Back to Civilization!

September 24, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Romanian Volunteers

             After 21 days of traveling in the interior on the Rio Andira, Rio Ariaú and Rio Massauari, we have returned to a decent sized city called Barreirinha, along the Parana do Ramos, a lazy little river that runs parallel to the massive Amazon.  The catamaran gracefully wound back and forth on the “big snake”, as they call the river here, as it explored areas that it had never imagined seeing.  We spent one full week in the indigenous area of the Satere-Maue people, learning a little bit more of their culture, language, and health needs.  As I sat with the chief over all the Indian chiefs for the Satere people, I began to explain to him what the Luzeiro program was all about.  Before I could get very far into my explanation, the village professor cut into the conversation, joyfully explaining that they knew the Luzeiro program very well, in fact they knew Pastor Leo Halliwell personally!  They were so excited to have the program back! 

Ariaú, September 14 and 15

            Nearly 6 hours of travel southwest of Barreirinha is the isolated community of Ariaú.  With over 150 families living in this small jungle village, it is actually a bustling world.  Monday morning we started out our medical/dental clinic.  As always, I called all the people together for a health talk and presentation.  After telling them who we were, and what we do, I began explaining about the medical and dental work that would be offered that day. The people broke out into applause as they heard the news that dental services would be provided, a service almost never provided for these people.  The first day we set up our medical posts and small make shift pharmacy.  The first day we provided 150 medical consults and the dentists worked until almost 8:30 pm! 

            Exhausted and in need of some rest, we all made our way back to the boat that evening.  As I sat at the table eating and talking with Lina, there was a flashlight seen outside the boat, a small canoe approaching our boat.  I stepped out to see that the president of the village was coming over to talk with us.  At his side was the school teacher, Aldir.  Aldir, a Seventh-day Adventist since birth, moved to this small village years ago as a teacher in the small school.  For several years he has worked there, faithfully keeping his religious beliefs as the ONLY Adventist in the whole area.  I invited the president, Raimundo, and Aldir into the boat to talk.  Raimundo quickly began telling me about how excited he was for the work accomplished today.  “Dr. Brad, as you can tell, we have a tremendous need here for medical and dental help.  We are so thrilled to have you all here.  For many years, Aldir has worked here as a teacher and has been one of my most dependable helpers in this village.  If you all will continue to return and help with the needs in this community, as the president of this community, I would like to donate a piece of land to your church for the construction of a church building”!!!!  I quickly arose and thanked him gratefully for the offer and assured him that we would be thrilled to continue working in this needy area.  I shared with him that we felt a huge burden to share with others that very soon Jesus would appear again to take us home! 

What a thrilling opportunity for us.  It is so exciting to see again and again how the medical missionary work opens the doors for the gospel to be preached.  Please pray for this small village of Ariau, that God’s Holy Spirit be poured out and that these people will be open to hearing the messages to be shared of God’s soon return. 

Learning to depend on God’s medicine

Medical Launch

      During the evening one night a canoe came paddling up beside our boat.  An older man arose and climbed up on the boat telling me he needed help.  He said that he had just been eating some fish and a bone became stuck in his throat.  After more history I found that he was still able to eat and swallow things, but it hurt quite a bit.  He was able to drink water as well.  He told me that he had already drunk several cups of vegetable oil, and it had not helped.  Now what was I to do?  The only meds that I knew to be of help, I did not have with me.  After pondering over the issue for a few minutes I told him that there was not much I could do.  I offered him a shot of an anti-inflammatory for pain and told him that only God could help at this point.  I said a special prayer with him, asking for the Lord’s intervention and then let him go home.  I told him to please come back and see me in the morning if he was no better and we would see about getting him to town somehow for help.  The following day he did not return. 

Trip Summary

            We visited 10 communities and indigenous villages during this trip so far.  We provided 1,031 medical consults 231 dental consults, and 3 simple surgeries.  We distributed several Bibles and a whole box of Steps to Christ.  We will only know the full results in Heaven. 

            Please continue to pray for us as we continue our travels for another month into the jungle, leaving from this city in just a few short days.  Pray for the people who we will contact, and pray for the Holy Spirit to be poured out as the message of Christ’s soon return is shared to His children along the banks of the Amazon River.

 The Luzeiro Project

 Brad Mills

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Entry filed under: September 2009.

New Luzeiro in the Water A New Church for Ariau



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