Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
I apologize for waiting so much time before writing another update. Things have been crazy as usual and communication is difficult here in the Amazon, sometimes I think that banging on drums made from hollowed out trees would be a more effective and faster way of communicating. 😉
Last Saturday my wife and I finally had a night out alone and we went to a gospel concert of a famous singer who came to the Amazon for the first time. The songs were fun to listen too and everyone enjoyed worshiping together, but towards the end the singer took offering. He told everyone there that if you give, God will give you a financially well off future. As I watched every one raise their hands for the “blessing” I thought how sad that was. To them being blessed and being spiritually close to God is based on how many material things He gives you. If we look at the lives of those in the New Testament who followed Christ they were not full of all these material things or even seeking after them. Even Jesus Christ had almost nothing at all during his time on earth and He is God. Blessings from God might include imprisonment, hard times, beatings or even death for His glory. A new car or new cellphone could be a blessing too but only if it is for his glory. Most of the “churches” here in the Amazon preach that if you are spiritual and serve God you will be financially stable.
This is one of the tricks used to take people’s focus off of loving God and loving others and puts it on how much stuff do I have.
1. God has been changing and growing the Donut Company family. Recently God has allowed everyone to get along and has brought another missionary to help work alongside us as we all grow in our spiritual walk wth Christ. We praise God for this help and encouragement he has sent.
2. During the beginning of May I had the privilege of going back to the US to represent The Amazon Network in a mission conference held at Capshaw Church in Huntsville, Alabama. This was my first time back to the US in over five years and my first time in Alabama. Every one was very nice and super encouraging. I was very grateful to get to meet so many wonderful Brothers and Sisters in Christ. After the conference I went to Birmingham and spent two days with The Common Thread Community. After that I went and spent about two days and a half with our fellow missionaries and dear friends the Whittmore’s. It was a very encouraging trip and so good to see all the other brothers and sisters who fight for Christ alongside us. I am hoping to take my wife Beatriz and our son Joshua next time.
3. Last Saturday we had lunch with my wife’s uncle and his family, my wife’s grandma and Priscilla and her 3 year old daughter Kiara. It was really neat to see Joshua and Kiara playing and running around. We are thankful for the lives God is letting us be part of and show his love to.
4. One of the young men I have been discipling for about three years told me that one of the teen girls from youth group said she was pregnant. He went to talk to her about the situation, and told her that he and the other teens are here to help her in whatever she needs and that they want to walk with her. He told her that having a baby is a special gift from God and yes her life will be different now but God still loves her and so do her brothers and sisters in Christ. She looked at him and was almost crying, she said that others from that church had come and lectured her about how awful she had been and now she is pregnant as a consequence of her sin. She had expected him to say the same thing but when he showed love instead of judging and lecturing she was shocked and encouraged.
When he told me about this story I wanted to cry too just thinking about how God is using this young man, who people have shunned, to show Christ’s incredible love.
1. Priscilla who works with Bea in the mornings making donuts, is trying to build a 4x6m house on a piece of land she was given by the government. The land is out of the city and in the middle of the jungle, about an hour walk after the city limits. This place is not very safe for her but she would not have to be paying rent. At the moment she is having a hard time paying for all the basic needs for her and her daughter along with rent which keeps going up. Please pray for wisdom on this situation. Pray also for Priscilla as God is working on her very broken heart.
2. We have three friends here that we walk with that are all pregnant. Please pray for them as being pregnant here is rough and the hospitals are complicated. Their names are Julia, Natalia, and Yuley.
3. The Church in Benjamin Constant, Amazonas, Brazil, where I grew up in, is without a pastor at the moment and God has allowed us to help out there on occasions when we go to Benjamin. We would like to help out more and are trying to know what God wants us to do there. Please pray for wisdom and guidance on how to best help our brothers and sisters there.
4. God has been so good to us and has been showing us so much of who he is and what he wants us to do over these past two years. Working here in the Amazon is very good and there is so much to do. I have been wanting to go back to the States with my wife and son for them to visit for the first time and to see friends and family. My trip to the States in May was very encouraging but unfortunately Beatriz and Joshua were not able to go with me. We also need to raise a little more support for the ministry here as everything has gone up recently and we are hoping to be working more with Benjamin Constant, which means more costs in boats over there. At the moment we are at $450/month and we need to be at $1000/month. So we are hoping to take a little vocation/support raising trip to the US at the end of this year or beginning of the next year. To do this we have to get Joshua’s American documents and my wife’s tourist visa. All this takes money and at the moment we don’t have it. Please pray for Gods provision in this and for all the documentation to go smoothly (which would be a miracle). Also for Gods provision on the needed support. It is comforting to know he is in control and His love is unending.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.
Your fellow Brothers and Sister,
Samuel, Beatriz, and Joshua Hamilton.