Monday, June 15, 2015

Pastor Appreciation Day

Sunday was Dia do Pastor here in Brazil.  
(Pastor's day)

Our church here is precious to us.  We are often amazed by the evidences of Grace in their lives. To be part of a church body where people are learning to live humbly, repenting of sin, seeking the Lord, and loving generously is an untold blessing. 

James would be the first to tell you that he is not a perfect pastor but he really wants to see his people and himself come to know and love God more.  We praise God for his mercy extended to us daily and the we thank him for entrusting us with these precious brothers and sisters.  

 Last night during the service we were presented with these really cool gifts in honor of Pastor appreciation day!  
Thank you God for your generosity to us through the people at IBR. 
We really do feel appreciated! 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Happy Valentines Day from Brazil

Friday was Valentines day here in Brazil.  
It is celebrated very differently from what is done in the US.  
Here in Brazil it only for couples, dating or married, children don't participate.  
So our church had a special couples dinner, hosted by the young people!

 Our special menu for the night was chili!  Now chili is not traditionally used seasoning so it was a bit of risk.  But one of our women loves to cook and she had a great recipe.  As you can see from the picture, we cleaned up the chili, so I guess it was a hit!    
 We had a study from the Word and at time of games led by the teens.  It was a great night of fellowship and lots of laughter.  One of the games was hearing the stories of how our husbands proposed to us.  It was lots of fun guessing who's story it was!  
 Happy valentines day from us down here in Brazil. 

And by the way, me and my valentine just celebrated 17 years of marriage this month!  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Iron Sharpening Iron

We recently had the honor to receive 14 men from the state to the south of us for a special time of fellowship and communion.  
These men drove up 6 hours, bringing their fine art of churrasco with them (grilling)! They camped out in our living rooms and joined us for our Sunday morning service before heading home.  
Along with our men and young men we had almost 30 men.  
It was a special time of fellowship and encouragement for all the men.  A highlight of the weekend was the time of testimony, hearing  how God is working, calling men to salvation.  

One of the men has an amazing ministry of reaching the lost.  He starts off by living out his Christianity in his work place.  He then invites men to his home for a 4-6 week evangelistic Bible study.  Over time he has led several co-workers to the Lord and these families are a key part of the church plant there in the greater Porto Alegre area.  
Another interesting testimony was from a young man who accepted Christ as his Savior at a camp.  He went back to his Lutheran church and began sharing what he learned in the Word with several other young men and God began to work, saving and transforming a group within this church.  The pastor of this church began to be concerned that these young men would lead "astray" the others in the young adult group and so she called a Baptist pastor she knew and "turned over" this group to him to shepherd.  This became the core of what will one day become a new church in another suburb of Porto Alegre.

Hearing of God's work in another area gave our men a boost of encouragement to keep fighting the good fight...for in due time we will bear fruit if we do not lose heart!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ladies Cafe

 Saturday we hosted a Cafe for the women of the church in honor of mothers day.  

 We decided to do a "garden" event and praise the LORD 
that we had a beautiful, warm, fall afternoon!

 We are so thankful for several visitors that were able to attend.  One of the women, Gladys, has been participating in the studies we have done with Dona Lore the past few months.  We are praying for her heart to be opened to Salvation by Grace, not her works.  Her daughter, Nina, also came.  Nina participated in our NEB's over a year ago but we were never able to get her to visit church.  It is exciting to see how God is continuing to allow us to have an influence in her life.  
We are praying that she will see Christ in us.

 We had a great time together.  Each lady brought a coffee cup which we exchanged during a game.  

Rachel did an excellent job of organizing everything as well as bringing the study.  Our theme was Vasos de Honra, (Vases of  Honor) and she challenged us to be used by God in our weakness, allowing ourselves to be molded by Him into what He designed us to be.  

 Speaking of Vases...
This picture shows 2 milk boxes, one liter each.
One of our young woman made vases for each of the women to take home at the end of the cafe.
Isn't it amazing how two ugly boxes can make something so beautiful!!

Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable,[d] he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Labor Day in Brazil

Labor Day in Brazil is May 1st...
which is also my birthday!
Usually it is a nice fall day so we usually go visit one of God's masterpieces.
 This year we started off the day by meeting up with a some new friends and doing an American style cook-out, hamburgers and a type of brats.  YUMMY!
 We then visited a beautiful spot about 40 minutes from our home where there are several hot springs that come to the surface.
Caldas do Imperatriz
 It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed climbing around the spring river and exploring God's incredible handiwork!
 The Taylor kids with new friends John and Peter

 Rachel and me with our precious new friend Raquel.

You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.
 Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

Happy Labor Day from Brazil!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Santa Catarina in Pictures

We recently took a trip into the interior of our state and visited a small German Community.
Here are some pictures of the beautiful place we live.

 Large bromelias common here in Brazil

 Hannah with a statue in honor of the immigrants that came from Germany to Southern Brazil

 Catholic church in São Martinho

The German communities here are split between Catholic and Lutheran

 Authentic German Restaurant we visited

 Loved this old church in the woods.
Literally in the woods!  
We drove for 20 minutes on dirt roads, crossing one lane wooden bridges and came upon this spot.  The kids loved having a chance to ring the church bells!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Friday Afternoons

For the past couple of months James and Sandro have been going out on Friday afternoons to share the Gospel.  They have had many interesting experiences from sharing the Gospel in a small mall near our home, to follow-up visits from our kids club, to gospel conversations with local business owners.  They had a great talk with one man about salvation, and at the end he gave his business card to them and offered to install the glass in our church for free.  They have talked with people who have achieved "sinless perfection" and then last week met with a young man made a profession of faith.

Through it all they have seen Gods leading and provision, even on rainy days!

In the past few weeks God has allowed several of these visits to lead to one on one Bible studies.   One lady they met right away asked "Do you all do Bible Studies?"   Pray for James and I as we are planning to begin a study with her.  

This has been a great time of sharpening each other and motivational for the rest of the church.  It seems like we are all far more aware of the spiritual needs of the world around us.

So if you think about us on Friday afternoons, pray for us as we are out sharing the good news of Jesus to the best of our abilities.