It's May

We went to Manaus, Amazonas for the 50th anniversary of the Bible Institute started by Joneia’s Grandfather, Joe Hawkins. We got to see the vastly different cultures even between North and South Brazil. It is even noticeable in the accents. Manaus was very…hot. It never dropped below 75 degrees even at night! The conference itself happened in their new arena, which often had a breeze to keep us all cool. Despite the different accent, somehow, I seem to have vastly improved in my Portuguese! I found myself able to form complete sentences and even understand a majority of what was being said at the conference. It was a very encouraging trip. I got to see the legacy of Joe Hawkins as the work continues in Manaus. There were so many students and pastors at the conference. The Hawkins family has worked so hard in Brazil, and Jesus is truly making an impact throughout the Amazon.

I also got to go fishing in the Amazon river and caught a small catfish! I haven’t gotten to go fishing let alone catch anything in about 15 years. We also went on a small tour along the Rio Negro and the Amazon river. In this tour, we got to swim with the pink dolphins of the Amazon, eat native fish, and view some of the sites of the Amazon. It is such a vastly different world than what we have here in Caxias do Sul. 

This month started out with our Mother’s Day events. Mother’s Day is one of the handful of holidays that is the same as the United States (but for some reason father’s day is in August). We had a wonderful Mother’s day tea with wonderful treats for all of the ladies who attended. The ladies without children ran the event and cleaned up so the mothers didn’t have to do any work. It was a blessing to bless the mothers of our church.

During our deputation, God blessed us with abundant health. Toward the end of our deputation, I said to myself, “I bet that we’re gonna be sick for about a month once we arrive in Brazil.” It took a little longer than expected, but unfortunately I was almost correct. Joneia has been dealing with a small flu for about two weeks, and after our return from Manaus, we are both dealing with another flu. We were expecting sickness since we were moving to a new region with all new bugs and pollens in the air. We aren’t facing anything life threatening, but we could use prayer for health and recovery from these annoying sicknesses we are dealing with.

Like I’ve already said, my Portuguese is improving tremendously! I have good weeks and bad weeks, and the bad weeks are becoming less and less. Keep praying for my language learning and for our home renovations. Upon our return from Manaus, the walls were well underway! The foundation extension has been laid, and the bricks are being stacked into what is starting to look like a house with walls! There is still a long way to go, but we are that much closer to getting our house built. 

One thing we’ve learned about Brazil is that you have to be direct and specific when dealing with construction supply companies. We ordered over a thousand blocks that took over a month to be delivered. We told the company to bring smaller trucks since our property couldn’t accommodate a large semi truck. Upon arriving with two smaller trucks, they realized that those smaller trucks couldn’t make our tight, uphill corner either! The next step, unload four smaller trucks, by hand. Over the next week, four trucks showed up at different times without warning us, and we unloaded 1150 large blocks by hand. We are very happy to say that we have our blocks! But it took a lot more work than we were expecting. 

The time also came that our contractor needed another important delivery for the flooring while we were in Manaus. We made the call and confirmed the order. We thought the next step was to schedule a date for them to deliver after we returned from Manaus.  But without any warning, they showed up at our gate, and no one was there. So rather than contact us, they just left the entire pallet of bricks and supports outside of our gate by the road. Like I said…direct and specific. We don’t have things like the Better Business Bureau, or the corporate complaint office, so it just is what it is and we have to move those bricks from the road down the hill to our house by hand as well. It’s been fun! And we have an amazing contractor who has been rolling with the punches and has been helping us with everything. God has truly blessed us with our contractor. His name is David. Be praying for David since he is not saved, and has a poor taste in his mouth for Christians thanks to the influence of family. He has been living with his girlfriend Thayani, and we hope we can be a beacon of light that can lead them both to Jesus Christ. They are wonderful people, and the best thing would be to see them both get saved.


Contact Us:

+1 (206) 849-3874

BRT (UTC/GMT -3 hours) Time Zone 


Sending Church:

Worth Baptist Church
Pastor Tyler Gillit

4900 Campus Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76119

+1 (817) 534-0787


Mission Agency:

Independent Baptist Fellowship International (IBFI)

PO Box 151259
Fort Worth, TX 76108

+1 (817) 367-3422