In early January, when my uncle Philip and his family were here, Dad & I & U. Philip & Naomi & Derek & Chloe & Rudy, along with Frank (the Brazilian leader) & his son, Michael, took an overnight trip to Auxiliadora to visit the two families living there.
We took off Saturday morning by speedboat. It’s a 5 hour ride by speedboat, better than 12 hours on a line boat, however it’s constant wind in your face so you decide which you’d like more 🙂
We had a pretty smooth going, thank God it wasn’t bumpy on the way there or on the way back (I think we were pretty heavy hehe). About half way there we stopped at a bunch of what look kinda like house boats, but what are actually gold mines. They have big tubes hanging off the back, and when they start the motor up it goes down in the water & pounds the bottom of the river till it makes a hole, and sucks up the water and dirt. The water and dirt then runs across a carpet on top of the boat, and they then scoop the water off and sift it till they find gold. It’s a long, ardurous process, and all for little speckles of gold J these particular people had about 7 of these boats lined up, and a ‘stock’ boat with a little store tied to one of them. On the way back we stopped there as well & they made us a bit of lunch & gave us acai.
Arriving in Auxiliadora, Jadilson & Joao Paulo came to meet the boat and helped us carry our things to their house. We greeted everyone after we arrived & they had prepared a delicious lunch for us so we ate almost right away. The afternoon was spent sleeping, reading, relaxing in hammocks, playing four square and other games with their kiddos, and talking and discipling.
Saturday evening we had a cell group with two teenage girls visiting. Our family spent the night in the hotel in town to support local business 🙂
Sunday morning we got up and had a little devotional and then some of us along with the two husbands and some kids walked to another community about 20 minutes away from Auxiliadora. It had rained allllll night long so we thought it was going to take us about 40 minutes. it was, indeed, super muddy (some of us ended up just taking our shoes off, me being one of them hehe) but we did make it in about 20 minutes click here to see video 🙂 We didn’t stay for long as we were planning on leaving about 10:30am because heading back it was upriver so it was going to take longer. We made the trek back to their house, washed our feet off and headed down to the boat.
Said our goodbyes, hopped on, and off we went again 🙂
Below are some pictures:
These are the two families 🙂 Joao Paulo and his family are on the left (two kids) and Jadilson and his family are on the right (three girls)
me and Chloe on the way back 🙂 the wind was constant there and back as we were going about 30mph..on the way back we got smart and got sheets out of our backpacks to cover up with 🙂
Juciele, Poliana, me, and Chloe (we played games with these two girls in the afternoon and then they were our visitors at cell group. Juciele actually lives in Humaita :))
Naomi and Derek relaxing in their hammocks
me and Chloe relaxing, reading, and enjoying our music
beautiful views, there and back, left and right and sometimes in front, and lots of green and brown and blue and white 🙂
me, dad, naomi, chloe, rudy, and derek right after we left Humaita 🙂
thank you all for you continued prayers, support, and thoughts 🙂 they are seriously SO appreciated, and we mean that wholeheartedly!
your support and love and prayers, honestly, 100% keeps us going.
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We are about a week away from Luke and I heading back to Brazil. Three of the Brazilian missionaries have been in Humaita (the city we are moving to) last week going out on the river. They have already made some great contacts (a nurse that has an outpost many hours from the city), visited various communities that don’t yet have any evangelical church. And PTL they found a house to rent. It is a little expensive ($125 / month) so for right now, two of the families will be living together. But it is a nice little community about 8 hours by boat from Humaita and has a school for their children. The third couple is getting there next week and they are planning to live on a houseboat right close to the city. They will begin going out visiting communities and evangelizing and we believe God will soon show them the most strategic place to settle. The last couple will arrive in mid-January. He is excited about going 12 hours downriver and possibly settling in a community close to the city of Manicore.
Jofrem, Frank and their guide
Here is a map of where they will be living compared to Humaita (our base). About 100 miles, but you can see all the red dots in between. The green are communities with a church, the red are communities without. We’ve got plenty of work to do!!
Here is a table information of the counties located along the river system we will be working in. The first column is the name of the county. Second is number of traditional (or recognized communities), the third column is the # of communities with an evangelical presence, and the last is the % of communities with an evangelical presence. On average about 14% of the communities in this rivers system have a church. Remember, in the Amazon if your village doesn’t have a church, you don’t just hop in the car sunday morning and drive for 10 minutes!
Last month at 4:30 one morning seven guys left Santarem to “spy” out the land for our move next year. We drove over 1800 miles– mostly dirt. Two river trips allowed the Brazilian missionaries to experience the river culture in another state. Two families (including us) will live in the city of Humaita along with the group leader. Janelle is happy that we found a house to rent so she can visualize where everything will be– well, except when i was filming i went a little too fast in some rooms– just so she would have a few surprises. The board of Salt and Light (our new mission) also decided to purchase another house which will be remodeled into an apartment for one family, a small mission office, and some guest rooms for workers coming in from the river. Here’s a few photos:
After much prayer and consultation, the mission gave the go-ahead to purchase some amphib floats for the 4-place Bearhawk. This occurred last fall. The floats were finished (in Canada) and shipped to Brazil in March. They arrived in April, and of course were delayed in customs. Almost to the day they were liberated, the truckers went on strike here in Brazil protesting the increase in diesel price. No trucks equal no lots of things. Flights were canceled as airports ran out of jet fuel. Final exams were delayed as classes were canceled because gas stations didn’t have gas and people couldn’t get to class. Grocery stores began to run out of fruits and vegetables……and our floats were stuck in the port because the truckers blocked the exit!! Well…after a few weeks they were finally released. During this times, we began the project of moving the Bearhawk to the hangar that has a ramp down into the water. Matt had had hernia surgery just a week before, so Janelle had to be there making sure he didn’t lift anything. That meant the kids might as well help also! The wings were taken off. For an abbreviated video, you can click here if you don’t want to read all the way to the end. Placed on a trailer that Jaelah and a good Brazilian friend stood on and held the wings as Matt drove them about 10 miles to the hangar. Jaelah decided that she probably didn’t HAVE to be on the trailer securing the wings from falling off but since she had asked, her dad said, “definitely!”.
Although Matt wanted to drive the fuselage 10 miles to the hanger on the road, that was vetoed and we hired a tow truck. Then the process of putting the wings back on and preparing the floats for installation. We are in the middle of that process now.
The crew. One wing down, one to go!
Both of them off. Luke examining the plane
Janelle verifying that the wings will not fall off during the trip to the hangar.
I was going to say, “hold my beer and watch this.” but I don’t think a missionary pilot is supposed to say that.
Off the truck
Wings on, floats arrive!
Painting the floats in our homemade paint booth
Mounting brackets installed.
what a gift it is to know you and to see you love the way you do, to see you go the extra mile even when you do not have to. i am endlessly inspired by you, and this courageous life you live. what a gift it is to know you, and to receive the love you give. -morgan harper nichols
to all the moms everywhere ^ 🙂
this year i wanted to write something for Mother’s Day 🙂 i have seen so many amazing examples of mothers throughout my life, and i just wanted to be (yet another) young girl who looks up to so many of you amazing females and say:
the tired one, the worn out one.
i know, it feels like no one sees you. but to start out, let me say, one day those little grubby hands that caress your cheeks will hold their own babies in those hands and say, “thank you Momma, for all you taught me, for the example you are, and for all that you do.”
one day, they will see, and it will all be worth it 🙂
maybe, for some of you, it already is worth it! amen! but we are A L L walking such DIFFERENT paths, that i just wanted to say, to those mommas that can’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel yet…can’t quite see the silver lining and God’s great purpose in all this..your day WILL come!
and on that day, the King of kings will hand you your crown and will say, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
oh dear mother 🙂
because of all those years you spent waking up to change the sheets once again, waking up early to make breakfast and get them on the bus, washing and folding all those clothes with care & love, and raising those children up to follow JESUS!
that is why!
your job is sacred!!
what you do, the kiddos you have, NO ONE ELSE could raise them or do the things you do with them the way you can!
no one else was chosen by Jesus to raise them, but you (and your husband :))
no, i don’t understand or know about all the nitty-gritty.
but i know it’s hard.
i know you don’t want to get up and do it all over again somedays. (maybe most days :))
but you could be raising world-changers, Jesus-lovers, kingdom-builders.
so don’t give up.
let your feet hit the floor each morning and let the devil say, “oh crap, she’s up.”
cause you’re Jesus’ princess 😉
so i don’t keep repeating myself, may i just say…
they will understand & see one day all that you’ve done.
but for now,
Jesus sees, knows, & cares.
He created you for this.
you got this 😉
cause He don’t ever leave you 🙂
bjs & kisses,
Jaelah (and the inspiration from my Jesus ;))
“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
-1 Peter 5:4
Some of you may know that Matt was in an accident yesterday with the floatplane. He had flown a pastor to some river communities to minister over the weekend. They were on their way back and needed to land because a storm was coming. When they were coming in to land the motor quit and they had to land in some trees. Matt is ok, unfortunately the pastor broke his femur. Prayers are greatly appreciated for that because it is normally a long recuperation. Genivaldo, the pastor, has been working in these communities for 15 years—please pray also that he would not be discouraged and that this would be used for God’s glory. (Romans 8:28) I guess Matt’s ok and not too scared to fly because he got back in another ultralight to come back to Santarem 🙂 (he was about 2 hours away by plane so we were thankful that a pilot friend was available to go pick him up)
The Rebel the day before the accident. Parked at a community.
And then the accident
After removing it from the jungle
Matt always wanted an open cockpit…..
and those floats he was so proud of. well… he’s got a lot of work to do again….
*Huge, huge praise that the guys survived the accident, and with just cuts & bruises other than the broken femur—recognizing that that will take a little longer but with time will heal and we pray will not have any permanent effects
*For Pastor Genivaldo—quick, uncomplicated healing and encouragement. We are thankful he was able to be taken to a major city hospital yesterday where he can receive highly skilled care.
*The area around Matt’s right eye is purple and swollen. He was checked out at a small hospital near the crash site yesterday but we are going to have a CT scan done here in Santarem today thanks to a doctor/pilot that Matt knows who arranged it all for him—not a small feat, especially given that it is a Brazilian holiday today and everything is closed. He also has a sprained ankle.
*Matt is supposed to leave tomorrow morning to travel to Atlanta, GA for his sister Faith’s wedding this weekend. Prayers appreciated especially for comfort during his long flight.
*As we wade through the details of getting the plane removed from the forest, that things would move forward in an uncomplicated manner. The plane is more or less destroyed—crushed wing, bent float, etc. –prayers appreciated for deciding the next steps in terms of what is salvageable and/or how do we replace it.
We want to especially thank all of you who pray for us, whether on a regular basis or once in awhile—we fully believe the outcome was as good as it was thanks to the power of prayer. I got emotional this morning listening to a message from a fellow Brazilian missionary pilot in another part of the Amazon. He had prayed for Matt and mission aviation yesterday morning during his mission group’s prayer time—just about the time that Matt and Genivaldo were involved in the accident.
God is so good and we praise Him…and fully recognize that even if the outcome had been worse…He is still good, and worthy of our praise!!
Love to all,
One major headache I’ve encountered while living in Brazil was the importation of some aluminum floats. We asked for much prayer and after thousands of dollars and 18 months of waiting they confiscated them. HOWEVER we were able to purchase them “back” at an auction (I know if sounds frustrating, but this is Brazil). I had a few spare days this last week and utilized my brother’s visit to mount them.
One of the reasons we wanted these aluminum ones is everytime I complained about our slow plane, experienced pilots told me the biggest problem was these floats. They have advantages (able to hold up to rocks, etc) but they are also the opposite of aerodynamic and (we found out since) weigh 20 pounds more than aluminum.
It was a big, expensive project but we felt worthwhile. Here is the progression of removing the floats and then installing the new ones.
Here is a video of me pulling out the old ones (click here).
It was a great ending to the story. As mentioned, the aluminum ones are 20 pounds lighter (that’s 20 more minutes of fuel I can take) and we gained over 10 knots in airspeed (more than 10%!).
Thank you everyone for all your prayers and support for this project!
On November 19 through the 26, my Dad, Mom, my brother Cody and I made a visit to Santarem, Brazil. It was so fun seeing, talking and hanging out with family that we haven’t seen in a long time! The first day we stayed in Santarem we got everything settled and were about to all take showers. But when my mom moved the curtain a frog jumped out of the shower! She wasn’t very fond of that at all! I was so surprised! So we caught the frog and put him outside then we saw a giant cockroach climbing up the bathroom wall. Aunt Janelle said it was normal size and just killed it with a shoe like no big deal but us from America thought it was HUGE!!! On Tuesday we got ready to go on an overnight boat trip. We went on the trip so we could give people in a community water filters, so they could have cleaner water to drink from the Amazon River. My dad, Mark, his brother, Matt and “Little Mark” or Marquino would drill holes into a 5-gallon bucket to insert the water filters. The small filter will get rid of the bad stuff. As they were working, Marquino and Matt would explain how the dirty water would represent us as sinners. The filter would represent Jesus and how through him we are clean and pure. I think that’s super cool and totally well thought through. We met so many wonderful families there and it really opened my eyes! A little boy named Wesley that I remember was so sweet and cute and loved his bibles story book we took him. I also got to swim in the Amazon! I was so nervous to jump in. So now I can say I swam in the scary Amazon River!!! One night Cody, Sierra, Luke, and I used plastics cups to “fish” for minnows. We actually caught a couple of minnows, then we used those to fish for bigger fish but we never caught any. At night we slept in hammocks. The hammocks were super comfortable. We had them lined up in a and we all close together. The whole trip was super fun and exciting and I’m glad I was able to go.
Hello peeps! This post has two ‘happenings’ of Jaelah and I’s life recently. The first is the yearly teen camp that we go to, a few pictures and a brief account of how it was. The second is a boat trip that we went on a few weeks ago!
On our way to camp! With friend Adria.
I assume most of you have heard of the color fest, in the U.S. they usually are done after a long run. It is a powder made from corn starch (well, actually, we homemade ours and that’s what we made it out of. I’m sure stores’ are very different) & coloring. It was really cool how they turned it into a Biblical thing. For example, share with your friend or someone beside you if they don’t have any, and have FUN together!! 🙂 It was so much fun to throw it at each other hahaha and see everybody screaming and laughing and being crazy. And, the video they did of us throwing it turned out pretty sick. 🙂
A few more pictures with a few more friends!
These are some friends that we made playing cards 🙂 we just sat down at a table in the dining area and started playing with some of our other friends and then other teens just came over and asked if they could play. So we said yes and taught them how & laughed a ton & just had fun!!
hi, now it’s Jaelah’s turn! 🙂 so we had a few weeks after camp to continue settling in to our new house & then we were off on the boat trip to Cucaru! it was such a wonderful trip & i (or we 🙂 are so grateful we got to go! being able to help out with the kids’ ministry was by far my favorite. they had such a joy & are always so fun to be around! they took quite a liking to all of us so that was quite fun hahaha 🙂 we actually went to more than one community because there was PAZ churches in both of them and the other one (Sao Diogo) was only 5 min. away. below you can see pictures from when we got stuck in the mud trying to drive there the morning after a big rain!
we left on Monday morning and got there late Monday night. we left Friday afternoon around 4 and arrived home (like at our house, since now we live a minute from the boat shop 🙂 at 7:30AM Saturday.
we were really tired & i got a cold/flu something for a few days after but it is ALWAYS worth it. loved this community and these people & their souls just as I do every community 🙂 <3
worship before devotion one morning
teaching the kiddos in one community (Sao Diogo) about Nahum!
sharing the evangelism cards with the kids
the Dr. Amanda and the monkey skit!
the day we got stuck in the mud on the way to the community!
we stood on the edge (right where there is more of a pileup of dirt) of the road while they were getting it out and then walked down the road to where it wasn’t flooded to get back in the truck 🙂
me, Emmile (a friend we made who came with us on the boat), Thayane (the children’s leader in Cucaru who also became our friend), and Mariah, with our sandals that were almost completely covered in mud lol
doing a Noah’s ark skit with the kids at the school! they sure like this one! 🙂
a group walking on Tuesday (the first day there) to do house evangelism & invite kids to the children’s service that night & everyone to the service that we held in front of the church on Thursday night 🙂
If you’ve read the book about the mission (Sunrise on the Amazon) or heard us talk about the mission, then you’ve probably heard of Pastor Nilton. He co-founded the mission (as an 18 year old) with Luke Huber. He is now 60 years old, still doing the same thing- pastoring churches in the Amazon Basin. He has traveled many rivers and streams around Santarem over his lifetime and is well known near—- and kinda far.
But, our desire is for him, actually for HIM to be known FAR and near. Nilton has been “confined” to about 30 hours by boat from Santarem. More than 30 hours by boat, and it gets very difficult to oversee churches. We have bases that are farther out, but Nilton rarely gets to those because of the transportation difficulty. Last year I had the idea of taking him to these other bases and doing mini-training series. Calling the river workers in (or better yet, going out to them) and letting this powerful man of God speak into their lives. Forty years of stories, experiences, and miracles.
We are planning to do one of these training sessions every other month, squeezing it in alongside of the many other responsibilities that Nilton has in Santarem.
Last weekend we went to Itacoatiara. A city two days by boat from Santarem, or less than 2 hours with the RV6. Friday afternoon Nilton did a session on evangelism. Friday night he shared about missions to a group of young adults. Saturday we were out on a river (2 hours by speedboat from the city) where the local worker / pastor was installing water filters as a way to begin a Gospel work there. We had three teams installing the filters in the local houses.
I was blessed to be with someone that was skilled in installing the filters, leaving me time to evangelize! The first house, the owner was a little preoccupied, but his daughter and her cousin listened. I started with Adam and Eve, then moved to Jesus. The girl said, “Oh, I have a book about Him. Here in the house.” I was then called to do some more filter installation, but when I left her and her cousin were hunched over that book studying the life of their Savior.
The last house we waited and waited for Nilton’s team to come back and pick us up. We installed the filter, I went through the Gospel, and then we still had an hour and half of waiting, talking, etc. It was getting dark and I was anxious to get back to Itacoatiara because I had marked a flight with another missionary at 6AM the next morning. They finally arrived and Pastor Nilton had a huge grin on his face. “We won a couple to the Lord” he said. That was worth it! Because it was dark and our boat driver was unfamiliar with the way back, we got lost. We were so lost that he was asking me which direction I thought we should go!
Praise the Lord we made it back by about 10pm. I took a Brazilian missionary up the next morning to show him the value of aviation. He has been working in that area for about 9 years. His range is about 250 miles, and wants to go farther but without an airplane it is almost impossible. Our 30 minute flight took us to one of his training centers — which he normally spends 4 hours traveling by boat.
After that flight Nilton and I hopped (30 minute flight) to another larger community and met with another river pastor. This pastor moved to a small community (he go up at 5:30 to leave his house and travel to this larger community to meet up with us at 10AM) about 8 months ago and now has 17 disciples. Twelve are ready to be baptized and he is asking for counsel on a variety of things. He is self-supporting and is in need of boat gas as the other nearby communities are asking him to come and visit them but he doesn’t have enough gas to make these trips. We are in prayer on how to help him.
Sunday night we were in another city (Parintins–see Jaelah’s previous blog). Nilton preached two services on missions– they did let me share a little before each service!
Monday morning we were back in Santarem.
Thanks for your continued prayer support! Each flight over the Amazon jungle is a risk, but worth taking as more and more people are able to hear about Jesus!