When you are serving God one of the most comforting things is to know God is with you, and watching doors open up before you. We have been Christians long enough to know that there will be times of trial and testing. But this is not that season. This is a season of tremendous blessing.
First of all, our container ( consisting of all our belongings ) arrived shortly after our last news letter, which made the container over 2 months late. Yes some things were missing but the things missing made no sense. Things like Christian Books and DVD’s in English. Why would a Portuguese speaking person take those? Also missing were some battery powered tools. They took the tools but I have the battery and charger ?!?!. Good new is nothing important was stolen or damaged, and we have moved into our new mission base and are now able to host groups of up to 16 people.
The boat we charter
What is even more of a blessing is that during the last 4 months of relationship building, we have been able to share our vision with churches, mission bases, missions conferences and Pastors meetings. The end result has been nothing short of exciting. We have been donated a new 42 foot boat that has never been in the water. Next we were donated an engine and generator. The generator is far to big to be installed in the boat but the engine is exactly the recommended size for the boat’s main propulsion. In addition to all this we have been offered some free land.
All these blessing have helped boost our faith to a high level, and we are very excited about the future of the ministry here in Brazil. In addition to the blessings above, we were finally able to sell the 45 foot Chris Craft boat that was donated in the USA over a year ago. So as the ministry is now, we have a ministry boat in Brazil and the financial proceeds from the boat sale in the USA. The boat in Brazil will need some investment to outfit it properly, but we are in a position to do so right away. One more notable blessing. During my last visit to the USA we were donated an outboard motor for our small launch boat, this will enable us to search our more obscure ministry sites without having to use the larger 42 foot boat.
Our new boat, the Bethesda
New ministry boat
Our new ministry boat will be called the Bethesda- as we vision the boat to be a place of mercy and healing for those living along the Amazon River. But even before the Bethesda is full operational we have been chartering boats for outreach along the river. We have even had groups as large as 32 join us to serve in our pre-chosen ministry sites. We are happy to report that we have already seen results, and people have come to know Jesus in a personal way. Although we have done many public functions like children’s activities, minor medical and dental outreaches, it has been the one on one, door to door interaction that has been the most effective. In one instant we had a whole household come to know God. Now that seeds have been planted in that village, we will be planning to return on a regular basis to promote discipleship and plant a church for long term stability. Please continue to pray for the continual ministry in the village of “Joao Pilatos” and the new converts there.
The ministry is growing fast
As the ministry is growing fast, we have accepted our first official staff members, Brazilians, Leondro and Maria will join us full time January 1st. ( they are getting married December 15th. Both of them have been missionaries for more than 5 years and specifically working with River-people for the past 2 years. We met at one of the mission bases where Jill and I spoke. After talking and praying over a few weeks time, we saw how beneficial it would be to work together long term.
The outreach group
The above blessings have led us speed up our time table in many areas. Because we have been provided with a boat and other provisions so quickly, we have decided to pass the Missionary Resource Network on to new leadership. This will allow us to focus fully on what God is doing in Brazil. The Thrift Store and shipping warehouse will also fall under the new leadership. Pastor Orlando Arguelles has been running thing for the last year and will continue to do so in the future.
I must take the time to thank all of you that have supported myself and the Missionary Resource Network for the past 8 years. We started with a vision and ended up with a fruitful ministry that helped over 100 missionaries in 17 countries. Our containers of missionary supplies continue to have lasting fruit years after they arrive. As the board of directors moved to make the changes in leadership, we made certain the vision, focus, and purpose of the ministry would not change. Missionary Resource lives on……
Other ministry aspects in Brazil continue as usual. We teach a Bible study every Wednesday night, teach our outreach “True Life” in English once a month, and constantly speak in churches about the ministry of Amazon Reach. As we become better know, we pray that churches will send evangelism teams to work on our boat every weekend. We have several churches currently ready for this type of outreach.
The door to evangelism
As you have read we are in a time of blessing and are leaving 2008 clearly in the black. But through the troubled economic times we now face, some of our supporting entities have not been able to send there committed support to us. Even with this handicap, God has provided in unexpected miracles along the way. But it is our desire to be able to plan ahead for 2009. Most of our 2008 support came in the way of one-time gifts that we divided onto a monthly budget. It is our prayer that if you supported us during 2008 that you will consider doing the same in 2009. We operate on a budget of $1700 – $2100 a month depending on the exchange rate. At the moment the exchange is in our favor by more than 19% then when we first arrived, so it is in fact, an excellent time to give.
New donation procedures
Starting now, and officially in 2009 all ( tax deductible) financial donations should be made to “Amazon Reach”. This account includes personal support for Jill and myself, as well as all our outreach expenses. Please consider how you might invest in this ministry. Our new mailing address is 5570 Lakeside Drive, Margate, Florida, 33063. This might change once we establish a new office once the ministry grows.
Kids doing evangelistic crafts
Now that we are settled and the stage is set for our focused ministry on the river, our updates will be more regular. We now have a blog at http://AmazonReach.Blogspot.com
this will give you current information and pictures at any time you want to know what is happening. Our official web site is AmazonReach.com and we continue to develop the dynamics of the site. You may also email us at any time at (Joe) Jnovelo@juno.com and Jill at ERNovelo@hotmail.com
We would love to hear from you.
#1.) Jill’s health, she has been waking up out of deep sleep with her heart pounding. She has an “extra circuit” in her heart and it is triggered by stress (living with me is not easy) Please pray for her healing or a proper medication for this situation to stop. #2.) Wisdom on how to outfit our new boat, Yes the boat is ours but it is only a floating shell. We must install an Engine, Transmission, Generator, Steering gear, Seats, and Safety equipment. #3.) For God’s continual provision, We still have a vision for a larger boat that people can sleep on overnight. This will allow us to go deeper into the jungle where there is greater need. A boat of over 60 feet is the eventual goal. We are still waiting to hear from a ministry that has a boat like this, they are in the market to sell it but may make a partial donation. #4.) To have church teams from the USA coma and get involved. We are now ready for groups to do short term outreaches with us. Please help us get the word out to churches in your area. #5.) pray for all future aspects of Amazon Reach. As the ministry grows there is much wisdom needed.
Joe and Edilma (Jill) Novelo