PARIS – The Missionary Society of the First Baptist Church on Paris Hill invited David Shaw to speak about his recent missionary trip to Brazil. This was his fourth such visit in three years.

Shaw serves with an organization called Rivers of the Amazon Ministries, established by the Rev. Earl Hagar, formerly of Dexter. The mission has escorted numerous church groups from the U.S. on visits to Brazil in order to help the Brazilians share the message with their own people.

Shaw’s first trip to Brazil was in August 2001 with a group of five men from the Oxford Hills area. The second visit was in August 2002, with four in the group, including his 18-year-old daughter, Autumn. In October 2003 Shaw’s daughter, Carrie, 15, accompanied him and three others.

Shaw made his fourth visit, traveling alone, in May. The ministry work takes place in remote areas of the Amazon River and its tributaries. From many locations, there is no telephone service, but it does exist in Santa Maria, the final destination of the stay.

The villages Shaw visits are in the northern part of Brazil in the Amazon Valley. Some of the local people raise water buffalo for milk and for meat. Little medical help is available.

Transportation between towns is usually a lineboat. Shaw traveled by lineboat from the city of Santarem to his final destination of Santa Maria, a 15-hour voyage. When the boat arrived in town, his hosts hired an oxcart to carry him and his luggage to the pastor’s home where he stayed.

Asked about the food in Brazil, Shaw said “Mostly rice and beans.” Many fruits grow there, including bananas and coconuts. The language spoken is Portuguese. Although he is learning Portuguese, Shaw spoke through an interpreter when teaching in church services.

There are plans for a return trip at the end of December. Rivers of the Amazon Ministries intends to conduct a five-day family camp at a ministry center on the Tapajos River.

Shaw married Joy Hathaway of Bryant Pond in 1977 and worked on his father’s dairy farm for several years before purchasing a furniture refinishing business. He operated the business for seven years before going to work for the U.S. Postal Service in South Paris, where he is now employed.

The couple have seven children, who have all been home-schooled for part of their elementary education. The older four have gone on to college. Aaron graduated from Cedarville University in Ohio with a degree in mechanical engineering. Christie graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with training in elementary education. Mitchell is attending the University of Southern Maine, and Autumn attended Word of Life Bible Institute in Hungary for two years. Remaining at home are Carrie, Micah and and Nathanael.

The Missionary Society has also had Mary Ann Lord as a speaker. She is the daughter of Miriam and Harvey Lord and works in Bible translation in Peru, South America.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.