"Early Days, Hold the Ropes,"

by Cora Taylor,

New Tribes Mission SOUTHERN CROSS, Eastern Brazil Field Paper,

February 1992

Pearl Ginther wrote on the magazine cover, "Save Cora's Article," so we are saving it, and putting it on-line for everybody!--Ed.

"No. Absolutely no. I will not grant you visas for Brazil," said the man in the Brazilian consulate in the United States. "You are not taking those three children to the jungles."

I was praying up a storm while my husband, Carl, quietly said, "The Lord Jesus has ordered it so."

We left with our visas, praising the Lord.

Some time later, in August 1949, we arrived in Belem, para, via our New Tribes DC-3 plane [not uneventful, for in those days it was quite possible for a slip in navigation, which would have put them out over the Atlantic, and with loss of fuel misspent they would have failed to reach an airport in time after realizing the error!--Ed]. Several couples stayed in Belem while others went on to Bolivia and Paraguay.

What days those were of change and adjustment! Being in a new country, learning a new culture and language, and facing the enormous task of starting work with tribal people caused those days to be sobering ones for all of us.

The very first day one of the hardest changes was to say goodbye to our oldest two children.

Traveling on the plane with us was the teacher of the first mission to Bolivia, he asked that we send our Carleen, seven and on-half years, on with him so that they would have enough children to begin the school.

Wanting to be a good missionary--willing to do whatever was asked of me--I consented. Never will I forget that day. After saying good-bye to our two at the plane and boarding a bus, I looked back to see our Calvin running after the bus. Thankfully, Carleen and Calvin spent only six months at the school in Bolivia and then, at the suggestion of one of our mission leaders, we brought them back to Brazil.

We spent the first nine months living in the same house with three other families, Ryan and Jean Williams, Rudy and Mary Ficek, and Bill and Ruth Neufield, on Mosqueiro Island, about twenty miles from Belem at the mouth of the Amazon.

The house was built on stilts, and my favorite job was sweeping, since by sweeping the floor sideways, the dirt would just fall through the cracks.

To get to the island we had to travel by boat and bus. The bus trips were hair-raising with bus drivers racing one another and the passengers screaming, urging them on. If it rained during the trip, Rudy found he needed his umbrella inside the bus as much as outside.

Of course such trips became a part of our lives as did all the other facets making up the daily routine of living. But the challenge still before us was the need to reach out to the tribal people.

In that first year my husband traveled to remote areas with other missionaries looking for places to establish contact with tribes.

Recently I read a letter that he had written on one of those trips. He wrote, "The Lord has give me more love for tribes who are lonely, destitute, forsaken, and hated as well as hating. Praise Him." In another letter he said, "The Lord didn't say, 'Take up an easy life and follow me.'"

Yes, in those years there were struggles and very difficult times, but in the midst of them all we discovered God's gift of strength. We never entertained the idea of quitting.

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