Monday, December 27, 2010

December, a little good, a little challenge

Sorry all for the long delay in an update. We have had a very busy December with what ended up a nice Christmas. We returned from Sao Paulo right before Christmas and rushed into Paraguay to do our shopping. Thanks to parents, grandparents, aunts and some friends for making presents for the kids possible.

I’m happy to report that the work at the boys prison, Ciade is going well. We had been meeting in a small room with 2 to 3 groups every Friday. Early in December rain had forced them to move some projects into that room. They provided us a speaker and microphones and we preached from a courtyard in front of the cells. It was a huge breakthrough. Instead of being in a room with boys they normally only see in passing they were in their cells with their normal cell mates, they paid a lot more attention. Also boys that had been choosing not to come got the chance to hear the gospel. After that we changed to this method every week. These are hard boys, who have seen death, even caused death. They have been listening to the gospel for a few months and asking good questions. Praise God Heitor and I received a present on Christmas eve. Marcos Santana a very pleasant young man of around 16 told us he really began to believe as I shared that day. God is so good. It really isn’t difficult to get people who have grown up in a highly religious Catholic culture to repeat a prayer, so we really have just been preaching and sharing truth without asking them to do that. It was so encouraging to have one of the boys share unprompted that he is becoming a believer.092

Our time in SP went fairly well. God provided a financial gift that covered most of the expense for going and paying for Alannah’s passport, birth certificate, and a document we hope satisfies the federal police in our application for residency. Pray that goes well as we have reached the end of our allotted time with a tourist visa. We had a good time catching up with our friends Junior and Vania and though we are sad we aren’t working with them, we know we are where God has us. Melissa and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary there. We had a good time but would have had a better time had someone told us before we went out that there are now 4 or 5 Outback’s in Sao Paulo. Next time.december 034

Christmas was good. Here the main event is dinner on the 24th. Our friends Ramses' and Jackie invited us to spend it with their family. He is Brazilian but from Lebanese decent and she is Columbian. They have 3 daughters, 20, 15, 13 I think, we had a very good time. We ate at about 9:30pm and came home around 12:30. He made pork loin, ham, turkey breast, pork back strap, an Arabic rice, salad, garlic sauce, spicy garlic sauce, pineapple sauce, wine sauce and much more. I made a chicken and stuffing. None of them tried the stuffing until after their oldest daughter Vanessa tried it and liked it. We have noticed Brazilians are very slow to try new foods.december 071 

We are also becoming better friends with Clem and Lynda, southern Baptist missionaries here. They work with a seminary here and a few other things. It is good to get to know more missionaries and learn how to target groups of people. They have 4 kids as well and our kids get along well with theirs.

Pray for us as we apply for residency, continue to try and get established financially and learn the language. I am doing fairly well but Melissa and the kids need to practice more. Pray we have wisdom about putting the kids in school. Pray we have wisdom of how to minister here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


It is funny how hard the first step is and how easy the rest can be. I remember jumping off cliffs when I was a teenager. The first jump you would linger at the top with the whole "you go first" routine, but once you felt the water surging past your face you couldn’t scramble back up fast enough.
Today we went to Argentina and took a first step towards loving some tribal people. We went to Puerto Iguassu and had lunch. Then we bought oranges and bread. When we drove up to the area there are normally quite a few tribal people we discovered they were mostly gone as it was the middle of the day. We began to get nervous about how hungry they might be or whether or not the food would be an insult. Daniel and Juliah were dying to give some oranges to someone. Finally they took the oranges to the guy “watching and parking cars”. He a woman saw and wandered over. We offered her bread and oranges, the rest saw and there were no more nerves. We gave out about fifty little French breads and 2/3 of our 50 lb. sack of oranges. It was interesting as it was obvious the guy didn’t want to look hurting but really wanted some too. We made sure we got his name “Gabrielle” and found out he lives in Paraguay and is from the Macca tribe. He tried to teach me to say thank you in his language but it might has well been “knock knock clickity click bing bang boom”.
I look forward to seeing how God develops our ministry to the poor and hurting. Especially the tribal people.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Act vs. React

We are learning so much of what it means to live in Brazil and we are truly loving it. There many things that are difficult but the people and the potential to love the unloved make up for the difficulties. One of the difficulties is time. You bleed time day in and day out. Government bureaucracy leads to bureaucracy with companies. Bureaucracy at business takes away motivation to get things done. Solving one problem leads to two more.

Yesterday I went to the church with Tim to look at making some swings for children’s ministry. The area we were looking at wasn’t going to be strong enough so we began looking at others. We now realize we need a ladder to put up and take down the swings as well as many other things, but that is another days problem. When we settled on something we went down to the ranch store to buy some rope, a hose for cleaning, and hooks. After selecting all our stuff we went to pay. You are required to give your CPF number here for big purchases, it is like your social. We had cash to pay but because our receipt printed wrong and didn’t say approved we had to wait what seemed close to 30-40 minutes to get someone to come to the computer who knew how to reprint it. The short of the story is that we still don’t have swings, we did purchase the stuff, and we have one less afternoon. Three of us.

Many of you know in the past we owned our own business and early on made some bad choices that led to debt. The thing I learned most in that process is that you can’t allow situations to dictate your choices but make choices to produce right situations. Act, don’t react. We were in such severe debt we no longer could make choices about our finances or lives we simply reacted to whatever crisis was at hand. This led to crisis in all aspects of our lives, spiritual, financial, marriage, family, etc... When it all began to crash we realized we had to take control of our lives back from the situations at hand and do what we needed to do regardless of the consequences. We were forced to let debts go, put marriage and God before work, come to our lowest point. When we began seeking God we became very purposeful at the same time. We got rid of cars we had payments on, we began to trust God to provide so that we could settle debts, without bankruptcy. We became purposeful about how many days I would be out of town, we hired employees to get jobs done more timely. We weren’t spending less money but we were spending it rightly and it was producing more. We weren’t less busy but we were together. So on and so forth. We were acting with a purpose.

When we had accomplished the feet of erasing the bulk of our debt we began to hear God saying it was time to go into missions. In fact I remember telling my parents in the midst of the hardship that we believed we would be out of debt and in missions within a couple years. This was before our worst financial times and right after the worst time in our marriage and my life. We began acting in this direction. We started turning down large jobs that demanded time or were 6 months to a year away. We became more prayerful as a family. We governed our lives by the priorities and direction God was giving us. Things fell into place as we sought God and made purposeful decisions and moved away from urgent responses.

Now here we are challenged in this area. Problems and reactions are taking the bulk of our time. How do we reapply what we learned in our new culture? We are trying to take control of our lives back from problems with power and water bills. With lack of discipline in schedule on our part. With general problems we can face every day. We need to schedule a day to deal with all bills. Days for family, for ministry for other things.

We believe God has called us here to love the unloved. To feed the poor, to disciple the lost towards Jesus. This probably includes a property for vocational schooling and tutoring. Perhaps a business, or other side ventures. It may include more people than us, it may include our church body at home. One thing I know is none of it will happen if we don’t begin to act, to purpose our lives around our calling and make decisions before we have too. Pray for us as we are learning how to take control of our normal lives here.

Love you all,


The Lyon Family.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Exercise, Training, Athletics I now know why Paul used these analogies.

Having been in Brazil 4 months now it is easy to loose focus on today and become frustrated with all the things we would like to be doing. We want to work daily with the poor and broken. We see the GuaranĂ­ people, the street people pushing carts with their kids to pick up trash. Yesterday we seen a woman with a 4 year old girl hiding by her cart of trash sucking on a pacifier while her mom went down  a street to look for recycling. Possible the most filthy, dirty absolutely beautiful little girl I have seen. I wanted to take her home. They are the forgotten people. I was limited by language, understanding and resources from doing anything beyond acknowledging this little lindinha with a smile and a bom dia.

We have to remind ourselves we are in a season of training. We have to be thankful that we get some opportunities to touch and reach out now. Cidade Nova and Ciaadi, are a glimpse of our future, a poor community where we help a few bible students with a kids program and the prison for boys. This is only part of our training.

1 Chor 9:24-27 24Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

We are in a season preparing for the competition that is to come. Disciplining ourselves in prayer, reading of the word (especially together as a family), learning language, culture, where and when to buy food. If we want to be effective this time in the gym and on the practice field is vital. If we get impatient and run out to meet the desperate needs before we are prepared we will be unorganized, ineffective and accomplish far less then if we train as if we are going to the Olympics in 4 years. I am constantly encouraged thinking of the years of preparation, planning and coming together of people to put on Willamette Celebration. This is our time to train. Our time to run is within site and just around a corner. Pray for our patience, our discipline, our endurance as we train to love the hurting.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ben and Melissa and the children in Brasil, from a grandma’s perspective.

I have been here in Brasil with my son and his family for about 10 days. I feel like I already have so much I want their friends and family to know about their life here. As most of you know, they have recently moved into what is to be there dwelling space for the next year. It is a nice place and seems to suit their needs well. However, moving into a rental here is not the same as moving into a rental in the states. They have borrowed mattresses to put on the floor for beds, they store there clothing in storage tubs, they have borrowed dishes, pans and utensils. We shopped for a couple of days to find a kitchen faucet, sink, countertop and cabinet for the kitchen. They had previously purchased a stove and refrigerator when they lived in the apartment for a month. Today, Ben built a very small shelf with the tools he purchased in Paraguay and I am waiting to see which place Melissa will choose first to fill the need for storage. Somewhere to put groceries, dishes, pans…or something else? I would love to see them have a table and chairs to sit at for home school, for eating, or just for somewhere to sit around and play games together. I would also like them to have beds to get them up off of the floor away from creepy crawly things and a car to transport them to some of the many places they have to go. They walk miles every day to purchase the daily groceries, to go to church or for Portuguese lessons. Doing without what seems to be essentials in the states, going to bed late and getting up early, all the walking, purchasing used appliances to save money only to find out it is broken and spend more money to fix them. The list goes on but what I want to say most is how I see them all dealing with the daily stresses that come there way. The kids are generally very content and make life fun wherever they are. They walk without grumbling. Melissa loves the people and encourages the kids to participate in ministry to the other children in need. They all feel blessed beyond those they are ministering to and say so often. At Melissa’s birthday party, Moriah saw a man she thought was in need and asked mommy to give him the leftover food and cake. Ben works hard to help his family focus ahead on what God has for them. If a mom and grandma is allowed to be proud, I am VERY proud of Ben, Melissa, Moriah, Daniel, Juliah and yes, even baby Alannah who spends much of her day being toted miles around in the sling her  mommy wears. They may feel like Gideon but there trust is in the Lord our God to work in and through them in this place. Please remember them in your daily prayers :o).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

School is over, Ministry is taking off

Wow two months went by fast. We really learned so much in the ITMP, even though at times the information seemed like review. Melissa and I both have a fair missions background. What amazed me was how much we learned from Tim Rogers and how much the information begins to go from facts and theories to reality when you can sit in class with a 10 year veteran and discus the issues. Now for language school (I am beginning to do fairly well with language, if I would just study).

We need a lot of prayer as we are  beginning to get involved in ministry with the church and around the city. We will be working under Tim at Refuge, Calvary Foz. This means some of what We do will be focused on growing the church there, evangelism, youth ministry stuff like that. Also we desire to see people in the church reach out into other areas of ministry with the extensive poor and broken around the church.

We began going to Ciadi a juvenile prison facility 3 weeks ago. We go every Friday and share the gospel with 3 groups of 5-13 kids each. They are very hard kids but choose to come even though they have other things they could do. We are going to go through the book of John with them. I pray ,and ask you to join me, that they would experience life changing transformation. The opportunity to disciple right in the prison on a weekly basis is amazing.

Last night I went out with 2 guys to do evangelism at a local college campus. I approached a few people in Portuguese and shared with them for a little bit without any idea if I was speaking rightly or making any sense. You know when you are evangelism at first people stare at you blankly anyways. The funny thing was it was incredibly scary and the first person I got the nerve to go up to was a Christian who translates for missions teams with his Methodist church when they do evangelism. All that courage for nothing. The interesting thing doing evangelism in a heavily Catholic country is everyone accepts there is God and has some sort of belief in Jesus. However none of them practice and none of them seem to have a good understanding of sin or payment for sin. They aren’t walking with God and are hindered from finding salvation by their poor understanding of who God is. We talked to 3 people for 2 hours and it wasn’t until the last 30 minutes they seemed to understand who Jesus is and what the cross is.

Also this week we went to lunch at a Lebanese restaurant. Melissa became friends with the daughters of the owners and they want to take her around and show her some schools the kids could go to. This is the most heavily Muslim restaurant down town. The girls where the traditional dress (here it is Sunni, they have their faces showing) and the girls are both getting married in what seems to be arranged marriages.

Today we are going with the kids Portuguese teacher to Cidade Nova. A very poor community just outside of Foz. Her and some friends do a little children’s ministry there every week. Tuesday is children’s day in Brazil so they are doing a big fair today. Several people from the church have decided to go with us including the family we had been living with. This is a great opportunity to begin involvement with the massive population of hurting peoples.

Yesterday a girl of around 17 or 18 came by asking for food or clothes. She had a small child hanging from her breast and was covered in dirt. We gave her food and watched her hopelessly walk down the street. She was native, Indian, from Argentina. She would have been quite pretty with a shower and decent clothes but do to the nature of life for some people here she will never experience either.

Melissa also is looking into going into Paraguay once a week to serve at a house for kids with hiv. Parents have either died or abandoned their kids there. Lucimar, our kids Portuguese teacher, goes to clean the house and do bible stories with the kids. What  a blessing to meat and develop relationship with a young Brazilian already willing to love the poor who speaks English. God is providing so much.

We need prayer for finances as the next few months could be a bit tough. We owe double rent through November to get a 3 month deposit to the landlord. We need prayer for wisdom as we have many ministry opportunities. We need prayer as we look to build relationship with more churches in the United States.

It really is amazing what God is doing. Brazil is home now. We love it here. Melissa is having her 30th Birthday Monday. We are renting a soccer field and having the church all come to play. The guy who rents the field also makes bbq and is giving us a reasonable price. She is really excited.

Love and miss you all,

The Lyon Family

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life is moving

Wow, September already. Here we are just over 2 months in Brazil, 1/3 of the way through the missions school, Not to mention a brand new baby. So much going on.

The IMTP is going well. We are going through the book of acts looking at the first church and first missions. Melissa has cooking classes and Ben is helping remodel an old tire shop into a church sanctuary. We live with Lori and Neto, a Brazilian couple with two little girls. We have 2 guest rooms behind their house. It is a pretty good set up. Living with another family isn’t always easy, but it is helping with language and culture.

Melissa’s recent baby experience:

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Let her tell you about it.

“Before coming to Brazil I had heard a lot of bad experience stories from women who had some issues, or from my doctor who was afraid they would push me into a c-section. It was making me a little nervous, but I kept praying and trusted God to lead me. All I really wanted was for Alannah to be healthy. On August 28th I woke up, and we talked about going to the lake. I was having mild contractions, so we decided to go to Tim and TaLisa’s house to let the kids play. Over the afternoon as we were there the contractions began to increase. We were close to the hospital, so I decided to stay there.

About 8:00pm, the contractions were 5 minutes apart, and I knew it was time to go. Tim was still at church, so we needed to walk. The hospital was around 1/4 mile away. I made it just fine, but my contractions were getting stronger and it was kind of different to walk. It probably sped up my labor. We got to the hospital around 8:45, and in the lobby we had to ring a doorbell - which nobody answers. That’s when I began to get nervous. During the 15 minutes or so I waited, I realized that I was in a different country. During that time Ben had left to get a paper proving we had pre-paid. While he was gone, the hospital staff opened the door and let me in, but not TaLisa. I sat on a bench with a Brazilian girl, having contractions and waiting to be checked for active labor. She was sent home because hers wasn’t active labor; then they checked me. I was five centimeters, and they told me I would be checked in…I think.

I got into a gown and they walked me to room where a few ladies were in active labor. I told the nurse that I would rather walk, but still I had no translator and my contractions were getting worse. The hospital couldn’t get a hold of my doctor who had agreed to TaLisa being there, and I didn’t know if I would see her or Ben again before the baby came. I was getting scared. I remember praying and asking God for peace. I began to sing worship songs, didn’t notice my contractions as much, and began calm down. I knew even if I had to be alone, God would get me through it.

Finally, TaLisa was allowed in, praise God. I got into a water birth tub for a while. They finally got my doctor on the phone, but he wasn’t going to make it. We were not sure the other doctor would allow TaLisa to stay or Ben to come in. My new doctor checked and I had progressed to 7 centimeters. They would give me medicine at 8. At 8 centimeters they took me to a surgery room because the room I was in was set up for natural, no drugs. The pain was getting stronger when they finally gave me a spinal tap. It was probably about 11:30. It seemed like 10 minutes later I was pushing. They went and got Ben and had him wait just outside the door. At the last few pushes they let him come be near me.

It was really different. They didn’t have monitors on me or the baby, but instead a nurse had her hands on my stomach. When I would have a contraction she would tell me to push and then help by pushing on my stomach. At 11:57pm Alannah joined us. I lurched forward and grabbed my precious girl from the doctor, all slimy and purple, and kissed her. They practically had to wrestle her away. Ben turned and left the room so he wouldn’t have to pass out.

They then took her and cleaned her, got her dressed, and put her in a warming bed. They took me to a recovery room and got me ready to go to our room. They put her on my bed and wheeled us to the room with Ben.

In the end, everything was perfect. I couldn’t have asked God for more. He had prepared the way, the doctors, the hospital and everything. I would have missed out on what God wanted if I had let fear rule. I am very thankful to now be holding this sweet little girl. Praise God and thank Him for holding us in His hands.”


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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Surprise baby shower and missions training school

I wanted to post a few pictures of last night. Our family was invited over to our friends house for what we thought was hanging out but to our surprise they had planned a baby shower. Loriane did a wonderful job keeping it a secret and decorating. Moriah even knew I was clueless:) What a blessing it was for me Thank you guys I loved it.

We also are packing this weekend to start The school. We are moving in with a wonderful family I will try and get more pictures where we will be for 2 months. We are excited to see God work in our lives as we learn and grow during this school. Please pray for strength as we will be stretched and getting the kids back into a school routine. love Melissa

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Words fail

It is impossible to communicate all we are going through and learning. Mostly because we wouldn’t be able to describe it. The last two days I (Ben) went to a prison for boys 12-18 with Tim (pastor) and a group of guys from the church. In most ways it was no more or less hopeless than a prison in the united states, hurting people need Jesus and when you are broken to the point of causing destruction it always stands out.  In another ways it was very different. The boys only had a simple sweat suits and flip flops (with socks, I told Melissa a hundred times it doesn’t look weird to wear socks and flip flops). Not that different except it wasn’t any more than 40 degrees and there was no heat. Concrete benches, tables and families that felt little hope. Today I got to share about people in our family who have looked to Jesus and found hope.

As I prepared for today I was thinking about how just one month in, being a missionary is becoming a job like any other. The adventure begins to become normal. Working on the church is just something that needs done. Learning the language is a process and takes work. Everything becomes routine. Pastors, Missionaries, Teachers, Construction workers, we are all the same, we have a job. I began to realize the challenge we face isn’t to be spiritual enough to be good missionaries. It isn’t cultural, it isn’t language. It is the same challenge we all face. To love Jesus enough to stay a Christian. Its to love Jesus enough that it rubs off on others and they find grace. It doesn’t matter what you are doing we all face this challenge. We too often get caught up measuring our progress by knowledge, lack of sin, souls saved and forget to look at the one who saved us. I was sharing out of John 3:14-19. I was reading where Jesus compared himself to the serpent Moses lifted up in Numbers 21 (I think that is the right chapter). We are all bit by sin in a world full of more vipers waiting to bite us. All we have to do is look to Him, but too often we are looking at the things around us. I recently read Crazy Love by Francis Chan. He talks about how when we are in love we tirelessly pursue. He talks about loving Jesus that way. Instead of running from sin, or trying to become smart we should tireless run to Him out of love.

As I prepared I was realizing how important it is to look to the cross for every decision. Every interaction, every relationship, every hardship. Look up at the cross. Let it permiate who you are, change your thoughts, your actions, your love for others. It doesn’t matter what you are doing with your life, it matters who you pursue.

Oh and here are pictures of us and the kids working on the church, going to an evangelistic thing and other stuff.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Learning…. more learning

I am amazed how much we don’t know. God moving us to a new country a new culture reminds us daily how it is Him that does good work not us. The great thing about God is that when we begin to realize our inadequacy even just for a moment He loves us enough to show us a glimpse of our usefulness to Him(totally based on the work He is doing in us, not us).

Not knowing the language, not being in a place of daily ministry yet, we were beginning to feel useless. Beginning to realize our need for God. It is only an illusion that we offer anything and leaving our own culture evaporates that illusion. The last few days the Lord has opened our eyes to see ways he can use us even now. Melissa unknowingly went on openly about her relationship with the Lord with an English speaker of a different faith. We know testimony of what God is doing in our lives and His power in us is the best tool to reveal who He is. I was able to encourage a girl who has lived here since she was little. We went to the store to return a bottle that leaked. Melissa took the kids to another part of the store to get an ice cream cone while I waited for a bottle. Trying to order a girl came to help her who then wanted to introduce herself and know our names. Playing on the playground in our building with our kids I began to play with a couple of boys, a little game of dodge ball with Mateo and whosathat. None of these are big things but they all give us a glimpse of how just being dumb Gringos opens doors. We know we need to get cards that have the church address and service times. We know we need to study hard and learn the language. God will keep opening doors we need to learn to capitalize. In the meantime we be our dumb old selves and smile a lot. We wake up and look out our window, go out on our mini deck and pray for the Mosque and the Lebanese in this community. We keep loving God and loving others. God will do the work. We are in a season of preparing and building, it is good and has value. We don’t need to rush, just be faithful. Thanks you all for your continued prayers and support.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We really appreciate the wonderful people we are getting to know here in Foz. Calvary Foz seems to be a great group of people. We had 17 people at church on Sunday night, there can be as many as 40 when everyone comes. I walked down the street because there was a couple other churches, we were the biggest service that night. It may sound funny but it was kind of encouraging to see the small numbers. I had been struggling feeling like there is a church on every corner and I may not be needed. I know I should be happy to serve the Lord where ever He calls but it was kind of fun to see there is a massive need for evangelism in this city. I know it is terrible to be glad lots of people aren’t Christians and that isn’t exactly how I feel. It is more that we understand why the Lord led us here. We hope we can inspire much evangelism and are excited that the people in the church are excited to have a new building which they can invite others too.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting to know the church

We have been in Foz several days now. We arrived Wednesday morning and stayed in a hotel that night. The next day is when we were told that someone wanted to let us use an apartment so we checked out. We went over to the apartment to discover the person living there before hadn’t paid their electric bill in 5 months and the owner of the apartment couldn’t get it turned on without a contract with a new person. That is not as simple as it sounds. Even in that God had a plan, the hotel was full so the pastor and his wife had us come to their house.

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We slept in an outdoor room that is kind of a lean too, with the fire going it may have been warmer than the house. It gave us and the kids a chance to get to know Tim and Talisa better and their kids.

Last night we decided to take advantage of the outdoor room as we are staying here while we wait for our power to be turned on. We invited the people who were going to a bible study and prayer meeting for the church to come and have a barbeque. I bought too much meat as usual.

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We barbequed in the fire place and set up the Wii on the churches projector and the small sound system we brought.

We also had a small birthday party for Moriah last Thursday before the Rogers family left for Rio. The church here has about 40 people in it and has been meeting for almost 3 years. They are planning to go out and do some evangelism this Friday. I am looking forward to going with them. This city looks ripe for evangelism. It is amazing there are so many churches but they are so religious (not in a good way) that they offer people little freedom, it comes from their catholic background I suppose. Churches like this that teach people that it isn’t about what you do but what Christ did seem to struggle to get the older people in.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


It is amazing the way God leads! We so often have one idea and he has another. God led us to leave Sao Paulo and head southwest hundreds of miles. We weren’t expecting to come here yet and it seemed like it was completely wrong timing. Yet here we are, full of peace knowing this is where He was leading. Full of anxiousness because we need to find a doctor, get a cpf (social security) number, get a bill in our name and we will be entering a missions training school.

God knows what he is doing though. We arrived and a Christian couple is providing us an apartment for nothing more than the housing fees (cost of maintenance to the elevator and stuff). It will only cost us about $150 US for the next 30 days. Then the school will cost $2,000 for the two months. During that time we will live with a Brazilian family. This is a huge blessing, furniture and appliances are very expensive here and this will allow us to spend a bit of money on them while our living costs are low.

We don’t know what is after the school but we know living with people who don’t speak English will improve our Portuguese and teach us what it will take to live as missionaries. Live in a way that relates to the people and is sustainable. If we try and cook like we are used to we will be broke in a week. Everything is new and this is the perfect way to learn what life here means.

Tonight we go to church for a bible study and prayer. We will then invite everyone back to the pastors home, we are staying here while the power gets turned on in our apartment and their family is on vacation. Also I am going to try and figure out how to hang a door in Brazil. Concrete walls, I think they  glue the door jamb in with thin set.

Monday, July 12, 2010

In Curitiba on our way to Foz do Iguacu

It has been refreshing to spend time with old friends and mentors as we begin our time in Brazil. It is easy to get hung up on all the stuff we are trying to learn and begin to feel very inadequate. That is because we are inadequate. What was so encouraging was to hear him preach out of 2 Tim 1, on how the gospel is worth it. How it is God that works in us, and His Spirit that enables us to be useful. It is simply that we recognize our inadequacy more as we are trying to feel useful in a new culture and learning a new language. It must be God it will never be us. If he hadn’t called us this would be a waste of time. Praise Him that we become more sure every day that He has called us here. He is worth it, the gospel is worth it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

How I learned from Mary

The lord really has shown me a lot these last few days. What I’m willing to let loose and how I’m to trust him. Coming to Brazil I knew I’d given up much, but how far am I willing to let the Lord lead and have complete control of my life and emotions? We had are own ideas of what we wanted to do and where we would go. Arriving in Sao Paulo I fell in love with the people all over again. Their passion for worshiping God and their love for each other. Praying with Ben for the lords leading we have decided to head to Iguassu instead of waiting until February. There is a school that starts in mid August called intensive missions training where you live with a Brazilian family and you go to class 3 times a week, it is run by Calvary chapel in Iguassu. We had planned on going last October but God kept us in Oregon (praise him) until now. We will be living with our Brazilian family around the time our baby is born. When I heard this I was against this idea “This is the wrong timing, what about my space, my feelings, I’ve been living with people for a month now” I had to take a  step back and pray and be alone and ask God “is this right, is this the right timing, is it your timing Lord?” I don’t know if anyone else is like me when you want answers you open your bible and expect the first thing to speak to you.:) Why do we do this? anyways I was trying to think about a woman in the bible who had gone through a similar thing. I remembered Mary I turned to Luke 1. An angel came and told Mary she would conceive a child our savior Jesus. Mary was confused and disturbed at first, “Wait I’m a virgin” she said.  I imagined what she must of been thinking. I’m about to get married what will people think of me, what about my future, my family will dishonor me, The timing is all wrong Lord cant you wait till I’m married at least. She then said these words I don’t now how long  it took her to say  this “I am the lords servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants” It seems to me it took a matter of seconds. I started praying for her same obedience and her trust in the Lord even though it wasn’t the best timing in our eyes. Why should I worry, why should I not trust him to give me the best. I prayed Lord I’m your servant, and am willing to accept whatever you want. God’s peace swept over me(I love that feeling) He is so amazing he knows what we need even when we don’t:)  I hope this encourages someone else going through similar things. Sometimes the Lord takes us through things we don’t understand or we feel like its the worst possible timing. God will show you and lead you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

First service

We arrived at a really neat time, Vineyard capital met for the first time in their new space. They had been renting a hotel conference room but found a club that is closed on Sundays. It is bigger, they get the whole building and it has a very cool look. It was a great service, the worship was awesome and it looked like Junior preached well, can’t wait to understand.

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The kids had a great time pretending like they were movie stars.

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We looked at a couple houses and an apartment today. We decided to slow down the decision a week or so. They want you to sign a 36 month contract here, also places rent within a day or two, adding pressure. Some people will let you out after the first year and the early termination fees are high. We are going to see if we can go to Foz do Iguacu for a week and evaluate. As we were thinking of spending 6 months in Sao Paulo and 6 months in Iguacu. It may not be possible to spend less than a year somewhere we need to make sure we make the right decision. There is ministry to be done everywhere, we need to pick the right place for our family to live while we learn language and adjust to the culture.

Love you all, pray that we have wisdom and communicate well.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

1st official post from Brazil :)

We made it, yeah. The flight was very short compared to last year. It took 1 hour to Dallas then 9 1/2 hours over night to Sao Paulo. The kids did great on the flights, I however suffered from really swollen feet. I guess being in the air and pregnancy does that to you :).

It feels good to be here. Especially with our Brazilian  friends Junior and Vania whom we will be working with over the next 6 months. They made us feel like family when we arrived, with cards, amazing food and giving up their beds for us.

We have looked at our first two apartments, it is exciting and yet hard not to be fearful. I really don’t know how people live in this city. Everything is so expensive and takes so much effort. We looked at one apartment that gave us a good idea of life in the city. We walked a half a mile or so to the metro station. Bought tickets, $10 for 8 tickets (Juliah is free for the next year). Rode the first train to an insanely busy central station(it was Saturday and far from rush hour) then transferred to another line and rode to the end of that. Walked close to a mile uphill along busy streets. It was a nice enough apartment but the street was too busy, it was more urban than a neighborhood. Then we walked to a mall and looked into internet, also very expensive. The effort it takes to go anywhere or do anything is hard to explain. We are really praying as we still believe this is where God wants us to begin our time in Brazil and where we have the opportunity to build relationships that will be a blessing to us in this nation. It is just hard to imagine what it will take to adjust and survive here. With the baby due in a couple months it adds a pressure, feeling like we have to make decisions in a hurry. Not too mention we have been living in other peoples homes for a full month now. Everyone is in good spirits and we feel the peace of God but if you think about more than one thing at a time it overwhelms you.

We will get pictures of apartments we look at from now on. We have just been recovering from arriving Friday morning. The cool thing is we arrived before Capital, our church here, meets for the first time in their new space. They rented space from a night club in the heart of the city.

Love you all,

Lyon family

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Today is the day

We leave in a few hours for the airport. Today we begin our new lives. It has been great to be in KC and see the way Melissa’s family has grown. Some who were not Christians the last time we were here are now. God is really cool. Love you all.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Much needed rest

It is amazing how the Lord orchestrates plans we make for exactly what we need. When we planned this time in KC we were looking at the convenience factor. What I am finding is that our family was very tired after nine months of extreme business. I am thankful the Lord has had this time for us to rest and have little responsibility for a week. Especially considering the emotion and exhaustion of packing and leaving. Thanks for your prayers, we leave Thursday and arrive in Brazil Friday. We will be very busy finding an apartment and getting our legal papers. Finding Melissa a doctor and looking into schooling for the kids, all while learning a new language. God really has orchestrated things.

Selling our van yesterday was another hard step. We really have committed now. A couple more days of rest and we get started.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Painful goodbyes and a long road trip

Sorry it’s taken a few days to write a post. Its been an emotional week or our family. Saying goodbye to friends and family in Oregon was harder than I thought it was going to be. It truly is hard to leave but reading Matthew 19;29 '”And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life”. My favorite part is Everlasting life. Thinking on these words reminds me not only will I be in heaven forever with Christ but with my family and friends I’m leaving behind. And going on to share this Great news, Jesus Christ with others who will also be with me forever in heaven:)

So we packed our van Tuesday with everything we own and headed out. We arrived in Yellowstone for a mini vacation  with Ben’s sister Jody. We arrived Wednesday and it was very cold so camping was out of the question. It ended up snowing, so we got a hotel room. Think you Lord for providing the money for our room. God’s beauty is all over Yellowstone From the animals to the mountains and waterfalls. We had a great time but I was very anxious to get to Kansas. We left that night and headed to Kansas. We had a very nice long drive thru Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and then eventually Kansas City. We are here visiting my family. My sister is pregnant and due any day now. Then we fly out to Brazil on the first of July. I’m excited To see what God’s plan is for our family in Brazil. Thank you for praying and supporting us. As long as we have internet we will post.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

My Lords compassion

I truly have the best kids in the world. We have been so busy these last few weeks preparing to leave, from selling stuff to saying goodbyes.Tonight as I was putting the kids to bed emotion swept over me. These children have given up so much I thought. Juliah her dog, Moriah her best friend, Daniel his boyhood from climbing trees in Oregon to getting lost in the massive crowds in Sao Paulo. I couldn't hold back the tears anymore. I wanted to hold them close and be a protective mother. Instead I prayed for strength and tucked them in offering them words of encouragement and one last prayer. I turned off there lights and I fell on my  bed" Lord" I prayed "Why is this so hard? Is this right?". God's wonderful peace swept over me as I prayed for strength again. I found myself reading Mathew 14. the story goes  Jesus was with a huge crowd of people and the disciple's wanted to turn them away to get food and leave them alone. But Jesus filled with compassion for all these hurting and sick and hungry people said "They need not go away, Feed them". I then kept finding more and more verses with Jesus having compassion. So much compassion for the hurting and lost that he set aside all his needs just to be with them a little longer. My heart sank "Lord I prayed give me this heart of yours" to love the lost and hurting so much more than my comfort. Help me to trust my kids into your hands father, you love them more then I could ever even imagine to......I know this is gonna be hard I may not show it but I feel it.  After all Christ gave up so much for us just to be with us.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Getting closer

We are so close to leaving. About 9 days. Thank you all so much for your prayer and support. We need to see a little more commitments. We could use another $600 a month. That is twelve families at $50 per month. Pray as we try and close our time here well.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Track and Field day


Time is flying by so fast. The kids are doing so good I wanted to post some pictures of their last Track and field day. We are going to miss our friends and family so much. Our time spent with them is bittersweet.



We have been so blessed to have our kids at Albany Christian school for six years now, They have made life long friends. We want to thank them for having us a part of their family.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Giving away our dog

I swore I would never get a dog because I hate getting attached to them. As the kids were growing I remember Moriah asking constantly for a dog. Then I began to want one and here we are. I am attached and I have to find him a home. It is funny the things that are hard as we prepare to go. Pray for us that we will trust God in this and that he will provide the right people to care for the dog.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It is hard to be sad and excited at the same time

Buying our tickets last week was one of the most exciting moments we have had in a long time. It is really happening. We are going to be in Brazil, have our baby there, work with church plants. God is so good and so able to provide. His faithfulness to bring about his promises should never be doubted. The amazing thing is the feeling of isolation and loneliness that came with that excitement. We are leaving family, wonderful friends, a great church family and we have a deadline. It is no longer this summer, or probably by July it is about here. We are leaving June 17th for Kansas City and flying from there to Brazil on July 1st.

Pray for us as we work to say good bye, finish fund raising, and get rid of most of our possession's. We want to finish our time here well. We want to be a blessing to our supporters, family and our church. We need God now more than ever. We are so thankful and want to give Him glory as we take this next step and go.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Checks we can't cash

Sometimes in life we write checks we can't cash. We promise to do things we often know we can't follow through on or things come up and we fall short. We buy a car we shouldn't and the payments get overwhelming or over use credit cards and have to dig out of a hole. The consequences of these checks can be sever or moderate but we have all been there.

I want to tell you about some friends who did this with us and the difference between faith and hope. We write the ones we can't cash out of hope when we simply want a bigger tv or to look good promising to help with some project. We hope it works out. We hope we discipline ourselves and pay things off. When God leads us and we don't know how it will work we call it faith. Sometimes this may seem foolish but our faith grows when it works out.

Some friends of ours felt like God was putting it on their heart to support us. They felt like God was challenging them to commit beyond what they could "afford". I am not sharing this to encourage anyone to give but to encourage them to obey God. They stepped out and made a commitment and mailed in their electronic funds transfer form for the amount they had in mind. About the time the first payment, amidst layoffs at his work, he gets a raise for almost the identical amount they committed to us.

It is so cool as we are in the midst of trying to do the impossible to see God faithfully meet them as they obey. The idea of moving my family to a new country, continent and language is a check I can't cash. Good thing God can.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

God will come through

As much as it is a cool season as I recently shared. It is also a very draining season. Lots of meetings, dinners, packing, busyness in general. I know from past experience that when we are the most tired, exposed, and plain feeling wore out that is when God can come through the strongest. I know if I had everything come easy I would begin looking at how cool I am instead of how much I need God. It feels strange to say this but I am thankful God takes us to the end of ourselves and beyond. It really is when I don't believe things will work out, or I don't have anything left that God is proved most faithful, most real. I wonder if we could come to the point where we absolutely are reliant on God and not worried at all about life's circumstances. Would God simply meet needs daily without the slightest stress on our parts. Like the daisies or the birds would we simply daily glorify God without a thought or stress as to how things might work. I really want to be in that place but it seems every time I begin to get there I start becoming self reliant once again and the Lord is forced to stretch me one more time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cool season

We are really blessed as we are in this season of support raising. People are extremely gracious and many are excited to partner with us in what the Lord is doing. Sometimes we forget what a big family we have in the Lord until you begin to do something you can´t do on your own. We want everyone to know that being a sender is just as glorifying to God and just as vital as someone willing to go. Maybe more so. We appreciate the tremendous support and love we have received in this last year.

School is almost done, we have learned a lot. We am ready to go. As scary as the idea of learning a new culture and language is we are excited to get started on our next leg of this journey.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tobasco park

One night when we were in Mexico we had the opportunity to present the gospel in the city park in Tobasco. It was an amazing night full of opposition. Our tape player for the drama broke, we began to fight, we disagreed with our host pastor. God came through, the gospel was preached, people got saved, people were fed and clothed. God is good.
IMG_3105Julio has come home and seems to continue to find success as an evangelist. We went to the OSU campus together with a few students from my bible school. He led 2 people to the Lord just yesterday.


So many of you want to contribute prayerfully, financially, and in effort. I want to say thank you. It is encouraging as we step out in faith to receive confirmation from friends and family that this is what the Lord is doing in our life. Thank you all so much.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tobasco, the harvest is ready


What a cool place. Tobasco a little farming town just across the border. People here are farm workers and don’t make a lot of money but they do have a healthy joy. It was amazing to get another opportunity to go to Tobasco and share a message with my friends at Aqua Viva. Pastor Alfredo is a wonderful man that has a huge heart for the people in his church, city, and surrounding villages. People there are ready to hear the gospel, respond and his church is ready to disciple them. He is readying the men in his church to start bible studies or house churches in the small villages around where there is no church.

Personally I was humbled when he shared with Melissa and I that him and his church had been faithfully praying for us this last year. So much has happened in our life since we went there. It was the point we realized now is the time to go. It was the beginning of our preparing to go this July. Here is this little church, in a little town, with so much of their own needs and we have been blessed to be lifted in prayer by them. We don’t deserve it, we don’t deserve such a loving beautiful God.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

20 minutes from the border!


There is nothing more striking than driving a little south of the US border to show how blessed we are. I can not imagine my family digging through the trash to recycle stuff for a living. Praise God we were able to give out bags of soup mix and sandwiches.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Brick yards


ourkids This year we were able to return to the brick yards of San Luis to share God's love with these hard working people. I had the opportunity last year to try my hand at making bricks so I passed this year. How ever our kids and several others gave it a try. People live on land, often owned by others who provide the materials for brick making, and make a living by forming, drying, and firing bricks. They are made from a mixture of soil and manure. A very old way of making bricks. The people here have very little but received us very warmly.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

We are home

We are home from Mexico. What a great time. We spent 4 days driving and 5 days ministering. Well worth it.

Saturday we arrived in San Luis at the Caring Hearts ran Bethel Orphanage. It is a small piece of paradise in a very impoverished city. They have excellent facilities that they use to house around 30 kids that are something in between orphans and foster kids. They also host teams. The kids, ours, the Haile's, the Norem's, all had a great time playing with the children their. It is really a great place to be housed and based. They regularly host teams that minister both in the orphanage and the community. I will post more pics and talk about some of the other ministry over the rest of the week.