Monday, July 25, 2011


We have had a great week. A group from Edmonton has been here for a week. They are helping with many things at church. Much of their first week they did things with the kids and youth we have been working with.

Last Sunday they were around and did a song with the kids at our normal program. Then we went out the next day and invited kids back to the church for a vbs they had planned. We had rough weather and the kids were a tad stand offish at first. I made more trips back and forth in our van then ever before and we managed to get a decent number. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday they did a vbs in the afternoon and then a coffee shop in the evening.

It seemed like the vbs was kind of spiritual warfare. In all honesty the kids come to play ping pong and suffer through the lessons. They were doing a longer program then the kids were used too and they complained relentlessly that they wanted to play ping pong. It was driving me nuts.

Going through the favelas inviting kids we were able to pray for some people. One man has a swollen infected foot that I don’t like to think about. Another is a 96 year old Grandma that wants to try and go to church. Last night her feet hurt and her daughter didn’t think she could walk the path up to the road. This highlights the thought that we may need to do something in their neighborhood soon.

Friday and Saturday they did youth conferences. It is hard here in Brazil to distinguish youth, that seems to include anyone who comes. We had told the youth if they went to both nights they could go free to Recanto do Gaucho, a farm where they have playgrounds, horses, food, music, pools in the summer and even an Alligator.


Saturday they made a very clear presentation of the gospel. They had the room divide themselves into those who knew they would go to heaven and those who weren’t sure. Then invited all who wanted to be sure to pray with them. Everyone prayed. There is still much work to be done but what a boost.

Sunday the kids all looked very excited and played all day at the farm. They ate a ton. We sent 30 kids or so by city bus several miles out of town. Then I and a couple others shuttled them down the lane. They start cooking the ribs at 8 in the morning and serve them at 2. I loved taking three of the little girls to look at the Alligator. They turned and ran at the drop of a hat.  Even after the 5 hours there and 2 bus rides most of the kids stayed for church. We were tired, they were tired, church was hard but praise God they are beginning to listen.

Today Melissa is with the group helping them at a school for the mentally and physically handicapped. Something she has wanted to do for months. Pray she has a great time and sees doors open for future volunteering. God is so faithful.

Pray for us, we have seen provision of money for a washing machine and to cover the Federal police fees we had a couple weeks ago.

  • We are still a bit short for our bills and food the last week of this month.
  • We also need to make a trip to Rio or Sao Paulo right away to get some papers.
  • We need to focus on finishing our residency in August and September.
  • We need wisdom how to follow up with these kids and their families.

Tim and TaLisa will be leaving very soon. The guys in the church will have their hands full learning to run the church and minister to the current crowed. They are more then capable and will do well. This will put more responsibility on us to invest in the families we have been working with. We don’t know if that will mean bridging the gaps for them into this body or trying to create a body within their neighborhood and meeting their needs. God knows, we just need to pray.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A year in another land

After our first year in Brazil ended ten days ago we reflected quite a bit on how much change we had gone through. How hard or actually how impossible it would be to go back now. We aren’t the same people. I’m not saying it makes us better people or that everyone should try it. Just that in our case it created a time of isolation, a time of concentrated growth. It has been like a green house, creating conditions inside our family that didn’t necessarily exist around us.

At times we had too much time on our hands at times we tried to be busy and create opportunity. It took us time to get patient and relax, to settle in and let God begin opening doors. I think maybe we are getting there. Settling in to our own, looking for opportunities but not pushing. Willing to take them but not desperate for something to do.

Now, we are continuing to work with kids from a hard neighborhood. We went by there the other night for a street party they were having. It is an annual festival, kind of a winter or harvest thing. Overall it was pretty cool but seeing the 13-15 year olds openly drinking in front of their parents was a bit hard. Also seeing some of them starting to reject us a bit as they realize we are missionaries, there to see them submit to Christ. This begins to demonstrate for us what Jesus went through leaving heaven to come to earth and be rejected. It is all worth it to hear Vitor yell Ben and get hit at 50 mph with a giant hug. Many of the girls are real sweet too. We are growing in our heart for the girls as we go there and see the girls Moriahs age ceasing to play and starting to look for more sexual attention.

What does this next year bring, we aren’t sure. I think it brings more growth, a beginning of understanding how a family of 6 ministers, more clarity in where God is calling us and many more things we can’t foresee. The bottom line is a family of 6 moves slow and seemingly inefficient. However with the kids in school, Melissa having different relationships, me going out to get things we need for the house and so on I am beginning to see how God can multiply our ministry through our numbers. We all have a place and we are our own ministry team. That is if we let God develop it naturally around what he wants to do with us.

Thank you all for your prayer and support. Here are some upcoming needs you can pray for and consider helping with.

  • To finish our residency we need to see $1500-2000 dollars come in
  • Our wash machine broke and we really need one, 6 people clothes by hand isn’t going to work $600
  • We need some more storage furniture for the house. I am building a bed right now with drawers under it but we are under furnished. Items range $400-$800
  • We may best minister by starting a part time business, giving jobs to people and making a little money to help with ministry expenses. We need wisdom for this. What kind, what days, selling American food, building furniture. There may be some license and other start up costs if we do this. $500-1000