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Fall Update February 16, 2016

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Sorry about our blog page being down recently- it was a technical issue.

Here is the link to our latest newsletter.

Shrift Update Fall 2015

Our Summer 2015 Update June 17, 2015

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Three generations of evangelists among the Macushis

Three generations of evangelists among the Macushis

Click below to see our latest newsletter- enjoy!

Shrift Update Summer 2015

Our Spring 2015 Newsletter March 23, 2015

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Click on the link below to read our latest newsletter…

Shrift Update Spring 2015

Outback October November 14, 2014

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Welcome to our latest news! Please have a look at our new links and postings below.

Here is a video of our travels last month:


Latest newsletter as a Word document: Shrift Update Fall2014 – doc

Here it is in PDF format: Shrift Update Fall2014 – PDF

Listen to a Macushi children’s song:



Full size pics from our newsletter:

Studio recording with Macushi children's choir

Studio recording with Macushi children’s choir


Maya with little sister Dinah

Maya with little sister Dinah


Nathaniel and  baby Jesse

Nathaniel and Baby Jesse


Stephen & Martha, Andrew and Bia

Stephen and Martha, Andrew and Bia


Eric and Donna in Paris

Eric and Donna in Paris


Our son John and his wife Rebecah working among the Yanomami tribe

Our son John and his wife Rebecah working among the Yanomami tribe

Newsletter July 7, 2013

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Click the link below to see our newsletter

Shrift Newsletter Summer 2013

Time of Loss – Season of Resumption October 9, 2012

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All of us reunited for Eric’s mother’s funeral

Many miles have been clocked on our bodies and spirits since we last shared via this blog. Our Divine Navigator has been faithful and so very gracious to us these last months! As many of you know, we each lost our surviving parent during the last half of 2011. We were very blessed to have spent a substantial amount of quality time with each one, but subsequently now feel that empty place in our hearts with their loss. As we traverse this stage of life, we increasingly realize the treasure we have in family.

Five grandkids and counting…

As proud parents, it’s hard to be brief, but here is a rundown of our clan’s current particulars:



Chana – continues as a flight attendant based in Phoenix, along with a busy counseling ministry to women in marital crises.



LaSal – and her husband, Steve Miller, have recently taken over a natural foods bakery in Salida, CO. They just celebrated the 1st birthday of their 3rd child, Abel.



John (right of center),  joined our Brazilian mission MEVA last month and is now in the village of Palimi-U learning the Yanomami language. If you would like to receive his newsletter, please let us know.

Stephen (left of center),  and his wife Martha, are expecting their third child in March. He is employed as a mechanic with American Airlines and moonlights as an on-call mechanic at the Branson (Missouri) Airport.

Nathaniel (far left), and his wife, Danielle, are candidates with New Tribes Mission and are currently raising support to work  among indigenous groups here in the Amazon area. They are expecting their first child in April.

David (second from right), is now a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force and is stationed at Vance AFB for his pilot training.

Daniel (second from left), is a Senior at John Brown University and is finishing his final semester in Ireland. He is majoring in Modern Languages with a minor in Music.

Zachary (far right), is now a Freshman at John Brown University and is enjoying his studies in their History program.

With all our kids now out of the nest and the recent death of our 13 year-old family dog, Bingo, things have gotten pretty quiet around here. We praise God for our local church family which provides almost daily ministry activities. This congregation, which started out as a weekly prayer meeting in our home, quickly outgrew the rented house next to ours, and recently completed construction of a large multi-purpose building where we now meet. This structure will be divided up into Sunday School classrooms after a separate worship center is completed.

For more  information on our ministry activities, please check out the tab above for our latest newsletter:

In His Care,

Eric and Donna

P.S.- you can click on any of the pictures to get a larger image

Winter Waiting April 18, 2011

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Thanksgiving with Donna's father Ralph

Donna and I have spent extensive periods of this winter separated from each other, doing rotating shifts with each of our parents who live in different states. My mother withstood six months of chemotherapy and was given a clean bill of health in February. Donna’s dad, who is almost blind and is suffering heart failure, continues to need daily caring and supervision of his health needs. In the midst of this shuffle, the Lord has blessed us with very special times with each of our Stateside children and a new granddaughter – Bia Shrift, born to Stephen and Martha.

Christmas with Eric's mother Wilma, her children, and grandchildren

As winter began to soften, we started making plans for returning to Brazil. My mother was regaining her strength and we were having preliminary success in finding a combination of  caregivers for Donna’s dad.  Our plans came to an end last week when my mother’s cancer suddenly reappeared and shows signs of being very aggressive. She has also been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, along with other symptoms of rapidly declining health. We continue to wait upon the Lord and His timing in all of this.  Please pray that we might clearly discern our path as we look toward an uncertain future.

July Jubilee / August Angst / Savoring September October 4, 2010

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Nathaniel & Danielle's Wedding

The wedding of Nathaniel and Danielle (Dore) was a showpiece of MK (missionary kid) resourcefulness and camaraderie (Danielle’s parents work with NTM in Africa where she grew up). With very few monetary resources, but lots of energy from willing siblings and friends, traditional Brazilian churrasco was served to almost 200 guests under a beautiful New Hampshire evening sky. Volunteers cooked, baked, decorated, landscaped, welded, and built a reception area. This young couple united their lives together under the banner of love for each other and for God. Having both completed Bible and Missionary training, they look forward to what He has for them. For the past 60 days they have trekked southward from Maine on the Appalachian Trail – a very special honeymoon!
Within a few days of the wedding, our lovely vacation came to an abrupt ending… My dad (90), who had suffered a mild heart attack on July 4th, was again in his home when he suffered a fall which left him bedridden for two weeks. Then he had an episode of heart failure from which he is now recovering. Eric’s mom was diagnosed with a relapse of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer we thought she had beat six years ago. She has had two chemotherapy treatments and will have four more. For the past two months our parents have needed continual care, and we have accepted the majority of that burden, which has meant we are separated much of the time. At the moment there is a lot of uncertainty in our future, but we know that God’s plans and timing are always perfect. For now we are on Emergency Family Leave from Crossworld and MEVA, but Eric continues to work on the Macushi language TransWorld Radio broadcasts.

On a lighter note, we have been enjoying our time here in the U.S.A. experiencing things that we don’t have in Brazil:

  • Quaking golden Aspen leaves against a blue Colorado sky/cool autumn weather
  • Cheering at pro baseball and college football games
  • Fireworks
  • Plums, peaches, cherries, berries
  • Our grandkids

June Jitters June 20, 2010

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We were scheduled to fly into the village of Flexal on Monday, June 7th for another leadership training course, but the Lord had other plans… On the Friday prior to the flight, we were told that the Brazilian Indian Affairs Agency would not give us permission to go in.  The next day Eric came down with the jitters- his second bout of dengue fever.  He spent the next week in the hospital on IV fluids being closely monitored for internal hemorrhaging. He is now resting at home and building up strength for our trip to the US.  Our son John showed up on the 13th and has been helping out during Eric’s recovery and it has been a good time just hanging out with him.

John helping with a new porch roof

Currently, we are planning to leave for the US the first week of July and make our way to New Hampshire for the bridal shower and wedding of Danielle and Nathaniel on the 10th and 17th respectively.

The Merry Month of May June 3, 2010

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In re-reading our newsletter from the month of May, I (Donna) am reflecting on what a full month it has been.  Our time in the picturesque village of Jatapuzinho was unique in that we had never visited the Wai Wai people before, nor flown in a small plane over the hilly jungle area of southeastern Roraima.  It was pretty cloudy going out, but the Friday on which we returned to Boa Vista was a glorious day of puffy clouds, and we could see all the way to the savannas of British Guyana in the east.  The Wai Wais live beside mighty rivers, which are really tributaries to mightier rivers: their culture is very much about bathing, fishing, and paddling  their impressively large dugout canoes on these rivers.  Surrounding the village inland is nothing but deep jungle for as far as the eye can see.  There are still rumors of lost people groups out there, and this idea is very believable.  We met a young man who was adopted by the Wai Wais as a child of about nine years of age. He descended from the Atroari people, who are mostly infamous for their waging war in the 1970’s (with blowguns) on the engineers and workers who cut the road through their territory– which lies between Boa Vista and Manaus.  Today their section of the road is closed to all but buses between sunset and dawn. Signs warn: Do not stop.  Do not get out of your car.  Do not take pictures…. One occasionally sights these people walking along the road with shotguns or bows and arrows or fishing gear…Attempts by white missionaries to reach the Atroari have been thwarted for generations, but now various Wai Wais, like this young man who is now a church leader in his village, have a burden to reach their neighbors with the gospel.  That is very exciting.

Village of Jatapuzinho

After  more than three months on the road, our traveling son Nathaniel left South America via Caracas, Venezuela.  Having logged about ten thousand kilometers on his motorcycle, which he sold in Peru, he enjoyed/endured bus trips which took him up into the high Andes, where he and his sister Chana joined up to tour the famous Machu Picchu ruins; he then came over the mountainous divide and descended into the far western state of Brazil named Acre, also by bus.  From there, he made his way to the bustling city of Manaus, and was able to spend ten days at Puraquequara (PQQ), Zack’s boarding school (and his own high school alma mater) a short distance downriver. (That would be the Amazon River, which is about nine miles wide at that point.) Another bus trip brought him through Boa Vista and up here to our home in Pacaraima, where Brazil and Venezuela meet. [Have you seen the movie UP?  That is set nearby on top of the mysterious Mt. Roraima, where the borders of Venezuela, British Guyana, and Brazil meet.] It was great to see him and his photos, but he was running out of time and had to make it back to the States ASAP. Guess what!? It was just one more 24- hour bus trip from here to Caracas.  The good news is that he only had to fly to Colorado Springs, pick up his new (donated) old car, and drive to New Hampshire via Missouri! What’s another 2000 miles? His and Danielle’s wedding will be July 17 in New Hampshire.

Nathaniel and Danielle (Dore)

The grand finale of the month was my having the opportunity to enjoy some of the end-of-the-year school activities at PQQ.  Zack was the male lead in a comical murder mystery involving a handsome young Irish cop and a boarding house full of widows and old maids. How do you get the cute cop to pay a visit?  Randomly poison the tea, of course.  [Julie Champlin, the director, is one of many teachers at the school who have sacrificially poured themselves into the lives of these students. She will not return next year. Faith and Dan Ketterer, who have dedicated thirty years of their lives to the school, will return to the States in July and will leave a big gap, especially in the high school social sciences department. The school has already  struggled for several years without a bona fide high school science teacher.  Anyone out there interested in a difficult but rewarding job? ]  It was with great pleasure that I witnessed our youngest son Zack’s baptism, by the principal, David Kern.  I am so thankful for the Christian emphasis of PQQ, and that each of our children has now made a public profession of faith: that Jesus Christ is our personal Lord, Redeemer, and Friend.  Amen?

Zachary's baptism