Five months into our time in Brazil, we are still doing well. Although, this month took a little bit of a turn. Before our arrival here, I said, "I wouldn't be surprised if we are sick for about a month when we get to Brazil." Unfortunately, I was right. The Lord blessed us with tremendous health on our deputation, but now our bodies are adjusting to new germs, diseases, molds, and pollens. After returning from Manaus, Joneia came down with a nearly 104-degree fever! It then maintained itself at about 101 for a few days following. We waited about 6 hours at the doctor's office to discover that Joneia had contracted Dengue Fever while in Manaus! This put Joneia in bed for almost two weeks. There is nothing life-threatening about Dengue Fever unless you get it multiple times. The doctors gave us some medication, and Joneia has fully recovered. I, however, have been dealing with dreadful and sometimes debilitating allergies and colds for this entire month. This month has somewhat stalled in terms of getting things done with the momentum we started with. However, the work has continued.

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.

We have done so much in two months that it feels like we arrived about five months ago! Renovations on our house are underway; our fence is about three-quarters complete; we’ve worked on maintaining the property; we’ve been serving as much as we can in church. I am still leading songs, and Joneia has already started teaching the children for Wednesday evening services. Getting plugged right into our ministry here has been a real blessing.

What are the horrors of missions in Brazil? Number one: The Spiritism. I had spent three months in Brazil in the past and had yet to see anyone performing rituals and sacrifices at intersections. Within the first week, we witnessed two of them with people wearing red capes, lighting candles, and beheading a chicken…creepy. Number two: The Government Paperwork. We first went to the Federal Police just to be told to go to City Hall, just to be told to go to the Licensing Department, just to be told to go two hours south to the American Consulate, just to realize that we needed to go back to the Federal Police. Number three: The Wildlife. After being warned about the snakes and spiders of Brazil (which we were assured were primarily a threat in the Amazon Jungle) my father-in-law came within inches of a venomous pit viper called a Jararaca! I also narrowly escaped putting my pants on with a poisonous spider making its home in my pant leg! It’s been a blast!

All of this to say, our time in Brazil has already been incredibly productive, eventful, and a truly exciting time in our lives.

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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