Powerful Testimonies

Powerful Testimonies

In October of 2012 Project AmaZon was visited by a filmmaker to record several of our stories. Peter Craig, leading the ministry Moving Works — a ministry dedicated to bringing glory to God by showing what God is doing around the world — filmed enough for several different stories. The first two films are out, and they are powerful!

The first movie that came out was focused on our missionaries Nate & Ruth Reutter. Nate & Ruth were only moments away from having their first child while serving as missionaries in Santarém, along the Amazon River in Brazil. Then everything changed…most dramatically their faith in Christ and His living Word. Get some Kleenex ready for this one…

Blessed | Matthew 5:4 from Moving Works on Vimeo.

The second movie to come out looks at the testimony of Josiah Huber, son of PAZ founders Luke & Christine Huber. Josiah grew up in the Amazon completely convinced that he was luckiest kid on Earth, but when tragedy struck at the age of 13, God revealed to him a much greater identity.

Josiah from Moving Works on Vimeo.

We hope you are encouraged by these testimonies. Your prayers and support make all the difference in our efforts in church-planting and disciple-making!

What a Conference!

What a Conference!

View from our campground

View from our campground

What a week it was! With over 600 people at the PAZ leadership conference, it was wonderful to see everyone work together to make it an unforgettable week. God truly answered prayer, even in the little things, like giving us excellent weather. And, the only major safety incident was one lady being stung by a sting-ray. However, she received rapid treatment using electric shock (as in Taser–that’s another story) and was up and around quickly.

One of the highlights was praying over the team that left this week for São Luis, Maranhão, to start our PAZ base there—the last state of the Amazon Basin in which we do not have a presence! And we announced that at year end we had a total of 642 churches and new church plants! That leaves 358 to go to reach our interim goal of 1000 by the end of 2014! That’s a challenging goal but we serve a mighty big God who does “exceeding abundantly beyond all we ask or think” (Eph 3:20)!!

Praying over the Sao Luis team

Praying over the Sao Luis team

The training in “Storying” left everyone excited about the opportunities to practice this means of presenting the Gospel in all aspects of ministry—from cell groups to church services. And as people discovered their spiritual gifts and how to use them in day-to-day living, all went away with great expectancy of what God is going to do through each person!

Hats off to the wonderful team of missionaries God has given us to make this all possible! And thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support that continues to fan the flames of outreach in the Amazon and beyond!

We appreciate you so much!

On to Saint Louis!! (Not Missouri)

On to Saint Louis!! (Not Missouri)

As part of our strategic plan, every two years PAZ has been opening a new base of operation in the capital cities of the nine states that comprise the Amazon Basin in Brazil. These are major centers of influence on the surrounding areas, and we plant strong churches in these cities that will have the financial and personnel resources to take the Gospel to the interior villages of each state. We are excited that in January we will be sending a team to the capital city of São Luis in Maranhão, the last of these nine states!

Pastor Elson and family

Pastor Elson and family

Pr. Elson, the leader of our Mt. Alegre base, will be leading the team comprised of key pastors and leaders from different churches under his leadership. What a sacrifice each one is making! These five families are leaving established, successful ministries; are leaving the security and stability of being in familiar surroundings; are leaving homes, friends and relatives to start from scratch; and will face new and different challenges in a city that is completely different than anywhere they have ever lived.

The individual churches that are sending these leaders are so excited to be a part of establishing the São Luis base and are providing a large part of the necessary financial support for the workers, but that is only a small part of the cost of establishing the base. That’s where PAZ will also come along side to help with moving expenses, land purchases, building projects, vehicles and boats for reaching the interior, training materials, etc.

São Luis, last capital city in an Amazon state to reach!

São Luis, last capital city in an Amazon state to reach!

Would you partner with us financially to establish this base? Please pray for the team regularly as they make this major transition in their lives and face new challenges. Your prayer and financial support make such a difference!

As we celebrate Christmas remembering the great sacrifice that Christ made to leave the comforts of “home”, live among us and bring us life, celebrate with us as this dedicated team leaves the comforts of home to take life to those who need His love.

Thank you for blessing us so much this year and may God continue to use you to impact the Amazon!

In Christ,


Jeff and Becky – for the PAZ team!



The team ready to go!

The team ready to go!

Progressing & Blessing

Progressing & Blessing

What does a successful missionary effort look like?

Missions strategists assert that a healthy outcome of a mission work is the rise of a national church that is self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing. The foreign mission enters a spiritually needy area as pioneer, nurtures a fledgling national church in a parental role, then becomes more of an equal partner as the church grows and matures. Finally, when the national church is fully mature and self-sufficient, the mission continues to participate in helping the church accomplish its goals of growth, soul-winning, church planting, etc.*

By God’s grace, Project AmaZon has been party to just such an exciting progression and to a degree “…exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” (Eph. 3:20)!

Luke Huber with several young Brazilian workers in Feb 1977.

Luke Huber with several young Brazilian workers in Feb 1977.

In 1976, when Luke & Christine Huber and several Brazilians first began evangelizing in the Amazon region, they confronted a great famine of the Gospel and a desperate need for the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Tens of thousands of villages scattered remotely along the rivers and throughout the jungle were without a single evangelical church or other Christian witness in their midst.

Only thirty-six years ago there was not yet a single PAZ church, and Project AmaZon was just a small group of dedicated missionaries.

The ADM Model has at its heart one-to-one discipleship

The ADM Model has at its heart one-to-one discipleship

Today, by God’s grace, the years of zeal, perseverance, and strategic focus have brought about great fruit. A large, robust, nationally led Brazilian church has been established, legally registered in Brazil as the Igreja da Paz, or Church of Peace. In addition to dozens of thriving urban churches, more than 500 smaller churches have been planted in the villages of the Amazon region. The Igreja da PAZ is recognized throughout Brazil, and around the world, for its missionary fervor and highly successful ministry model emphasizing small “cell” groups and one-to-one discipleship for all believers.

Jesus’ mandate in Acts 1:8 has always been close to PAZ’s heart, “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth….” PAZ has a huge presence and influence in Santarém (our Jerusalem); is about to establish a regional base in Maranhão, the last of nine states comprising the Amazon Basin (our Judea); has begun expansion into capitol cities in the rest of Brazil (Samaria), and is now casting its vision to the ends of the earth!

God is doing great and exciting things, and PAZ is striving to fulfill the great commission to “…go, and make disciples of all nations…” (Mat. 28:19). We are so thankful for your participation with us that has made this progress possible!

A typical PAZ river church, accessible only by boat.

A typical PAZ river church, accessible only by boat.

As we move ahead into all of Brazil and new parts of the world, we are very conscious of the fact that in our primary field of labor, the Amazon region, the work is far from done. Even though we have taken the Gospel to many hundreds of remote villages, there are still an estimated 30,000 villages in the Amazon Basin with no evangelical church! The people of these villages are a simple but precious folk, largely ignored and forgotten by the government and by society at large. We cannot rest until each person in these tens of thousands of villages has heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, and has a place to worship, learn, and grow in his faith.

Your support is making an impact in reaching these villages! We praise God for your faithfulness in helping us with this great challenge.

Thank you so much!

Jeff and Becky—for the PAZ Team

Joyful inauguration of a new PAZ church on the Amazon River

Joyful inauguration of a new PAZ church on the Amazon River

*Harold Fuller, Mission-Church Dynamics: How to Change Bicultural Tensions Into Dynamic Missionary Outreach. See also the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Reader, page 256.
On An Amazon Highway: Sinop

On An Amazon Highway: Sinop

Pastor Jeff with Sinop leaders and pastors Vitorio and Maria

It took twenty-nine hours in a bus, going down a dusty, unpaved amazon highway to reach our final destination: Sinop, Mato Grosso. Two and a half years ago a team of 25 people moved from Santarém to this city of about 140,000 population to start a new base.  Jeff and I were now being invited to hold the first Family Conference.  Plane tickets were so expensive that we decided to try the bus — and it was quite the adventure!
 
The PAZ Church in Sinop is led by Pastors Vitorio and Maria.  They have grown to a congregation of over 450 people, with 2 services in the main building and one service at another campus 7 kilometers away.  Although they have faced their fair share of difficulties, they are rejoicing in the Lord and excited about the future.  So far the church locations are rented, but they have purchased land for a future building.  We had the privilege of spending time with the leadership and were so blessed to see how united they are and how they “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” (Heb 10:24)

The leaders of the Paz church in Sinop

The leaders of the Paz church in Sinop

Join us in prayer for some of their main requests:
1.  For the continued unity and spiritual growth of the leadership.
2.  For the healthy growth and multiplication of their cell/home groups — a sign of people being saved and well cared for. (They have 45 cells now and expect to have 70 by the end of the year.)
3.  For the financial resources to build their own sanctuary and plenty of classrooms for children’s ministry and our Bible school.
 
Rejoice with us as we see this exciting progress!
May God bless each of you!
Becky — for Jeff and the PAZ Team