begun forming friendships all thanks to the medical care that opens hearts.  One very short older lady has invited us to come to her neighborhood, which can be accessed by boat, and do medical care and share about Jesus.  She informed us that there was such a desire in her neighborhood to have Bible studies, and that if we would come, they would even provide a place for us to talk.  Praise God!  Plans are being made and God’s work goes forward.

Update on catamaran import

            As I write this email, I am currently in Belem, a city at the junction of the Amazon and the Atlantic Ocean.  I am here signing the final pieces of paper to authorize the entrance of the catamaran into Brazilian waters!  After nearly one and a half years, the catamaran will finally enter it’s new home, the Amazon.  Our volunteer mechanic and sailor has already arrived in Grenada to prepare the cat for its trip south.  I will travel up to Grenada, along with a local volunteer Brazilian boat captain, at the end of April, to make the trip back south.  Please joins us in praying for God’s guidance in having the very last document issued to free the boats entrance.

Boat construction in Manaus

            The second boat that we purchased in November of last year is still sitting and waiting to be finished.  I had a meeting with the boat builder last week making plans for its completion.  God so graciously gave us an experienced boat captain to help volunteer his time to overseeing this boat’s completion.  We are in prayerful anticipation to see God provide the money to finish this boat so that his work can quickly advance in this region.  As we see the financial difficulties, the Satanic roadblocks, and the opposition to God’s work on every side, we are comforted in knowing that God is leading this work.  This week I read a quote by Leo Halliwell, the original founder of the Luzeiro program in 1931, which said: “Not even one single time in all the moments of great danger and overwhelming difficulties, did we doubt our divine protection; not one single time did it fail us.”

Prayer requests

            Brothers and sisters we are daily seeing the Great Controversy played out right before our very eyes.  Satanic opposition is increasing and each day moving forward becomes more difficult.  Now is the time to turn to God, purify ourselves in Christ’s blood, and work while there is still time.  God has called each one of us to be a part of the workers in His vineyard.  Sister White tells us, “Not by human might or human wisdom was the gospel to be proclaimed, but by the power of God.”  Acts of the Apostles pg 17.

Please join us in prayer for God’s power so that His work can move forward in the Amazon region.

  • Catamaran import: last document received, good weather over the ocean, money to make the trip.
  • Boat Construction in Manaus: financial resources to finish the construction
  • Evangelism in Puraquequara: God’s guidance and the Holy Spirit’s presence as we plan for an evangelistic series in our own neighborhood.
  • Church leadership: Pray that God will continue placing dedicated leaders to guide our church through the tough times of earth’s history.
  • Wisdom and love for all of our volunteers as we daily try to reach others with God’s love.

Thank-you for your support,

Brad Mills – Program Director

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Entry filed under: April 2009.

A trip with Southern The Catamaran Arrives to Brazil



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