• Item ID:GUYP
  • ISBN13: 978-1-60265-009-1
  • Copyright 2009
  • 336 pp.
  • 0.25lb
  • Form: Paperback, Trade paperback (US)
  • Price: $19.95
  • Promotion:

Growing Up Yanomamo

Missionary Adventures in the Amazon Rainforest

Mike Dawson

Born in a small missionary base, TamaTama, on the Orinoco River, Mike is the fifth of ten children of Joe and Millie Dawson, who were among the first missionaries to the Yanomamö tribe. His first language was Yanomamö and he learned English when he was seven years old.

After high school, Mike worked in remote villages along the upper Orinoco River system to determine the understandability of a translation of the New Testament. He returned to the United States for Bible School in 1976 and finished missionary training in 1979. He married Renée Pintor in 1980 and left for Venezuela in 1981, discipling new Yanomamö believers and traveling with them to show how to evangelize their own people. Mike and Reneé had three boys: Joshua, Ryan, and Stephen.

In June 1992, Mike and Renée both contracted cerebral malaria and were evacuated to Caracas. Renée did not recover; she is buried in the village of Coshilowäteli. Her headstone reads: "She lives in our hearts as a penetrating reminder that not only is Christ worth living for, He is worth dying for." Because of the delay in Renée's treatment, Mike dreamed of having an airplane based in the jungle to handle medical emergencies.

Mike and his boys continued working with the Yanomamö. In October 1994, he married Keila Cornieles, with whom he had two daughters, Mikeila and Mia. On January 12, 2006, Mikeila went to be with the Lord. Again, the need to have an airplane based in the jungle was forcefully brought home.

Michael is executive producer of Yai Wanonabälewä: The Enemy God (, a feature-length movie based on the true story of how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has affected the life of a Yanomamö shaman and his village.