Reasons to Rejoice
After six months of no rainfall, we has a "breath of fresh air" swing through the town yesterday. Somewhere nearby there was rainfall and we could literally smell it! The ipê trees are in bloom around the region, which is also a sign that rain isn't too far away. It's a beautiful reminder that in the heat and dryness, God still works and flowers still bloom.
We want to thank you all for your continued love, prayers and support. We are grateful to each of you for the partnership that you have with us.
We rejoice that a young boy, Vinicius, who is 8 years old, accepted Christ at church a few weeks ago. What a joy it is when children come to Christ in saving faith. Vinicius and his mother attended our church for some time before her job with the military police required her to transfer to another city. She was back here visiting her mother and attended the Sunday service. During children's church time the teacher spoke about the saving work of Jesus Christ and our need to respond in faith. She was pleasantly surprised when Vinicius spoke up and said that he believed that and wanted to put his faith in Jesus. Praise the Lord! His mother was so excited, as you can imagine. She has often said that leaving the church here was one of the most difficult parts of her job transfer. We're thankful that they were here when he became a child of God!
Work continues on the foundation of our church building. We are pleased with the progress. It is a little slow going, but we're blessed to be able to build as we have funds available. We should be finished with the foundation in a few weeks. And so far, God has provided so that all of the building phase has been completed debt free. The only thing that we owe is 12 more payments on the land. We've completed half of the payments and look forward to getting that debt paid off. Our church has been giving toward building materials as well. We started the "Foundation Campaign" recently and people are jumping on board buying some of the remaining building materials needed to complete this phase. It's a joy to see the people here give sacrificially and take ownership of this building project. We do ask that you remember to pray for security issues. We've been robbed twice. There hasn't been a large amount of building materials taken, but it's disturbing to know that people help themselves to what others have worked so hard to obtain. We'll be installing an electric fence around the top of the wall soon. It's not something that I really wanted to do. It gives the image of trying to keep people out. As a church we welcome all, but we definitely want to be wise stewards of what our people and so many of you have sacrificially given.
Above are snapshots of the blueprints for the building. This week, we submitted the plans along with all of the required documents for the building permits from the city. We're now praying that God will continue to supply as He has so far so that we can continue right along with the next phase of construction by the time the foundation is completed. Would you please pray with us about how you might be able to help? We would greatly appreciate any contribution that you could make! You may send in donations to our mission agency, clearly labeled "Josh Daniel - Barreiras Project" or give online.
This picture is one of my favorites because it shows some of our hardworking servants in the church. Every year a Children's Home in our city hosts a "Birthday Party" as a fundraiser for the home. All of the children who live there have been taken from at-risk situations. Area churches came together and set up a food court to sell various types food - from hamburgers and hot dogs to ice cream and chocolate chip cookies and regional foods like tapioca and escondidinho (something similar to Shepherd's Pie). There were also games, inflatables and crafts made by the children from the home. Every penny that was raised through this event stayed at the Children's Home to help provide for its needs throughout the year. Our team did a fantastic job. They decorated their area very nicely and offered great tasting food to those in attendance. We praise the Lord for their joy to serve and spread the love of Christ locally.
On August 1st, the children started back to school. It's always a busy time for the family when school kicks back into gear. Troy is in 8th grade. Eli is in 6th. Alec is in 4th. And Joshua is in 1st. Our family often becomes too busy so we need your prayers as we discern how to wisely and properly administrate the busyness so that our family and ministry can both be healthy. To kick off the school year, we recently spent a couple of days camping with the kids. In this picture they're eating sugar cane that was cut down where we camped. We had a great time!
Melissa and I celebrated 16 years of marriage on July 27th. We are enjoying God's blessings on our family. We never would have imagined that we would be where we are now. But we are thankful!
Once again we want to say a big "Thank You" to all of those who support us in prayer, encouragement and offerings. We are grateful for your partnership as we are...
Taking the Light of Christ to Brazil,
Josh, Melissa, Troy, Eli, Alec, Joshua, Liam and Lívia