Doug Dennis Ministries July 2017 Newsletter
Veronica, James, Ana and I are doing well here in Venezuela. This past month I finally had a successful trip in the Amazon region of Brazil. While in the Amazon I preached among the indigenous peoples there. I have tried to preach to the tribes in the Amazon region in Brazil a few other times before but an organization called “Funai” has always stopped me. You need their permission to go to any of the different tribes in Brazil. Once even an Indigenous man invited me to his tribe but Funai wouldn’t allow it. This time going to the Amazon in Brazil was different. I feel that God gave me favor and opened a door to preach.
I took a plane to Manus and then I went to Sao Paulo de Olivenca the town where my Brazilian friend, Renildo, is from. There are no roads to get to this town. It’s around a 5 day trip from Manus going up river, on a river boat. We were somewhat in a hurry so we went in a speedboat upriver that took 33 hours going straight there. After preaching at the different Indigenous communities we left by taking a river boat which took 60 hours going downstream. (Going upstream it takes about 100 hours.) The speedboat was like taking a 33 hours nonstop flight on an airplane, somewhat uncomfortable because you have to sit there the whole time, but fast in getting there. The riverboat (pictured on the back) took a long time but it was more comfortable because I could get up, walk around, and lay down in my hammock.
I believe that it was a door that God opened to preach among these people groups. I had favor with the mayor of the town who is Renildo’s brother and with Funai. Being Renildo’s brother is the mayor of the town, he knows about everyone in the small town. He put us in contact with Francisco, an Indigenous man who was going to take us to the tribes. We went to Francisco’s house to plan the trip. After talking about the trip, Francisco told us that we would still need permission from the Funai. I was afraid of that, but fortunately Francisco’s neighbor works with Funai. He stopped over (he was a Baptist man), and he said don’t worry about it. Because Funai’s office was closed till Monday (it was Saturday) he said to just write a handwritten letter saying that I wanted to visit the tribes and he would take care of it. That was a lot easier than expected. So after hand writing the letter we left on Sunday to the Indigenous communities.
To get to the first tribe we had to take a smaller (even though it was huge) tributary river off the main river, and then from there navigate through the Amazon jungle floor which was flooded to get to the tribe. We arrived as the sun was setting. Once we arrived our Indigenous contact talked to the chief and the chief said that we could stay. Then a little later the cult Indigenous leader came up to us and was very upset that we were there. He said that we would have to have his permission to stay, and that we were not welcome there, and that we had to leave. Then when he asked Renildo who
he was, he said that he was from Sao Paulo de Olivença, and that his brother was the mayor. When he heard that Renildo’s brother was the mayor that was a game changer. Their community is in the jurisdiction of Sao Paulo de Olivenca, and everything that the community receives would have to be approved by my friend’s brother. It went from “We don’t want you here, get out!” to “Welcome. It’s great to have you. How was your trip?” We thought that was funny. It could have fit somewhere in a comedy movie.
This was their religion: There was a Peruvian man named Jose who preached that he was Jesus Christ. He would perform “miracles” like transforming himself into a child before the Indigenous people’s eye; it was witchcraft (Exodus 7:11). Once he died, the religion started fizzling out, but then a man name Francisco came, saying that he was possessed by the spirit of Jose. So this is what this community believed.
Well, the next day we told the chief to gather those in his family to have service with them. There were almost 30 people who gathered. I preached the simple gospel message, heaven, hell, why Jesus came, why He died, that He rose from the dead and that they could be saved for the forgiveness of sins if they received Jesus in their hearts. All the people prayed the prayer of salvation. There was one Indian lady who cried the whole time I preached.
Then we went in the canoe to 2 other tribes. In the daytime, we would visit all the people at the tribe, talk with them in their houses, preach the gospel, and then we would have service at night. Almost all would go to the night service and people were saved. So at all the Indigenous communities we preached at, they were very receptive. We ate fish every day, all day -breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, we ate all kinds of fruit. I didn’t know there were so many different kinds of fruit.
I will be going back to Brazil in September, Lord willing. I think I will go pass the town of Sao Paulo de Olivença, and fly to a town in Brazil, bordering Peru and Colombia. Then I will take a riverboat downstream to where Renildo lives (It will be about a 12 hour river boat ride.) I saw something on eBay that would be perfect for this trip. They have video projectors (about $400 for the battery quality one) that have a rechargeable battery that last 2-3 hours per charge. After my preaching service, I could play a movie like “The Passion of Christ” or other Christian movies. With a battery bank, (it’s a device that you charge, some are solar, then it stores energy to charge any device when there is no electricity) I could charge it overnight after use, and the battery bank would probably be enough to charge the projector for about a week.
Last month I sent teams to preach/disciple to the different mountain tribes in Venezuela. I tried to send 2 teams to Colombia but because it was raining so much they couldn’t go due to the swollen rivers. They then went to other tribes to preach.
Next week I will be with the different Indian leaders in my monthly Bible school. We will be studying the book Plans, Purposes and Pursuits. We will probably spend at least 2 or 3 more months on this book. I bought a calf to feed the different Indian leaders who have come from far and stay at the school. Also this month I will be preaching live on the radio, at 4 different churches, with the Indians, and will be doing a crusade. When I say crusade I don’t mean with thousands of people- what I mean is that we go into a neighborhood and invite the people to the evangelistic meeting at night and preach. Then, after the crusade, my friend’s church sends a leader to have a house meeting (cell meeting) with those who believed.
Some people wanted to know the easiest way to give to the ministry... well the easiest way for most people would be to go to my webpage, go to "donate" and click on the Rhema picture, or click on the paypal. Just type . (If giving through Rhema you will get a tax deduction. If giving through PayPal you won't.)
Well thank you for all of your prayers and support which makes the work in Venezuela, Colombia, and now Brazil possible.
In His service,
Doug, Veronica, James, and baby Ana