Friday, March 09, 2012

Splitting the team

 For the past week we have been walking with David & Sharon as they wrapped up their first term in Brazil.  Believe me, it has been an adventure-filled week!

Wednesday night when we arrived for our mid-week service, the electricity went out.  As we made up our mind to go to the home of one of our families that lives near by, a huge storm broke loose and we all sat, crammed into our cars praying for the storm to let up so we could run into the house.

We made it into the house and had a great group out.  Sharon finished out her last lesson and gave the kids their awards for Scripture memory, attendance, visitors and bringing their Bible.   We had a great last class all crammed into the living room of the home.  We had 21 kids there that night despite the storm!

Thursday we said good-bye to Phil & Mary Ruth who had come down to both say hello to us and good-bye to David & Sharon.  Then Sharon and I headed over to have coffee with a new lady in our church.  We had a great time of fellowship together.  I really enjoyed hearing her testimony of salvation and look forward to the other ladies in our church seeing another example of the power of God unto Salvation. 

Thursday evening David & James & Sharon had a chance to counsel with a family.  It was great for the guys to do this together  as a way of transitioning the leadership, even in this area. 
Friday night the men from the church got together to play soccer and then afterwards Sharon & I made pizza and invited one of our families over.  Sharon got creative and even made us a chocolate pizza with sweetened condensed milk and shredded chocolate sprinkled all over it!

Saturday we had a ladies meeting at one of the other new ladies home.  She surprised us by inviting two of her spiritist neighbors to join us.  They were surprised to learn they weren't just coming over for coffee but to a Bible study as well!  As we made plans for next month's meeting, one of the neighbors volunteered to have it at her home, so... :)  It is so amazing to see how God is opening doors into homes that have been closed for generations.

Gabe and Jer had some good last play times with church friends. 

Sunday night was their final church service.  We will miss Julianna and Gabe in our maternal class, but we praise the Lord for the other small children He has brought us to minister too. 

The church threw a "surprise" going away party for them after the service.  They had presents for each member of the family and lots of good food to enjoy together one last time. 

Monday and Tuesday were filled with more visits and all the last minute packing and sorting.  People from the church came with gifts, for one last chat, or one family even invited all 9 of us over for lunch on Wednesday!   
It was truly a blessing to see how the love of Christ that David & Sharon so richly and selflessly poured out on these people has been used by God to change lives.  

We dropped them off at the airport on Wednesday afternoon and headed back for our services.  We had a good group out but there was a feeling in the air that something was missing...
I hope those of you in the states who will be spending time with David & Sharon this furlough will take advantage of the time you have with them.  We are anxiously awaiting their return!


Gretchen said...

It must have been hard to let them go! I hope so much we can come see you guys when they get back. :) Let's skype sometime! Praying for you -- so encouraging how much the Lord has blessed your church!

Vernon Costolo said...

Hoping to see them! Keep up all the great work in Brazil!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post! We did cram a lot into those last few days, didn't we. We miss you guys and we'll definitely be praying for you! Sharon