Mission Field: Brazil
Years of Service: 34
Home Church: Tabernacle Baptist Church
Missions Agency: Independent Baptist Fellowship International
Fort Worth, Texas
Our Missionary for 25 years
Family – Thank You for the personal prayers offered in behalf of our family. We see God’s protection, providence and direction every day in our lives and ministry. Nathaniel and boys are doing fine; please remember him these next two weeks as he faces legal issues involved in the guardianship of our two grandchildren. Philip continues his training courses and works up to 17 hours a day. Diana and I are doing fine these days, just bearing with the usual weather related ailments.
Bible Institutes – I am completing the 60-hour course on Daniel/Revelation, and finish classes on May 5. We are doing the much-needed yearly maintenance on the (IBBA) Bible Institute grounds: fixing and painting the sidewalks; painting buildings and perimeter wall; installing our new sign; and doing general maintenance after the heavy rains this year. This occupies our afternoons and involves the students, teaching them practical skills for the ministry: mixing and working concrete; painting; electrical; mowing and just simple shovel and hoe work.
Church Work – We hope to finish the series on the family at the Iranduba congregation (Mount Zion) in three weeks. We are programed for May at the church in the João Paulo suburb for a weekend conference on true biblical praise and worship; we are planning to do the prophecy conference (two Sundays) at Gethsemane Baptist at the end of May. March and April were spent helping the church in the Saint Augustine suburb with their parsonage; we finished the stairway; the electrical wiring is complete; now we await the material for the ceiling.
Youth Activity – The volleyball tournament for the youth was held here at IBBA on April 21. We invited just a few of the churches and had almost 200 present. This was also a fundraiser for the Bible school, and training in program organization and execution for the students. Tomorrow we take the students across the river for the weekend to further apply their training: they are responsible for the entire church program; children’s Bible club; youth meeting; Sunday school and evening services.
Interior Works – Missionary Marcílio called and said the building project for the Bible institute at Cumati Cachoeira (850 miles upriver) is under way, but a little behind schedule due to the chain saw breaking; it is needed to take the boards and other lumber out of the jungle, because the nearest saw mill is hundreds of miles away. He also hit the foot of his outboard on a rock, so I went looking for the needed parts to fix it, and will send them up on the boat.
Missionary Valmir is working hard to finish the parsonage of the church on Aparecida Island (690 miles upriver) and the churches here in Manaus are helping him buy a canoe to travel the rivers on his evangelistic trips. They have raised close to one thousand dollars so far. This is a very encouraging sign for us, as the country is in its worst economic crisis in history.
I encouraged one of our graduates and launched him on a very important ministry among the churches. Evangelist Celson has the task of promoting the Bible institute and helping our churches in Amazonas and neighboring states in missions and Bible conferences. I have prayed for someone to “do the work of an evangelist” (II Timothy 4:5) for many years.
The congregation in Beruri (140 miles upriver) sent in the monthly report this past week: March saw 3 saved, 2 reconciliations, and an entire family join.
I have continued to help Luis, the leader of the congregation at KM 6 (95 miles by road) on his motorbike project; it needs to be fixed, as it is his only transportation to town over the muddy, treacherous, crater filled stretch of “road” to Presidente Figueiredo, the nearest town.
Problems – We have been under the constant threat of robbery lately. Last week (April 10-14) we had thieves entering the IBBA complex four times, so Diana and I sleep in shifts. Our treasurer and his wife were held up at gunpoint at 7 A.M. right outside their house this week. As the economy continues to disintegrate, we expect things to get worse. Please continue to pray for the situation here.
Thank You – Just a few lines of appreciation to all who continue to stand with us. Many churches today have opted out of foreign missions projects, and we are grateful to you who still have the vision, and who take the scriptural commands seriously. Diana and I are committed to our calling to the end.
In His Service,
True and Diana Hawkins
IBBA students at Mt. Zion congregation
New IBBA sign
Youth Volleyball Tournament
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