November 2015 Newsletter

Dear Family and Friends,

Denise and I are finally here in Macapá! As you probably remember, we moved to by river barge about 300 miles from our home in Altamira. We are in the process of getting settled into our new home and into our new ministry. We couldn’t be any more excited to get started and find our place here.

After saying our goodbyes in Altamira, we were ready to get going. We knew that the trip from Altamira to Macapá was going to be interesting, but we had no idea what was in store for us. The first leg of the trip was to load a moving truck that would take all of our belongings about 45 minutes from Altamira to the small town of Vitoria, where we would then have to move everything again from the truck onto the boat. We had plenty of help in Altamira. We had many friends show up to help and say goodbye. We also had two friends from Macapá come and help with the move.

Denise and I being sent out from the Altamira church

Loading the truck

The boat that took us to Macapá

After moving all our things onto the truck and then moving them once again from the truck to the boat, we were pretty worn out and were ready to get the show on the road. The boat’s captain waited until the tide came in and at about 6:00pm we were on our way! Or so we thought…. After only about 30 minutes into the trip, we began to notice a scraping sound coming from the bottom of the boat – we were sliding across the bottom of the river bed. After about five minutes hearing the scraping, our fears were realized…. we came to a complete stop. It is currently dry season in Brazil and the water levels are really low. It seems that the boat’s captain might have been a bit ambitious with the amount of weight that was loaded onto the boat. After trying to break free for the next few hours, it was decided to wait until morning when the tide came back in to try again…

Denise, Felipe & Fred on the boat

Waiting to be unstuck

The animals’ sad home on the boat

Our sleeping arrangements on the boat

This is the type of scenario that has been one of the biggest adjustments for me in North Brazil, the twists and turns of life. I’ve realized that I need to always keep a loose grip on my expectations. After a restless night of sleep, it was time for the captain to try again. Once the tide was up, the boat’s motors roared – but to no avail. We were not moving. After hours of trying, it was decided that we would have to wait until night for the tide to rise again. As night approached and it was time to give it another try, I’ll be honest – I wasn’t feeling very optimistic. After about an hour of trying to get free, I couldn’t believe it when we started moving!! One of the boat’s propellers broke in the process, but we were on our way. We were very happy! So what was originally supposed to be a 30-hour trip turned into a 75-hour trip. The journey was definitely stressful, but we made it. Another moving truck met us at the boat and then it was just a 45 minute drive to our new house.

Once in our home, Denise and I spent the day resting and thanking God that we were finally here. We are so thankful – thankful for the new adventure, thankful for God’s direction, thankful for all our friends’ prayers and support.

Macapá Vineyard

Us being ordained as pastors by Pastor Felipe

This is definitely a period where we could use some prayer:

1) Prayer for God’s favor.

2) Prayer for wisdom.

3) Prayer against loneliness.

In the short time we have been here, we have felt covered in all these areas and are so thankful for you. We can’t wait to share all our future adventures with you!

In His Service,

Christopher and Denise

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