A leadership group from the US was here a few months ago. During their time spent here, we spent many hours discussing what is the role of Amazon Salt and Light (the US mission) in advancing the Gospel here in the Amazon Basin. We felt God telling us to focus on two main areas; taking care of the Brazilian missionaries and transportation. “Taking care of the Brazilian missionaries” not only means financially (until they get their ministries up and running) but also caring for them spiritually as needed. Four couples are living 5 and 7 hours from us. Two couples are living in a community that “expelled” the last missionaries that tried to live there. With limited internet and not many other believers they can get spiritually deprived!
Last month Scott and I took the men to a 3 day conference (Vineyard Church) in another state. The women and families stayed here in Humaita to be blessed by Janelle and Scott’s wife, Aldine. Us men had 3 days in the car going and 3 days coming back. Almost all dirt roads! Here is a taste of some of the road(click here) and one of the many bridges (click here) . But we were able to practice “iron sharpening iron”. One of the missionaries commented to me during the conference, “Matt, I’ve been just giving, giving, giving for the last 6 months and didn’t realize how much I was running on empty until I came here.” This is exactly what we feel the US mission is about- helping them stay healthy; financially, spiritually, emotionally.
After the men returned from the conference, we had 2 more days of “refreshing” here in Humaita. We had talks on personal prayer, devotions, keeping a healthy marriage, raising children and young adults, finances and the vision of the mission. Our plan was to send our soldiers back ready for battle! Worshiping!
Two of the couples had never had a religious marriage ceremony so we did that one night also!
The final day of our refreshment, we went over what God has been doing so far this year. Between the 3 bases, we are having weekly meetings in 19 different communities. Over 50 people have come to Christ and we are working to disciple them and raise up local leaders from within these communities. We also identified 6 more communities that we have contact with and hope to start cell groups within the next two months. Our goal is to fortify these 25 communities over the next 6 months with local leaders taking a larger pastoral role so that in 2020 our Brazilian missionaries can become more supervisory and pray about the next 25 communities to enter!