MAP Stories: The Okasawara Family


Marcelo and Elaine Okasawara are MAP missionaries in the Amazon region of Brazil. They live in the Roraima state and work with the Waxipana people. During their time on the mission field, they have seen God stir the hearts of a number of people in their village and surrounding villages. Below is a recent letter they wrote to their church partners:

Dear partners, may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!

In these months, what everyone has been waiting for is the harvest of our fields. The Lord has grown and produced much more than expected. There are huge gardens and almost all the families in the community are harvesting corn, pumpkins, tomatoes and cassava to make flour and some fruits. It is a time of plenty and hard work. We praise God, because the famine has passed far from home.

Gradually, we see the seeds of the Gospel growing among the people as well. Few indigenous people have been interested in the Good News, but we praise God for the faithfulness of those who are persevering. We have finished discipleship [level] 2 and we already have a class attending discipleship 3, which deepens knowledge and biblical reading. The life transformation of these dear brothers is visible and is witnessed by the non-Christian residents. Even though they are few, we praise the Lord of the Harvest.

In these last days, with the arrival of summer (drought season), we can go to some houses that were isolated by the floods. We ask you to pray for new opportunities to talk about Jesus and for the Lord to open some more houses.

We have a specific prayer request, which is for the community’s water pump which burned out. This has generated many difficulties to have water at home. Many people have drilled wells in their backyards, but the water is not good and because of this, the children suffer a lot from diarrhea and vomiting. We hope in the Lord that they will be able to buy a new pump.

A curious fact is the presence of Venezuelans in the communities. The state of Roraima has received more than 80,000 immigrants from the neighboring country. Many are moving to other countries and other states of Brazil, but most have stayed here. The state capital, Boa Vista, cannot host many people, so migration into the interior of the state of Roraima has been quite common, and many villages have received these people.  Gradually, they mingle with the inhabitants, making their fields and building their houses. In the Wapixana villages, besides the Portuguese, English, Wapixana and Macuxi languages, now the Spanish language is also heard. We ask that your prayers be turned to our state because the coming of the immigrants coincided with the escalation of violence never seen before. We hope in the Lord that this will not happen in the villages.

How we wish there were deep  relationships between all the Wapixana people and the Lord. When it is understood that, by the mercies of the Lord, the greater and deeper is the love of God for us, and  we must dedicate ourselves to Him. Glory to the Lord for this.

Please join us in praying:

  • Thanks to the Lord for preserving our lives while traveling;
  • For the nine years of ministry among the indigenous, completed in August;
  • For more houses open to the Gospel;
  • For the life of leader Elen, so that she finishes the theological course this year.

As a family, we thank the Lord for the lives of each of you. Thank you for supporting us and praying for us.

The Okasawara Family

Marcelo and Elaine Okasawara serve as missionaries in the Amazon region of Brazil. They are each MAP missionaries adopted by Glen Cove Baptist Church. Contact Gloria Tillman, MAP ministry assistant, at gloria.tillman@texasbaptists.org for more information on how your church can adopt a MAP missionary or visit texasbaptists.org/map today!

Related articles: MAP Stories: Meetings that change lives / MAP Stories: David & Tauana Souza / MAP Stories: José Gleidson & Fernanda Almeida