At the moment we are planning to move to Brazil in the next few months. Late January of 2007 is our target. (It may depends when we sell our house) First we will be spending some time in the city of Porto Velho Brazil with the national director of Marine Reach (MarineReach.com). This will give us some time to learn the dynamics of running a boat ministry on the Amazon. This will also give me (Joe) some time to adjust to the new culture.
Next we will move to Jill’s (Edilma’s) home city of Belem. The city was founded in 1616 and flourished after a Scottish scientist named Dunlop discovered the usefulness of the natural latex rubber that grew in the area. It is a city of over 1.5 million people and is recognized worldwide as the Gateway to the Amazon.
Before all that occurs, several major things must happen first. #1 we must sell our house. #2 My good friend Gary must move from Wisconsin to take over the administration of the ministry. #3 Is we need to raise our ministry support. We are close to reaching our minimal ministry budget of $1700 a month. We would like to move on to our desired budget of $2400. This would include health insurance, savings and the cost of having a car. (Jill and I will pay for the car- we just can’t afford the operating costs.)
Now, the big question. What are we going to about a ministry boat? We have a few possibilities, but we are going to aim for the best possible option. While in Brazil, I met with a boat builder who has built boats for the Brazilian Bible Society. The cost will be in the realm of $250,000. Please understand there are several advantages to a boat built on the river. #1, we will avoid any import tax. #2, a riverboat will have 150% more usable interior space because it does not need to be engineered for ocean waves. #3, A newer boat will have more fuel-efficient engines saving the ministry thousands of dollars in the long run. #4, we can have the boat built to our ministry specifications. One last exciting thing is that the Bible Society will rent us their boat so we can take it for a “test drive”!!
In our last letter we asked you to pray over some financial challenges. After much consideration we took a step of faith and signed a new lease for the thrift store building. In addition God supplied a generous financial donation that has restored a great portion of our need. We ask that you continue to pray and invest in the work of the Missionary Resource Network.