Y’all. I tried to do the fancy MailChimp route to send you these updates but alas, here I am being old fashioned and just sending this in plain ol’ email format. Technology is NOT my forte and I have finally come to terms with that 😉
Here is a brief (or at least as brief as I can manage!!) update on the happenings within the Amazon Network over the summer! Please take a few minutes to read!
Grace House Amazon
We continued to be blessed by the many kids that participate in our day program! We have between 70-100 kids that are active participants… which is so amazing to think about! We are humbled that God would entrust us to teach so many little minds and hearts.
With that privilege comes huge responsibility! We have five full-time staff to help us love these kids and lead them well: Rosa (Director), Joice, Carla, Eliana, and Vandraina. It is a continual team effort to run the show at Grace House and we appreciate your continued support and prayers as we strive to lead well.
Through the Grace House program, we are able to provide meals for 25+ kids a day who wouldn’t otherwise have a healthy meal. Many of these kids would otherwise fill their bellies on puff snacks, soda, or lollipops, cheap options that are very readily available in this town. We are so grateful for the ability to provide them with snacks each day as well as lunch.
Our amazing staff also coordinated our first annual “Bible Camp” for the kids of Grace House and beyond! Even rain didn’t keep them from making the most of the activities… in fact, it just got to carry over into the next evening, too!
We also had a medical team return to host a medical clinic for the second year. We had many from the community come to have illnesses and injuries diagnosed and treated. We are grateful for this group of doctors and nurses taking the time to care for our GH family and the community!
While the medical pros cared for the patients, the kids were organized together and taught by Pedro and Hannah, friends of the Amazon Network, about the Fruit of the Spirit.
Thank you for your continued prayers, encouragement of, and support for Grace House! We couldn’t do the work we do without the Body of Christ coming together in every capacity to fullfill this calling.
Marcos and Josi continue to serve the indigenous communities in the Javari Valley of Brazil. Marcos has established a trustworthy name among multiple indigenous tribes as someone who will defend them and fight for their rights on a social, economic, and a political level. This does not come without great opposition from the enemy, often times from the local cults and sects that are prosperity-gospel.
Pray for them to endure. They are also working towards building a home at the intersections of several small tributaries along the river, deeper in the jungle. This will allow them to travel more often and stay longer as a family, building a place of refuge closer to the tribes that they are a part of and work among.
Please pray for health, endurance, favor, and faith.
Marcos (middle, back row) and some of his disciples
The Donut Company
We are quickly approaching our FOUR YEAR anniversary of The Donut Company. We are amazed at God’s goodness throughout these years of discipleship and donut making! We are constantly encouraged by the reports from customers that they can “feel” a difference when they walk into our shop. The many other missionaries in the region also find it to be a place of refuge and rest. They often bring their families and visiting teams there to share and regroup. That is one of our purposes! To provide a space where community and relationships can THRIVE.
Juan Alan (third from right) and his team meeting at TDC before they head out to do medical missions on the river. Juan Alan is one of our most loyal customers and runs an amazing ministry along the river called Missionary Medical International
We also exist to provide a fairwage employment. We have desired for some time to expand our shop to be able to employ more individuals in the community and to extend our reach of living out and sharing the Gospel. Continue with us in this prayer. We have been contacted to rent a space at the new international airport but we are waiting on the Lord’s timing. We would love to have someone interested in business who would help us in this!
Sam and Bea continue to love and serve our Donut Company family each and every day. We have seen so much growth in the life of Pricila (who has been with us almost since the very beginning… more about her below). Sam also had the privilege to sit down with Yuley (second from right) a couple of weeks ago and answer a plethora of questions she has about the Gospel. With a Catholic background, she is often conflicted in how she feels and understands the Bible. She and her boyfriend have also been attending our Sunday night gatherings regularly. Yuley has been with us since the very beginning… and we are only now seeing her asking the deep questions. Discipleship can be “slow”! At least from our perspective. But in like of God’s timing, it’s all right on schedule.
Bea along with some of our interns and Donut Company staff
Just a photo of the most delicious donuts in the Amazon… to hopefully motivate you to come visit our Amazon Network family! 😉
We are excited that Pricila’s house is finally going to be lifted! Last year, you may remember, a team from Capshaw Baptist came down to help us get her a bathroom. In May, I put out an SOS to get funds to help us lift her house as it floods every time it rains (which is often in the jungle!) and to help secure her home better. Through the generous donations of several of you as well as Haven Ministries in Birmingham, we were about to raise the $2,000 and now the wood and supplies are being purchased and we are prepping for this project! Stay tuned!
We were so grateful to host a team in April that I (Ashley) got to be a part of as well as Izzy from Serbia and Ellaina from our Birmingham community who interned with us. Having teams and interns to come and encourage our Amazon family is more helpful than we can express! We are looking forward to the teams we are planning in the months ahead. Let us know if you’d like to plan a trip!
Every Sunday, our community gathers together to study, pray, encourage, confess, worship, and more. This is always a diverse time of cultures and even languages and we see the Lord move and work in amazing and miraculous ways. It is truly incredible to see how the Lord continues to grow our Amazon Network community as He knits together his Body in this region. He has brought along several gifted teachers, which has been a prayer of ours for our community.
There is so much more I could share. I didn’t even mention Marcos Cocama or Jovens Talentos, or the many other “smaller” aspects that are a part of the day today…. and I don’t like just skimming the surface! I like telling the stories and sharing the faces of the people who are a part of the Body at work in this region. But I know you all live busy lives, too! That’s why I encourage you to follow our social media pages for more frequent, but brief updates.
There are MANY needs in this region. I could talk about those for days, too. Please consider being a part of our financial donor family! We are working to raise $15,000 and we are nearly halfway to our goal! We also need monthly givers to help us continue to work of Grace House, the Javari Project, The Donut Company, and supporting the various missionaries and projects that make up this network. If you would like to contribute in that way, THANK YOU.
Here is the link to give: http://theamazonnetwork.com/give
Please, above all else, PRAY. Our community has faced many heartbreaks and trials this year. There has been illness and loss. Life in the Amazon jungle is not easy by any means! The spiritual warfare is tangible. We need the prayers of our brothers and sisters.
Thank you to all of you who encourage us in this work. On behalf of our community I thank you!!
Richard and I plan to go down together in October to have our first “Retreat” for the leadership in our community. We want to challenge and encourage our family there as many of them are tired and discouraged but continuing faithfully in the good fight. Please pray for this! We believe it would be refreshing for our entire community as well as for Richard and myself after quite a year following his heart surgery and major house repairs. We are thankful to report that his recovery has gone GREAT and he is in the beginning stages of reapplying for his aviation medical. Please pray this will be a smooth process so that he can be back in the air again soon.
I can’t say enough how thankful I am for each and every one of you who has walked this journey from afar. It’s a wild ride we are on and we couldn’t do it without the faithful support and prayers of you guys!!
As always, if you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to write!
Ashley and fam