Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrated Thanksgiving a little early this year and I thought you might like to see some of the blessings we ENJOY.

We started off the celebration by packing a picnic lunch and starting down the road to Curitiba. James had found an excellent picnic site on his last fishing trip.
We ENJOYED our awesome God's mighty power as expressed in His creation...

...and His control of the waves.

I have to admit I was fearful at times by the power of the waves that crashed into the rocks we were sitting on. A great reminder that our God is be reverenced and feared.

Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Psalm 2:11-12

We give thanks unto the Lord for all His good gifts to ENJOY!

And now, a look at our Thanksgiving Day...

The bigger Mk's ENJOYED raiding the Library full of fun books!

We ENJOYED lovely decorations from the Nunley girls...

The grandpas ENJOYED playing with the kids...

Everyone took turns ENJOYING our newest Mk's...

We all ENJOYED the food & fellowship...


We ENJOY the blessings of the sweet spirit of love among our co-workers and friends...

From small kids to BIG kids, we ENJOYED jumping on the trampoline...

We were BLESSED to sing thanks unto the LORD and hear of His blessings both in His Word and in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Family Update

I can do karate too!

I lost another tooth!

I earned my orange belt in karate!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Look Back

Today I was looking through my agenda for a phone number. I noticed that I had written down several big beginnings. I noticed when we began a more "official" Sunday school; teaching through the book, "50 Reasons Why Christ Had to Die," and ordering Children's curriculum. I noticed our Mother's Day Craft & Tea outreach; planning our budget for our July childrens outreach; the beginning of our Evening preaching services and our first potluck. It is amazing to look back and see what God has done over this year.

Sunday night we had a surprise. At 7pm it was time to start, and no one was there. By 7:30 we had 30 people in attendance. Our biggest group ever! We had people from 3 other states visiting with their family who lives here; all of them first time visitor. Also, one of our regulars brought family with her.

We seem to be developing a core group of believers! It is very exciting yet lots of work. James and I were discussing last week how we have never had this experience of working with a group of new believers before. All of us had lived and worked with unbelievers at work or school. All of us have been part of churches of believers with maybe one or two new believers at a time. But to work with a group of baby Christians is a LOT of work! It seems that God is wise in giving us just a few at time. We couldn't handle any more. I wish you could all be a part of our Sunday School class some time and hear the things that come up.

There are victories and moments when you really see them growing. Then there are people you investing in, and they walk away from God or make one poor decision after another.

We ran into a friend at the store today. David met him during our Easter outreach. He was so interested in learning the truths of the Gospel, doing Bible studies and coming regularly to our Sunday studies. Unfortunately the god of this world has worked in various ways to turn his heart away. As we drove away, James reminded me of the verse that says, "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." We continue in prayer for this man and his family to be saved.

I have added some recent pictures that we have. Hope it gives you more of an idea of our group and what God is doing. Thanks for your prayers! Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!

Trying to occupy the kids while the parents are having a Bible study. Thanks Mary Ruth for the ideas and the cute little flannel graph stories!

It has been so neat to see Godly friendships develop among the boys

Our first potluck really became a time of bonding for our families.

Sunday School song time

Daniel helping at one of our Bible Studies.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Day of the Dead Outreach

All day Monday and Tuesday this is what the street outside of our cemetery looked like.

Tuesday was a national holiday here. Dia dos Finados is Catholic in nature and the reason for the day is to go to the cemetery and pray for the souls of your loved ones so they can get out of purgatory faster.

It reminded me of what the Temple must have been like in the time of Christ. Full of people calling out, trying to sell their product. Very noisy and chaotic with people passing in large numbers, each hurrying on their way with little regard for the truly important things in life.

One man when asked about his eternal state, said, "I don't want to think about it." Then the JW's were there to tell us that everyone here would be in heaven one day and that we don't need to worry about our soul. Just do right. The Spiritists were there, the Mormons, and anyone else you could think of that is not teaching the true Gospel.

James & David headed for the Cemetery before 6am to set up our tent and be ready when the cemetery opened at 7am. We put a sign on the top of the tent offering to pray with people and then had 2 Ways to Live tracts and church brochure packets ready to pass out along with cold water.

We estimate that more than 500 tracts were passed out. Who knows how God will use His Word in these peoples lives.

We had several one-on-one opportunities to share the Gospel but mostly it was a day of passing out tracts.

We were so thankful for Augustinho and his daughter as they arrived at 6:30 am ready to share the Gospel.

Juliana was here for the holiday weekend and was such an encouragement to us in the way she lived out her love for her Savior.

Andreia, one of our people, came to join us around 10am. She was so excited to pass out tracts. She went up into the cemetery and talked to many. One believer that she met, came by our booth and thanked us for "evangelizing." Andreia was so excited to realize she was evangelizing! When she would find the tracts that others had thrown on the ground, she would gather them up and pass them out again! Praise the Lord for her zeal.

Sharon took this picture of the Cross of the Souls. People who cannot afford to buy a plot are buried temporarily for the funeral and then moved to this cross which is literally a mass grave. Surrounded by pools of melted wax and flowers, this cross is a sad reminder of people who sit at the cross but miss out on its true meaning. Christ died to save sinners.
His work is sufficient!

"Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness."
Romans 4:4-5

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9

Monday, November 01, 2010

3 Blogs in 1! (What a Bargin!)

Blog #1
I have been meaning to mention a couple that God has brought to help us here with the church plant. Augustinho and Cristine were saved as young people, married, and raised 3 lovely daughters in a sister church in our fellowship in Sao Paulo. Four years ago, God brought them here to Floripa for work. God has given them a desire to help plant churches. A phone number from a pastor in Sao Paulo - to Sharon's Dad in Curitiba - and finally to us - David gave them a call, "Would you like to come and visit our church plant?" After several visits and meetings they committed to helping us, beginning full time in October. They have been such a huge blessing already. They took over the Sunday evening Children's Bible Class and the kids love it! Hannah told me today, "I like them SO much!" Our Sunday Evening Children

We are so thankful for their love for God and desire to serve Him. They will be a huge asset to both David and Sharon and us as we prepare to go on furlough next year. Praise the Lord for His Sovereign provision and love.

Blog #2
Thursday Evening, David and Sharon went to follow up with Anderson and Valeria. During their discussion, both professed salvation! Anderson told David, that before he began attending church and doing studies with us, he thought he was a good person, "Now I know I am not." He went on to confess Christ as Savior. We praise the Lord for His working in this couple. Please keep praying as David and Sharon are beginning a Discipleship study with them.

David & Anderson

Blog #3
Saturday was our last club for the month and we are so thankful for the kids God brought us. For the final day we rented a trampoline to help draw in the kids. It worked!!!

David presented the Gospel using paint, which went really well. Several kids raised their hands indicating that they were interested in knowing more about salvation.

All month we had been challenging the kids to bring their parents to church on Sunday and they would win a Bible story book.

We praise the Lord for four new parents who came to our services as a result of this outreach. We were also able to give a copy to one of our regular church families as well.

We still have more to give out and are keeping our eyes open for families we can share with.

The other thing we promoted was for the kids to memorize a Bible passage. Several kids memorized different sections and on the last day they won t-shirts that were provided by one of our supporting churches, Fellowship Baptist Church in Dublin, OH.
Thank you for all your prayers this month as we sought to use this Children's program to reach more families.
Pray as tomorrow James, David, Augstinho and his daughter go to the cemetery to share the Gospel .