Bro. Mário Rodrigues, Missionary & a Hero of the Faith, Called Home

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Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together since 1971. In addition to pastoring First Baptist of Cruzeiro do Sul, Mike builds his own boats and frequently travels up and down rivers to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

November 23, 2021

Dear Brethren,

We are home, earthly home, that is. It took us 54 hours. It was raining in all six cities that we went through. It was freezing in Kentucky. It is 80 degrees here in wonderful Cruzeiro do Sul. The trip was an ordeal, but He worked things out. I won’t bore you with the details. We are home! Thanks to all our family and friends who were so gracious to us in this long 3 months away from our home and life work.

We arrived here on Saturday, November 20th. The services at First Baptist Church were just amazing on Sunday. It was so good to hear a church really belt out praises to our wonderful Lord. Our church is known for how well she sings. Not always perfect pitch, but you can hear them! They wanted me to preach, but I declined. We had 4 adults saved, there was one request for baptism and another young woman for membership. Wow! What a homecoming.

On Sunday night one of our missionaries died. Brother Mário Rodrigues, 56 years old, died of cancer. He had been sick for many months and suffered terribly. What a story though. Let me share it with you. When Brother Joe Brandon came to Cruzeiro do Sul in the mid 1920’s, besides founding First Baptist Church (May 12, 1929), he also traveled the rivers with a small group of believers preaching the Gospel. He had a boat called “Peregrino” (The Pilgrim). It had a small inboard diesel engine, which was rare for that remote place and time. Everyone knew about this boat and her crew. On one of those first mission trips Brother Brandon planned to preach at a small village named Porto Walter. This is about 100 miles upstream on the Juruá River. As they approached the riverbank to land, Brother Leônidas grabbed the rope and prepared to jump ashore. Brother Leônidas was one of the original 13 members of First Baptist, a poet, musician and preacher.

Mário and family back in the late 1990’s at Porto Walter

However, there was a mob waiting on the riverbank. This mob had been sent by the Roman Catholic priest to prevent any “invasion” by the “crentes”, believers. One of the men in the crowd, wielding a machete, told Leônidas, “If you come ashore, I will chop the rope and chop you.”

Brother Brandon decided to back off and continue on upriver. From then on, the village continued to be sealed off and off limits to the Gospel. That was decades ago. For a long time, I was troubled by this. After much prayer and preparation God made it clear that “enough is enough”. When the time came for us to send a missionary there, Brother Mário Rodrigues stepped up. I personally went there ahead of him to survey the village and get property and a house for his young family. I went with him in 1994 to kick things off. He worked there faithfully for 15 years.

Every morning at 6:00 0’clock sharp the priests and nuns wake the town up with praises to mother Mary on a loud speaker atop the tower of the Catholic church. It was not easy. Plenty of resistance and even persecution. Mário was a mild, softspoken man. He was the most unlikely person to succeed in such a hostile setting. But, greater is He who is in us. Succeed he did. Today the church has over 200 members installed in a big 2 story building right downtown. The church is doing mission work on the river and tributaries. There are 3 congregations with over 100 baptized believers.

Although Mário is a big loss to the kingdom on earth, he is a hero of the faith. I count it a great honor to have known him, worked with him, spent many tearful hours with him and be a small part in the ministry of such a giant.

Well, I must close, but I still have an unusual request that I must make. Bev had cataract surgery on both eyes while we were in the States. They also corrected her distance vision. She couldn’t see much at all far away. They corrected the astigmatism and the glaucoma, too. It was a total success, but it was also very expensive. Our insurance covered a small part of it. We had to cover just over $9,500.00. This had to be paid before the surgery, so we plopped down the ole credit card. We have since borrowed money to cover this. If the Lord should lead you to help us with this, we would be much in your debt.

Oh! And did I mention? It sure is wonderful to be home again! Thank you, Lord.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow


Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
69980 Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre
Brasil, SA

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.

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