Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saying good-bye and may the Lord bless...

About two years ago God blessed us with some special friends...
One Sunday morning an American family showed up at our church...we had them over for lunch and that was the beginning of a special friendship.
Their two sons were a special blessing to Daniel and really all 3 of my kids.  
 Raquel invited the kids over often and once I think she had all three of them spend the night!  They lived on a little piece of property about an hour south of us.  It was a great place to shot bow and arrows, play in the pool, or just play video games together.  We celebrated a couple of  birthdays together, doing American cook-outs with hamburgers,Doritos, dip and  chocolate chip cookie cake!
 I enjoyed all my talks with Raquel who was a real kindred-spirit.  Trading recipe ideas like how to make pumpkin spice coffee creamer and sour cream... As well as sharing burdens and praying together.  Raquel came and participated in our ladies retreat and was a great evangelist among the other hotel guests!
Thursday we met this family for lunch at a mall for one last outing before they head back to the states.  We are so thankful for our time together, for their example of a passion for souls, for their generous love which reflects the love Christ so generously poured out on us.

Good-bye and may the Lord bless you!

Friday, October 30, 2015

New Bible Study

 I mentioned in a recent post that we were beginning a new Bible study in a small city an hour north of us.  We were able to hold two studies there in October.  The first one was with the main family that has been visiting our church over the past couple of months on Sunday nights.  We are doing a discipleship study using the book of Philippians.  At the end of the first week, we encouraged them to do the daily devotionals using a guide that was included in the study.

We were so excited as we began the second study to see that they had completed all the weekly studies and had questions and comments about what they were learning!  There was a new joy in their eyes as they shared testimony of how being in God´s Word during the week gave them a hunger for Him and strength to live the Christian life.

We were also thrilled to see our group double in size from 6 the first week to 12 the second!  Please continue to pray for this group that they would begin to glimpse the greatness of our God and the work He has begun in them!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Developing Leadership

We are so thankful for the team of workers God has brought to IBR.
This year James has felt led to invest in national leadership. 
It is really easy to always be focusing on the weak or unbelievers around us.  Doing Bible study after Bible study,  always visiting the struggling and assuming that the "mature" Christians are OK, stretching yourself thin and rarely seeing long-term growth.  
An older missionary challenged James to spend some time investing  in believers who have leadership qualifications and then divide the work with them.  So that has been our focus for most of this year.  James started meeting once a month with our deacons and wives to pray and plan and that evolved  into weekly meetings with the men to study the Word, as well as to plan effective discipleship and evangelism tools. 
A culmination of this was being able to go to a conference with two of our three main couples.  

God was so good allowing them to be away from work for the week, to provide transportation for us, the privilege to hear the faithful preaching of the Word.  It was also a special time of bonding for us as a group, laughing together, discussing the messages, and sharing difficulties.  We are so thankful for the united heart and mind that God is giving to us as a group.  IBR is growing and there are MANY needs.  James and I are not physically able to meet the needs of so many but God has already brought in the needed reinforcements!

Please continue to be in prayer for these two families as they seek to follow the call of God in their lives.
*Sandro and Gilmara
*Edinelson and Meire