Saturday, May 31, 2014

Following Christ in Baptism

Saturday was an exciting day as we CELEBRATED another baptism.  
We are thankful we could hold one more at the waterfall before the cold set in. 

Although it was overcast, we praise the Lord for holding back the rain and cold for us! 
It looks like the first real cold front is set to roll in on Monday!  
  Another blessing was the fact that James was able to baptize a family; father, mother and oldest child.  How exciting to see each of them wanting to identify with Christ in baptism. 
 Pray with us for this precious family that they would walk worthy of the Lord, 
growing in the love of the Lord. 

We praise the Lord for the work He has given us with these people at Redemption Baptist.
Pray that we would faithfully shepherd them.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Celebrating my birthday

Here in Brazil, May 1st is my birthday and Labor day!  SO... my birthday is always a national holiday!  Am I lucky or what!!!!
 Since there is no school, and there are cooler temperatures and few tourists, we always go exploring a beautiful part of the island.  This year we went on a trail over a mountain to a beach that is only reached by trail or by boat.  Then we hiked around the front of one more smaller mountain and arrived at our goal:  the Lighthouse on the southern tip of the island.  I have wanted to do this trail for as long as I have known about it and finally it worked out to do it.
 It was a beautiful day full of exploring and laughter and family time.
Lots of climbing up and down!
We even found a fun tire swing to stop and play on!
Finally the lighthouse was in view!  We were going to make it!
Do you see it just over the ridge?
This is the view from the lighthouse.  
The ruins of an old fortress from the times when the Spanish and Portuguese disputed these lands. 

We had a wonderful day but the best part was last!  After the lighthouse we decided to stop and get a drink at a little "snack-shack" before climbing back over the moutain to our car.  As we sat down to drink and rest, a man sat near us and began talking.  We found out he loved to read, (which is rare here).  So James asked him if he had a Bible. 

"Oh, yeah,"  he said, " I have read it 8 times and just this morning I was reading in Luke 11.  Have you ever read the Lord's prayer there?  It is so different from the one in Mathew..."

From there we were able to begin an amazing conversation about the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

When James asked him why Jesus died on the cross, he responsed that he hadn't gotten to that part yet. 

As James was explaining, that Christ came to pay the penalty for our sins, he began to admit that he  was a sinner.  He shared how he can't sleep at night because he knows he is guilty of sins that he can never make restitution for.. 

We felt like we were Philip talking to the Ethiopian!

James shared how Chrit's death was sufficent and what Jesus meant when he said from the cross
"It is Finished!"

"I have always wondered what that meant,"  The man said.

We don't know what the final outcome will be for this man, but we are so thankful for the opportunity to share the treasure of Jesus with this precious man. 

This was the BEST birthday gift!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Ladies at IBR

Every year in May the ladies go out for coffee at a cute coffee shop in town.  It has become a tradition we all look forward to.  This year our group is smaller than normal but we still had a wonderful time fellowshiping together.  
 The Bible instructs the older women to teach the younger women and Saturday night was really a great opportunity for that to happen informally.  It was really neat to witness one of our single girls interacting with two of the younger mothers about biblical discipline in the home.

This month we also celebrated Mother´s day here in Brazil.   It was fun hearing the children quote parts of Proverbs 31 as well as present a special song for their mothers.  The children made Blessings notebooks to present to their mothers.  They challenged their moms to write down three blessings per day.  The kids got them started listing three things they were thankful for about their mothers. 

  I am so thankful for these ladies and their love for one another and the Lord. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Welcoming new members!

In April we were excited to vote in our first new members since the organization of our church.  Each of these (plus one more who is not pictured) have professed faith in Jesus´finished work on the cross and have been baptized.  They have also completed a 4-week membership class.  We are so thankful to see how God is at work in the hearts of each of these dear people and we are excited to see how God will be using them here in the future. 

Another couple and their 11 year old son came to James recently wanting to be baptized.  We had been praying for this for several months and are thrilled to see how God is transforming their hearts and drawing them to HIM!

Pray for our adolescent group as they seem to be drawn away from the Lord right now.    We see the spiritual battle going on all around and are encouraged by the words of Isaiah 30.15
"...You will be delievered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence..." and Psalm 46.10  "...Be still and KNOW that I am GOD..."