Amazon Boat Trip - September 13-22, 2022
By Missi Balch
First day is all about travel. Each person flies from their hometown and meets in Panama. From there we fly together to Manaus, Brazil. On this trip we have 12 of Americanos plus numerous Brazilians. Our group is from Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Ohio. Most of us did not know each other before this trip but we know God put the team together for His purpose. We arrived in Manaus at 3am on the 14th. Earl and some of the crew picked us up and took us to the boat. We unloaded our luggage and boarded. We immediately started east on the Amazon River. Earl told us we were travelling approximately 700 miles and visiting some villages CBM has never visited yet with the boat ministry. We slept a few short hours and were up and ready to go. 
Thank the Lord for great Brazilian coffee! We had breakfast bright and early and Earl gave us the plan for the week. We spent most of the day sorting all of the donated items. There is an advance practice nurse on the trip named Michele and myself, a nurse practitioner, who will work in the medical clinic. Mostly I will play with the children in the villages with my husband Tim and Brazilian missionary Santana. There are two Brazilian dentists and an assistant who will be working the dental clinic. As always the water is a beautiful site and the weather is typical equatorial weather – HOT! We had dinner prepared by the Brazilian cooks, held devotions and discussed the plan for the week. We will start the ministry in the morning. I feel like I already have new friends. The team appears to get along as if we have known each other for a long time. Sitting on the top deck of the boat and getting to know each other is wonderful. We spotted a few dolphins; ate great local food; and saw plenty of birds. One of the retired cooks is here, which was a great surprise. I am so happy Earl is on this trip as well. I can`t wait see what God has in store for us.

Bom Dia! I slept very well. The beds are quite comfy. Even though I only slept 3 hours the night before, the Brazilian coffee can sure wake you up! We arrived at our first location. I saved photos of the map to show where we are. This very small tributary where we parked the boat is busy with small boats and fishermen. I actually don’t see a village from where we are parked. But Earl says there are at least 4 villages nearby that we will visit. Some of you may not know, but Earl shared with us during devotions that he and Ruth Ann have been in Brazil 53 years, and have had the boat ministry for 23 years. His favorite verse is God can do so much more than you can imagine (paraphrasing). I wonder why? Earl stated CBM has been to roughly 80 villages in 22 years. They have been working long and hard to get the word of the Lord out. Yet there is much to do. There are more than 30,000 villages in the state of Amazonas alone. Today we visited 2 villages in this area. Santana is in charge of the children`s ministry. I get to work with her. She is fabulous and the children really respond to her! I played soccer and even learned how to make balloon animals for the kids. You never know what you can do on a mission trip! Praise God! Today we treated 52 at the first village and 55 at the second one. The message for the kids is Isaiah 1:18. Jesus can wash away our sins. Speaking of washing, the cooks are cleaning and washing a goat that was slaughtered at the village for us to eat later this week. Yummy? LOL
Friday 9-16-22
We had a fantastic and blessed day! Tim talked about how fear is the opposite of faith according to Jesus. The story of when Jesus calmed the storm explains this concept. Mark 4 35-41. This doesn`t mean that we don`t have to be aware of our surroundings and watch for danger but we don`t need to be afraid. We have faith that God will lead us and allow us to be His hands and feet. We visited another village. The people were very receptive. We played soccer, Santana taught the children and some adult who listened closely about Isaiah 1 18 again. She has a way with the kids! We give small gifts to the children and give out lots of hugs and much love. Inside the boat, the mission work continues with medical triage, checking vision and handing out reading glasses and sunglasses. Then Michele and Earl treat each patient and their medications are filled in the pharmacy on board. Earl said he gave out over 50 pairs of glasses today! I even stitched up a gentleman’s foot who cut it on a fish. Jr, who looks like Tiger Woods, grilled local fish for us to enjoy at lunch. It was delicious. Everyone seems to be in the groove and things are running smoothly. We always find time at the end of the day for reflection and playing cards.
Saturday 9-17-22 Many reading this will appreciate the fact that this is college football day in the states and we even got missionary Daniella to help us spell out OHIO at the edge of the jungle. We may be working but we also have fun! Daniel is a missionary who has been discipled by CBM. He is establishing a relationship with people from this area. Today we visited two more villages. Unfortunately we ran out of de-wormer medication. Everyone gets it here as it is a common problem. So there is always a need for more donations! The children in the village enjoyed making balloon animals, painting, and of course playing more soccer. Scott from Xenia, Ohio has been taking many photos and you can see them on the website. In this area, some of these children have not seen white Americans. They were afraid at first but realized we love them and soon the playtime began. The medical mission is a wonderful way to earn the respect and trust of the people and this opens the door for the word of God to be brought to them. Linda who grew up in Brazil as a missionary kid and can speak Portuguese fluently was speaking with a lady who was waiting on her son to come out of the dentist. The lady was telling Linda of some of her family problems. Linda was able to listen and understand and then give her hope in Jesus. She told her of the power and love of Jesus and I could see that this did ease the lady’s fear. She received a caring ear and much needed love. It was great to witness this precious moment. Remember, no matter what you think you can offer on the mission field, all you need is the love of God and share it abundantly!

Sunday September 18, 2022
This is the day of the Lord but we will not rest. The villages need to see and feel Jesus. The village visited today is the biggest one yet. They have electricity and a school as well as a church building and of course a big soccer field. We did all of the same things today as we did in the other villages. The kids were very active and attentive to the Bible story. I don’t know the final count today but it was well over 100 I am sure! The work is great but God is much greater. He provided everything we needed. The kids called Tim grandpa as he played soccer with them. The smiles and laughter of the children is something I hope to never forget. I don’t have much more to say about today other than we worshipped together on the boat and took the Lord’s supper. To reflect on what the Lord has done for us is a very humbling experience and being here in this mission field will cause you to look a little deeper at His sacrifice. Remembering what He did for us is not something to reserve at time of communion but rather with every bite we take. He provides for us because He loves us more than we can imagine. Some here and likely at home simply need to know that they are special to God. He died for ALL of us.
Monday 9-19-22 What a beautiful morning! Sunrise and sunset in Brazil never disappoints. They are picture perfect-God’s canvas. Is it bad that I have been having so much fun on this trip? I don’t think so! We work hard, sweat and get bitten by a few bugs but we also laugh, cry, give and receive love, and get blessed as much as we bless others. What can be better? Well, perhaps not getting beat at cards each night. That would be better LOL. Seriously though, the group on this trip is such an amazing bunch of people who bring all their individual talents to the field and God uses everyone. The dentists do exceptional work. The village we visited today was very remote. No electricity. They don’t have much at all. As we came to the end of the villages, we were running out of supplies. We were nervous that we wouldn’t have anything to give to the children but we found a few bags of toys and some candy and more balloons and praise God we had enough! Of course we did! God provides. Everyone got something and we even had some left over. Remind you of anything? I couldn’t stop hugging the kids today. Daniel left us today. He jumped on the boat that we were tugging around all week. He will go home now, as he lives in this area and continue the ministry here. Pray for him to continue to reach the area and for God to grow more disciples here through CBM and Daniel. Merle and Scott reminded me that we celebrated two different 12-year old’s birthdays today in the villages, one boy and one girl. We sang happy birthday to them is Portuguese and English and Earl gave them a soccer ball. Their smiles were priceless.

Tuesday 9-20-22
 Our last day to work in the villages. We started off with a typical day of worship and devotions. Last night Earl told the story of how he and Ruth Ann went into missions and how they ended up in Brazil. Today he finished the story. I believe he said you can read it or watch a video on the CBM website about it. All I can say is that God is more amazing than I can imagine. The way He works in the lives of others is beyond my comprehension. All I know is that He is real, He is God and He loves us and will use us if we allow Him to do His work. I don’t want to spoil the story but I was very touched and couldn’t help by cry as he told about his beautiful granddaughter’s sacrifice of $1000 toward the new boat that she worked very hard to earn. Imagine what He can do if we just have faith! He uses those who are willing and He will surpass any goal you can dream of, if you ask Him.
Wednesday 9-21-22
We made our way to Sao Sabastian. In this town there is a good signal and people on the boat were able to make contact with loved ones back home. It was wonderful to speak to them. We got off the boat and enjoyed an ice cream bar at the local market. We then walked (some rode the motorcycle/cart taxi) to the location where CBM owns property and have a greenhouse and housing for visitors, missionaries, Santana and a place for discipleship training. The greenhouse has grown tremendously since I saw it several years ago. Earl said they have turned it over to the local missionaries and they take care of it. They provide food for four different schools. They grow all sorts of vegetables and fruits and even have bees to make homey. They also have a juice factory in the works. Some of the local farmers stopped working their crops because they didn’t have anywhere to sell their harvest. Now, CBM can buy their fruit and make it into juice to sell. The goal is to make enough money to support the mission in the area fully. God will do it! We left the area and are now headed back to Manaus. It will take us until tomorrow morning to arrive. Probably 18-20 hours I guess. Today we rest and clean up. We share stories and photos and have exchanged emails and phone numbers. I have met some amazing people on this trip and they are my brothers and sisters in Christ and new friends. Tomorrow we will eat breakfast and shop at the market. We all head back to the US, some on different flights. Can I sum up the trip with a brief statement? No, I can’t. Just remember that we need to set goals and dream of what God can do here in Brazil and back home. He WILL answer the prayers. It may not be today but in His own time. Go forward and shine God’s light!



Michael Haubner
P.O. Box 420
McCoy, Virginia 24111
Phone: 1-540-633-2419
Cell: 1-540-392-7867
E-mail: mehaubner@gmail.com


Earl and Ruth Anne Haubner
Phone: 804-467-7463
E-mail: cbmhaubner@gmail.com