It’s really a dream come true! We are very happy to have inaugurated our Amazon Lifesavers School of Missions building. As we look back we can see how God has been kind and faithful. In January of this year, we did not have a brick in place and not even 40% of the money needed to build the school. Today our building is fully paid for. The inauguration ceremony took place in September and was attended by about 250 people, most visiting Manaus for the annual FE conference (ASI Brazil convention). Pastor Erton Kohler, president of the South American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was present at the ceremony. Gilmar Zahn, president of the Northwest Brazilian Union, and the presidents of both local conferences also attended.
The construction was started by faith. God directed everything from the very beginning, starting with the company that was responsible for the work. Since Gustavo Queiroga, the responsible engineer, was also an Adventist, he understood that the construction would begin without having the full amount of money, and believed that God would provide the necessary funds as the construction went forward. The work was divided into five stages, and as the building grew, the donations continued arriving. Praise God!
Three years ago training missionaries at our base was just a dream. Then God sent us Andressa – the volunteer who helped us get it all started. The first course took place from February till April of 2013. Our first students had classes on the porch in front of the sleeping quarters. It was all very makeshift, but it was what had to offer. Then came the second, third and fourth classes. These students still didn’t have an ideal environment in which to study. We improvised by turning one of the dorm rooms (which was also used as a pharmacy) into a classroom to protect us from the rain.
But our students were not the only ones needing more appropriate facilities. The permanent volunteers who lived at our headquarters also worked in similar conditions. The Mills family home was “invaded” every day by 3 or 4 volunteers, and the living room of the house became our office for eight hours. Now, in our new school building, we have two classrooms which hold up to 40 students each, three offices and a pharmacy. All rooms are air-conditioned which has been a relief due to the extremely hot and humid Amazon weather. Now we are praying for further donations to pay for furniture and blinds.
Better than seeing the building finished is knowing that God has been with us, guiding everything step-by-step. Space to receive new students won’t be a problem, at least as far as the classrooms are concerned. The challenge now is to build more dormitories to house the many students requesting missionary training. Registrations for the next missions course are coming in as never before! We have many more people interested than we have vacancies. But if you would like to come, there is still time. Please register on our website and maybe you can spend the year of 2016 here with us.
If you would like to help Amazon Lifesavers Ministry, make a donation towards our next challenge which is to build more dorms to receive more missionaries. God bless you.