Tag Archives: Survey Trip

Update on 2010 Trip to Porto Velho

I have been wanting to post something about this for a long time, but only now was I able to get the picture.

Pastor Antonio Marques


This is a picture of a Brazilian pastor, Antônio Marques and his wife Maria. Brother Antônio Marques and his wife hosted me during my very quick survey trip to Porto Velho in 2010. They were a very big blessing to me during the trip. She cooked meals and they prepared a place for me to sleep at the church.

Brother Antônio took me around the city and showed me just about everything I wanted to see. He drove me by most of the good churches in town. He also took me downtown and to the riverfront.

The only issue in all of this is that he is over 70 years old and I was riding on the back of his motorcycle! After two days on the back of the motorcycle, he did give me a few scares, but nothing terrible. His motorcycle had a little problem changing gears and kept kicking, so I was holding on and very alert.

The very day we moved our family up to this area, I was informed that he was in the hospital. He had fallen out of a hammock and hit his head. This lead to some exams which showed he had a large brain tumor. A few days later they operated on the tumor. Initially he was told that the entire tumor was removed, but since then he has been told otherwise.

He lost all his vision in his left eye and about 80% of the vision in his right eye. He was unable to read his Bible, prepare sermons, or pastor his church. Soon after the surgery he resigned his church.

Last week, there was a preachers meeting in Itapuã at Bro. Brewer’s church. When I arrived, I found out Bro. Antônio Marques was going to be preaching at the meeting. I was surprised that he could preach, but at the same time encouraged that his health was improving.

After the meeting I took advantage of the opportunity to get this picture taken. I also had the opportunity to finally introduce them to my family.

We talked for a little while and here is what he said, “During your visit with us, I was already having symptoms of a brain tumor, but I did not know what it was. They have just told me that the tumor was not completely removed. They also told me that it is a malignant tumor. I have regained about 60% of my vision in my right eye, but I am worried because the tumor is right behind my good eye. I am still afraid I will loose all of my sight.”

This pastor has been faithfully serving the Lord for nearly 40 years here in the state of Rondônia. He has started several churches and has sacrificed all of this world’s good for serving the Lord.

Please pray for him and for his wife. They are precious people and have very little of this world’s good. They are subject to the social health care system and make less than enough to pay for his medications. However, the Lord is using him to encourage other pastors to remain faithful in the work of the Lord.

— Jeremy

My First Impression of Porto Velho

My trip to Porto Velho was not long and I do not have many pictures to show for it. After the first few hours, my camera quit working. So all I have are a few pictures taken from the back seat of a motorcycle.

The trip in itself was very profitable. I learned much about the people, the situation of churches there, I checked on prices of vehicles, housing, and food expenses.

A pastor named Antônio Marques hosted me for the day and a half I was there. He and his wife live on very little. I believe he is over 70 years old and his wife is about the same age. She is an Indian by birth, but has no ties back in the tribes. They have a small house which is quite old. He was given a motorcycle from a church member which is his main mode of transportation.

Here are some pictures of the city for you to see…

The Basic Look

Porto Velho 2010

This gives you the view of what the typical neighborhood is like. There are houses lining the streets on both sides. The nicer houses our painted while most along the outskirts of the city are just bricks and mortar.

The Dirt Streets

Porto Velho 2010

Along the main roads you will find asphalt, but most of the side roads are still dirt.

Basic Housing Along the Outskirts of Town

Porto Velho 2010

This is a view of the housing along the outskirts of the city off of the main roads. Lots of dirt, chickens, and even sewer running through the streets. Porto Velho really is behind the times on development.

My View of Porto Velho

Porto Velho 2010

This is the view I had of all of Porto Velho. As I looked around, I saw a motorcycle helmet which obscured some of the view.

One of the Nicer Roads in Town

Porto Velho 2010

This was one of the nicer roads on the outskirts of town. It took you towards the center of town.

Main Roads – Much Construction

Porto Velho 2010

On this picture you can notice that there are not many markings on the roads. No painted lines, no lanes, no stop signs, etc. On the left you will notice a bridge or overpass being built. They are in the middle of building six major overpasses around town which will greatly improve travel from Porto Velho to other places. One of these bridges will replace the fairy which presently connects two sections of a major international highway.

Small Shops All Over Town

Porto Velho 2010

All over town you will find little stores. After driving around for about six hours I saw very few chain stores. Most were just little shops run by the locals.

Motorcycle Parking

Porto Velho 2010

As you can see, there are motorcycles everywhere. As a matter of fact, most taxis are motorcycles in Porto Velho and all of that region of Brazil.

Typical Means of Family Transportation

Porto Velho 2010

Another typical means of family transportation is the bicycle. Mothers ride with their very small babies in their arms and as you can see here, the bicycles are equipped with several seats.

Nicer House – Closed Condominiums

Porto Velho 2010

Of course, if you are willing to pay the price, you can get nicer housing with more security. These areas are very expensive to live in, yet they provide the security many people want in a city that is known for not being the safest place.