Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In light of man's judgment, God is usually slow and awkward. He never does anything with the finesse that is characteristic of man's work. He resorts to means and methods that are often very foolish to man and goes in such a round-about way to do His work that it is wearying to the flesh. People who work in the energy of the flesh have little patience with, or confidence in, God's ways. That is why we substitute for God's ways the efficiency of the flesh. That is why the product of today is so often synthetic...Only men of faith can expect His methods to succeed or can have the patience to wait for them to mature. Buell Kazee

We have been house hunting for several months now. We have been doing as we feel that God is leading us to do. Yesterday 2 new houses came up on the internet and so James and David loaded some messages onto the mp3 player and jumped in the car. They drove down looked and ultimately made an offer on another house. The house we are trying for and the house David is trying for are one block apart. Everything looked as if it was FINALLY coming together.

Then we woke up this morning...

The house we were bidding on was pulled off the market and David received word that his documents are not acceptable proof of income (which means ours won't be either.)

It is very easy to be discouraged and start to doubt God. Does He even want us there in Floripa? We have confidence that God is leading us to Floripa and we know we have to keep trying and trusting. We walk through every door He opens and we trust Him to open the way.

We are in a battle, not against flesh and blood but against the powers of darkness. Floripa is firmly in his grasp right now and He does not want the Light of Christ to penetrate the darkness there.

Pray with us. Pray that God will continue to prepare hearts to hear His word and receive His Son. Pray that God will grant that our documents be accepted and lead the way to the right houses for us.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Housing Update

Well, House #1 was officially rejected on Friday and David and Sharon are going to take house #2. James are I are starting from ground zero. Pray that David and Sharon will get approval quickly and that their move would arrive safely and without extra charges. Pray that God would open the right house for us, in His perfect timing.

Fun Night Out with Nova Vida

Last Saturday was couples activity that was sponsored by our mother church, Calvary Baptist, here in Curitiba. We praise the Lord for 27 couples between the 2 churches. Nova Vida had a great turn-out. We had all of our regular couples plus 3 unsaved, visiting couples.

We had a great challenge on solving problems within the marriage. There were also several fun games. 10 couples were chosen to race to see who could put lipstick on the wife and a tie on the husband the fastest. The tricky part was the man had to put the lipstick on his wife and the wife had to tie the tie. It was so funny!

This is a new seminary couple that is attending our church this semester. They were the winners. Great team work considering they have only been married for 2 months!

I thought Ellen should win for creativity!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My heart is overflowing with gratefulness to our great God. Here is our story...

When we saw the house that we have been attempting to rent, James and I both loved it. They were asking $100 reais more than our budget so we prayed right then and decided that we would offer R$1,000 and if God wanted us to live there He would open the doors. Since then, we have waited while the person before us was rejected, turned in all of our documents, striving to provided all that we could to establish our income. (Since we are foreigners, all of our documents are different than the "norm," make the process a little more difficult.) When James turned in our offer on the house, the realtor told us that was the same offer that the people before us gave and it was rejected. We didn't change our offer because we believed this was what God was leading us to do.

If we were to get this house, God would get the glory. He would work out details that were humanly impossible.

Yesterday we recieved word that David found a house 8 blocks from "our house" and his offer was accepted. At the same time recieved word that the owner of "our house" would not go down a dime in what he was asking. We also learned that the house cost R$1,100 plus R$84.00 for tax plus an unknown amount of fire insurance per month. This would put us more than R$200 more than our budget and the amount we had prayerful set before God. We were strongly encouraged to just pay what they were asking.

James and I were both in agreement that we had prayed and felt peace about the R$1,000 offer and if God wanted us there He would do it. If He didn't want us there, He had a better place in mind.

We had not recieved an offical word of rejection on our offer so we continued praying for the Lord's leading and direction.

At 7:00 p.m. last night, David found another house, in the same neighborhood, that would work prefectly for our family. They were asking R$850 per month, well within our budget. He put our name on that house to reserve it for us.

We are still waiting for word on the first house, but we are rejoicing because we have seen God's hand guiding and providing. God used that first house to direct our focus to this neighborhood. There are about 9 large neighborhoods that make up the city of San Jose. We were overhelmed in trying to decided where to live and start our ministry. But, God faithfully directed us to this area.

We may still get that first house, but if we don't it seems that God has already provided another house for us to rent.

When we came to Brazil our goal was to magnify Christ. It is so easy to "trust Christ" for a while and then when things don't seem to be going our way, to take back control and say, "well, God, I really wanted things to work out this way and since you aren't providing, I'll just finish working things out." We believe that Christ will be glorified as we step back and let Him work His plan in and around us.

Pray for us that we will continue to trust Him and not run ahead of Him.

House #1

House #2

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Floripa Update

James called the Realtor today and we are up for a chance at the house. Tomorrow is a holiday in Floripa so we will be going to turn in our documents on Friday morning. Please pray that God's will, will be done and that we will continue to trust Him each step of the way.

David and Sharon & Gabriel arrived last night. They are in the process of moving down to Floripa as well. We praise the Lord for their safe arrival. Pray with us as their belongings are in-route. It is a 8-15 day trip by truck, over lots of bad roads.

If I were ask for a miracle it would be that God would provide one of us a house for David and Sharon to move their belongings into when they arrive in about 10 days. I don't know what God has planned. It is so easy to rush ahead and try to "handle" things in a way we think is wise. We really want to wait on the Lord and for Him to be magnified as we take these final steps to arrive in our target city.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

Here are some shots of the house if you are interested...

This picture is taken standing in the garage. As you can see it has a nice grill, work area and sink. Great for inviting people over for a cook-out.

This is one of the bedrooms. All the windows are covered with shutters so there is a lot of privacy. You can see there are patio doors here that go out to a second floor balcony.

This is a view of the dinning area with an attached table, and then into the kitchen. This is a big blessing for us as many kitchens here are completely stripped and you have to supply even your own sink and cabinets.

This is the view out the patio doors. Just down the street is the main highway running into the heart of Sao Jose/Floripa. We are up the hill about 1/4 of a mile from the highway.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Body

We all know that the body of Christ is made up of many members, each working together to do the work of the Lord.

We are so excited to see the believers at Nova Vida beginning to take a more active role in serving the Lord within the our local church.

First meet Marcia. She has been teaching in the 2 & 3 year old Sunday School class for about 2 years. She has gained lots of experience with the younger kids and is now training to teach older kids in children's church. She is also discipling one of the teenage girls from the church.

Madalena is training to teach the 2 & 3 Sunday School class and is doing wonderfully. After Madalena was saved, she went back to school to learn to read. She wanted to know how to read the Bible. Last year she read the Old Testament and is currently working her way through the New Testament.

Adir is one of the founding members of Nova Vida. He owns his own business and each morning leads the men in a devotional before work. Last Sunday he began teaching the Adult Sunday School class. He is so excited to have a teaching ministry in our church.

It has been so amazing to see God work in each of these people. Drawing them to Himself and preparing them to lead others. Please pray for these three that they will grow to love God more and share that love with others as they serve in the Local church and their neighborhood.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Housing update

We are currently on the waiting list for the house. We are continuing to watch the internet to see if any other possibilities exist. Continue to pray with us for God's leading and direction.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A House?

Well, we found a house that we love in an area that we like. We put our name on the waiting list for this house. There is one family in front of us and if they do not provide all the necessary documents by Monday at 7 pm, the house will go to us.

The next hurdle would be them giving us approval. We have all the necessary documents except they told James yesterday that our document that proves our income isn't good enough. We have some other things we can present them but in truth, only God can open this door.

We really like the house but are content with however God leads.

Please continue to pray for us in this regard. Thanks!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Floripa Trip

Please pray for us today as James and I go to Floripa. Yesterday James found 3 houses that are good possibilities.

*Pray for safety on the road
*Pray for a house close to people
*Pray for an area with affordable land to eventually build a church

Thank you so much! You are a very important part of our ministry here.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Great is the Lord and Greatly to be Praised!

My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more! Praise the Lord Oh my soul!

This weekend there were 5 people saved at our church! Let me introduce you to them...

Isabel has been visiting the church over the past few weeks and has shown a desire for spiritual things. Saturday she walked about 5 miles to visit one of our ladies who had offered to do a Bible study with her. Marcia brought her to our evangelism training/planning meeting and afterward they went through "the Bridge" tract. That night Isabel prayed, confessing her sins to the Lord and asking Him to save her. She said she cried tears of joy and hope as she prayed. Please pray for the rest of her family to be saved.

Isabelle the 6 year old daughter of Isabel was saved Sunday evening after the service. We are praising the Lord for this first member of Isabel's family that was saved.

Cristian (6yrs), who's parents own a bar, lives across the street from one of our families. Cristian has come to several special outreaches of the church and on Sunday night he asked Christ to save him. I was so excited to hear of his salvation, what chance does the child of a bar owner have to know the Lord unless someone who loves the Lord will share with him.

Wellington, (10 yrs.) has been coming to church with his mom for the past few months. On Thursdays my class has been doing lessons based on the tract "2 ways to live" and he has been to every lesson. I have been praying that he would see his need to be saved. Sunday night, he too accepted Christ as his savior.

Ana Louisa, (8 or 9 yrs.) is a neighbor of another of our church families. She too has participated in various church activities over the years. Sunday afternoon we had lunch with our church family who lives near her and our kids played with her all afternoon. Sunday night she came to church and accepted Christ as her savior.

I am so thankful to God for all that He is doing. It seems like so many times we don't see His working. Are we praying? Are we seeking to do things in our own power and for our glory or for His. He does not want to share His glory with us, let us work for His glory alone.