Currently, we have been working as resident missionaries with Mission SEARA in a small community called Nova Filadelfia. Since February of 2017, we have been actively working with another Brazilian couple in approximately eight river communities and plan to enter into three more in 2018. Our goal is to disciple and train native leadership in this specific region of the Amazon. We accomplish this by visiting each community weekly, organizing kids programs in public schools, and having home visits. We focus on building relationships with each family and leaving a brief word of encouragement from the Bible to help them see how these truths can be applied and placed into action and not just acquired as more knowledge. We also have a women's ministry, teen and kids camps, retreats, and many other activities to reach as many of the age groups as possible.
I grew up in a catholic home in a river village in the middle of the Amazon region. I was six years old, but I remember as if it was yesterday, a big man on a runabout picking the kids up for a Bible story. After that I heard the Gospel message many times. As a teenager, I made bad friendships that took me down the road to drug addiction and heavy sexual immorality. With that group of people, I learned how to hate and mock Christians. My dad built a house close to the church, and the missionary living in that community tried to gain my soul for Christ. He spoke sincere words and challenged me, but I always said no. I fought the Spirit of God that was convincing me of my sin and guilt. After days of suffering, I bowed down my life to Jesus, but because of my addiction, after a few months I decided to give up on my faith. After one year, God worked within me and covered me with His love and He healed me from my addictions. I experienced such a joy and redemption that I wanted to share with others. I studied as hard as I could to teach the Bible and to know my Lord. I now serve as a missionary to my people in the interior of the Amazon.
I grew up in a christian home in a small town in Ohio. From the time I was young, I had a strong interest in missions thanks to my parents constant support of the activities at my local church and the desire to go with them on their short-term trips. God really started working in my life when I went on my first short-term trip to Brazil and he used the missionaries to encourage me to go and do whatever I fell God is calling me to do, all while loving him! After contact with the Brazilian people and a desire to study more of God's Word, I decided to study at Word of Life Bible Institute in Belem, Brazil. There I had an eye opening experience of what missions truly is and seeing the Father's heart to know me as his child. I recognized my sinful state and my need for Christ as a Savior and from then on have committed my life to growing my personal relationship with God and serving him. During the two years at Bible Institute, God allowed me to get to know a young man that I had met five years earlier on my first short-term trip. Together we graduated from the Bible Institute and are working with Mission that brought missionaries to his village and where I had my first experience of Matthew 28:18-20.