Trying Times in Cruzeiro do Sul

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.

Dear Brethren,

Grace and peace to all of you. The Creiglow crew is all in good health. I have been encouraged to see that the pandemic numbers have been dropping rapidly in the United States. The opposite is happening here.

This letter will be short. Why? There is not much positive to report. This is a new experience for me. I have had my share of difficult times, but this letter will be hard to write.

The second wave of the virus has hit Cruzeiro do Sul and all of Brazil for that matter. The numbers are alarming. Yesterday Brazil had 30,000 more new cases than the US and 250 more deaths with 120 million fewer people! We lost 2 more members last week. Then we had a border crisis, with 400 Haitians trying to cross the Peruvian border. On top of that we had a historic flood. 10 of the 22 cities of the Acre were under water. We had several families housed in our school buildings.

You, too, have had to deal with the pandemic, major winter storms and unbelievable flooding. We have been praying for you and hope that you will do the same for us.

We are under lockdown and had to stop our services for now. We do livestream 3 services every week. Our musicians, praise groups, the pastor and media folks are the only ones in the building. I also record short lessons that go on our FaceBook and YouTube channels 2 or 3 times a week. We are taking care of our members primarily through our small groups, even though they are not allowed to meet in person.

Since I can’t get out I have also been working on building my new shop. It is almost finished. My tools were scattered in 3 locations and I had no real place to work. Now everything including the boats and motors will all be in the same location.

Well I am sorry to not have much to report to you right now, but I hope you understand.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you during these trying times.

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

CONTACT INFO

Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
69980 Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre
Brasil, SA
mdcreig@hotmail.com

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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First Mission Trip of 2021

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.

January 27, 2021

Dear Brethren,

Things are far from normal. Yet the rainy season has started and the rivers are coming up. We are enjoying pretty good health. The church continues to meet, albeit with much lower than normal attendance. People have been saved in almost every service. Fear and panic is still widespread. We have lost many friends and brothers. Many more are still coming down with the virus. Vaccinations have started here in Brazil. So it is a mixed bag.

Pastor Ezi and I went on our first mission trip last week. We went up the Moa River to visit 2 of our works. We were in the open boat with smaller outboard. I was not sure how I would do manually starting and running the engine as my strength is still not where I was. On top of that we got rained on big time going and coming. Rain always presents a big challenge and even bigger on a small, winding river. All went very well though. God continues to give me strength and He is a great pilot.

We dedicated the new building at Serra do Moa (Mountains on the Moa River). We held 4 services with them. Missionary Rivaldo is doing great. He worked there when we first started the congregation. Later he took care of 2 other fields. Now he is back where he started his ministry 24 years ago. This is he fourth building that we have put up. The first three were tiny wood frame structures that didn’t last that long. This time they put in a concrete foundation and partial brick walls. The rest is wood, but this one should last much longer. The last building is still in good shape and is used for Sunday School.

There were over 200 people present. Most of these were from 5 of our other congregations downriver. There 4 professions of faith. I baptized 8 on Sunday morning. This was squeezed in between rainstorms. The rains hardly ever stopped. In fact, we were scheduled to be with our mission at República (Nukini Indian reservation), but the missionary and his family were not able to return because of the rain. We plan to visit them in a few more days.

One thing that was sad was seeing the reach of the panic over the virus reach all the way up river. They were handing out masks and spraying gel at the door of the new church building. Now, I am not against masks at the right place and time, but this was very disheartening to see. Many of them had their masks on upside down! The reach of tyranny seems to have no limit.

The new 25HP 4 stroke outboard worked very well. Thanks to all who have helped me purchase and maintain my boats and motors.

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

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

CONTACT INFO

Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
69980 Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre
Brasil, SA
mdcreig@hotmail.com

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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Recovering from Covid-19

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.

December 14, 2020

Dear Brethren,

Greetings from “I don’t even know how to describe this place anymore.” Cruzeiro is well in to its second wave of Covid-19, yet there is all kinds of construction going on, schools are closed (all year), restaurants are open and business seems to be booming.

As many of you already know, the Creiglow family is going through the virus phase. We are not sure how many of us have had it, but it seems to be somewhere between 8 and 10 of the 14 family members. It looks now like Bev may have been the first. Her test was the first to show antibodies. Now Andrew’s 2 oldest have it. I was the only one hospitalized. As it turns out I had the coronavirus and dengue fever at the same time. Recovery has been slow, but steady.

First Baptist was forced to halt services back on March 18th. We started back in September with one service and at only 50% of our normal attendance. It grew gradually in size and number of services per week. Then the second wave hit. We dropped 20%. Now we are back up to where we were before the second wave. The drop, by the way, coincided with our election frenzy here. Lots of big rallies every day for 2 months. This down period was also when I was out of commission.

Bev and I got to go back to church yesterday, December 13th. We had good crowds morning and evening. 624 for the day. I was surprised to see so many visitors. There was a young mom who came back into fellowship after being away for 6 years. There were also 2 professions of faith. Although Dauro and I are not preaching just yet, we were at the doors to dismiss the crowd in the evening service. It is so strange to just have to stand there smiling and speaking to folks, but not knowing if a person wants to shake your hand or get a hug. Many do, but some just walk by with a sheepish smile. Awkward!

Construction at Jordão

Lucas and Diana are in from the field at Santa Rosa do Purús for a short rest. They are holding services already. Two of my builders have gone to Jordão to start the construction of the building. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go along. Neither of these towns had a Baptist church. Both towns had a Catholic presence and a ton of neo-pentecostal congregations. Jordão has a population of 8000 and 13 of these “churches”, while Santa Rosa do Purús is 12 thousand people and 14 “churches”.
All of the Creiglows here were under strict quarantine on Thanksgiving Day. It was very strange. Bev and I were not hungry and didn’t cook at all. Our Thanksgiving “dinner” was crackers, cheese and a glass of juice. We postponed our family dinner. Last Friday night we finally got together and, boy was it great. There were several things that made me laugh so hard. For those of you who may not know it, many people who have Covid lose their senses of smell and taste. When Andrew’s family arrived we were all around the island in the kitchen looking at the different dishes. His oldest daughter Heloisa (who is now 20) grabbed the bowl of broccoli casserole, pulled it up close and exclaimed, “I can smell the cheese!” She came away with a dot of cheese on her nose. Our devotion that night was all 14 of us sharing things we are grateful for. What a night!
 

Continue to pray for us and for Cruzeiro do Sul. Many friends have left this earth during this year.  

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

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

A belated Thanksgiving Dinner

CONTACT INFO

Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
69980 Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre
Brasil, SA
mdcreig@hotmail.com

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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In Isolation with Covid

November 19, 2020

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.

Good afternoon,

Time for me to report to you on some new health issues. 11 days ago I fell ill and had to stop all my work. The suspicion was Covid-19. Here in this part of the world they will not even test until you have 8 days of symptoms. For that reason, I have held off on what was happening. My doctor and a lab technician started caring for me until time for the test. The doctor got me on medication. On Tuesday she had me go to the hospital to run several tests. She kept me for 2 days. The state built a brand new wing on our hospital for Covid patients and treatment. After a cat scan, blood work and the swab test, they discovered that I do have Covid-19, plus dengue fever and an enlarged aorta. Bev was also tested and they discovered that she is positive and has antibodies. A full week before I got sick Bev had just one symptom that did not trigger any suspicion. At the same time my grandson Caleb had all the tell-tale symptoms including loss of smell and taste. Then my daughter Crissy and her husband Dauro also got it. So, we don’t know who got it first or where it came from. Anyway, I am home now. My treatment for the 2 diseases continues. It is challenging. For now, I seem to be recovering. Of course, the rumor mill is cranking out fake news. Bev just got a call from a friend in another city in Brazil who had heard that I am on my last leg in the ICU!

Bev and I are now in total isolation for the next 14 days. We are not allowed out and nobody is allowed in here. We would like for you to pray for our family. I felt like I needed to let you know about all of this. Sorry I had to wait this long, but now you know. Thanks to all of you.

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

CONTACT INFO

Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
69980 Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre
Brasil, SA
mdcreig@hotmail.com

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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Positives in the Midst of a Pandemic

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.

October 19, 2020

Dear Brethren,

Greetings from gradually opening Cruzeiro do Sul.

Last month we started having a Sunday morning service. These meetings have been limited to one hour. The state will not allow us to have childrens classes yet. In mid September we started having our Wednesday service again. Now in October we have added back our Sunday evening service. For all of September and half of October these meetings have been at 50% of what they were up to March 18th when we had our last service before the pandemic.

Even though the attendance has not been as good as I would like, we still have had some surprising results. We have had 3 professions of faith, 5 requests for baptism, 4 requests to become member by letter, 1 by statement and 5 members coming back into fellowship after being out in the world. Besides these, we have presented 2 babies in the last 2 weeks. It is no surprise that these babies are pretty big kids already!

Then last Sunday we had a 27% increase in attendance in both services. We had 346 in the morning and 350 at night. That was encouraging. I am praying that we will continue to increase.

This period has been beneficial in sorting out some things in our church. We have been able to find out who is courageous and committed. We have also found out who is timid. These have been quite a letdown. As things were before they were involved and seemed to be audacious, but now they are still home cowering because of the virus. These are the ones who don’t hesitate to run a red light, but now are shaking in their boots because there is a 0.05% chance they may die of covid-19. A couple of these have received a sizeable investment in their ministries by the church. Needless to say, I am not too happy about the situation of this rather small group. They are His children though and we will do our best to get them moving again.

There are some positive things going on in our work overall. We just put the trusses on the building at Centrinho. The pastor there resigned recently, but we have already found 2 good men to take over. We also started building an annex at Miritizal. They are needing classroom space and a nursery. I drew up the plans a while ago and now we are building. This week we started paving the second half of our parking lot at church, too. Even though the economy took a hit, still many things are in short supply because of the high demand. Building supplies are really hard to get.

Today I stepped out of my office as I heard a jet going over nearby. It was the first flight after over 6 months of isolation. The news reports say that we will have 4 flights a week. We used to have daily commercial flights. That went away overnight back in March. Now they are back and hopefully the isolation is over.

We are starting to have rain now and then. Hopefully the rainy season will kick in and the pandemic subside so I can get back out on the rivers. Can’t wait!

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

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

CONTACT INFO

Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
69980 Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre
Brasil, SA
mdcreig@hotmail.com

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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Challenges in Resuming Services

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.

September 22, 2020

Dear Brethren,

Greetings from the lockdown in the rainforest: Cruzeiro do Sul. My days alternate between “frustrated” and “angry”. Our timid (spineless) governor has tightened the shutdown even against the data that show we should be moving toward normal.

We had already authorized our congregations out of town and our chapels in town to resume services, as I reported last month. Three weeks ago, we had our first (limited) Sunday school. After our weekly pastor’s meeting, we had decided to have a Sunday morning service of just an hour (9:00AM), but without publicizing the first one. If the news leaked and folks showed up, then fine. It did leak and we had 191 present. We followed the state rules as close as possible. The next week we had a 20% increase. The third week another 44% increase over the previous week. There were 329 for that service.

Then the state brought down a new law requiring ALL citizens in the Acre to wear a mask in all public and PRIVATE places. It is now illegal to eat or shower without a mask if you follow the law as written. The next Sunday morning we had only 225, a 30% drop in attendance.

For the past 2 plus months I have been getting data on the state of the pandemic in Cruzeiro do Sul. The daily cases have dropped way down. Hospitalizations, which had been in the hundreds is now down to 7. There have been 4 deaths in over 2 months. There had been as many as 6 deaths weekly 3 months ago.

The “tyranny of the mask” as I call it, has kept me oscillating between frustrated and angry. I called off the livestream of our services until this is past. The livestream could bring the authorities down on us, if they saw anyone without a mask in the auditorium. I refuse to comply and certainly refuse to preach in a mask. Now I am back in the studio recording messages and lessons for all those who are afraid to come to church. We continue to have live services, but I must also prepare duplicate lessons and sermons for those too timid to get out or for the few who are hindered by some other high-risk factor.

One of the pastors wants us to follow the letter of the law, which is impossible. He comes to staff meetings in a huge cannister mask, face shield and gloves. The other 6 pastors take it in stride, even though we can’t understand a word of what he says during the meetings! All of us get along fine though and do the best with all of this mess around us.

To end on a better note: We have added some new members by letter. Then on Sunday we presented a new baby that was born during the pandemic. Of course, that too is illegal as no children are allowed (according to the law) to be present. Someone more important than the governor once said, “Let the little ones come unto me.” I think letting them come to His house counts, too.

Pray that we will be able to be faithful and continue to do our best for Christ and His kingdom.

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

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

CONTACT INFO

Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
69980 Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre
Brasil, SA
mdcreig@hotmail.com

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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Resuming Meeting Together

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.

August 19, 2020

Dear Brethren,

Greetings from hot and sunny Cruzeiro do Sul. All of Brazil is hot and dry. We haven’t had any rain this month. The river is as low as it can be. Not much has changed here over the past few weeks.

A lady from our church is head of the health department and for the past 23 days she has been giving me daily reports about the evolution of the virus here in town. She gives me new cases, hospitalizations, discharged, cured, deaths and a few other categories. I now have a spreadsheet to be able to help evaluate the situation. Mostly though, I just spend lots of time in prayer in the wee hours, asking God to show me the way forward. Although the state and city have given permission for churches to meet, the restrictions are so severe that we have not returned.

We have given our congregations at Foz do Breu and the one in Peru, permission to meet. Last week we gave all of our interior works permission to hold public services. Also, this month we authorized our small groups to resume meeting. Today we will be giving our chapels here in town permission to resume regular services. So, little by little, we are coming back. I meet weekly with my staff to discuss and pray about each new step. We meet again this afternoon and I am going to recommend we have a morning service on August 30. This will be live streamed. We will add services incrementally from there. I have been informed that the city only has 4 “spies” on payroll and these refuse to work on Sundays, so that is good news. Pray for us. It has now been 5 full months since our last service at First Baptist Church.

We have been getting news from several of our mission works and missionaries. José Costa (border village) reports good attendance and at least one saved. José Maia (Tipisca, Peru) has been having limited crowds. He stays very busy though in the community. He even managed to find a plow to pull behind his ATV and has upped his gardening game! His son, who is our missionary at Santa Rosa do Purús, is now working part time in a cabinet shop and has started a small Bible study class. I just bought him a motor, so that when things get back to normal, he will be able to start mission work on the Purús River.

Missionary José Maia tilling the soil in Peru with his ATV.

I have continued to work on construction jobs nonstop and pretty long hours. Don’t watch the news. Work keeps me content. Still hoping that things will get back to some kind of normal pretty soon.

Bev and I are doing well. The whole family is doing great. We have been meeting every Saturday night for our family time. Every Sunday afternoon we play a few innings of whiffle ball. Even the little squirts play. I even play! Only Grandma Bev sits on the sideline and watches to make sure nobody cheats. Bev had not been out for over 3 months. Last week she finally started to get out occasionally. She actually went to a supermarket for the first time in 5 months. On her last time out, she saw a guy from down south with a truck selling strawberries. She bought enough for the 3 families. She made me some shortcake and whipped cream. She really does love me after all!

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

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

CONTACT INFO

Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
69980 Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre
Brasil, SA
mdcreig@hotmail.com


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The Wild, Wild West of Brazil

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 22, 2020

Dear Brethren,

Four months and counting. Cruzeiro do Sul is still two months behind the rest of the world as far as the evolution of the virus is concerned. Last month the city and state went crazy doing all kinds of traffic stops requiring masks even inside your car. In one of these stops the city official opened the door to my jeep without my permission and the lady cop already had her hand on her gun and I was resisting or didn’t even have a chance to resist. MY MASK WAS ON! It has gotten really scary here in the wild, wild west of Brazil. The state has finally rushed to finish a new wing of the hospital. There are 100 new beds, including 10 new intensive care units and 20 more semi-intensive care complete with all new respirators and equipment. All beds in all medical facilities are full. They have quit publishing data. No test materials are available, so no new tests are being run. The death toll continues to rise. We are New York (of 2 months ago) times X factor of chaos.

 

Then 2 weeks ago they let all the stores reopen and churches to meet. Well that ought to work out really fine! I called for a special meeting with the pastors to discuss what we would be doing. We are not opening any time soon. Other churches started meeting, but with empty buildings. The people aren’t as stupid as the bigwigs think. The rules for reopening were draconian. The most troublesome was the presence of government monitors (spies) to check for compliance. In the past we have seen that the media do not show up to cover our mission programs, social programs, rehab programs or even our big Christmas or other events. I am sure that they would have been crashing the doors to check out our reopening. We don’t intend to give them or the state the satisfaction. We will come back when we feel that the Lord has led us to, in His time and in His way. The church is solid and doing well. We have actually seen an improvement in our giving. Our missionaries are being taken care of in a timely way and we are still able to do some minor work on our buildings.

 

We have authorized our small groups to meet and the band/praise groups to practice. Hundreds of our people have had the virus already. Supposedly many are already immune. We sadly did lose Brother José Nunes to this disease. We have many hospitalized.

 

Given the situation, most people don’t even go to try to find a doctor or the hospital. Most are just self-medicating based on what they see on TV and the internet. Those medications that are most highly recommended are not available here.

 

As for the Creiglows, we are trusting the Lord. We are being careful. We are still working though. In fact, I have been keeping my grandsons busy working for me. Just a couple of weeks ago, Alec (one of Andrew’s boys) got a full-time job. Andrew’s wife Eline is still employed. She works for GOL airlines, but since there are no flights she is at home with the little ones. Andrew continues to work. Crissy’s school is shut down for now. Dauro and I continue to work at camp. Actually, I have several construction projects going simultaneously. These are providing work for my grandsons and a couple of our church members. I don’t know how long I will be able to keep this up. Staying busy helps me out, too.

 

We have had quite a bit of really good family time and this, too, has been helpful.

 

Well sorry to bring such a gloomy report, but it is how things are right now. I sure hope things are better for all of you. We pray for you all the time and hope that you will remember us often in your prayers. Thank you again for praying for us and continuing to support us financially.

 

In Christ,

Mike Creiglow

Mike & Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig@hotmail.com
Personal Site

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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