Update August – September 2018
In August we were able to make an awsome trip up the Moju River in our medial boat. Along with a ministry team from Texas, we traveled 24 hours up river – 11 hours further than we had traveled on any previous trip. Our desire was to see what the extent of the populated area on the river is in order to pray and see where God would lead us for future church plants.[…]
Toth Family – Brazil
Fields of Harvest Church
“Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.”
God’s purpose for us at Hope Ministries is simple – preach the gospel and plant churches in unreached areas along the tributaries of the Amazon River. Though the direction is clear, it is an impossible task without God’s supernatural provision and intervention. The cost is great, the communities to be reached are innumerable, the spiritual darkness is oppressive, and the intense effort seems endless. But God’s purpose will stand!
Light in the Jungle!
The year of 2013 began with heavy rains in the jungle along the Guama River where our Bujaru river church is located. As the river rose in the rainy season, the ground around our church became swampy as it does in the communities bordering the Amazon tributaries. Even so, families from the Bujaru town waded through mud and water along the dark jungle trail to attend the church services. Countless times our small Chevy became stuck in the mud as we tried to get as close to the church as possible to bring in sound equipment, instruments, bread and juice for the children’s church, as well as some of the missionaries and workers from our church in Castanhal.
This year God provided for us a lighted dirt road through the jungle by a series of miraculous interventions. First, a church neighbor agreed to sell us a 15ft wide x 600 ft long path through the middle of his property. Then God provided the funds. Then the City Council cooperated in providing heavy machinery to open the road – graders and dump trucks of dirt and gravel. Next, Team 17 from Fields of Harvest Church in Texas raised the funds for electrical materials and brought electricians from their church to install the light poles and electrical lines. Now, with road access, new families from the town of Bujaru are coming to church and are being saved. God is bringing the light of the gospel to the river people of Bujaru!
Last year we wrote about the miracle of Jose and his wife Vanessa (the couple at left end) finding hope in Jesus. Today, Jose is completely free from drug and alcohol addiction. The picture above shows those of Jose’s family that have since found Jesus. Seeing the dramatic transformation in José’s life, 3 brothers, 2 sisters, one sister in law, José’s mother and stepfather have all decided to follow Christ and were baptized in this last year of 2013.
Our joy is multiplied as we see God beginning to prepare young men who will be our future river pastors and missionaries. This year we have started a class in Bujaru for training church pastors and workers. There are four couples who faithfully attend these classes. Two of these men, José, the caretaker, and his brother Bacural, have started making trips to the neighboring community of Conceição to share the gospel with other relatives there. They are praying that this year of 2014 Hope Ministries will open a new church in Conceição.
Team 17 Fields of Harvest Church
Team 17 from Fields of Harvest Church in Texas arrived at the end of October and spent 2 wonderful weeks with us. The number 17 means that this is the 17th team that the Fields of Harvest Church has sent to help us plant churches here on the Amazon. Team 17 ministered in services in Castanhal and Bujaru, participated in 2 baptisms, motivated the City Council of Bujaru to bring out their road equipment to start our road, installed the light poles and electric lines to the Bujaru church and built porches and walkways at the church to prepare for the rainy season. The team’s perseverance and endurance in the Amazon heat to complete the task was only surpassed by their love and joy in doing the work. The city of Bujaru has been touched by the love of Jesus through them and will never be the same.
Wayne and Laurie Petroff, from Fields of Harvest Church in Texas, shared their beautiful testimony in the churches in Castanhal and Bujaru. It was Wayne’s first time back in Brazil after 23 years. We were so honored to have them here.
Pastors Bert and Jeanine Halancia, from Branch of the Lord Christian Fellowship in Naples, New York have ministered many times in our churches over the past 10 years. They spent a precious 6 days with us in November preaching and ministering to our two churches every night as well as praying and counseling with our church leaders and family during the day.
A Prodigal son comes home.
Salomão was a Bible School student that was backslidden for 8 years. His wife, Soraiya, had accompanied him in his life style of partying, drinking and living for material wealth. After years of conflict, separations, and turmoil, Soraiya heard a television preacher declare, “Parents who don’t take their sons to church will someday be visiting them in jail.” Soraiya decided that she would follow the Lord. First she brought their oldest son, Saulo, to church, and soon she had all three sons coming with her. Then she started to call out to the Lord to save her husband. After 3 weeks, Salomão decided to accompany her and the family to church. Sobs of repentance poured out of his heart that first Sunday as Salomão recommitted his life to the Lord. For the last 8 month he has been growing in the Lord. Two months ago Salomão started a small group meeting in his home to win his old friends to the Lord. So far, three friends have also made a decision to follow Jesus. God is using one prodigal son that came home to bring many others to His Kingdom!
Loving one small child brings a harvest 12 years later..
Mateus, a little 1 ½ year old boy, was brought to our home by his grandmother in 2002. She had found him dirty, hungry, covered with scabies, and crying in the dirt street outside the wooden shack where his teenage mother was living. Mateus’ mother, Vanessa, had become pregnant at 16, but Mateus’ father did not want her or his son. So Vanessa was living with another man who was using drugs. Neither of them was taking care of Mateus. The grandmother, herself a single mom, did not feel that she was able to take care of Mateus so she brought him to us to take him in.
At that time, our youngest daughter Havilah, was not even two. This meant two small babies in our already busy home. But our older daughters and Michelle loved and cared for Mateus, feeding him, treating his sores, rocking and singing to him in his hammock and praying for him. God began to work in Vanessa’s life, and after one month she gave her heart to the Lord and left the man she was living with. Vanessa became stable enough to take Mateus back home to raise. This past October, 12 years later, after committing his life to the Lord, Mateus was baptized. Mateus, his mother, his brother, Lucas, and his grandmother all attend our church.
New Year’s Eve miracle…
Victor is a young man that we wrote about in our 2012 highlights. At that time Victor was a new Christian. We told how God was helping him to love and pray for his abusive father. This past Christmas, Victor asked if he could spend the week with us. His father had gone to the beach, 2 ½ hours away, to spend the week of Christmas and New Year’s Eve drinking in the bars.Victor did not want to be at home alone. But at our New Year’s Eve service, the Lord had a surprise for Victor. When he got to church, there was his father. In the middle of the service, Victor’s father stood up and while choking back tears, said that he came back to Castanhal to give his heart to the Lord. Jesus came into his life that night and set him free from drinking. After the service, he went home, poured out all his alcohol, and has not touched a drop since. Our God is a God of miracles!
“Go ye unto all the world…”
Gabriel and Vanessa
Gabriel and Vanessa are a beautiful couple that God brought into our church 2 years ago. Gabriel has been serving faithfully on the worship team and Vanessa works with the children both in Castanhal and Bujaru. Both have been helping Marçal in the Bujaru church for over a year now and have also been serving as deacons here in Castanhal. They are hosting and leading a home group that has over 20 people attending and have a gift of evangelizing and reaching out to the lost.
This year God has indicated a call on their lives to work full time in ministry. Although there is so much to do in the Castanhal church, Gabriel and Vanessa desire to someday work as missionaries and church planters on one of the Amazon River tributaries. The coming year will be one of preparation and training as God equips them to answer His call.
Jeremy and Patricia
Jeremy and Patricia Smith answered the call of God to come and serve with us for 10 weeks in the areas of maintenance, deacon training and preparation for work teams. They were a tremendous blessing as they ministered so unselfishly to us here in Castanhal the months of August, September and October.
Jeremy and Patricia have heard God’s call to move their family of 5 children to Brazil and work with us here at Hope Ministries on a long term basis. They are raising funds for their moving expenses and monthly support here in Brazil. Please pray for their family and consider helping with this project. It is a big step of faith to move a family of 7 to Brazil!
Short term missionaries.
David and Rachel Garza and their son Gideon spent 5 wonderful months with us from January to May of 2013, working on our website and helping in many areas of ministry. They were a tremendous blessing and we appreciate them so much!
Connor Toth came for 4 months to learn about the work here and was a great help with maintenance and running the sound system for church services. Thank you, Connor, for your heart to serve and the encouragement you and your family are to us!
Please pray with us…
Scott and Michelle – ministry directors, pastoring and training of pastors and missionaries.
Rachel – open doors for working with at risk children in Belem, Castanhal, Bujaru and Abaitetub.
Marçal and Rebekah and son Jonathan– pastoring the Bujaru church, planting river churches, pre-paring for construction teams for church building.
Bethany – working in Israel with a Jewish family until May.
Higor and Christina and son Christian – Higor is studying medicine, Christina is studying nursing with plans to help in future medical ministry.
Denis and Deborah – leading worship team, helping with youth, continuing in college studies of computer programming, nursing and hospital administration.
Philip – playing guitar and keyboard for worship team, helping with youth, in final year of high school.
Havilah – singing on worship team, helping with youth and children’s ministries.
Opportunities for giving.
- Bujaru Church Property – Dormitory for church camps and training river pastors
- Building River Church # 2 – next church plant – Conceiçaõ – Guama River
- Castanhal Church Building – completing Sunday School Rooms
- Monthly support for Brazilian missionaries – Gabriel and Vanessa and Family
- Monthly support for Jeremy and Patricia Smith
- Medical Boat Fund – We continue to raise funds for a 50 ft. medical boat with 2 treatment rooms for much needed medical work and church planting on Amazon River tributaries.
- Toth Family Support – Thank you for your monthly support that makes it possible for our family to serve here in Brazil!
Address for contributions:
P.O. Box 77
La Porte, TX
77572 – 0072
(Please make all checks payable to Hope Ministries. All donations are tax deductible.)
Thank you so much for your prayers for our family and for Hope Ministries. Thank you for sharing with us as God directs you. May God richly bless you as you participate in His Great Harvest Field!
Love, Scott and Michelle and Family
God has made a way of righteousness through the jungle…
“Way of righteousness” is the Portuguese rendering of the “holy highway” from Isaiah 35:8. That is the name that we have given to the road that Team 17 from Fields of Harvest Church, Texas, built through the jungle to our Bujaru River Church. Many new people have walked this road to the church to find a new life of righteousness in Christ for themselves since the road was built last month.
No evil-hearted men may walk upon it. God will walk there with you…” Isaiah 35:8
Our daughter Christina’s in-laws baptized…
God worked mightily through the Fields of Harvest Team to minister in services both in Bujaru and Castanhal. Their first weekend in Castanhal we baptized 6 new believers. Washington and Ane, Christina’s in-laws, were two of these precious people baptized. They are from Belem and are the first fruits of the church in their home that we started seven months ago. They shared a beautiful testimony at their baptism. After struggling for 17 years with drinking, turmoil in their marriage and the emptiness of a life without God, Washington and Ane have found the love of Jesus that has transformed their lives and their marriage.
Washington and Ane baptized in Castanhal Church
In Bujaru we also had evangelistic services and celebrated the baptism of 7 more believers. God is building His church!
The last two weeks of November were impacted by the visits of 2 special couples. The first were Pastors Bert and Jeanine Hallancia from Naples, New York. In six days of meetings they ministered to the churches and congregations in Castanhal, Belem and Bujaru. Pr. Bert and Jeanine have a ministry of praying with couples and individuals one on one that was a great encouragement to our church leaders and family members as well as others in the churches.
Your prayers and gifts bring eternal results!
We are so thankful for all God has done this year. Your prayers, financial support and gifts have helped to make the ministry here grow and have opened more doors to bring salvation, healing and eternal life to so many. Please continue to pray for us, especially that we would have strength and wisdom to bring in the harvest that God has here in Brazil. Please continue to give towards the support of our family as well as the river work and the medical boat!
May God bless you richly this Christmas season!
Love, Address for contributions:
Scott and Michelle Toth and family Hope Ministries
P.O. Box 77
Website – www.hopeministriesbrazil.org La Porte, TX, 77572-0072
May your unfailing love rest upon us as we put our hope in you. Psalms 33:22
On October 26th through November 8th, we were tremendously blessed by the visit of Team 17 from Fields of Harvest Church in Baytown, Texas. Pastors David and Martha Cochran, along with 10 church members, traveled over 3,000 miles from Texas to Bujaru to work with our family on a construction project at our river church in Bujaru. Many of you may have seen our previous blogs which shared of the work that was being accomplished on the jungle road to our river church. The highlight of the two weeks with the Fields of Harvest Team was the completion of this road. The city of Bujaru helped with providing tractors, graders and dump truck loads of gravel while the team worked around the clock to install 15 light posts, light fixtures and reflectors, and electrical wiring for electricity along the road and to the church property. (Up until now, we have been using a generator for electricity during church services.) After two weeks of hard work, we thank the Lord for a beautifully lit jungle road that leads from one of the city streets in Bujaru to our church along the bank of the Guamá River. We are overwhelmed with God’s goodness and faithfulness as He continues to make a way for many to hear of His love and hope through Jesus! Other construction projects included building wooden walkways from the church to the river dock and around the church property. The walkways are especially needed in the rainy season when tropical rainstorms cause flooding along the river banks. The walkways were finished just in time as this past week we have had heavy downpours of rain each day! We also praise God for the lives of 10 new believers who were baptized in Bujaru and Castanhal during the time the Fields of Harvest Team was in Brazil.
Over the past 2 weeks at our church service in Bujaru, we have had two new families and 3 people give their lives to Jesus. We thank the Lord and you for the lasting fruit the God is bringing to the harvest field of Brazil!
Love, the Toth Family
One day a year all of Brazil rushes to celebrate Children’s Day, a national holiday to celebrate the life of a child. The day is commemorated with special presentations, children’s activities, and gifts. For upper class Brazilians, the day is bigger than Christmas or birthdays when it comes to presents for their children. But sadly, for the poorer majority, children’s day passes by like Christmas and birthdays, no presents, no cake, no family time, no special meal, not even a small distraction from the everyday abuse or hardship experienced.
Jesus said, “Allow the children to come to Me, do not forbid or prevent them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” Mark 10:14. Last August, while building our Bujaru church, God spoke to us to provide an opportunity for the river children to come to Him. Since then, every Saturday afternoon a team from our church in Castanhal travels out to Bujaru on the Guama River, to hold a service for the children. Around 30 children from the area of Bujaru meet us there, many walking through the jungle along the river to reach the church. We sing with the children and tell stories from the Bible. They love coloring a Bible story picture at the end of each lesson! We end our Saturday night program with a snack of bread and juice which is likely the only evening meal for some of the children.
Saturday, October 12th, was Children’s Day here in Brazil. To make the children’s church service in Bujaru special, we organized games for the children and gave each child a small gift provided from members of our church in Castanhal. We are grateful for the 65 children who attended the event and for each smile, laugh and hug we received in return. We likewise thank God for the parents who came with their children and heard the Bible lessons we shared!
On their way to church!
Learning about Jesus.
Playing games and fun with gifts.
As we share God’s hope with families in the Amazon area, we pray that His redeeming love would continue to reach the children and families in Bujaru and the Amazon of Brazil. Please pray for us as tomorrow we will be receiving a Team of 10 dear friends from Texas who will be with us for the next two weeks. During this time, we will be working on construction projects at the Bujaru church property and completing work on the road that leads to the church, as well as having several church events to continue reaching the Bujaru community with hope through Jesus. Thank you so much for making all this possible through your prayers and support!
Love, The Toth Family
It is exciting to see how God is moving on the Bujaru River! We thank the Lord for His faithfulness as the work continues to move forward and we are grateful that you are a part of what God is doing here in Brazil!
Two days ago, we visited the River Boat Shop in Bujaru where we are going to have a boat built to travel on the Guama River for outreach and evangelism. Even though we are still raising funds for a larger, more efficient Medical Boat, we believe that a smaller wooden boat will serve well in the meantime to reach out to the nearby river communities.
Small Boat Budget:
Materials and Labor: $3,000
Equipment and Registration: $2,000
Boat Motor: $5,000
Total Cost: $10,000
Total funds raised to date: $3,000
Total funds needed: $7,000
After visiting the Boat Shop, we spent the afternoon working on the road that leads to the church. Even though the road still has a lot of work ahead before it is ready to use, we were thrilled to have over 70 people attend our Saturday night service this past week. We thank God for the many lives that are being reached!
Thank you so much for your prayers and support of what God is doing in Bujaru! Please continue to pray with us for funds for the River Boat and that God would open doors for further river ministry.
The Toth Family
On Tuesday of last week, Michelle, Rachel, and Marçal drove out to our River Church in Bujaru to talk to the City Council about clearing a jungle road 180 meters long and 5 meters wide leading from one of Bujaru’s city streets to our Hope Ministries Church building located along the bank of the Guamá River. After approval from the City Council, we worked alongside friends from the city to start clearing a small jungle road.
Marçal points the way for the road to the church.
Giving an afternoon snack to the children who joined us to watch the land being cleared for the road.
We are so thankful for all God is doing and thank you SO MUCH for your support and prayers! Love, the Toth Family