September - 2011

   Posted by Erica Montgomery    

firefox-graySeptember 13, 2011
Well, our team has officially arrived in Manaus and is aboard the Francis Anne with Earl and Ruth Ann Haubner’s Boat Ministry. In addition to a committed boat crew (Eduardo or “Du Du”, Gracie, Nete, Edilsa, Pacheco, Denis and Junior). There are 10 additional team members, eight are from the Bethel Community Christian Church. There names are Dan Asche, Ken Day, Jennifer Hallgath, Carol Lawson, Laura Wilson, Pam Price, Sherry Aufdenkamp and Alisa Pace. Also aboard are Pam Jackson of KC, Missouri and Erica Montgomery of Chapel Hill, TN. We also met Flavia from Brasilia while at the airport. She is a dentist and has been for 20 years. She will be joining our group during these two weeks. All are eager with anticipation to see what God has in store over the next two weeks. Medications, supplies and children’s gifts have been unloaded and organized. We shall travel all night by the Francis Anne to our first stop San Sebastião to pick up Flavia (who coordinates the children’s ministry through CBM and has the same name as our dentist this trip) and then we will be traveling to our 1st village to begin our 1st clinic from the boat in Bucusal. Rede (pronounced “heggie”) are hung, hearts are ready. Lord, go ahead of us and prepare this ministry. You are so good and are in love with your people. Help us to see through your eyes and serve as you have demonstrated. Amen

September 14, 2011
Our day began with an enthusiastic greeting from Earl announcing that breakfast was ready. This would be our greeting every morning. We then sat as a group and studied a large map of Brazil as Earl described our route. We learned a few Portuguese phrases necessary for our journey. Earl taught the importance of discipleship according to Matthew 28: 18-20, which is the basis of the Central Brazil Mission. We arrived today to the first village called Bucusal. We treated several dental and medical patients, both parent and child. I learned today, that we all smile in the same language and the little girls love to string beads and make bracelets to help the time pass by. We even sang “Happy Birthday in English to a lovely young girl aboard the boat today. Our team functioned well within our assigned roles and we took lots of pictures, showing the children what they looked like, as many of them had never had their picture taken. We met Roland, his wife and two young daughters as they lead the church here in Bucusal. They will be joining us for most of our journey here in Brazil. What a wonderful family. Lord, May Godly leaders rise up in these villages in the country of Brazil. Use us as your instruments. Create in us clean and willing hearts. Amen.

September 15, 2011
Today, we treated 68 medical patients on the boat and treated 23 dental patients along with 14 dental procedures. We stayed today in the village of Bucusal, so it was familiar to our team as we went up the hill to visit the village. There, we observed them making farinha and peeling manioc. There were friendly children who were interested in us, enjoying seeing their reflection in the photos we were taking. We continue to all work on our Portuguese as the boat crew continues to practice their English. During devotions this a.m. we sang praise and worship songs in both Portuguese and English. It was a beautiful sound as we heard each other express praise to a mighty God. What a mighty God we serve. Certainly, we could see glimpses of Him in the smile of a loving mother or a sweet servant today. Slowly, but surely we are able to communicate more and teach each other. For certain, we all smile in the same language. Dan and Ken usually sit at the front of the boat announcing “medical” or “dental” depending on the availability on the boat. Eduardo and Carol are great dental assistants and function well as a team on the 3rd level of the Francis Anne. Laura went out in a small boat today with Denis and Junior to take some pictures of the village at sunset. The thatched roofs, banana and palm trees along with the children playing on the sandy bank are beautiful. We took a nap break mid day today while a short rain refreshed the land. We are all ready to attend church this evening as we head off the boat. This will be my first time going to church in Brazil. As I write this, the boat is slowly circling to add more water for showers and cooking later today. Church was lead by Earl and Roland. Many songs were sung and praises were offered to God. God is so good, Amen.

September 16, 2011
Today, we were challenged by Earl to memorize scripture from Ephesians 4: 7-16. Earl told a story about a girl who was possessed by demons and after weeks of Christian counsel and prayer via 6 Christian couples, she was released from her demon possession. My, what a powerful God we serve. I wonder what the next week will entail. Today, we went to a village called Solnascente, which is translated “The Setting Sun.” This village was about 10 minutes by boat from Bucusal. We have continued to treat medical and dental patients. I massaged many of the staff’s tired shoulders and treated a few patients myself today through the use of soft tissue massage. I embrace this role and ask God for His grace and ability to provide good care. There are some dear servant hearted people on this boat such as Flavia and Edwardo and Algesia. Eduardo even caught an alligator today. He tells us that it is too small for dinner, but will catch a bigger one another time. Lord, create in us a vision, help us to express it and live it… or else life will be gone and then it is too late. Guide us as we walk along side Earl and this group over the coming week. Amen.

September 17, 2011
Destination Village: Divino. This a.m. during devotions, we discussed discipleship. We discussed that Jesus had many disciples and there were 12, in particular that he taught and walked with to a greater extent. The same is true today. There will be people to help you as you complete your work in the ministry. There will be those, in particular, that you truly know you are to assist in their growth and development in Christ. In Acts 2:42, God taught the people lessons necessary for ministry. Following devotions, we began to set up our work area for the day. Once again, we treated many medical and dental patients. There were also a few massage patients; one had low back pain and another plantar foot pain. Our Portuguese communication skills are improving for most of us. There was a very joyful woman today who smiled all the time as we introduced ourselves. There were many mothers who boarded the boat with their children for treatment. Just prior to the setting sun, our medical team completed a home visit with an elderly woman who suffered from walking difficulty and some respiratory issues. She and her family were gracious and kind as she was evaluated and treated. We concluded our day with a hike up a tall hill to church. Earl and Rolando (from Bucusal) lead worship and delivered a message from God’s word about the final days of this life. One lady requested prayer and Earl and Rolando prayed for her. The children lined up and all received a small gift and snack from CBM. Many hugs were exchanged as we plan to leave this village tomorrow a.m. When we boarded back onto the boat, delicious fresh fist from the river awaited us at the dinner table. Thank you God for this day. Please grant us the energy and passion to continue the work you have set out for us today through the CBM ministry. Amen.

September 18, 2011
This morning during devotions we discussed the main concepts of Ephesians Chapter 4. We continued our Portuguese language skill practice necessary for our work duties and greetings. Following our exit from Divino, our boat traveling a short distance to the work site, called Acampamento, where male workers in long sleeved orange suits worked on the gas power line for the villages. Helicopters were taking supplies to and from the work site. Many of the workers boarded the boat for medical, dental and therapeutic treatments. Maladies included muscle aches, pains and other medical issues. We were guided by one of the workers who gave us a tour of the camp where the workers were living during their work there in the jungle. There was intranet, tents, a kitchen and sleeping quarters. The suits were heavy as to protect them from various insects throughout the day and night. All redes were covered by mosquito nets. Just last week, there was report that a jaguar attacked and killed one of the workers during the night. Following our treatment of the workers, we traveled a short distance to a nearby village called Pariso (translated Paradise). Atop a tall hill you could see a beautiful view of the water and hillside. Many of us were able to talk to or text our families in the U.S. from this location. That afternoon, we treated the people from this village. All of them walked down the steep steps down to the water’s edge to our boat. We then traveled back to Bucusal at the home church of Rolando and Deni and their daughters. There, we concluded our Sunday with a wonderful church service led. The message was delivered by Dan and the communion meditation was led by Ken. Portuguese translation was provided by Earl. We had communion and sang songs in both Portuguese and English. What a blessing to know that our hearts our united in our faith in God, despite our language difference. Rolando stated during his greeting that the same God that goes with you as you leave Bucusal tomorrow is the same God who will be here with us. Tomorrow we will say goodbye to this wonderful family, as they will be missed throughout the remainder of our mission work. May God grant this family the strength and passion necessary to carry out the works of God to save his people and grow their faith. Amen.

September 19, 2011
Prior to beginning devotions and our Portuguese lesson this a.m., we said goodbye to Rolando and his family. Our boat traveled one hour to the village of Santo Antonio. There we continued to treat residents there with dental and medical maladies. We met and 18 day old baby girl with her mother who were both treated on the boat today. There was another boy who was treated for a small finger amputation injury caused from a piranha bite injury. The kitchen crew was busy on the back of the boat preparing fish for our lunch today. During some down time today, some of our staff fished for piranha. The clinic was especially warm today. Our day concluded with a wonderful church service in Santo Antonio and Falvia taught a lesson to the children and showed them a movie describing the life of Christ, which was in Portuguese with English subtitles. It was a wonderful movie told from the perspective of a child. One thing I noticed tonight is that God speaks through the missionaries here. He supplies them with the energy, knowledge and enthusiasm necessary to deliver God’s message with power. What an awesome thing to witness.
Lord, may all of those involved in the CBM ministry continue to have the enthusiasm and energy necessary to reach out to these villages in need of the knowledge of your word and your love. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this for a few days. Amen.

September 20, 2011
It is an especially beautiful morning here along the Amazon this a.m. There is a cool breeze. There is a bright orange sun. I must say, though this is typical as we awake and eat breakfast. Following our continued devotional study in Ephesians chapter 4 and Portuguese language lesson, we continued our work in Santo Antonio and nearby village people traveled by boat to be treated after Junior and Dennis traveled by small boat to spread the word. One man had suffered a scalping type injury due to getting his hair caught in the drag shaft of his motor boat. There was also a five year old little girl who had some type of neurological abnormality which caused stroke like symptoms at the age of 1. She has just now begun to walk with some impairment still noted on the left side of her body. The group is getting a bit tired, but is hanging in there. There were many mothers and children who traveled by small motor boat to come to the Francis Anne. There was another boy who climbed aboard who had another piranha bite on his index finger, which was treated with a dressing change and an antibiotic. We treated patients until 2 p.m. The group is a bit tired, but hanging in there. Our day concluded with travel to Urucara, where we went into town and Earl bought us all ice cream and where we met Daniele (Rolando’s brother) and Walvir. We had a wonderful church service with them this evening. One thing we have delivered frequently, as an American group is sing, “God is So Good” in Portuguese and introduce ourselves. Dan delivered another message and that was translated by Earl. Earl shared an update with the church regarding the CBM ministry. What a blessing it was to be in the House of the Lord worship with a beautiful group of people in Urucara. Thank you God for this day. Amen.

September 20, 2011
Our morning began with breakfast, devotions and one final Portuguese lesson.
Today, we continued our work in Santo Antonio and Sao Pedro. We traveled to San Sebastio, where we reorganized our supplies and began to clean up. For those who wanted to officially swim in the Amazon, Earl instructed the boat captain to circle out and co out to the middle, just off the shore of San Sebastião. About half of the group swam and had lots of fun. Upon arriving to San Sebastião, we walked into this busy town where there were lots of motorcycles city shops and businesses. This area is well developed with schools, a post office and the like. On our way to Lucy May’s house today (which is where we will be having lunch), we saw the church there, including air conditioning and Sunday school classrooms, which has been a part of the CBM program. It was hot today and it was a bit of a journey to Lucy May’s home. Once there, we went shopping at Santana’s house next door and purchased jewelry made of Acai berry and bamboo. We then had a wonderful lunch including fish, steak, rice and salad prior to beginning our journey back to Manaus. Pam captured a pink dolphin swimming in the distance. Thank you God for all that you are and for all that you teach us. Help us always to be receptive to your will and your direction. Amen.

September 22, 2011
We have traveled all night during our journey back to Manaus. The stars were exceptionally beautiful last night. Denis was our driver and he shined the big boat light along the shore line, where we could see orange glowing eyes sitting just above the water’s edge! Eduardo and Denis tell us those are alligators. It’s daylight now and the freshness of the morning is beautiful. Upon our arrival into Manaus, we plan to get off the boat and do a little shopping at the market! My, what an adventure that will be! And it was. What an amazing market place. Lord, thank you for granting us safety in such a busy interesting city.

September 23, 2011
Well, we have returned to Manaus and completed our souvenir shopping yesterday. We are now prepared to return to the United States. May God richly bless Earl and Ruth Anne Haubner and the ministry of CBM. May God be evident in all that unfolds in the coming years.

Signed:
Erica Montgomery
Christian
Occupational Therapist
Hand Therapist
Appointed CBM journal recorder for September 2011 Boat Trip
Wife to Austin Montgomery
Mom to Jenna and Lincoln Montgomery
Forever grateful for this opportunity

“Then, Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to abbey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 18-20