Brazil Mission Trip Update

There has been a change in plans for the Brazil Mission Trip – July 2016.  There are not enough team members to justify using the medical boat for a mission, so the parameters have changed. Medical care and other mission activities will be done via small boat travel to small communities near Boa Vista. This includes an indigenous tribal village.

 

The team is ready to accept donations of Tylenol, ibuprofen, vitamins, and children’s clothing. Pastor Augusto in Manaus will fill out our group with members from his church. We will need to buy antibiotics and worm pills in Brazil. So, instead of donating a big bottle of Tylenol, it would be just as helpful to receive a monetary donation for a similar amount. Cash or checks to the St. Paul’s July 2016 Brazil Mission would be extremely welcome.

 

Please contact Don Skillman for more information at 461-8061;

donskillman24@gmail.com

.


MISSION TRIP – BRAZIL – JULY 2016

You’ve heard about them. You’ve always wanted to go. You’ve seen the joy and sense of value in others when they return from a trip.  Now, it’s your turn. Don Skillman is putting together a team to go to Manaus, Brazil in late July 2016.  We will probably leave the USA on July 22, arriving in Manaus on July 23.  We will leave Manaus and come back to the USA on either July 31 or Aug 1.  It’s an overnight flight, so you’ll get to the USA a day after you leave Manaus.

Once we get to Manaus we’ll have 36-48 hours for tourism and acclimation while staying in a comfortable hotel.  Then we’ll go to a large boat where we’ll sleep in cabins with bunks (or possibly in hammocks) for the next five nights.  The boat will have a kitchen, bathrooms, showers, cooks, a meeting room, bathrooms, and perhaps a dental suite.  Pastor Augusto in Manaus is choosing the boat and we’ll use it to travel to several very small communities along the Amazon River where we will provide basic medical care, teach dental hygiene, distribute toothbrushes, assess vision and give away reading glasses, play with children, and make friends with everybody.  These last two items may be the most valuable thing we do, and it will be the part you enjoy the most.

We are not on a mission to recruit people to our church or any other with preaching and evangelism.  It’s all about selfless service and building relations.  As John Wesley said “Preach constantly! When necessary, use words!”  (He also said, “Don’t send help to the needy.  Take it!”)
 

I won’t promise that a trip like this will change your life, but I certainly won’t be surprised if it does.  You will serve some of the very poorest people in the world. They are people with the warmest smiles, people with the most gracious hearts, people with a spirit just like your own.

Major expenses are airfare, a passport, a Brazilian visa, and possibly some vaccines.  (There are rumors that Brazil will waive the visa requirement this summer because of the Olympic games being there!)  Please contact Don Skillman for more information – and don’t delay!  406-461-8061; donskillman24@gmail.com
brazil boat don s

 



Brazil Mission Update 2

 
It’s encouraging to build things because you get a concrete vision of what your labor accomplished at the end of each day.  Our team (with no surprise) spontaneously evolved into a highly efficient “amorphous blob” (Ron Waterman’s term) that does everything and anything with the constantly changing combination of people and skill sets to get the job done. We’ll explain further when we can.
The local people learned that I am a doctor. Each day a few will approach and ask if I can help with an ailment or two. Our robust first aid kit is all that I’ve got, and it has helped a lot. In two occasions I was asked to follow someone home because someone there was too sick to come to me.
 
Once it was to see a man if 59 years old. Decades of untreated diabetes made him appear more like 75 years. He was super sick. That was immediately evident from the horrendous stench of decaying flesh that surrounded him. He was sitting in a chair with his feet elevated on another chair in front of him. Both feet were wrapped in bloody gauze. Frank pus oozed from under the bandages. His legs were tremendously swollen, to the point that edema fluid dripped through the skin. Blood and pus were all around his left ear. His abdomen was hugely swollen with fluid. He clearly had end-stage kidney failure with massive fluid overload, and was horribly infected as well.
 
The scene of suffering and the overwhelming smell of dead flesh was too much for the New York nurse with me. She left her meager supplies and had to go. The Brazilian girl who brought me to him had to leave the house and sit outside.
Somehow I was able to talk with him and change the dressing on the foot that hurt the most. It was terribly infected, deep into the flesh and bones, draining pus and dark blood.
 
I gave him all of our narcotics and a few supplies. Then I stretched the limits of my comfort zone and asked him if he wanted me to pray with him. He said, “yes, definitely.”  So I knelt by his side and held his filthy contaminated hand that id watched him pick at his wounds with and began to pray out loud for him. He started to sob deeply as I did so. It broke my heart. I had to go be alone for awhile. Much later when I was able to share this with Mike, I told him that I was doing OK until Jesus walked into the room and blessed us both. It was intensely powerful.
 
By Mission Team Leader – Don Skillman


Brazil Mission Update 1

Our Mission Team has sent another great group of disciples to Brazil this February to help build a church.  However, a church is not all they are building.  I learned from Don Skillman our team leader that the relationships they are forming, the personal care, and mostly the prayer they are providing are building bigger things that churches.  Don described praying with a person riddled with disease and the powerful experience of sharing grace and love with another.  Continue to pray for the team and enjoy the pictures.
 
 

by Pastor Tyler



Want to help build a church? – Brazil Trip February 2016

  • building2 amazonDepart Montana on 19 February
  • Arrive in Manaus 20 February
  • Work in Boa Vista 22 – 27 February
  • Leave Brazil 28 February
  • Arrive back in Montana 29 February

 

 The church is in a small town called Boa Vista, in a region referred to as “Alto Manaquiri”. The nearest real town is 40 minutes away, called Manaquiri. Manaus is about 4 hours down the Rio Solimoes from Manaquiri, by fast passenger boat.

 

Construction still needed:

Concrete sub-floor                    Doors                      Windows

Electrical work                             Bathrooms

building

In the photos I can see a lot of wood planks on the ground. These are for the walls. They will be nailed up. There may be some brick work, but a lot of bricks are not waiting there.

 

 

 

 

Tools On Site:

1 electric saw             1 big electric screwdriver             1 big square

1 small drill                                    Various screwdrivers                       Shovel, hoes

 

Tools NOT On Site:

Hammers                      Tape measures                                    Hand saws           Anything else

 

Other Information:

We can sleep in the Methodist Church in Manaus when there. On mats on the floor, for free.

Or we can get rooms in a nice hotel when in Manaus. About $65 per night x 3 nights total (the 5 of us coming from Helena have opted for the hotel.)

 

During the work week we will stay in a hotel in the town of Manaquiri

50 reais per person per night (US$14.00 x 6 = $81)

Air-conditioning; Real beds; Television (Portuguese)

Breakfast and Supper will be in Manaquiri

It’s 30 – 40 minutes by boat to the work site (this will be enjoyable)

Transport boat rental is 500 reais/day ($135/day x 6 days = $810). Boat holds 12 people

 

Lunch and afternoon snack will be in Boa Vista

Cook’s pay and food for the week = 5,000 reais = $1,351

Tools can be safely stored at Mr. Neca’s house (The community leader.)

Breakfast and Supper in Manaquiri ( ?? $20 per person per day ??)

 

Building Supplies: Estimated to be 13,000 reais.

1 dollar = 3.7 reais currently                         13,000 reais = US $3,513

 

Team Expenses (in US dollars):

Building Materials                                               3,513

Daily Boat, Manaquiri to Boa Vista             810

Cook and Food, etc in Boa Vista

1,351

Total = $5,674

[Fund raising has already reached about $1,500 for Team Expenses. So make this Total = $4,174.]

If the team is 10 people = $420 per person

If the team is 7 people = $600 per person

PLEASE NOTE: The exchange rate of reais per dollar can change at any time, for better or for worse. So these numbers are not exact.

 

Individual Expenses (In approximate US Dollars):

Manaus Hotel                                                         200 (total for 3 nights)

Manaquiri Hotel                                                    81 (total for six nights)

Meals in Manaquiri                                             85 (total for six days)

Meals in Manaus                                                  100 (total for 3 days)

Tourism

100

Total =   $566

 

Adding it All Up:

Team costs, assuming 7 people     600

Individual costs         566

Total = $1,166

Plus 10% because you’d be crazy not to plan for it = $120 + $1,166 = $1,286

 

Plus

Brazil Visa if you need one, costs about $200

Plus

 Your airfare (We have paid $952 – $1350 each coming from Helena).

 

NOTES
I have applied for $2,000 from our church which will be used to further reduce team expenses. If we get all of it, the total cost will go down by $285 for each mission team member.

 

Point of Contact
Don Skillman;   406-461-8061;                   Donskillman24@gmail.com


Guatemala Mission Team Report – 2015

GuatemalaA group of youth and adults from St. Paul’s went to Guatemala to share in mission this past summer.  On Sunday, August 30th they shared a powerful reflection during church.  We invite you to learn more about the work our team did, and consider supporting or going on Mission Trip with St. Paul’s in the near future.

Click Here to read about the adventures on the team’s blog.