Camp Refuge: Next Steps?
It is my joy to share an update on the disability ministry of my long-time Brazilian friend, Dinalva Nabuco. Camp Refuge on Wheels continues to have a profound impact for good in the lives of the disabled in northeast Brazil. Just last month, 124 campers, family members, and volunteers enjoyed four days of good food, good fellowship, fun activities, and worship services with solid Bible teaching. Ten precious souls placed their trust in Christ as Savior during the retreat--five adults and five children. Please pray for them to grow in grace and understanding of their new relationship with God. Retreats are currently held in May and November each year but we would love to expand the schedule as God provides funds and volunteers.
In other news:
1. An unexpected opportunity has arisen to increase the impact of Camp Refuge. Lack of space for the number of people attending (150+ at times) has been an issue at the Refuge for a good while. Recently, Dinalva was offered some land adjacent to our 2013 addition. This land is worth $150,000 Brazilian reals but it is being offered to Dinalva for $60,000 reals which, at current exchange rates, is just over $16,000 U.S. dollars. Could it be that God is sending this opportunity because He's ready to enlarge His work at the Refuge? Would you pray with us as we ask the Lord to provide according to His will?
2. Dinalva is coming to the States for about six weeks this summer! It has been a dream of hers for a long time to attend a Joni and Friends Family Retreat, not only for her own personal enjoyment and enrichment, but also so that she might learn new things to incorporate into retreats at Camp Refuge. She will attend the JAF retreat in Dayton, TN, the week of July 22. Prior to that, she will spend a couple of weeks visiting supporters in Colorado. On August 3rd at 6:00 p.m., I am hosting a get-together for her at Richmont Graduate University (1815 McCallie Avenue) so that her Chattanooga friends and supporters can spend time with her and hear more about her ministry. I would love for you to be there, and if you know people who have a heart for missions or who are interested in disability ministry, please invite them to join us.
3. Two staff members from Joni and Friends visited Camp Refuge last week to evaluate it as a possible location for a future Wheels for the World wheelchair distribution. Dinalva was thrilled as she told me that they loved Camp Refuge! We have hoped and prayed for more than ten years that a distribution might be held in the northeast part of the country one day, so imagine our joy when they said they are planning for a distribution in 2019! Half of the chairs will be given at the Refuge and half at a big church in Recife. Let's start praying now for the 200+ people who will receive not only the gift of a much-needed wheelchair but also the opportunity to receive an infinitely more precious and eternal Gift!
As most of you know, I have led several teams to participate in Dinalva's ministry. For the past few years I have been heavily involved as a caregiver for my parents, but I look forward to more trips to Brazil in God's timing. Camp Refuge is dear to my heart. It truly is an oasis for many whose lives are marked by poverty, isolation, and immense suffering. I'm so thankful God has ordained it as one of His many wonderful ministries in this broken and hurting world. Dinalva and her co-workers, Peterson and Danielle Dias (the full-time missionaries who live and work at the Refuge), are dedicated servants of the Lord who want to minister to the hurting and bring them to a life-changing knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Please pray for strength and wisdom as well as for their financial needs to be met. If you feel led to give to this ministry, your gift will be much appreciated and prayerfully used.
Upheld by our Father's strong hand,
Susan Cross is a native Chattanoogan and long-time friend of Brazilian missionary Dinalva Nabuco.