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Jamie Taylor returns from missionary work in Brazil; Dave Taylor’s Book Expected in May

Jamie Taylor testing a woman for her eyeglasses on the riverboat, during her trip with Central Brazil Mission recently.

U.S. Army Veteran Sgt. Jamie Taylor, widow of the late Dave Taylor, spent nine days on a riverboat on the Amazon River recently, visiting up to 3 villages a day and providing medical treatment for over 400 people with Central Brazil Mission (CBM).

They left on January 31st and returned on February 10th. The missionary team flew in and out of Manaus, Brazil, where the riverboat picked them up. “We floated down the river continuously for 4 or 5 days treating villages along the way,” she said, “and then in making our return trip we didn’t make any stops. It was my first time doing any missionary work.”

CBM is able to reach areas of Brazil by riverboat where the people living there may not be able to get the medical services they need otherwise. The 4-story riverboat has a main level with a complete medical clinic – waiting room, vision center, 2 medical offices, 2 dental offices and a pharmacy.

“These are very remote villages,” Jamie said. “I didn’t see vehicles at any of them. They all travel by foot or by boat. They are used to the boat showing up maybe one to three times a month. Once they hear the boat horn or see us pull in, people immediately start lining up.

I found CBM through my church, Connection Pointe in Indianapolis. They were asking for volunteers and I applied but I was really nervous because I don’t exactly have official medical training. I was a combat lifesaver in the military, but I never had to use those skills. I have a lot of medical experience through treating my brother with his yearlong battle with cancer, as well as taking care of Dave for a year and a half, which was very intensive.”

Jamie’s Tasks on the Riverboat

Jamie said she mostly helped with the intake of patients who were there to get eyeglasses, but one of her favorite parts of the trip was talking to the children who were going in to see the dentist. “It might’ve been their first time going,” she said. “I used Google Translate because they speak Portuguese. I would make sure to tell them they were really brave and tell them that the dentist was really nice, and that they would get a toy when they’re leaving.

 

 

A lot of it was just telling people how beautiful their children are, or how nice they looked that day. You could tell everyone gets dressed up in their best to come to the boat.

We lived on the boat the whole time. They have Brazilian staff that run the boat – the pilot, crew and cooks. The crew prepared 3 meals a day and we prayed before every meal. Every morning at 8 o’clock we would have devotional with our Brazilian teammates and the service every day would be in Portuguese and in English.

When the crew are not on the boat, they live in town and they have their own churches. The boat captain, cleaning crew and cooks are employed by the mission. It’s a great job for their economy.

CBM has a physical location there with a greenhouse, soccer field for the local kids to come play soccer, and the greenhouse also will supply food to local schools. They’re very much embedded in the community; a safe place to go for support and for medical care. As far as actually preaching the Gospel, there’s not a whole lot o

f time for that because you’re seeing dozens of people within an hour or two.”

Jamie Taylor with Central Brazil Mission crew and volunteers.

Join a Mission

With Jamie’s military training and her personal experience, she was considered as more than qualified to join the mission, but she stressed that medical experience isn’t a requirement saying, “I just want people to know that if they’re ever interested in going on a mission, whether it be with CBM or another organization, go ahead and reach out to them. Don’t automatically disqualify yourself, because a willing heart with working hands goes far.

I think a lot of times we don’t think we’re worthy of going on a mission. We know we are sinners; we know we’re not perfect Christians. We’re not perfect humans. For me, personally, I thought, ‘Am I worthy enough to go and serve God in such a public way in another country?’

To me, that was like the highest honor and I would never want to do anything to hurt the relations with the locals because not only are you a representative of Christ, you’re a representative of the U.S. I was worried that I wasn’t going to be perfect enough. I want people to know that, obviously, you want to do your best and you want to behave at the highest level, but you don’t have to be the most perfect Christian to serve. He doesn’t call the worthy; He makes worthy those He calls.”

Jamie said she is planning on going on another missionary trip again sometime in the future. “My church supports that mission at least 3 times a year. I would love to go back again,” she said. “You don’t have to belong to a specific church to go. Sometimes churches can’t put together full teams. Our church didn’t have a full team and so we had one gentleman from Wisconsin and one lady from Virginia.”

The trip cost was $2,500, she said, adding that, “It was such a worthy cause that I absolutely had no problem paying for it out of pocket. You can fundraise, I just chose not to. The funds cover your entire trip. It’s very possible that you could go on this trip and not pay any additional money. It covers all your food, and they do your laundry, clean your room, get your transportation from the airport to the boat and back – everything.”

The founders of CBM, Earl & Ruth Haubner, have 4 biological children and they all rotate with the mission. Their youngest son, Terry Haubner, is the Global Missions Director at Jamie’s church, and went on the trip with them.

“It’s a very well-run organization,” she said. “Their family has dedicated their whole lives to it; it’s multi-generational. Terry, who was on the trip with me, he lived in Brazil for the first 17 years of his life. His family is whole-heartedly dedicated to Brazil. They live in the U.S. now, but they still own a large property there for the community.”

Central Brazil Mission

Central Brazil Mission was established in 1954. If you’d like to interview to go on a missionary trip or donate, the website is: www.cbm.org.br/newsite/. Their goal is to continue the ministry that Jesus began – “As the Father has sent me. I am sending you.” (John 20:21)

The late Dave Taylor’s Book

Jamie is publishing the late Dave Taylor’s book through Amazon and said she is fairly certain the publication date will be in May of this year. “It will be the same title as his columns: ‘What I Learned from Dying’,” she said, “and perhaps the addition of: ‘A Tribute to a Life Well Lived’.” Dave’s book will be available to purchase in hard copy and e-book Amazon Kindle version. She also hopes to one day have a movie made about his brave journey with cancer.

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