Of all of the countries in Latin America that I’ve had the privilege to work in, Cuba has in my heart a special and unique draw. In this world there are many challenges that can stretch us to our limits. In Cuba, though, I’ve experienced a perseverant and giving people who are genuine in their passion for God. It’s absolutely amazing and refreshing to your spirit to be around these wonderful people.
The Team . . .
This last team I had the privilege of hosting from JRC were both veterans and a few newbies, who all did an awesome job. Our team slogan for the whole trip was, “We move as one!” We also suffered as one, due to a virus of some sort that infected us. The local tonic of the day was “Onion Oil” and I’m not sure it made it worse or became the remedy. In spite of the circumstances, everyday the team was prepared to work and serve. A hundred pairs of new shoes were carried and given, tools for the job delivered, worship instrumentals were played, and testimonies shared. Everyone gave 100% and in return were blessed immensely by the loving Cuban people.
The Church . . .
The construction project at the church in Manzanillo is strategic to the area. The Pastor and congregation take seriously the responsibility God has given them to encourage and build up other surrounding churches. The special women’s ministry is another key part of growth in this area.
In a women’s meeting and several other services, we were given ample opportunity to encourage, pray, share, and minister. The team and I were excited to be a part of what God was doing. Some were saved and others experienced healing in their bodies.
The Project . . .
Altogether, in my estimation, the work in the church is half finished. To complete the building there is a need for several more teams willing to go and at least $80,000 in project funds to be donated. I join with the church in their excitement and hope in seeing the completion of this building.
Uruguay is one of the most stable countries economically and politically in Latin America, yet one of the hardest to reach with the gospel. It is the only atheistic country in the Americas and the only country in the world to have legalized abortion, same sex marriage, prostitution and marijuana. It has been called the most unevangelized nation in the Americas and the “Graveyard of Latin American Missions.” – Steve and Jill McCarthy, Missionaries to Uruguay
John and I joined Builders International in 2009, after serving with MAPS Constuction. I never thought our missions work would involve constructionas a ministry. Up until then our work had primarily consisted of pastoring and evangelizing as missionaries in the country of Guatemala. Today I can say without hesitation, how amazing it has been to be a part of Builders and grow with the development of this ministry.
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1 Corinthians 2:9
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love him.
THE LOWER AMAZON RIVER . . . When I hear the stories told by teams returning from the Amazon, I am amazed at what is being accomplished along the banks of this enormous river. Many of you may have heard of the movie that captures the majesty of the Montana wilderness called, A River Runs Through It. While the lower Amazon River does not display such beauty, it has an amazing uniqueness of its own. Outside of Manaus, the Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes converge forming the lower Amazon. Along its banks are villages full of families, linked to 300 unreached ethnic tribes nestled deep in the dense jungles. The river people make their home on the riverbanks like in the photo above.
The teams going join missionary Mark Lemos and board the blue vessel (river boat) in route to the villages along the riverbanks. They’re ready to work and build churches that will help village pastors reach further into the jungle. The teams are equipped with water filters, building supplies, medical, and most of all ready to share the love of Christ.
“The spiritual rivers run dark among people unaware of God’s grace. But as the stream of God’s workers flows into the region, there will be a meeting of the waters.” – Andy Raatz
At Builders International we believe everyone deserves a place to find HOPE. The Amazon river is a place where we are striving to bring that HOPE, where there is sickness, violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, murder and suicide.
There are more projects bringing HOPE through the construction ministry with the help of many appreciated volunteers and donors. It is our joy and privileged to be a part of this work and effort.
If you happened to journey deep into the heart of the Brazilian jungle, you might find a bright blue river boat gliding along the Amazon River! If you spotted this vessel, you also will find “willing vessels” on board, where they live together for a week at a time while working hard to build a church along the banks of this massive river.
We at Builders International join with missionaries around the world like Mark Lemos in Brazil, to be a network of teams and resources to help complete projects impacting communities.
Builders International missionary Tom Moore, recounted his recent journey down the river with one of our South Texas team:
“Our recent trip down the Amazon River in Brazil began with team members gathering at the departure gate in Miami to meet each other before our flight to Manaus, Brazil.
For some of the team members, this was their first construction missions trip. However, several had been on many construction missions trips throughout their lifetime!
Why would these team members give so much of their personal time and finances to make another trip like this? What motivates someone to make these kinds of sacrifices year after year?
Yes, it was on the Amazon River, but the work was hard. Most days it was very hot and several times we were all soaked by the tropical rain. There were no guided fishing trips with great photo ops. The food was adequate but nothing like a five-star restaurant.
Every person came for the same reason. To build a church for the purpose of spreading the gospel! The building we worked on will be a place where people can belong for years to come. Where hurting people can find hope. Men who are facing problems they cannot solve will find hope. Women who are struggling to deal with the hardships of daily life will find hope. Children trying to find their place in the world and deal with personal fears will find hope.
We did not build an ordinary structure. Yes, it is made of ordinary cement, block, steel, and roofing but it is so much more than that. We builta place where people can find hope, no matter what kind of problem they are facing.
When we said our goodbyes, boarded the boat for the last time, and headed up the river that we called home for a week…we all knew we were not only leaving behind a beautiful country called Brazil, but we were leaving behind a lasting legacy of life where hope can now be found!” – Tom Moore
If you are interested in joining efforts with us to in making a difference spreading hope and help to those communities around the world, please contact us!
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / 417.582.0003 / 1648 W. Lloyd St. Ozark, MO 65721
It is our goal a Builders International to be a network of teams and resources to help complete projects, which will move them toward greater effectiveness in this area of the world.