Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Love for God is Essential in Teaching our Children to Love God

"Our love for God is the foundation for anything we have to say. We cannot impress our children with the fame of God's name if we are not impressed with him ourselves. If the truths about God's sovereign power and incredible mercy have melted our hearts and produced a profound love for God, we will impress our children with his awesome glory. If God's Word is dear to us, it will be important to our children. We must be dazzled by God. We cannot give away what we don't have." Tedd & Margy Tripp Instructing a Child's Heart

O taste and see that the Lord is good:
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8

Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Psalm 34:11

These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Deut. 6:6-7

So that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen
Or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.
Deut. 4:9

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February Outreach Ministry

In our January prayer letter we outlined our outreach plans for the following six months. In January we held our soccer outreach and this month we had our compassion outreach.

Yesterday, James and David went and bought 6 basic food packs. They have rice, beans, oil, salt, jelly, coffee, flour, sugar and a few other items. After dropping off the packages at home, they hit the streets looking for people in need.
Two blocks from our house James had found a few homes that were possibilities and began to ask around if anyone knew a family in need this month. Within minutes, they had given out our 6 coupons to needy families.

The coupons were to be redeemed today at our house. We wanted the people to make the effort to come and pick up the packages, but more importantly, we wanted 20 minutes of their time to share the gospel.
Some people question this type of ministry wondering if it is really effective. Well, for us, it was effective and here is why:

1. 9 families heard the Gospel clearly presented. Many of them had never heard they could KNOW they were forgiven and have surety of salvation, through Christ's blood and nothing else.

2. We were able to give a "cup of cold water" (literally, it was super HOT!) to CHRIST as we served them.

3. Several invited us to come and visit them in their homes, (We were planning to visit anyway, but it sure is nice to be invited:)

Group of ladies heading home with their food packs

4. 9 Great new contacts to try to use to start regular bible studies with the hopes of leading them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

It was really special to meet one man who said that he had just been laid off and he was wondering how he could provide for his family when James and David offered him the food pack.
Today his wife and 3 children came to get the food pack, as he was out WORKING! We were so excited to be able to be a blessing to this family in their time of need.David and Sharon did this same outreach 2 weeks ago in their section of our neighborhood. Check out their website to hear how God blessed their outreach too! www.dstaylorbrazil.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Trip to Londrina

Thank you all for your prayers regarding our trip to Londrina. We traveled to Curitiba first where we left our 3 kids with James parents, and then headed north for 6 hours. James and I enjoyed the quiet of the car ride, talking and listening to messages. It was lots of fun to be on our own a little!

As soon as we arrived, we realized how much we miss being a part of regular church. To sing together as a congregation is such a blessing. We were also able to participate in the Lord's supper. (We think this is the first time since November 2009.) To be able to fellowship within a body of believers is such a huge blessing! Don't take your church for granted.

We were invited to sing with pastoral team at the church and thoroughly enjoyed that too!

James preached three times on the parable of the Prodigal Son and his brother. I had never really taken the time to focus on the older brother and I learned some wonderful lessons from the life of this son who looked good on the outside but whose heart was full of sin.

James had a really good talk with one young man on Sunday night. James was able to encourage him to continue witnessing and serving the Lord for the Lord and not for results; to love God for who HE is and not for what He can do for us or through us.

The young man playing the guitar is William, a new convert who James talked with on Sunday night.

We were so thankful for the time we had to fellowship with fellow missionaries, Dave & Geri Smith as well as get to know Pastor Gorge and Ana, the new brazilian pastor in Londrina.

These two cute kids are named:
Gorginho (little Gorge) and Gorgiana (The parents names combined!)

Pray for this church that God will continue to work. That the believers will grow and that new souls will be saved. Also pray for Pastor Gorge and family as they adjust to the new work in Londrina.