A New Church for Ariau

October 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm

  • Return to the base after 65 days in the interiors of the jungle
  • New church being built in the jungle town of Ariau
  • Luzeiro program in the Adventist Review in Brazil
  • Evangelistic Series with 18 people coming to Christ 

Church Planting

            As I stared down through the murky water from my dugout canoe I could see a multitude of fish swimming lazily in amongst the thick underbrush.  The water was less than 5 feet deep.  Fallen down trees lined the banks of this small tributary, its underwater branches making homes for the many tropical species that live in the Amazon.  My new friend, Ivenilson, a Baptist Pastor from the small jungle village of Ariau, was in the water inviting me to join him in our hunt for his “lunch”.  “Aren’t there anacondas here?” I asked as I reluctantly gazed down in the water. “Yea, but they don’t bother you” he responded.  With a bit of anxiety I slipped into the water, placed my mask on my face and began swimming under water with him, in and around fallen trees, marveling at the variety of fish in this underwater world.  With spear gun in hand, Ivenilson managed to pierce 4 large tucunare, a very sought after fish!  I however, didn’t manage to spear any!

            My friendship with Ivenilson grew each day, as through friendship evangelism, he and his wife accepted Bible studies with me.  Each day the two of them, and two other people, gathered together with me as we opened the Bible to study the truth’s of God’s word: the Bible Sabbath, pure and impure meats, the sanctuary message, and others- all based in the central theme of God’s love for us.  Paula, Ivenilson’s wife, is the government paid “health worker” for this small jungle village of nearly 800 people.  With no more than one month training, she was thrilled to have our team there for one month- calling on me almost every day for triage, diagnosis, and lots and lots of suturing.  I sat one evening suturing by flashlight a toe that was chopped almost completely off by a machete accident.  I grinned inside remembering learning how to suture in my nurse practitioner classes in the US; how far we have come!

            For the whole month of October, our team of 9 persons gave Bible studies to nearly 60 people a day and a nightly evangelistic series in this small community of Ariau.  Up until now there has never been a SDA church in this village.  Daily we used medical evangelism to build friendships and present to these lovely people the truths of God’s word.  Each day, for 4 hours every afternoon, Lina set up her makeshift dental clinic and provided dental hygiene, something these people had never had in their whole lives!

            The last week of the month, using a satellite dish, we down linked an evangelistic campaign put on by Mark Finley, aired live from Brasilia, Brazil.  Each night we had our small projector and computer, powered by generator, bringing to these people truths never heard before.  At the end of the month 15 people dedicated their lives to God by baptism and 3 by profession of faith!!  A small church is already in the process of being built, with the roof almost done.  By this coming Sabbath the new believers should be meeting in their new church! 

            As we believe in making disciples by training the locals to finish the work, the Luzeiro project is starting a moving Bible training program.  This program will take a team of Bible and health workers on site to the villages to train them to become local church leaders, Bible workers, and enable them to then reach out to the rest of their own village and the villages around them.  Pastor Deovanir and Marcia, the leaders of our Bible Workers Program, assisted in the month of evangelism and currently stayed behind in Ariau, living in very primitive conditions to teach and mentor these, our first group of students.  The boat will be returning to this village after a short time, to take more support staff and supplies, to continue the training process.  Please pray for these new believers in Ariau. 

Luzeiro into the entire Amazon

            October’s edition of Revista Adventista, the Adventist Review in Portuguese did a small article about the restart of the Luzeiro program here in Brazil.  It is exciting to see the news spread through all Brazil of God’s provisions to finish the work here in the Amazon.  We are reminded every day of the large need still remaining.  For each village we visit we learn of so many others in need.   Please pray for this program as we daily seek God’s will on how to move forward.  Please pray for God’s blessings on the many financial needs to continue moving forward with boats reaching into the entire Amazon. 

Thank you for your prayers and support,

Brad Mills

Program Director

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Entry filed under: October 2009.

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