Mike & Bev Creiglow

Missionaries to Brazil

September 2015

August 28, 2015

Dear Brethren,

My last letter was only a couple of weeks ago. In those two weeks we had another baptism at church, adding 12 new members. 
There have been several more professions of faith and a few more added by letter. I also visited a couple of our works around town 
and out of town. This time though, I want to tell you about something a little different.

This month the Catholic Church in Cruzeiro do Sul celebrated its 100th anniversary. The patron saint is “Our Lady of Glory”. 
The local parish was started on August 15th 1915. That means that they had an eleven year head start on the Baptists. 
Missionary Joseph Brandon arrived in Cruzeiro do Sul in 1926. First Baptist Church was founded on May 12, 1929 with only 13 members. 
Here is what I want to emphasize: From the start of our town until 1926 all the citizens were members of the Catholic Church. 
As late as 1929 there were only 13 Baptists in Cruzeiro do Sul. There has been a dramatic turnaround.

When I was a boy the whole center of town was blocked off for the celebration of Our Lady of Glory in the month of August. 
Thousands of people would flock in from all the rivers and roads for the 9 days of celebration, called Novenário. Many people would 
spend all or most of their hard earned money from their jobs as rubber workers. Many would give large sums to the church. 
Others would spend everything on liquor. Some of the priests would even sell the booze and smokes. It was sad to see all the 
debauchery and exploitation. This was also the month of the highest rate of pregnancies out of wedlock.

This year was quite the contrast with the past. Only a half of a block was blocked off downtown. The crowds were very small. 
The Baptist and other gospel preaching churches were all full. Ours was full and turning folks away. We had over 600 in the 
morning service and just under a thousand in the evening service. We had to take a few benches out of the auditorium because 
of the special program for that night and so had less seating capacity.

As each year comes and goes, more and more people are leaving the old idolatry and coming to Christ. In fact the Catholic 
Church is trying to imitate some of our methods and even our buildings thinking that our expansion is just a matter of facilities and methods. 
They don’t understand why folks are leaving Catholicism. They don’t see that it is the Gospel of Christ that is changing lives.

 

There are still more Roman Catholics than born again Christians in our city, but things are changing. One day soon Our Lord of Glory will 
replace “Our Lady of Glory” in Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil and the world over.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow