Our ministry assignment right now is learning Brazilian culture and Portuguese for the purpose of serving well on an international tribal missions team. This is what we spend our time and energy on. So what’s the best way to learn? Immersion! That’s exactly what we’ve been up to. I spent 12 days helping a fellow MNTB missionary reallocate to another tribe. What a perfect opportunity for immersion while rubbing shoulders with a Brazilian missions team and feeling a part of the fellowship in serving Christ in the tribes. For all who have prayed and partnered with us financially, I hope you feel a part as I share some photos and captions.
Getting off the plane with our brother Alfredo in “Old Port” Porto Velho.
A peaceful flight on a beautiful ship.
A note on Brazilian culture: Even if you are just visiting a church before getting on a connecting flight, and even if you do not have appropriate clothes for preaching (very important for Brazilians!), you are most likely going to be asked to preach. It’s OK if you borrow the Pastor’s clothes! Note to self: when people begin to think you know Portuguese well enough, have a sermon or two ready to deliver at the drop of a hat!
Getting off the plane in Rio Branco at midnight. A brother picked us up and took us to his parent’s house to stay a couple nights while we prepared for the jungle.
7:50am Nov. 28 Speeding up the Purús with a 13 hp Honda rabeta. (Outboard motor with a long piloting drive shaft)
We had the privilege of securing safe passage for a lady and her three week old baby to her home two hours upriver. Her husband’s boat was too dangerously loaded for her to be on board.
Unfortunately two hours turned into three with motor trouble.
We passed several boats and launches close to town. Two diesel rabetas on the back of this launch
We took turns at the stern every tank filling, approx: 2 hours…
and wildlife all day. These woven baskets hanging from this tree are oriole nests.
Famous Blue Morpho of the Amazon that landed on me. Wind was too strong to display it’s blue for the camera.
More Motor trouble. We stopped 3 or 4 times trying to unclog the carb and trying to stop a leak without a new gasket.
After a hot day in the sun we were refreshed by a tropical torrent that soaked us to the bone.
We were expecting to arrive around 7:00 pm which would have been just after dusk.
But God knew we were going to need a full moon and powerful flashlight to steer around looming logs and…
floating debris fouling the Purús from the Madeira river. This is a poorly restored photo of the Madeira.
Note: all my photos and video were deleted from my camera by accident. Some photos were reconstructed, but none of the video was recovered.)
We arrived close to 10:00 pm and enjoyed a quiet night’s rest in the jungle. We were served yummy food off the land in the days that followed.
A meal with Alfredo’s co-workers, wonderful family.
fish for lunch and chicken soup for supper… don’t worry; we didn’t eat this hen… just an old layer.
Two Answers to Prayer– the Highlight of my Trip seeing God’s Power and Provision
1.The rise of the lake to allow portage between river and lake.
2. Not just one, but two vessels large enough to carry all of Alfredo’s belongings.
All in perfect timing after we had dismantled and packed up everything.
Carrying down to the launch in the heat… storm clouds rolling in on the right
All but one item stowed away and a refreshing rain fell.
Who said missionary work couldn’t be fun? All of us “basked” in the cooling rain.
The launch making it’s way to the winding creek that usually only allows small canoes through during the dry season.
Slowly navigating to the river
This guy loved hanging with the guys. While I was eliciting tribal phrases, he asked me to write down some English ones.
It was hard saying goodbye to friends. Alfredo did a good job explaining that he could no longer stay because of his back disease, but that the others that were staying had a VERY IMPORTANT message for them and that they should help them learn their language.
The trip back to town down the river was a breeze, praise the Lord!
just an interesting boat closer to town
We visited the museum of Tribal art and folk lore in Rio Branco, just a taste of culture to help me understand these people better.
The most terrifying Mapinguari: strong enough to shake you from the safety of a tree. They say, “Don’t cut rubber on Sunday and you won’t encounter him.” The only way to kill him is with an arrow through his belly button or through his eye; otherwise you’re a dead hunter.
They say, “You better know your way through the jungle, lest you be led astray into the vast jungle by her..”
These are jars of clay… some tribes use a specific ash to keep the pots together during the firing process.
Some tribes make large pots, thus the gesture I’m making.
Um… I believe that large snakes are more than just folk lore here.
Teresa, the “yummy food” hostess in town!
We enjoyed a missions presentation from a single missionary lady heading to Mozambique. Alfredo was invited to speak next Sunday.
Waiting single file to fly back to Manaus, this time without my friend Alfredo to accompany me.
God blessed me with a beautiful sunrise shining through the turbo prop.
Preparing for Daddy to come home.
Home at Last!
Excited faces to see Papa.
and a beautiful wife
All the waiting is over! Life is back to normal!
Thanks Rachel for all your hard work and love. We wouldn’t have made the decision to make this trip without you!