May 16, 2017
The state of Acre has 22 “counties”. Here they are called municípios (municipalities). We are trying to plant churches in all of them. So far, we have churches in 7 of the “county seats”. The 2 largest cities are the capital, Rio Branco, and Cruzeiro do Sul. These churches have been around for years. The other 5 churches are in smaller cities close to us. Now we are going for the most isolated towns that have no Baptist church. We sent a missionary family to the city of Jordão 2 years ago.
This month we made a visit to Jordão and a survey trip to Santa Rosa do Purús. We had to fly to these cities that are deep in the forest and along the Peruvian border. We chartered the New Tribes Mission plane. It was necessary to make and pay for 2 flights as the pilot had to come from way up north in Roraima to make our flights and others over a short 1 week period. New Tribes Mission has a plane here now and mechanics, but still don’t have a pilot stationed here.
Jordão is on the Tarauacá River. The population is 8000 and 60% of these are from the Jaminaus and Kaxinauwa tribes. Our missionary couple is Idevaldo, Queila and their daughters, Vitória and Ludmilla. They have already bought a house and rented a place to hold services. We had a low of 45 people and a high of over 70 in services. One young couple that they have won to Christ have already been trained to help with the music. The man did not play any kind of instrument. Idevaldo taught him to play bass in 3 months. Idevaldo plays guitar and actually made his own instrument! Very talented. Queila has started a kid’s club that has an average of 25 children attending. They have already acquired 2 lots for us to put up our first church building. They are also already doing mission work in the villages and along the streams out of town. I am so proud of them. On Sunday morning, I baptized the first 14 members.
Our visit to the town of Santa Rosa do Purús was exciting, too. This is the smallest town in the Acre: 6000 people. 70% of these are Kaxinauwa. It is almost 2 hours by air. For us to get there by land and river we have to go 250 miles east by road then up river from the bridge on the Purús River for another 225 miles. The Purús is another one of the major tributaries of the Amazon River that flows parallel to the Juruá River. It flows into the Amazon a few hundred miles downstream from the mouth of the Juruá River. In other words, we are getting into a completely new river valley.
There is already a small group of the Kaxinauwa who meet and hold services. The tribe is called “Kaxinauá” by most folks. The name means “people of the bat”, as in the animal. They call themselves “Huni Kuim”, which means “The True People”. Many of the tribes around us see themselves as the original people of the earth and superior to all others. Their “building” is really just a hut. There are 6 poles, thatch roof and dirt floor. We had 50+ in the one service we held. The singing and most of the service was in their native language. My message was NOT in Huni Kuim! They all understand Portuguese.
The town has 15 sects and cults, but no Baptist church, so we are going to try to open the work there soon. There are 46 villages along the river between the border and the bridge, so we have our work cut out for us.
I took Zico (our missions coordinator), Ruben (one of our businessmen), and Rondisson (one of our chapel pastors) along on this trip. Please pray for the new missionary that we need and the funds to support him, whoever he may be. So much to do and so few workers and funds.
Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.
Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com