Posted by: OCI | January 24, 2011

NEWS: Amazon Lifesavers Update

The following updates were written and contributed by Brad Mills. Brad is the project coordinator for Amazon Lifesavers Ministry, one of OCI’s ministries in Brazil.

“Dr. Brad, would you be willing to come to our church Sunday night?”  A thousand thoughts rushed through my mind as I stood talking to Pacu, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ariaú.  What example would I give if I were there?  Would it be positive or negative?  Is this an opportunity or a distraction?  In a split second I processed all these thoughts and quickly responded, “I would love to come.  Would you allow me to share a thought from the Bible?”
“Of course!  We want you to preach,” was the enthusiastic response of the young energetic leader.  After doing medical missionary work for over one year in the village of Ariaú and even starting a church, we have developed great relationships with the members of the village.  There I was, Sunday night, standing in the front of the Catholic Church opening the word of God and sharing that there is only one true God, and only one way to the Father- through Jesus Christ!  It was so exciting to see how the medical missionary work opened the doors even of the Catholic Church to be able to share of Christ and His love.  I was invited to return and preach on my next visit to the community!

We just finished a 10 day trip with a family group from South Brazil.  Amongst the group were two physicians, one nurse, one pastor, and several pharmacy helpers.   We went to a new area, Manacapuru Lake, where there are more than 20 villages and only one with a SDA church.  We spent one week visiting villages, each day setting up our medical clinic and seeing scores of persons with medical needs.  Some of the villages had gone years without receiving medical care.  During the day as the clinics were held, our visiting pastor went house to house to talk with the villagers in their home, giving out tracts, and offering prayers.  We invited them all to the evening meetings where we would have a short and simple Bible study with Bibles being given to those who did not have one already.  Each village was so excited to have our visiting team and each asked us to please return as soon as possible.
This morning at 1 a.m., we picked up a group of 18 young persons who flew in from the Adventist University in São Paulo.  Three medical school students from the Adventist University in Argentina joined the group of nursing students to spend the next two weeks traveling on our boats doing medical mission work in the same region we just visited.  Please keep this group in your prayers as they are currently traveling to many other villages that our boats have not reached as of yet.

Nelson and Carol, our Colombian volunteers, have been in the jungle since early December doing medical mission work in Ariaú.  They have been quickly adapting to their new culture and trying to learn Portuguese.  Being that they speak Spanish, they are both learning very quickly.  Nelson, a paramedic by profession, has been kept extremely busy with persons coming to the boat several times per day for medical help.  He has administered dozens of breathing treatments to several infants with respiratory difficulties.  Nelson excitedly told me about the lady he assessed that had stomach pains.  He told me how she and all her kids were experiencing stomach pains for some time.  With no other idea of what to do, he treated them all for intestinal parasites.  Two days later he heard from the local village health worker that the whole family was “dumping worms” all day long!  He was quite excited for his first run in with parasites!

Please continue to remember our ministry in your prayers every day.  As we move into the new phase of having three boats operating full time our challenges are only growing, but so are the blessings.  We have so much work to be done, and as always, the laborers are few.  Please join with us in praying that God will continue to bless in such a miraculous way that this work can move forward in carrying hope into each corner of the Amazon River.  Thank you each and every one who are remembering this program in your giving as well, truly we are thrilled to see how God continues to provide as we grow with more and more volunteers.  May we each be ready to meet our soon coming Savior!


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