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

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