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Missions Month

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Greetings from Northeast Brazil!

We send our greetings to you all from sunny and hot Barreiras, Bahia in NE Brazil! We are in perhaps one of the busiest phases of our lives and we recognize how God’s hand is protecting, guiding and supplying each step of the way. As we seek to continually find that balance and stay on track with our priorities and responsibilities we are grateful for the ways that God is teaching us, showing His mercy and love, and answering our persistent prayers (even when it’s not with a “yes”). We hope that you all continue to pray for us and rejoice with us as God works. This year we are focusing on four fundamental steps for growth in our church: missions, discipleship, using our spiritual gifts, and growing in holiness. So far we have been making progress in the first two of these goals. 

March Missions Month … 

In the month of March, we emphasized missions. We began a new Sunday School series about missions and evangelism. We have been learning about the various ways that we can be faithful and obedient to our mission of preaching the Gospel and making disciples. Each Sunday we had a special focus and prayer time for specific people groups around the world that are among the least reached with the Gospel. And we concluded the month with a special speaker, a fellow pastor who has a heart for missions and has been on several missions trips. Following the service, we held our first international dinner. It was truly a blessing. And as we thought, “Do you think they are catching the vision for our mission?” one of our young married couples approached Josh and asked about specific ways to be involved and how they had prayed about giving to support missions and even traveling on missions trips in the near future. So, yes, God is answering the prayer and others are getting on board and that is exciting to us.  Our next step is to begin presenting specific missionaries and ministries that we could support, as well as future mission trip opportunities. 

English Service …

We held our very first English Service last week. One of our church members owns an English School here in town. He is very bold to share his faith in Christ and he has wanted to hold English services for some time. I’ve always been hesitant but we gave it a try and it was a great success. There were 57 people in attendance. Many of them do not attend any sort of church. Another American from town came with his family. His wife talked about really wanting to include “religion” into their family routine. Many of them use English daily with their job or have lived overseas before. Many asked us to please have an English service more often. What an opportunity that God gave us to present Jesus Christ, the Only Way, to so many people. Pray for this ministry. 

Answered Prayer … 

We have requested prayer for Ederson for quite some time. His wife is a church member. He has been visiting the church for almost 2 years and we regularly talk about the Gospel, but he has not been easily persuaded. Sunday night God really got his attention and he told me that he wanted to study more with me. Praise God for this step! Please keep praying for Ederson to give his life to Christ through faith. 

Carnival Retreat …

This year’s Carnival Retreat was a success. Our theme was “Searching for Peace”. Our first several meetings focused on the fact that God is our God of Peace and we studied the extent to which God went to provide peace for us. Peace with God and peace with others. It is amazing how we often choose to ignore the fact that we experience God’s endless love, grace, mercy and forgiveness because of the work of Christ on the cross. That is what makes peace possible for all of our circumstances and relationships. The teaching was very beneficial for all of us. We also had a great time of fellowship and games. The competition is always fierce and this year I was finally part of the winning team! 

Barreiras Project Update …

Unfortunately the work crew that was supposed to come this week didn’t work out. But God is in control and we see Him working still. We just ordered the materials for the next phase of building which will begin next week. Please be in prayer for this as we are truly at max capacity in our current location. We only have 4 more land payments and are rejoicing at God’s provision! We will be constructing the concrete columns that will support the walls over the next few weeks. We are grateful to all of you who have recently sent in donations for this project. 

Family News … 

The kids are doing well. They’ve finished their school for this school year and are enjoying a much deserved break. Our three youngest had birthdays in April: Joshua (7), Liam (5) and Lívia (3). It was way too much cake! Troy continues to excel at running while Eli is beginning to love it. They run with Josh and and a group of men from the church every Saturday. Eli and Alec play soccer twice a week. Joshua and Liam play soccer once a week. And Lívia loves to talk about princesses and twirl around in whatever “pretty princess dress” she can find. Melissa and I are well. One thing we’ve learned for sure is that we’re a team and God is our strength. His Word and His plan is our goal and together we live for that and that helps us stay focussed on what is important and what isn’t. 

Praises and Prayer Requests …

We praise the Lord that after much “trial and error” in repairs, a simple (and cheap) solution was found for our car problem. We praise the Lord for the many new people He has brought to us. Please pray the construction moves quickly. We need more space.  Please pray for the salvation of Ederson and Jaílson. Also, pray for wisdom and discernment for upcoming opportunities and decisions. Please pray for our upcoming furlough in the Fall. We must raise new support and are praying for the Lord to lead us to people that are ready to partner with us in this ministry. Please pray with us specifically for this important matter. 

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