Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kids Club

 The past two Saturdays we have been able to hold a kids club.  We praise the Lord for each child as well as several adults who had the chance to hear the goods news of the gospel.  

 Karine did a wonderful job teaching the Bible story time, which taught on Joshua and the battle of Jericho but led to a wonderful Gospel presentation.  

 Game time as well as arts and crafts rounded out the day and allowed the kids to take the gospel home with them!
The theme of our club was the "Secret Formula" which is Jesus.  One of our men dressed up like a crazy scientist who was looking for the secret formula.  He spent the first club searching through the Bible for the formula.  He was reading through the book of Colossians (just to pass time) and in the version he was using, he ran across this translation, "This is the secret;  Christ in you!"  He was so excited that God had brought this verse to his attention during the club, because truly, Jesus is the secret to all of life!

Pray for us as we follow up with the families of the kids who came to the club.  We are really excited as two girls who came both weeks of the club were there on Sunday night with their brother.  Their mom and dad are showing some interest as well.  Pray that they will see the true gospel in us here at Redemption Baptist and that God will save this family.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Courage to Proclaim

Last Sunday morning our men were praying specifically for courage to share the gospel in their daily lives. Alex prayed for that, knowing that his tendency towards shyness often kept him from sharing his Savior with others.                                                                                                                                                                                         One day this week he stopped at the bakery for bread.  The usually bustling store was strangely empty.  As he asked for bread, the attendant commented on how cool his bracelet was.   Taken by surprise at the opening God was giving him he stood stunned for a moment.  As the attendant went back to get the bread, Alex gathered his thoughts and was ready to use his gospel bracelet to share the good news with this lady.  
Alex was able to share that God is represented by the yellow, He alone is perfect, holy and glorious. And although He created us to be in a relationship with Him we are separated from Him by our sin, which is represented by the color black.  But the good news is God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross and his perfect blood  (red) provides forgiveness, purifying our sinful hearts (white) for those who believe in Christ alone.  The green represents the new life we have in Christ and the privilege we have to once again be in an intimate relationship with Christ.

Alex took home several more bracelets to give out to people he comes in contact with on a regular basis. He is praising the Lord for this special answer to prayer, courage to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Bathing the year in Prayer

Friday night we had a special prayer service.  Our theme was based on Matthew 26 where Jesus and His disciples went to pray in preparation for His coming betrayal and death.
"Watch and Pray" 
 I cannot begin to express what a blessed time this was.  
It drew us closer to the Lord and to one another.  
We had times of individual prayer, confessing sin and seeking the Lord.
 We had times of group prayer, men and women, as well as small groups.  
 We had times of singing and praising our Lord together.
We had times of sharing testimonies of Salvation, how we seek to walk intimately with God, how  the church can pray for our walk with God and more.  
There are moments when I stand amazed at the work God is doing in us and through all of us here at IBR.  Friday night was one of those moments!
Oh Lord, You are GOOD to me!  
Help me to stay on the path of Your commands and take pleasure in them.  

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

"I think God brought me here to be a missionary"

 Dn. Lore, a 73 year old retired dentist has worked hard all of her life, only officially retiring last year!  But now, at the end of her life she is living in her most simple home surrounded by drug traffickers and violence.  Sunday she was unable to leave her home and come to church because a crazy man decided to throw bottles of vodka at every person or car who passed him on the street.  He stood just outside of her garage and she was too afraid to leave.

Just recently she asked James and I why we thought God had taken her from Rio de Janeiro and her lovely home there, to live here, in a simple home on the hill.  Immediately I thought, to do exactly what you are doing, being Christ to your neighbors!  Before I said a word, she responded to her own question, " I think He brought me here to be a missionary to my neighbors."  Last year I shared with you some of the ways that Dn. Lore has been reaching out to her neighbors with the Gospel  .

For almost a year Dn. Lore has been meeting with 5-7 ladies to read the Word and pray together.  She works hard to explain the passages and point the women to saving faith in Jesus Christ.  She serves the women, taking them to the doctor, helping distribute fruits and vegetables to needy families, bringing people to church.  In the past few weeks she asked these women if any of them would like to have her pastor come and share the Gospel with them and pray for them.  Three ladies accepted.

 When we arrived for the first visit, we were surprised to find not just ONE lady but a group of FOUR unsaved women.  As we ended the visit, Dn. Lore confirmed, "Ok, on Monday we are meeting at Glady´s house right?" And so on Monday we went back and again sat with 4 women sharing the Gospel.  We have now been able to support Dn. Lore, helping her continue to sow seeds of the Gospel in five different homes up on the hill.  Yesterday we (James and I and a group of four neighbor ladies) visited one of their sick neighbors.  We sat around the bed side, I watched Dn. Lore rub lotion over the diabetes dried feet and legs of this sick woman,  and almost cried.  Whoever is the least of these will become the greatest.  Unless a kernel of wheat fall to the ground and die it will not bring forth fruit.
Pray with us for these precious souls that the seeds of the Gospel would bear fruit to the 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mid-week study on the south side of town

The greater Florianópolis area has been growing VERY fast since we moved here in 2009.
A southern suburb of the city, Palhoça, is the fastest growing city in the state, in part because its property values are lower than anywhere nearby.  In the past two years we have had two families from our church buy homes there and a new family that has been attending our church since January is living there as well.  Because of traffic problems these families cannot get to church on Wednesday evenings and so in February we began having a mid-week study there on Thursdays to minister to these families as well as reach into the community.

 We praise the Lord for an incredible group of people each Thursday night.  We have had between 8-11 adults participating in the study as well as 3 adolescents.  We have also had to have a nursery and a children´s class to serve the seven younger children who attend as well!

We recently met with a missionary couple from Rio Grande de Sul who are planning to move up here sometime this year.  Maybe they will be a part of planting a church in this growing city.  Who knows what God has in store for us here in the city of Palhoça but we are thankful to be able to have a Gospel witness here for now.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Blessings upon our arrival

As most of you know, we were blessed to travel to the states for a month over Christmas/Summer break.  I wanted to share some of the blessings of the Lord that we experienced. 

1 – We praise the Lord for three core families that committed to stay in town and care for the church while we traveled. 
·         They took care of the preaching, song leading, children’s church, nursery, weekly Bible studies and more!
·         They took care of the body.  One of our elderly women fell and broke her knee while we were gone.  They stepped up and cared for her needs both physical and spiritual.
·         They took care of taking our young people to camp (a trip of 3 ½ hours each way!)
·         They took care of our home.  One of our men stayed at our house for us, taking care of our dogs and fish, as well as just being a presence against thieves.

2.  Upon our arrival back at the airport, we were picked up by two of our men.  From there we experienced more blessings!
·         Our car was cleaned inside and out and smelled wonderful!
·         At home two of our women welcomed us with hugs!
o   They had cleaned our house from top to bottom, even the refrigerator!
o   Opened all the windows
o   Washed all the bedding
o   Lit candles to give a warm welcome

3.  Our first night back three families stopped by to greet and welcome us home.

4.  The next evening we heard singing in the street and looked out the window to find most of our church family standing in front of our house, singing a welcome and carrying food and drinks for a welcome reception!

We feel so blessed by the church family that God has given us! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Celebrating His Coming - the 4 weeks of Advent

Week 4
 This week our men shared a wonderful presentation focusing on the Person of Jesus Christ.
Using passages from I John 1, John 1, as well as Philippians 2;  the men reminded us of how Worthy our Savior is of our worship, our confidence and our love.  
It was a powerful end to our programs being led by our men to reflect on our Savior.

James ended our Advent Sunday by looking at Matthew 2 and studying how the Wisemen received Jesus as King. 

After the service our ladies presented a box of special christmas goodies to one of the families in our church. 

We praise God for the generosity and love the people of Redemption Baptist have for one another!

Merry Christmas!