Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bundle of Joy






Hello to All Our Friends and Supporters!


It is my great pleasure to tell you all that Ronã and I have a beautiful new baby boy named Oliver! He was born on May 29th, 2017 at 10:38pm, weighing a little over 8lbs. We are so grateful for him!
video

It’s been about 3 weeks since he was born, and of course, our lives are changed forever. Both of us are trying to adjust to the new schedule of feeding and sleeping. We are so blessed to have Ronã’s mom staying with us to help us with the transition. She has been doing most of the cooking and cleaning. Please, pray for all of us as we learn how to be parents and for patience as we are so tired!

Ronã's parents with baby Oliver

            Though we are trying to take it slow, we are also trying to start adding some new challenges to our lives.
            Last time, I told you that I was working on starting a women’s group. We were able to meet for 3 weeks before I gave birth, and they were 3 wonderful weeks. The group is exactly what I was hoping for. All the women attending have been very open with each other, and very respectful of each other. The group is on Saturday mornings for breakfast, but when lunch time comes around, they are still talking! I have to practically kick them out! :) But I am so grateful that they are having such a good time with each other. We plan to start back again in the beginning of July. Thank you for your prayers, and please continue to pray for these women. They are still only just beginning to learn who they are in Christ.
            This week, I have starting meeting again with the women on an individual basis. Luckily, Oliver sleeps through most of our meetings. It gives me great pleasure to encourage these women as they grow.
            Ronã recently starting taking an abridged version of the Vineyard Institute course that is offered here at our church. He will also be starting the online course of Vineyard Institute. I actually completed this course a few years ago. The course is a basic theology and ministry training course. It is an excellent program with practical training for those working in the field. This will greatly help Ronã as we continue to work in ministry.
            Ronã is also helping with the children’s ministry, a discipleship group, and the worship team at church. His current goals are to get as much experience as possible to prepare him for what lies ahead. Our hope is to eventually join another church plant as members of their team, and we both want to be well-rounded in what we have to offer. We are still praying about when and where to go. In August, we will be visiting a city called João Pessoa located off the coast of Brazil. There is already a missionary couple, Phil and Jen Snell, living there with their 2 children. We will be spending time with them to see if João Pessoa would be a good fit for us. Please, pray that God gives us very clear direction as we explore our options for ministry here in Brazil.
            Thank you all for your continued support of our work in Brazil. Without all of you, none of this would be possible. Our focus is always the same. We want to be used in the Kingdom of God. Even in a season of great change as our family grows, we are always asking the question, “How does God want to use us now?” Please, pray with us that God would reveal himself to us in every transition of our lives.

Love, Allison and Ronã Moura

If you are interested in donating, please visit the link below.

Friday, May 5, 2017

9 Months and Counting

Hello to Our Beautiful Friends and Supporters!

It's always a pleasure to update you all on the latest news from the Amazon. I hope you are enjoying the Spring as it opens its doors to you. I must admit, it is easy to forget about seasons living in a climate that doesn't change much throughout the year. Luckily, I have facebook pictures and posts to remind me of what you all are experiencing. I remember the freshness of Spring and that feeling of freedom after a long winter.
Well, I am officially 9 months pregnant, but as turns out, pregnancy is actually a little longer than that. My due date is May 23rd, but things could happen any day now. I am simply waiting....and waiting...for this baby to come out! I feel both a lot of anticipation and discomfort. Anticipation at holding for the first time my little baby boy, and discomfort because I am carrying around a bowling ball in my stomach...lol! Please, pray that everything goes as planned.
Last month on April 23rd, Ronã and I celebrated our one anniversary. A friend of ours invited us to spend the day at a local club that has a pool, and later that evening, we enjoyed a dinner out. Our first year has brought many challenges and adjustments, but we both feel grateful for how the grace of God has carried us through each of them. And now, we both get to welcome this new gift of a son into our lives. We feel so blessed in so many ways.

Out to Dinner

A day at the club



Last weekend, we held a Living Waters retreat for those who had already completed the 16 week course. For those of you who don't know, Living Waters is a healing care program that I have been apart of, along with a few other missionaries, since coming back to Altamira last year. For the retreat, we were able to help the participants continue on the journey of healing in their lives. I taught one session on addictions, helping them to understand the nature of addiction and how we can overcome it with the help of God and others. All the teachings throughout the weekend were powerful, and many people were touched in deep places by the presence of God. It was a privilege to be apart of it. 

Cyndi Rae praying for me



On an individual bases, I am continuing to work with several women as they try to overcome some difficult problems of their lives. I can't tell you how amazing and rewarding it is to watch them grow. I see them start to view God and themselves in a new light. I see them receive victory and peace in ways that they thought were impossible. I see them act courageously in areas that they once had so much fear. It is truly a pleasure. 
This weekend, I am going to start a breakfast small group, and I am inviting many of these women to participate. My hope for the group is that these women will continue to grow as they share their hearts with others in a safe setting. Unfortunately, many of the women are so captured by their shame that they rarely risk exposing their problems to others. I want to use the group as a place for them to break their silence and find acceptance and encouragement among others. Please, pray for these women and for the success of the group.  

Thank you again for all of your support, both financially and spiritually. Your faith in how God is using us here in Brazil gives us a lot of encouragement. I pray a blessing over all of you, asking that God would reveal the depth of his love for you. I pray that you would know in the deep places of your heart that his presence always surrounds you, even when it feels like he is far away. He is always watching you, seeking after you, and going ahead of you. You are not alone. 

If you are interested in donating to us, please follow the link below:


Love, Allison and Ronã Moura


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Living in Abundance

Hello to All of Our Amazing Friends and Supporters!

First of all, I just want to say how much I enjoyed being able to spend time with so many of you during my visit last month! It was very refreshing to my soul just to be home and in familiar places with loving faces surrounding me. Thank you all so much for being so welcoming to me!
Also, I want to especially thank all of you for your incredible generosity! I had 2 baby showers while I was there and received so many gifts to help in Oliver's first year of life. One friend gave me a lot of maternity clothes that she had used while she was pregnant. Another wonderful couple allowed me to borrow their car while I was there which made my trip so much easier. And many of you gave so generously that Ronã and I have been able to buy a few new, much needed appliances, and we are in the process of looking for a car!
(That means we won't have to drive Oliver around on a motorcycle 😃)

Opening Presents for Oliver

Baby Shower with Family




While there, I also had the wonderful opportunity to share at Vineyard Tuttle Crossing about what is happening here in Brazil. I shared about the struggles of the Brazilian people and how God is working to bring healing and restoration to many. Ronã and I was so grateful to be even a small piece of God's plan to bring his abundant life of grace and love to Brazil. If you would like to listen to that message, you can follow the link provided below.
Sharing at Vineyard Tuttle Crossing


The church surrounding me in prayer

Message @ VTC


Upon arriving back to Brazil, I had the privilege of attending a conference held by our local Vineyard churches. They invited a group from LifeLine Ministries ( https://www.facebook.com/lifelineministriesJimAnderson/ ) to come and speak to both our families and our youth during the annual festival of Carnaval. What an incredible time in the presence of God!

As I explained in my message at Vineyard Tuttle Crossing, there are a lot of broken families in our region. So many of the people that we work with had very troubling family environments growing up, and of course, they bring the traumas and wounds from the past into the present. Many have problems in their current families because of it. This conference spoke directly to those wounds and gave hope for a different future. It was so awesome to watch God move among so many families in our churches. It was an answer to our prayers, and we will continue to pray for God's healing work. Please join us in praying for the healing restoration of Brazilian families! Below is another link to a short video of the conference.
Family Conference

Over the next few months, Ronã and I will continue to prepare for Oliver's arrival at the end of May. Ronã is continuing to teach English and help out with our worship team. I will begin to meet again with the women that I counsel, as well as look for new opportunities to help those struggling with addictions and trauma.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and donations. We could not be here without you!

Prayer Needs:
A visa for Ronã
A healthy pregnancy
A reliable and affordable car
Increase in monthly support

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Merry Christmas!



Hello to all our Friends and Supporters!

Christmas is just a few weeks away, and we hope that you all enjoy some time with your families, eating some delicious comfort food, and taking in the scenery of flashing lights and white fluffy snow. What a magical combination!
I am now around 4 months pregnant and continuing to develop. Recently, we went to the doctor and discovered that because of the extreme morning sickness I was experiencing, I have developed a thyroid problem. We are currently waiting to get back some test results in order for the doctor to determine the proper treatment. Basically, this problem greatly effects my energy levels. I become tired and winded very quickly from doing moderate tasks. We are hoping that gives me a treatment that helps me start to feel normal again.
In other news, I am coming for a visit to the States! However, it will be just me. As many of you know, we have not been able to get a visa for Ronã. We plan to try again next year, but there are no guarantees. In the meantime, Ronã and I and our leaders decided that it would be a good idea for me to spend some time at home. The purpose of my trip will be to visit my friends and family, meet with my current supporters, and work on gaining new financial support. I will be arriving on January 25th and leaving on February 18th, so it will be a short trip. I have already made arrangements to speak at Vineyard Tuttle Crossing on January 29th. When the trip gets closer, I will be sending messages to all of you to set up a time to get together and catch up.  Also, if any of you have an extra vehicle I can borrow while I am there, that would be very helpful. I really look forward to seeing all of you, and eating all the food I have missed so much!
Thank you all for your ongoing support. Ronã and I really appreciate your prayers and concern. God bless you all, and again, I hope you have a wonderful time this holiday season!

Love, Allison and Ronã Moura

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Endurance



Hello to all of our Generous Supporters and Friends!

We are always so grateful for your involvement in our lives despite the distance. Whether it be packages sent or notes on Facebook and email, we know that we are in your hearts and thoughts on a regular basis. Thank you.

In my last blog, I gave you the great news that I was pregnant, and I also explained that I was suffering some severe symptoms. 

The condition that I have is called hyperemesis gravidarum. That’s basically a fancy phrase for a very extreme form of morning sickness. And since the end of September, I have been battling with this condition. I have had days in which I vomited at least 10 times. I have had days in which I only moved from the bed to the bathroom and back. In that time, I have lost 16 lbs. I have gone to the hospital several times for IV treatments for dehydration. In the beginning, I was given a medicine for nausea and vomiting, but with little effect. Although Brazil does offer a public health system, the care is often indifferent and slow. 

A few weeks ago, I was in really bad shape. I was so weak, I could hardly stand. Finally, with the financial help of some family members, we were able to visit a private doctor, and she admitted us in a private hospital for a few days. There, along with IV treatments, they gave me a medication that finally started making a difference. It is a drug often given to cancer patients to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatments. With this medication, I was able to get some relief. I was able to eat and drink again, usually only vomiting once a day. 

As I explained before, the assumed cause for morning sickness is associated with the hormones flooding the body in order to develop the fetus. In the first 3 months of pregnancy, these hormones double every few days, therefore, the nausea and vomiting often grow stronger as you reach the end of the first trimester. After that, some of the hormones begin to subside, and most often, the symptoms of nausea and vomiting begin to subside as well. I have just reached the peak end of my first trimester. This week, despite the medicine, my symptoms have worsened again. Thankfully, nowhere near the level of before, but each day is a rollercoaster. My prayer is that now that I am at the end of the first trimester, the nausea and vomiting will start to lessen with each day. There is no guarantee of this, as some women suffer from these symptoms throughout their pregnancy. Please pray with me that this is not my case. 

Despite these hardships, there has been some good things. Ronã, for one, has been amazing. He has gotten me everything I needed, made appointments with all the doctors, cleaned up after me, held me when I was moaning in pain, and so, so much more. He has served me and our baby so faithfully. I am so blessed to have him. 

Another wonderful thing is that our baby is totally healthy and developing normally. We just went for an ultrasound yesterday, and we can already see it’s head and little arms and legs moving around, as well as it’s little heart beating so strong. 

Though I have had to stop most of the things I was involved in before, on my good days, I have at least been able to continue meeting with some of the girls I have been counseling. It makes me very happy to know that I can still walk along side them in this time as they continue to grow.
Our friends and the other missionaries here have been very helpful and supportive of us. We are so grateful for their loving kindness. 

Again, I want to say how much we appreciate your prayers and support. God bless and keep all of you.

Additional Prayer Request:
-A Visa for Ronã to travel to the US and Canada
-Increase in Financial Support
-Continued health of our Baby
-Wisdom as we serve

Love, Allison and Ronã

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mixed Blessing

Hello to all our Friends and Supporters!

We hope you all are doing well, and as always, we thank you for your generosity and prayers.
As I look on social media, it seems that the United States is going through a very tumultuous time. There seems to be conflict and upheaval in almost every area of life. I pray for all of you that peace would reign in your hearts, above all else. It is important to remember that the Earth is not our true home, and that our ultimate security cannot be found here. We have hope for a better day in a better land!
This year has brought a lot of changes into our lives. Ronã and I are adjusting to married life as well as moving once again. So, in order to keep with the theme of "major life changes", we have a new one to announce. I'M PREGNANT!!!!!!
Because of my age, Ronã and I wanted to get starting trying to have a family right away. We are both very happy and looking forward to yet another new stage in our lives.
However, I am sharing this news with you a little earlier than is usually recommended. The reason is that since becoming pregnant, I have been experiencing some severe symptoms.
You have probably heard of "morning sickness" being pretty common in pregnant women, and although it is actually a good sign for the health of my baby, it has been pretty debilitating for me. I have been having severe nausea and vomiting, accompanied by extreme weakness and fatigue. I basically can't do anything. There are only a few foods that I can manage to eat, and if I am careful, I can get them to stay down. I have had to stop almost all my other activities, including teaching at CDR.
I am simply taking it one day at a time, trying to find out what works for me. I have already been to the doctor, and they have given me some medicine, but it helps little. Here in Brazil, they do not have all the resources available in the States for this condition. However, Brazil does offer free medical care, and the doctors and nurses here are helping me with all my prenatal care needs.
As an American with a innate flare for independence, this has been difficult for me more than just physically. I am weak and in need of the help of others. Basic things like cooking and cleaning, I can no longer do for myself. Of course, Ronã is doing everything he can to help me, but it is a challenge for him as well. We are blessed to have some faithful friends and other missionaries who have been very willing to do what they can.
In most women, the morning sickness lasts only during the first 3 months of pregnancy. It is believed to be caused by a rush of certain hormones filling the body during those first 3 months as the fetus begins developing. However, there are other women who do experiences these symptoms throughout their pregnancy.
We are asking for your prayers. I really hope that these symptoms do not last the entire time. Of course, we have no control over the results, but we hope for the best.

Also this week, Ronã is traveling with a group of missionaries from another denomination. He will be translating for them as they visit their churches and provide training. This is a great opportunity for Ronã, but it is also very challenging. Translating can be mentally exhausting and require a lot of focus and attention. Please, pray for him that he would excel and that the Holy Spirit would give him strength and endurance.
While he is traveling, I will be staying with Art and Cyndi Rae. They have been so kind and generous to open up their home to me in my time of need. Please, pray that God returns to them the goodness that they have given to me.

Ronã and I are so grateful for your support, so grateful for your sacrifice and prayers for us. As I said before, it takes a lot of humility to rely and lean on others. You all have been here for us from the start. Our desire is to take what you have given us and use it to advance the Kingdom of God. That is our daily mission from our hearts. Every time we serve someone else, it is a testament to your loyal support. Thank you.
If you are interested in supporting us as missionaries, please click on the link below to make an online donation. God bless all of you!!!

Love, Allison and Ronã

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Walking with the Broken

Hello to all my Friends and Supporters!

I hope you enjoyed hearing from Ronã last month. Even though you haven't gotten to meet him in person yet, I hope you at least feel that you know him a little bit better.
We are both feeling settled back here in Altamira, and have been very busy. As I said before, Ronã has been working at CDR teaching English as well as helping with the worship team at church.




For those of you who don't really know my history, I would like to share some of my story. When I started going to Vineyard Tuttle Crossing back between 2006-2007, I was not in a good place in my life. It had been several years since I had gone to church. I was in a very difficult marriage with a man who was an alcoholic and verbally abusive. I also had my own problems with an addiction to marijuana. At VTC, I found a home and a refuge. Being there was very different from many of my previous experiences in churches. I felt that the people there really showed me love and grace despite my many failures. After about a year, I met a member of the church who was a recovering alcoholic. I asked her if she could help me with my addiction, and she agreed. She showed me how to the 12 Steps, and after that, my life was forever changed.
Through the process of the steps, I found freedom from addiction, but I also found a new way of life. I had a wisdom and a clarity that I had never experienced before.  I understood how to manage my life and my emotions in ways that I never had before. I knew when to say no. I stopped taking responsibility for the feelings and opinions of others. I had boundaries! I knew how to protect myself in healthy ways. And I knew how to have relationships. How to be vulnerable and transparent, yet still an individual. It was a miracle. 
Since that time, I have always wanted to help others in the same way that I was helped, but I wasn't sure if I would ever have the opportunity. When I came to Brazil, I really had no idea what would lay ahead for me. I just knew that I was following the call of God. The past 4 years have presented many challenges for me, and it seemed that the road was not straight. 
Now, it seems that the road has led me back to where I started in Altamira. At first, it felt as though I was going backwards, but I have quickly learned that is not at all the case. 
As I said before, I have been helping the missionaries, Art and Cyndi Rae, with a group called Living Waters. Living Waters is a healing care program designed to guide people to find God in the midst of their brokenness and pain.  It helps them identify how the past is effecting their present. It touches on many of the same principles used in the 12 steps. 
I have told you a little before about the dysfunction in families here in Brazil, but as I work with helping others in these groups, I realize just how profound it is. Many people were past around as children from their grandparents to an aunt or uncle or even to strangers who were willing to take them in. Very few grew up with both a father and mother present. They  suffered severe neglect due to poverty and lack of concern. They were even sometimes treated like slaves, expected to work just as hard as adults. I can conservatively say that at least half of the women I have talked to have suffered some sort of sexual abuse as children. The stories that I hear break my heart on a regular basis. 
I feel deeply privileged to have the tools needed to help these very broken people. I get to walk with them along the path to their healing. I get to see God touch these dark places with his profound compassion and grace. To be honest with you, nothing has ever felt so rewarding. 
My current goal is to see if their is a possibility for me to start a 12 step program here in Altamira. I am already working with a few individuals, walking them through the steps. I am praying to see if this is something God would like me to pursue. Please, pray with me for discernment and direction. 
Bless you all!

Love, Allison and Ronã