Missionary Update: The Creiglows in Brazil [May 2013]

I really had no idea what I was getting into when I married Mike! Visiting another country was always something I wanted to do, but living in another one is a completely different story.

I grew up in city where there was running water, electricity, and telephone service 24 hours, paved roads, (cars, of course) and plenty of grocery stores. Even way back then there was a variety of products.

Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together for 40 years. 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.

When I arrived in Cruzeiro do Sul in 1971, there was a huge difference. Just for starters, electricity was only from 6–10 pm and there was no running water. Drinking water had to be carried in by a man who had pole across his shoulders, balancing two 5 gallon cans of well water. Rain water was caught off the roof for baths, etc. At that time I think there were only two or three bricked roads, dust in the dry season and mud in the rainy season. Only two seasons here.

It took me a while to adjust to this very different kind of life. There were many ups and downs. Insects galore! I never knew ants or caterpillars could be so harmful. Ever touch a fuzzy caterpillar that releases its “fuzz” in to your hand? It can be so painful and then itch for days. Then there are tarantulas, roaches and stink bugs that release oil that can burn you like a third degree burn. I finally did learn (and am still learning) what is hands off!

It can be depressing when you see everyone talking with their biological families; Dad, Mom, sisters and brothers. Mine were a few thousand miles away. I only get to see them every few years. Church became my family. Thank the Lord for them! I now have many “adopted” sisters, brothers and daughters. I’ve been asked if I’d ever want to return to the USA to live. I answer; ONLY if I can take my whole church family with me!! There is no church I have ever visited that comes close to First Baptist Church of Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre. I love my church.

My four children were born here. I am glad I raised them here without people breathing down my neck about how I could discipline them. I home schooled all of them through high school and then they took the GED. They learned two languages and two different cultures, besides many other advantages. Mike and I “adopted” a few sons, one of them being Odali Barros. Jader and Carlos are orphaned brothers who came to live with us as teens. They spent five years in our home and became brothers to my own children. My grandchildren call all of them uncle. Today Odaliis a missionary and ran a children’s home for years. Adam is the IT manager for a court house in CA. Monica is an office manager for a law firm in KY. Andrew owns River Craft that builds aluminum canoes and boats. Crissy, besides being a pastor’s wife, manages an English school. Jader graduated from law school and Carlos is a pilot. These last four still live in Brazil. They all make their mother (and Dad) proud.

All the Creiglows’ Children
Top Row (Left to Right): Adam, Monica, Andrew, Cristina
Bottom Row (Left to Right): Odali, Carlos, Jader

I don’t know where or what I would be doing today if I had not come to Brazil. The Lord knew though and wanted me here with Mike. I do my best to support him in all he does. I’m his full-time wife and part-time secretary. Brazil is my home for now and probably will be until I die.

Thank you for your support and prayers,
Beverly Creiglow

You can visit the Creiglows’ website at www.creiglowsinbrazil.com.

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

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Missionary Update: Roger & Julie Tate in Kenya [May 2013]

April 26, 2013

When Dave asked us ladies to write the newsletter this month in honor of Mother’s Day, I struggled with what to say…because there is too much to say. So, let me share just a couple of joys and struggles that I face here in Kenya as a missionary woman/wife/mother.

One of my absolute favorite things about living on the mission field here in Kenya is being among a multitude of people groups and nationalities. In the States, I knew a few isolated people who were not native to our country; but, in Kenya, my family has had to learn to co-exist peacefully and respectfully with people of many diverse ethnic groups: South Korean, Pakistani, Norwegian, Icelandic, German, Swiss, Swedish, Jewish, French, English, Danish, Indian, Tanzanian, not to mention the different tribes of Kenya with their unique cultures. There is so much beauty in living among these different cultures, because it’s just a little taste of Heaven. Don’t get me wrong; I love America. I love our American heritage, and I want my children to treasure it as much as I do. But, America is not all there is in this world; we are really only a small portion of it. I am so thankful God has given Roger and I – and our children – the opportunity to learn to love the diversity of people and cultures God has put on the earth. I am also thankful for the occasion it brings to grow, stretch, be humbled, and learn to extend mercy and grace in the midst of many challenging differences. It’s amazing how people can be so alike and yet so different at the same time! One of my favorite memories was when all our friends here in Kitale gathered around to wish Emily well as she left to go to boarding school for 9th grade. In our cozy living room were people from 5 different countries – including our Muslim friends from Pakistan and our Jewish missionary friends from Israel…peacefully together in the same room.

There are also many challenges. It is difficult living in a culture where finding trust-worthy people is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. It is difficult sticking out like a sore thumb, being stared at, and being seen as a potential resource rather than as a real friend or even as a fellow human being. It’s difficult watching my children try to develop friendships only to have the Kenyan children bribe them and use them. It makes us all deeply thankful for the few real friendships they have. But the most difficult challenge for me right now is getting ready to send Emily off to college. Here in just a few months, we will leave for furlough as a family of five knowing that when we return, there will be only four of us. In the middle of July, Emily will graduate from high school and then will have only a few weeks at home with us. Those weeks will be filled with a lot of “lasts.” She may never be here again. She won’t come home for Christmas, Spring break, or summer break. She can’t come for weekend visits – she’ll be 8,000 miles away, and a round-trip ticket is over $1,000.00. Grandparents and other family and friends will be doing all the things for her that we, her parents, should be doing. We’ve already had some lasts: this past Christmas was likely the last Christmas she’ll have with us at home – the last time decorating the tree together, the last time taking silly family pictures in front of our own tree, never getting to hike on Mt. Elgon again, never staying at Hampton House in Nairobi together again, never again seeing people who have come to be like family to her, not having family game and movie night together…and it goes on. There is high likelihood of not getting to know her future husband well, not being able to spend time with grandchildren and getting to know them. So many things I don’t feel quite ready to sacrifice. Actually, I don’t feel ready at all. And she is only the first; this will be the path for all of my children. In fact, it will start almost as soon as we return to Kenya because Amy will then – Lord willing – begin attending Rift Valley Academy (another challenge in Kenya is schooling; Kenyan teachers cane children, beating them even over the head and shoulders with rods) which means she will be away from home 9 months out of every year. It is suddenly very clear to me the degree of sacrifice being a missionary will entail in this area, and my mother’s heart hurts.

But God…He is good. He is faithful, and He is true. He is my all –in-all and the treasure of my heart. He is my comfort and my stay. When all the props are stripped away – the malls, the entertainment, the distractions of Western living…I see all the more…He is my strong tower, and He is the Lover of my soul. He is the Lover of my children’s souls. Ultimately, it is He, and not I, who ensures their lives and their paths. This is an area you can really pray for us right now; all of us, Emily, Amy, and Josiah included. We’re all hurting a bit right now.

~Julie Tate

Roger & Julie Tate (and Emily, Amy, & Josiah)
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
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