Sunday, July 20, 2014

We've Got LAND!!!!!

 Today we met at our new piece of property to Praise God for His abundant blessing to us.  
After several months of waiting the purchase of the land was finalized and we have the title in our hands!    Our deacons and James are meeting tomorrow night to put together a plan for the building that they will bring before the church at a business meeting next Sunday.  Pray for us to be of one mind as we plan out the building. 

 What a blessing to hear our people pray and praise God for His goodness to us.  

At the end of our time at the property one of the men shared how God had laid it on his heart to donate an electronic piano to the church.  (Our keyboard was recently stolen).  
We continue to be in awe of God's provision for our every need!  
Continue to pray for us here at Redemption Baptist that we would 
be lights in this place that God has given us. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Missionary Culture

We are American Missionaries living in Brazil.
Our lives are full of constant contrasts and divided affections

We wanted Brazil to win the World Cup
We wanted America to do well

 On the way to our 4th of July celebration with some fellow missionaries we stopped to buy Brazil flags to put on the side mirrors of our car. 
 We get to Grandma's house and make US flags out of Playdough, 4th of July sugar cookies and
 US colored jello.
 Over breakfast we hear a report from Daniel on American History.

We put on our most Red, White and Blue clothes, (All our Old Navy Flag shirts have grown too small:) and head off to our 4th of July cook-out with Hot dogs and Hamburgers and baked beans. 

But at 5 o'clock Brazil is playing so we quickly switch to our Blue, Green and Yellow clothes and cheer for Brazil.  Finishing off the night with a Brazilian style cook out!

Missionaries have a culture all their own.  Their home country is always in their hearts but while they are gone that culture grows and changes without them and they are left feeling out of place or like they don't quite fit in like they used to.   Their ministry country is in their hearts as well but no matter how hard they try they will never quite fit in there either.  One of the greatest lessons I have learned as a missionary is that we are Strangers and Foreigners...PILGRIMS in this land.  And the longing that I have for a home is really a longing for heaven. 

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Just a quick update

I wanted to give you a quick update on what we are up to here in wintry, Santa Catarina Brazil.

 We have enjoyed reading through the book of Mark with this dear lady. 
 Pray with us that God would complete the good work He has begun in her.
We have begun a new discipleship study with our people on Wednesday nights and Friday nights going through the book, How People Change by Paul Tripp.
Pray with us that God would change us; that we would be transformed more into his image in order to show forth is glory in our lives. 

 Two of our young men have started taking guitar lessons from one of older teens.
(Training up future music leaders!!)
 New member class!
 Great Gospel opportunities with the children in our Children's Church.
This older girl has been in and out of our lives for 5 years now.  Sunday night I got to share again the only true way of Salvation.  She shared with me that she had recently done a bible study with the Jehovah's Witnesses.  We are praying that her eyes would be opened to salvation by Grace through faith ALONE!
 We praise God for our thriving children's ministry...
 For a bustling nursery...
 And the opportunity to celebrate the June birthdays!
Last night we completed a 4-week Bible study that focuses on the Gospel and how we can be saved.    Please pray for this couple, that the seed that was sown, would bear fruit for the glory of God!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Happy 38th James!

 Well, having a brazil game on your birthday already makes it special!  
Having your parents come down to watch the game with you makes it even more special!
 Having half the church show up after the game for a surprise party is well....a BIG surprise!
 Having LOTS of candles to blow out was an experience...
 The next day we took advantage of the sun and warmth and went for a picnic on the sea wall.  
We enjoyed a family bike ride and James also enjoyed a run in his birthday tennis shoes.

We wrapped up the day enjoying a yummy apple pie with the fam!
Happy birthday James, we love you!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's Valentines Day here in Brazil!

This year for Valentine's day we decided to make pizza...
After lots of chopping and cutting, we had the BEST pizzas ever!

 It was lots of fun putting the pizzas together, each one expressing their creativity...

 and artistic ability!

 We enjoyed fellowship together...
 Playing games together...
 And being reminded from the Word that we need to submit ourselves one to another as Christ submitted to the Father for our sakes. 

So, Happy Valentines Day to you, my Valentine of 16 years.  
I love you and am so thankful to be your wife. 
 I love hearing you share from God's word.
I love being transformed together by His love.
I love raising our kids together.
I love killing mice together.
I love laughing together.
I love crying together.
I love you.

Monday, June 16, 2014

World Cup Outreach

Saturday we held our World Cup outreach.  
It was misting as we arrived on the field around 7:30 am and we were wondering whether any of kids would show up...  Not long after, the first group of kids arrived.  We praise the Lord for over 40 young men who came out to play!  We are even more thankful for the chance to share the Good News repeatedly with them and their parents!

 First group to arrive at the field

 God blessed us with an awesome support staff!  
These are our registration ladies.

 Before each game, a young man shared the Gospel with the boys using our new tract for the World Cup, The 5 Cards.  This tract is awesome and uses the penalty cards from soccer to share the Gospel. 

 While the teams were playing, the rest of us where using salvation bracelets to share the Gospel with the other kids and the parents who were waiting for their game. 
The kids liked the bracelets so much they stuffed their pockets full of bracelets to take home! 
When we realized what they were doing, we limited them to two...One for them and one for a friend.

 Each of the teams were named after the countries of the World Cup.  
In the end Italy won our tournament! 
Will they win the official World Cup????

 I had to include a picture of our two girls who were there even though they couldn't play!

We are so thankful for the faithful group of servants the Lord has given us here
 at Redemption Baptist.  
- Pray for us as we begin follow up with these boys and their families that we would see some fruit. 
 - Pray that the seeds of the Gospel that were sown into their hearts would bring forth salvation!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

And the Gospel goes forth... The amazing Works of God at IBR

  Dn. Lore is a 72 year old retired dentist who has been saved around 7 years.  She came to our church saved but very weak in doctrine. At IBR she was encouraged to study the Word and today she is a sponge.  She is always studying the Word with passion, writing out her questions and then checking with James for answers.  God has given her a passion for the souls of those around her and although she proclaims she does not have gift of evangelism she often brings a group together and then invites someone else to share the Gospel.   

Last year she was one of the first to open her home up to do a NEB, our evangelistic bible study outreach.  She was so dissappointed at how few of her neighbors responded to the invitation to study the word.

But God was at work and during the past few months Dn. Lore has been meeting with 6 other older ladies for a morning prayer time.  Dn. Lore loves to pray privately but has always said she cannot pray out loud.  But here with these unsaved ladies, she took the lead and began to pray.

Then Dn. Lore started adding a scripture reading time to the prayer time, so each of the ladies would take turns reading a Psalm.  Each time they came across something they didn´t understand they would turn to Dn. Lore for an explaination. This went on for a while and then they asked Dn. Lore if she would "Preach" to them.  She told them she couldn´t preach but she would teach as best as she could.

So, she chose to study the book of John with her friends.  She told us yesterday that she does just what James does when he preaches, reads a few verses and discusses what they mean and then continues on.

This week they read  John 3 where Jesus tells Nicodemus he needs to be born again.  She went around the circle asking each woman what is means to be born again.  "Didn´t your pastor tell you what this means?"  She asked them.  They all waited expectantly while Dn. Lore shared the Good News with these ladies. 

This is just one more benefit of expositional preaching.  Not only does it faithfully teach the whole counsel of the word of God, it  also teaches your people how to study the word themselves and in the end equips them to teach the word to others!  We are so excited to see how God is working in and through Dn. Lore.  Pray with us that the Gospel would continue to bear fruit.