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