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Greetings from Barreiras!

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Greetings from Barreiras!

By the Lord’s grace we have made it to another year! 2020 was a most memorable year. It brought challenges and fears that many of us would have never dreamed of facing. But at the same time the Lord has been our Refuge and Strong Tower! He is our Help in troubled times.

As I reflect on the past several months, I am reminded of several of the things that characterize life for us as missionaries. I’d like to share some with you through phrases that were said to me recently.

“If I weren’t a Christian, I wouldn’t stay with my wife.”

Wow, what a statement that worries, yet comforts. It worries because I know that we have an enemy who fights against biblical marriage and actively pursues to destroy them within the church. Yet I’m comforted because this dear brother’s faith in the Lord and dependence on the Gospel are real and keep him on track to make the right decision. And since that statement, the Lord has been working to bring about some transformation in his home.

Interestingly, this very same brother has been used in a sort of spiritual awakening within his family. Imagine if he would have decided to throw in the towel 6 months ago! The Lord burdened a couple of people within this man’s family to pray for unsaved family members. This led to weekly video conference prayer meetings that included family members from several different cities throughout Brazil. And it has grown from there. It has truly been (and continues to be) a work of the Spirit. In December several family members visited from out of town and they gathered numerous times for Bible study and prayer (pictured below). It was exciting to see!

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“I never would have imagined my son coming to church.”

This was said to me by the mother of the man I mentioned above. You see, her youngest son and his wife have been visiting our church for months now. It is only explained as the work of the Lord. And we all know the power of prayer! We’ve prayed for Ítalo and Andreza for quite a while. During those weekly video conference prayer meetings, Andreza began to participate and has developed a hunger to learn more. Ítalo is coming along right behind her as well. The couple agreed to a Bible study with Melissa and me (pictured below). This past week they both confessed their belief in Christ as their Savior and their acceptance of Him by faith. We are thrilled that the Lord has done this work yet again and look forward to the following months as we continue to disciple them and see them grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ and the Word of God.

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"The more I learn about the Gospel the more I look at my own faults instead of those of others.”

This is what one of the men that was baptized last year recently told me while we were running together. For this brother, the process of coming to Christ was long and slow but has proven genuine and joyful. He’s a thinker and an observer. He’s proud and successful. Yet, he is on a journey of grace and sanctification. To hear him admit that the Gospel is changing him in specific ways is a blessing. He admitted that he used to only look for ways to find fault or blame others. Now, the Gospel puts him in front of the mirror to show just how desperately he himself needs Jesus. What a painful yet liberating process that is! I’m grateful that the Lord is working out His will in our lives like that.

“Thank you for the example you have been to my daughter and me.”

A lady in our church will soon move to another city far away. As she was with us for lunch this week and reflecting on the past 12 years in our church, she expressed her gratitude for all that she has learned. She especially thanked Melissa who had a direct impact in her daughter’s life through discipleship and example. We praise the Lord that even though there are difficult days the Lord still sees fit to use us for His work.

First service in our new building!

The day has finally arrived! The first service in our new building will be on Sunday, February 7th! As you can imagine, we are all very excited about this. We have to say “Thank you!” to everyone who has contributed so far. We are grateful. We are humbled. We are expecting God to do greater things as we venture into this new chapter. As we look back on God’s provision we are amazed. It has been exactly at the right time, every time. As we have acted on faith, God has provided. He alone deserves the praise and glory! We will still have some things to complete, such as painting, landscape and sign, but we are ready to use the building! (Below is an architect’s design of the building - eventually it will look like that).

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We appreciate your continued prayers and support. We need them. Thank you for being a part of…

Taking the Light of Christ to Brazil!

Josh, Melissa, Troy, Eli, Alec, Joshua, Liam & Lívia