Little Drummer Boy Grows Up!

Little Drummer Boy Grows Up!

It was 13 years ago that we featured the Drummer Boy in our December update, a 14 year old whose story gripped our hearts. Diemenson was raised in the jungle community of Renascer (which means “born again"). At the age of 11 he gave his life to Jesus and desired to serve Him with all his heart. He really wanted to be a musician but time and time again his efforts ended in frustration. One day a friend encouraged him with the words from Joel 3:10, "… Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’” At that point he decided “I am not going to give up” and constructed a homemade set of drums from tin cans, lids, and a plastic jug. With unfailing tenacity he learned to play and became a proficient drummer!

During a visit of an American team to Renascer, Diemenson played his drums for us singing with all his heart to the Lord. We were all touched and the group ended up buying him a real set of drums which he played in the church.

To continue his education, Diemenson moved to the city, living with different relatives and working to pay his education. He earned a degree in Environmental Technology, married his beautiful wife Andrya, and now has an 8 month old daughter Ana Dávila. Andrya is studying to be a pharmacist. They have purchased land and plan to build a home. God has prospered Diemenson as he continues to serve his first love—the Lord. He is now a worship leader in one of our larger growing churches, leads a weekly small group and is part of the leadership team for the youth. Diemenson describes the changes in his life as supernatural! Although he is a drummer, the PAZ Church he attends needed a guitarist, so he taught himself the guitar and now leads worship with the guitar.

And that’s what PAZ is all about—planting churches that reach the unreached with the Gospel that transforms lives. The thousands of vibrant “Diemensons" that are being raised up are part of your fruit as you invest in this ministry.

Would you consider helping us train and equip more leaders like Diemerson by donating to PAZ?
You can do so by clicking here.

Persistent, Powerful Faith!

Persistent, Powerful Faith!

Luciene accepted Christ in Manaus before returning to her home village of Suruacá on the banks of the Tapajos River (a tributary of the Amazon). She would share Christ with her husband, Salu, but he was full of doubts. Time passed; then one day God met him in a special way. While hunting alone in the jungle, Salu suddenly got a sharp pain in his chest, fell down and passed out. When he awoke, a voice, the voice of God, said, “From today forward, I want you to give up everything and start serving Me.” He knew God was calling him to be a Christian. He accepted Christ, and Luciene and Salu began meetings in their home. It started as family devotions and expanded into a cell group. The house became too small and the group found another location to meet, one that was larger and public.

However, once public, the persecution began. The leadership of the community threatened to kick her family out of the community and burn her house. They discouraged people from attending meetings telling them they were being deceived. People stopped attending. The cell group meetings ceased. The family started back at square one and continued to remain faithful with family devotions instead. God continued to touch hearts, and as time continued, people started to return, deciding to remain in the truth of the Word of God rather than give in to the accusations of man. Luciene needed help, wanted to see a church planted, and asked PAZ for assistance.

Seven years ago, I was part of a team that used the medical ministry to open doors to plant churches on the Tapajos River. At Suruacá we asked the community leadership permission to treat their people with medical and dental assistance and to hold an evangelistic service in the evening. They refused us. As a result, our medical boat went to a nearby village and those from Suruacá who needed help had to make the journey to get treatment.

Now, seven years later, Luciene, with the clout of having a “following”, invited us back to Suruacá. I went with another medical team and volunteers to treat patients during the day as well as have activities with kids of the village. A church service was held on the exact spot, where years prior, the council had persecuted and tried to banish her family because of their faith. There, in that place, nearly 30 people gave their lives to Christ! Agree with us in prayer that the community leaders will now allow us to build a church in Suruacá.

Luke 1:45 says, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” From the faithfulness and steadfastness of one woman arose a community of new believers and a church. God honored Luciene’s faithfulness!

A typical medical trip costs around $3,000 which includes the cost of medicines, fuel, food, crew, etc. We offset the costs as much as possible using volunteers, donations of medicines, etc. These trips are part of our overall church planting program and a very important strategy for opening the communities to the Gospel. Would you give a donation to help sponsor one of these trips?

You can click here to take you to the donate page where you can select Medical and Social Assistance in the dropdown box and make a donation.

Thanks so much for your participation with us in reaching communities like Suruacá!

For the PAZ team,

Becky Hrubik

God found trash but made it a treasure!

God found trash but made it a treasure!

Canadian Team

It was a very special day as our boat headed to Boca do Aritapera with our visiting team from Canada and Brazilian health professionals and local volunteers. Prepared for the heat, dust, and whatever challenges we would face, we looked forward to supporting the church planting effort by providing health and dental care, children’s activities, evangelism and special meetings for the local women as well as helping to build a new church building. We were once again witnessing the power of God to change lives in this community through the persistence and endurance of people like the local leader, Aldo. He relates:

“I had been addicted to alcohol and drugs since my youth. I provoked people and ended up in physical fights many times. My family suffered as I failed to provide basic provisions and they lived in a state of tension because of my hostile nature. Then one day I got into a fight and was stabbed. I went into a coma for 15 days while God showed me hell, heaven, and the Earth and what He is planning to do. Then God miraculously brought me out of the coma. My wife and I gave our hearts to the Lord but it took years before I had complete victory over my addictions. I tell people, ‘God found trash but made something luxurious from it’! Our four children also received Christ at a young age. As I grew in the Lord my heart burned to let everyone know the saving grace I had experienced and, together with my whole family, we evangelized our neighboring communities.”

2 of Their Kids, Aldo and wife.

Aldo and his wife are now leaders of three churches and are reaching out in four additional communities building up the body of believers and training leaders through discipleship and cell group meetings.

Two months later we returned for the festive dedication of the new church building. Boatloads of people arrived from surrounding communities to celebrate with a huge fish fry and then “packed the house” for a memorable night. They heard the exciting history of the PAZ Church, a challenging word, and then all thanked God for bringing light into the darkness of this community!

Thanks for blessing PAZ with your faithful giving to this ministry. This story is being repeated time and time again across the Amazon! We are seeing the multiplied return as people like Aldo have their lives transformed and pay the price to reach other communities with the Gospel. Your financial contributions, as well as visiting teams, help us come alongside these workers with assistance that accelerates the outreach, building new churches, providing boats and other transportation, etc.

As we celebrate Christmas—God giving us His most precious Gift, Jesus, may we give Him our best in 2019!

Merry Christmas! We love you!

Viktoria Fulop—for the PAZ Team Guest House Coordinator

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat…”

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat…”

Dear PAZ Friends and Family,

As I talked with Pastor Lima by phone, we cried together as he shared the desperate situation of the thousands of people fleeing from Venezuela seeking refuge in his northern Brazilian city of Boa Vista. Some have walked up to 220km (137 mi.) to get there, with many arriving sick and malnourished, bringing only what they can carry on their backs.

Shelters provided by the UN and the military are full with thousands living wherever there is space—bus stations, open squares, etc. It is heart breaking to see women and children living in vacant lots with little food and minimal protection from the elements with the rainy season approaching. People scrounge through the trash for something to eat—and that is on the Brazil side of the border. In Venezuela, where the situation is worse, people are paying high prices for spoiled meat when it is available. Basic necessities are more and more scarce. Crime is on the rise as people struggle to cope.

Our Boa Vista church is reaching out to the Venezuelans in the city with meals and financial assistance for lodging and medical assistance. The setting provides the opportunity to show the love of Christ meeting both spiritual and physical needs. Besides a weekly Spanish service with free Sunday morning breakfast, the church is also sending truckloads of food and supplies to the PAZ church they planted in Maturim, Venezuela for distribution. You can imagine how dangerous it is to drive a truckload of food through a nation that’s going hungry! But God has given us favor in the fact that the former Venezuelan consul to Brazil, a strong Christian, is the president of our church in Maturim. Because of his credentials as a former military leader, he has favor with the government which has facilitated the process of getting supplies into the country.

The needs of the Venezuelans has put a financial strain on the church as it reaches out to help. We would like to bless the churches in Boa Vista and Maturim with this outreach. Would you prayerfully consider sending a special donation this month to help with the suffering people of Venezuela?

As Jesus said, “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. …Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
(Mt 25:35-36, 40)

Thank you so much for your help with this special need!

For the PAZ team,

Jeff & Becky Hrubik