Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wrapping up Family Month

After a month of lots of visits among the  families in the church, we wrapped up family month with a potluck dinner. 

Many families have shared testimony of how they have felt the bond of they have gotten to know one another better.  How precious it is to know that you are not alone in the daily battle to live a holy life.   
 We had our potluck after our Sunday morning prayer service.  It was wonderful to have several families come that don't normally come to that service.  I so appreciate the testimony of one lady who shared how much she needed the encouragement of praying together and she felt convicted to start attending more regularly. 
 We were also encouraged by another lady who was a second time visitor.  She came Mother's day and returned last Sunday for both services.  She shared with one of our ladies how she was so surprised by the kindness that the people in our church showed one another as well as her.  She has visited many different churches and is often ignored and treated poorly.  This is just one more evidence of how the Gospel has effected our lives.  We praise God that this is evident to this lady. 

Now that May is wrapped up we are looking forward to our big June evangelistic outreach.  June 9th we have a choral group coming from São Paulo to present the Gospel through music.  Pray with us that many will visit to hear the good news. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The life of an MK - an insider's view

Meet Daniel
Age:  10
Location:  Sao Jose, SC, Brazil
Grade: 5
Language:  English, Portuguese
Current favorite hobbies:  Futebol (Soccer) and Xadrez (Chess), riding bike to school

      Daniel leaves home at 7:40 each morning to  ride 10 minutes on his bike to school.  He takes a pre-paid cell phone that he can use to call us if he runs into trouble.  He studies from 8-12noon.  He is excelling in Math and Geography and doing well in Portuguese, History, Science, Art and English.  He was a little sad to get a 9 in English instead of a 10 on his first report card.   He wonders how he could only get a 9 when he speaks better English than the teacher?  Right now his school P.E. area is under construction so they are learning chess.  Daniel is growing to love this great classic game.

Favorites about church:  Current competition in Jr. Class and Memorization of Isaiah 53
Dislike about church:  Being too old for a kids class on Sunday night

Daniel is a huge help at church.  He runs the power point for services on Sunday night and Wednesday night.  He often invites friends to come to church with him.  He loves our new Junior class on Wednesday nights where the teacher is holding a big competition.  Daniel is very competitive and is thriving with the challenge.  One way to earn points is to memorize  Isaiah 53.  In three and a half weeks he has memorized half the chapter.  I (Mom) am so thankful for his  insatiable desire to memorize. (I have been so challenged by him that I am working on it with him!)  

 Favorite thing about living in Brazil:  Learning new things (like chess), speaking another language,

                                                                    and making afternoon coffee
Worst thing about living in Brazil:  People cussing at him and bullying him because he is a foreigner

Two afternoons a week Daniel participates in a soccer club.  He is really enjoying learning the techniques of the game.  He prides himself on the fact that he made goals in all but 3 games. 
Favorite thing to do around the house:  Watch TV, play an online game, practice soccer,  
Goals:  to memorize lots of verses, and to save money to buy something electronic from America

I have been touched to see Daniel's love for his brother.  Reading to him at night, teaching him to play chess, are just some of the special ways that he shows love. 
"Pray for me and Hannah to get along better."  

 Yesterday he took me out for afternoon coffee.  While we were out, I asked him if I could do a blog on him.  He agreed and then I asked him for some prayer requests.  Here is what he shared:

1.  That he would control his mouth at school and stay quiet when provoked. 
2.  That his friends and their families would be saved so they can know God and live for Him.
3.  To do well at school.

The life of a bi-culture kid is not always easy, but Daniel says he is doing ok. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Family Month

May has been our Mês da Família, here at Redemption Baptist Church.  
It has been so neat to see how God is has been drawing us together to be one in Him.  James has been preaching through John and in the past few weeks finished up chapter 17 where we see repeatedly the prayer for us... "Thay they all may be one, as You, Father, are in me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."

 We had a really special ladies meeting this month.  Instead of having an official devotional, I challenged the ladies to share how God has been working in them, or what He has been teaching them.  It was great to see them realize we are all in the same battle, struggling the same way.  We traded prayer requests about our spiritual needs and are lifting each other up in prayer and love. 

 We also have challenged the people to invite a family that they don't know too well into their home this month.  They loved the idea and have been very encouraged so far.  Last night one lady shared that on Tuesday night their family was scheduled to go  have dinner with a lady in the church;  but that very day they received word that their mother was very ill and wasn't expected to live much longer.  They went ahead and made the visit and shared how their hearts were uplifted.  

 We are seeing how much we need each other.  The fellowship of the brethren is a wonderful tool we have in the Christian life.  When one falls down, the other is there to lift them up, both spiritually and physically.   How exciting it was to see this group of men gather around a table with Bibles in hand to discuss a text. 
 One night this month a group of us got together to throw a surprise party for one lady in the church.  She was overwhelmed by the love of the brethren.  Her family all lives very close to her home but not one of them stopped by to say happy birthday.  Her spiritual family drove 30 minutes each way  to celebrate with her.   "And the glory which You gave Me I have given to them, that they may be one as We are one."  
We have especially enjoyed getting to know a new family to our church this month.  They have been coming on and off for about two months.  In May we have seen God really working and drawing them closer to Him as well as us.  We praise the Lord for this family. 

 For Mother's day, the men got together to make us lunch.  We thoroughly enjoyed all their hard work and a very tasty churrasco! 
 At church on Mother's day, the kids challenged the mother's from Proverbs 31.  They prayed for us that we would be women who fear God and do not lift up outward vanities as more important than our Savior. 
 We praise the Lord for a large group of women who came out on Mother's day.  We even had a visitor.  Pray as one of the ladies and I visit her today to share the Gospel with her and show her God's love. 
 On the home front we have been keeping busy too!  Hannah & Jer have fallen into a great morning routine.  They play together so well.  This day they were having a school picnic.  Lunch boxes and fruit were all part of the fun! 
 We finally have an alarm and bars on our windows!  I am so thankful for this added sense of security.  I know that God is our fortress and I need not fear but it helps to know that thieves look for the easiest marks and our home no longer looks "easy."
 Mother's day weekend, we had a surprise visit from James parents!  We are so thankful to have them living so close.  It is such an encouragement that they can just pop down to visit or help out. 
 Since we had guests, Hannah and I put together a very pretty Sunday breakfast!  Stuffed strawberry french toast! Yummmmmyyyyy!  You can check out the recipe on my pinterest board! 

Happy Mother's Day mom!  

  We believe that God is working in us, sanctifying us, our children and our people.   
Thank you for praying for us here in Brazil!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Birthday Post

Well, May first is my happy birthday, yep, one year older though I don't really feel older:)
 It was a great birthday.  We started a day early and drove up to Joinville to meet James parents and spend the day together.  We explored an old German settlement  and were just in awe of God's majestic creation.    

 Mary Ruth and I couldn't resist gathering up some new little flowers to add to our gardens.

James and the kids helped me collect a few rocks to take home to remember the day too!

 It was a typical Taylor, explore till you find something you enjoy.  We could hardly pull the kids off the rocks!  It is definitely a place we will be going back to. 

 On Tuesday, my actual birthday, we were surprised by one of our church families and neighbors who stopped by to drop off a present.  They shared a verse and prayed with us before heading out.  I am so thankful to have this family close by.  They have been a huge source of blessing since we have been back.

May first is Labor day here, and EVERYTHING is closed.  So as we sat quietly at home that evening I was SHOCKED to hear several cars pull up to the house and half the church pile out to celebrate with me!  I am in awe of God's lavish love that He pours out on me.  I cannot begin to express what a blessing it is to have people express their love for you when you are so far from "home."

Keep praying for our little group here that all of us will exalt Christ as our greatest treasure and not allow sin to creep in and steal our affection.