Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Family Conference 2013

This weekend we had our first conference at Redemption.  
We started off Saturday night and were so excited to see a pretty full house.  
God was so good and bringing several first time visitors out.

 Our speaker was Pr. José Soares.  He and his family serve in a church about 2 hours north of us.  
We were so thankful for his thorough preparation on the subject of families.  While he challenged us on what a family should be like according to the Bible, he also weaved the Gospel in and out.  For truly it is the Gospel that will transform our families for God's glory.
 Saturday night we went out for our traditional hot dogs. 
 It seems like whenever we have special guests we end up eating here after a service.  
 Sunday morning we had a short devotional and then a round table discussion. 
 It was great to have a chance to ask some questions about our daily struggles. 
 After the service we headed over to our house for a pot-luck.
 Sunday night we were full again, this time we had to add a few extra chairs!  
It was great to have some people return from Saturday night, and we had two families visit for the first time.  
This really stretched our children's church teachers.  We normally have 6-7 kids and this night we had 12!  Praise the Lord!!
 We are so thankful for Pr. José and his family for coming and serving us in this way.  
It is nice to be get to know more of the family of Christ and know we will one day spend eternity together in the presence of our Savior Jesus Christ.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Prayer Request

I wanted to ask you all to pray for the Z Family.    Over the past three years we have shared the Gospel with them many times.  Along with this we have developed a friendship with them, read the Word with them, and tried to show them the love of Christ.  

 Last week the wife was in and out the hospital 3 different times and never seemed to get any better.  We took her to the hospital one day, took care of her two children several times.  Tuesday I spent the day at her house taking care of things so she could rest.  That afternoon as she lay in bed we had a chance to talk.  She shared how scared she was that she was going die.   With care and lots of trepidation I asked her if she was ready to die.  She admitted she wasn't and so I gently shared the Gospel with her.  I am so thankful for the conversation and the truths she heard one more time.

Saturday she had another crisis and was rushed to the hospital where she had two heart-attacks.  Over the past few days we have spent much time with her children and her husband and are praying so desperately for their salvation. Will you pray with us for this family?  Pray for her physical healing.  She is still very weak, and is waiting to have an angioplasty done.  We visited her in the hospital yesterday and I talked with her again about her spiritual needs.  She is so blind to her need.  Pray for the Salvation of both her and her husband.  They have two boys ages 11 and 3.  They as well need to know the Lord.

One of the ladies from our church spent 3 days with them, spending the night, cooking meals, doing laundry and more.  She refused to be payed.  The wife asked me why she didn't accept them money, Didn't the lady need money?  I said, oh, yes, she needs the money but she said God has shown her so much love and grace and she wanted to pass some of that on to you and your family. 

Pray that God will use these difficult events to draw their hearts to Him, the Healer of our Souls. 

Happy Valentines Day from Brazil!

Yesterday was Valentines day here in Brazil.  While you have yours in February, here that is the month of Carnival so ours is moved to June, which for you is Father's day, so our Father's day is moved to August!  So, it is easy for James and I to miss both countries Valentines days:) 

Anyway, last night after church a few of the couples got together for pizza.  By the time we got all the kids dropped off and settled in for the night it was 10.  It ended up being 11ish  when the Pizzas arrived, but we still had a wonderful time visiting and hearing the story of how one couple met and was saved and married.  They have now been married over 31 years and are a wonderful testimony of God's grace and mercy. 

So, we wish you a Happy Valentines Day from Brazil -
Beijos (Kisses)
The Taylors

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Fall in Brazil and Change is in the Air...

 As you all are enjoying summer break and the warm weather fun, we are rolling into fall/winter.  Recently we were in Curitiba for missionary prayer meeting and took a walk through the botanical garden.  We turned the corner and there was ONE tree that shouted out, "It is FALL!"  We hurried down to it and snapped a quick picture.  The tree was like a gift from God, a reminder of the past, of all the graces of God in our lives. 

As the temperatures begin to change, I sense that God is working, changing us.  Thankfully He is not content with our spiritual status quo.  I have recently been reading on suffering and God's grace in it.  Christ suffered for me, leaving me this kind of example that I should follow.  I was called to suffer and I need to boast in my affliction, I need to delight in my infirmities and glory in my weakness.  It is in these situations that God's power is most fully displayed.  I am realizing that I often walk into "battle" thinking I can handle things.  I walk in without prayer, confident in my abilities.  I struggle and become angry and bitter and wonder why God is not working when I LEFT HIM BEHIND.  I am like Israel, and so I suffer like Israel until I remember to return to God and seek Him FIRST. 

So, that is where I am today;
 thankful for the MANY blessings of this day;
 humbly, weakly, seeking God;
 ready to deny myself and be made more into His image.   

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Weekend Outreach

 This weekend we had the privileged of hosting a group from a sister church in São Paulo.  They came down  on their holiday weekend to present a cantata at our church.  We were so blessed and encouraged as we reflected with them on the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 
 We were so excited to see God's hand at work and I wanted to share a few examples.  When one of our men was making copies of the invitations, a young man saw them and asked him about it.  The young man had enlisted for a year as a sailor and was stationed in our city.  He seemed interested so we gave him an invitation.  James went over to the Marina to pick him up the night of the concert.  Although it was raining, he and a friend came to the cantata and then went out with the group afterwards for hotdogs.  We are just amazed at who God brought and how He brought them.    We are excited to see what God will do in the lives of these two young men. 
 Recently Jeremiah has been calling himself an idiot or a jerk.  I have been concerned and corrected him several times.  In time I noticed he was calling himself these names after he had done something wrong.  I realized he was being convicted of sin and didn't know how to respond other than to be mad at himself.  During the cantata, he started crying and when I asked what was wrong he said, "I'm a jerk."  Listening to the music about God's love for us had once again convicted him of his sin.  I shared with him that we all sin and do bad things but that Jesus came and died for all of those sins.  He loves us and came so we could be forgiven.  I told him to keep listening.  He sat glued to the video as they sang and showed pictures of Jesus' death.  I told him that Jesus took all the punishment for our sins.  He died so we could be forgiven.  But he didn't stay dead!  He is alive and we can be with him forever in heaven. 

What a privilege to see God at work in Jeremiah's heart.  Please keep praying for Him that he will come to an understanding of all that God has done for him. 
It was a precious weekend of renewing friendships with people who came down with the group last year, as well as making new friendships with those who came for the first time this year.  We are so thankful for the body of Christ and the way they show His love for us in such practical ways.