Snapshots from works along the Juruá River

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.

April 10, 2017

Dear Brethren,

March Madness? I missed most of it since I was up river on a long mission trip. You won’t hold that against me, will you?

The river is very high right now, so travel is a bit easier. My bigger boat has a top and windshield, which make things much better, too. Three of our men went with me. Zico (our missions director), Rondisson (one of our chapel pastors) and Sisnando, a young man who just got to go on his very first mission trip. Our visits were to Porto Walter, Triunfo, Foz do Breu, Thaumaturgo and Tipisca in Peru. All of these locations are on the Juruá River. We travelled 625 miles. We used 95 gallons of gasoline at $6.70 per gallon. The trip cost just under $640.00. Gasoline here in town is a little cheaper, but I can now gas up at 2 of the towns upstream. That makes it possible to travel lighter, but pushes the cost up. The weather was perfect. We didn’t have any muddy river banks. There weren’t too many bloodsucking insects. Best of all though is that all the works are doing well. We had one profession of faith. I also baptized 6 at Foz do Breu on the border.

Tipisca is still a tough place, but showing signs of getting better. One of Damiana’s brothers, Bibiano and his wife Eva have been saved and are being trained by our missionary José Maia and his wife, Silvânia. Bibiano’s family is from the Kaxinauá tribe (pronounced kah-shee-now-ah). This name was given to them many years ago by the white folks. It means “bat people”. Nobody remembers why. The real name amongst the tribe is Hunikuim (pronounced hu-nee-ku-een) which means “the true people”. They see themselves as the “real” humans and then there are all the others. They see themselves as the “Jews” and all the rest of us are the “Gentiles”. Anyway, there have been 15 of the “real people” saved over the last few months. We now have a new missionary from their own people, who we brought from the Purús region to work with them. We now have regular preaching points at 3 of the 5 villages on the Breu River. The other 2 villages are now open and inviting Fredi and José Maia to preach to them, too. Fredi has worked very hard to win his own people and the results are coming in. He has also worked with the other tribes in and around Tipisca to get the gospel to them. As I walk around the small town of Tipisca I hear a little Spanish, a smattering of Portuguese, but mostly 5 other Indian languages. The town has grown to about a thousand people. However, the cultural, moral and linguistic jumble is a huge barrier to the gospel.

The work here in Cruzeiro do Sul is thriving. The construction of our rebuild and expansion is progressing slowly. The finish work on the annex is moving along in its final stages. The building continues to fill up every week. Our children’s services, both morning and evening have grown. Since we have added extra rooms in the annex, this has given more space in the main building for adults and youth. It will soon be overflowing again, by God’s grace. We will need the new balconies that are in the project very soon. The economic crisis in Brazil has really held us back, but God will supply. Several more have been saved. Others have come back to church. We even have had several new members by letter, which is rather unusual here.

My son-in-law, Pastor Dauro, has malaria again and some of my other pastors have been off on other projects. That means that I have been doing much of the preaching and teaching. I work on the buildings by day and teach at night. Long hours, but fun. My health has been great and have been feeling fine, so all is well here in our tropical paradise. Keep praying, though. Need it always.

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

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com

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New Full-Time Missionary in Tipisca; Two More Ready to Go

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.

July 9, 2016

Dear Brethren,

Our missionary to Peru, Brother José Maia, just made another visit to the Kaxinauá tribe on the Breu River. This river is the border between Peru and Brazil. The tribe lives 35 miles upstream. This is a very hard trip this time of year. The river is tiny, shallow and full of log jams. He took a young and new arrival from another reservation on the Purús River. This missionary was recommended by a former worker, Eduardo Puricho, who is now working in Pucalpa, Peru. The new guy is Brother Fred. As you may recall, José always has to preach through an interpreter. This time Fred did the preaching in the native language. Seven made professions of faith. Two of these were the twins, Cosma and Damiana’s, parents. Fred has now gone back to bring his wife and children back to Tipisca. He will be our newest full time missionary. Now we are trying to get his support together. With the economic crisis that Brazil is going through, it will be a big challenge. The Lord will provide. We have two other missionaries ready to go to two other fields. They are also waiting for us to get their support together. Pray for us.

Last month I made a visit to our congregation at Serra do Moa on the upper reaches of the Moa River near the mountains. Two of my grandsons went with me. These are 2 of Crissy and Dauro’s boys. Caleb, their oldest, is 11 years old and Adriel is 8. The river is already at its lowest, so we went in and open boat with a jet drive outboard. The going was slow, but easy to get over the logs and shallows. They were really good travelling buddies. On Sunday morning we had a really big crowd. The building was as full as it could get, the porch was full and many standing in the field outside. We had folks from four of our congregations from three other tributaries of the Moa River. After the regular service we went down to the river for a baptism. The river is plenty wide, but very shallow. There is a beach on the church side of the river. The crowd was standing on the beach. I was almost on the other side of the river to find enough depth. Five were baptized. Some of these were Nukini Indians. For the first time ever I took a water proof camera out into the river with me and was able to take a picture of the congregation back on the beach. Pretty neat and I will send you one of those shots along with a picture of the candidates.

We held a baptism and Lord’s supper service at First Baptist Church on Sunday, June 26. There were 21 new members added. The crowds were as big as they could be for our “little” building, both in the morning and at night. It has been a while since both of these services have been this big.

Bev and I are in Rio Branco right now. She underwent some minor surgery and is recovering well. I am here to take care of her. We hope that the doctor will let us go home next Thursday.

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

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com

Click here to donate to BFM.


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Full Missions Conference; Other Twin Saved; Special Family Time

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.

June 8, 2016

Dear Brethren,

We moved up our annual missions conference this year to coincide with the church’s birthday. The church was founded by Joseph Brandon on May 12, 1929 with 13 members. We are now 87, still young and growing. We started the activities off with a banquet for all of our missionaries, chapel pastors, pastors and the wives. Then we had four days of classes and services. The first night was about the church, her history and where we are planning to go. We closed out with a special night dedicated to our missionaries and their service. The building was full every night, but on Sunday night many people were turned away as there just wasn’t any way to get even up to the doors. The church had the children take up a special offering for our missionaries. They carried several fish nets around as the members used “fish” envelopes to put in their gifts. We were able to give each of our 10 missionaries a couple hundred dollars extra before they returned to their fields. This was pretty good, given the economic downturn (huge understatement) that we are in right now. On the final night we had one of our men surrender as a missionary. Now we have three to send, but are short of funding, so please pray that things will turn around soon.

A group of children singing about missions during the conference.

A group of children singing about missions during the conference.

A couple of months ago I told you about the twins from the Kaxinauá tribe. Damiana was saved and I baptized her. Her sister Cosma was reading her Bible day and night. Well I just got word that she has been saved! In fact, there is another little side story to go along with this good news. A few weeks ago I was in a little hardware store downtown. It is a long narrow thing, old style where the owner sits at his desk near the door. There is a narrow passage between his desk and a jumble of motors, pumps and chainsaws. There was a family of Indians standing right there talking. I was on the inside waiting to get out. There was what appeared to be mom, dad and kids of different ages jabbering away in their native language. I just stood there smiling and waiting for an opening. The store owner’s wife informed me that they were planning on buying a motor. Then one of the children looked at me, grinned real big and said to mom and dad, “Pastor Miguel”. I shook everybody’s hands, but still didn’t know whom I was talking to. Then dad said in Portuguese, with a very heavy accent, “We are Cosma and Damiana’s family. You baptized our daughter. She is very happy.” We then proceeded to get caught up on all the news from their tribe way up river in Peru. It was a really fun experience to finally meet the rest of the girl’s family. Pray that the rest of them will be saved.

Our daughter Monica and her daughter Isabella came down to visit us. Monica had not been here since 2008 and Isabella, who is just 5, came for her first visit. We had 9 of our 11 grands together for a short 6 days. Talk about a party! All of us had a good time, playing ball, boating, swimming and camping. Melany (one of Andrew’s girls) and Adriel (one of Crissy’s boys) got really attached to Isabella and she to them. When it was time to say goodbye, things got really tense and sad. We miss them a bunch and will have to wait no telling how many years to get together again. Many times folks talk about the sacrifices that missionaries make to be on the field for life. Most of the time people are thinking about material comforts that must be given up. We never give that a second thought. The distance between family members though, is hard to cope with.

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

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com

Click here to donate to BFM.


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Missionary Update: Mike & Beverly Creiglow in Brazil [March 2016]

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.

March 9, 2016

Dear Brethren,

Have you ever heard of saints Cosmas and Damian? Probably not, but here in Brazil they are very important. The twins were, according to tradition, born in Arabia in the 3rd century, but later lived and worked in Syria. They were doctors. Their most famous miracle was to transplant a leg. Again this is all from Roman Catholic tradition. They were martyred during the Diocletian persecution. Today they are the patron saints of doctors and nurses.

In Brazil, however, the veneration goes well beyond the usual. They have also been absorbed by the main spiritist groups, such as Candomblé, and are the protectors of children–mainly twins. The oldest standing church building in Brazil is dedicated to them, built in 1535.

One more story about them was that they never took money for their services. One day though a lady that had been healed by one of the brothers made 3 cakes for him. The other brother found out about it and was furious. He said he would never be buried with his brother. When they were finally killed, on the same day, cooler heads prevailed and they were buried side by side. The idea was that they were twins, had worked and died together and should not be separated even in the grave.

A few days ago I was visiting some of our works on the upper Juruá River. I spent a week 300 miles upriver, across the border in Peru. Our missionary in Tipisca, Peru is José Maia and family. There are 4 Indian tribes in the region. We are trying to preach the gospel to all 4. So far we have made some good progress among 2 of the tribes – the Ashaninka and the Kaxinauá. One of the first converts among the Kaxinauá is a 20 year-old girl named Damiana.

Here is Damiana’s story. She trusted Christ during one of José Maia’s visits to her village on the Breu River. The Breu is a tributary of the Juruá River and is also the border between Brazil and Peru. She later came to live with our missionaries. Here are a couple of impressive traits of this young woman. Although she is 20 years old, she is still single. Most Indian girls her age are already married and have 10 kids. Then, even more impressive: she speaks Spanish, Portuguese and, of course, Kaxinauá. Damiana is a twin. Her sister’s name is Cosma.

The twins: Damiana and Cosma

The twins: Damiana and Cosma

That is no mere coincidence, but has its own backdrop. Why would Kaxinauá twins be named Cosma and Damiana? Their dad was a little white boy who had been taken in by the Indians. He grew up in the tribe, but stayed there and married one of the women. Besides Cosma and Damiana, the couple has a bunch of other kids. Some of the boys even have beards! Beyond the racial mix there is also a cultural and religious mix in the tribe.

One such crossover is a popular myth that sprang from the Saint Cosmas and Damian story. Many people along the rivers here believe that if twins are born they must be named either Cosme e Damião (if they are boys) or Cosma and Damiana (in case of girls). Why? If you don’t name them with the saint names one of the twins will drown and thus the twins will be separated. So now 2 Indian girls are named Cosma and Damiana. The latter is now saved and the other is reading her Bible day and night. We are praying that she will trust Christ soon along with all of her tribe.

Damiana's baptism in Tipisca, Peru

Damiana’s baptism in Tipisca, Peru

Recently José Maia took her back to the tribe for a visit. He asked her if she would have the courage to translate a very aggressive message to the tribe. She said that she could talk directly to the children and women, but wasn’t sure about the men. José Maia wanted to go ahead and tell them that the only God is Jesus Christ and that the jiboia (boa constrictor) is not god. He started preaching and she stepped up and started translating no matter what the cost. Everyone listened carefully and are still listening. Many of them came out to Tipisca while I was there and were present at Damiana’s baptism service. Pray that all will trust Christ. The door is now wide open to this tribe. Hopefully Cosma will receive Jesus next and the twins will be truly inseparable.

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

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com

Click here to donate to BFM.


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