Thursday, November 2, 2017

Overcoming Fear


Hi everybody, this is Ronã.



I’m very excited to meet all of you next year. Yeah! That’s right, we are going to America in February! That’s awesome!


Until then, I want to talk about one challenge I’m overcoming during this time—The fear of evangelism.


Don’t misunderstand. It’s not that I am ashamed of Christ. It’s not that at all. I love to talk about Jesus with my friends. It’s about the fear of people’s response. I’ve shared the gospel with some people, but they didn’t receive it, or they ignored me, or they denied what I said. It really affected my confidence, and I started thinking that I’m not good at this (evangelism). That’s not my gift.


Although, as you know, evangelism isn’t an option. We all have the call to evangelize. Jesus’ last words on earth were a command to evangelize and make disciples. For Him to spend His last minutes with us telling us to evangelize shows its importance to the church.


So, I had to find a way to overcome this fear. I’ve overcome other fears before. When I was learning English, I was afraid that I would make mistakes when I spoke to someone. However, I knew that if I didn’t try, I would never be able to speak. The same happened when I started to teach. My hands would shake. I was afraid that my students wouldn’t like me or I wouldn’t do a good job. But I knew that if didn’t get into the classroom, I would never be able to improve. The same goes for evangelism. If I don’t practice it, I will never be able to see its fruit.


So I started praying that the Lord would give me opportunities, boldness, and the capacity to evangelize. I started seeing His answer when I took the last quarter of VI. One of the courses available was Evangelism and Discipleship. I knew that’s the one I needed the most, so I chose it and it was a blessing.


If I could summarize what I learned in one sentence, it would be this sentence:


Do what you love with people who don’t know Christ”.



We all have things we love to do, and our hobbies can be excellent tools for the gospel. In my case, I love to draw and play sports (even though I’m not good at them). So I started to offer some digital drawing lessons to some people at CDR, and also playing Flag Football with others in a field next to our house. The result is that now I’m connected to around 6 new people so far. People that I can offer my friendship, knowledge and help.

Amanda's Drawing Character




Flag Football on Saturday.



Every Saturday more people come to the flag football, and they bring their friends. Our plan is to invite them to an Alpha group in December. Pray for us.



A few points I’d like to highlight:



l  Sometimes we spend all our time doing church things (that’s not bad), but we end up just being around Christians all the time. It becomes hard to connect with others. The worship team currently has 4 piano players, so I asked for a break. This has allowed me to have more time to focus on these “outside” projects.



l  Community evangelism. I haven’t been doing these projects by myself. Amazing people have helped me so much, and I’m really glad God sent them. So if you want to evangelize, consider doing it with your friends. That’s encouraging.



l  The VI course really gave me a new excitement for evangelism, and if you feel the same, I would recommend you take it or read the books contained in it. They are: Re-imaging evangelism by Rick Richardson and 3D gospel by Jason Georges.



To finish I want to share an amazing week I had with two missionaries in a close city. Dean and Larry have been doing a teaching training with the 1st Baptist Church of Anapu for two years. They’re blessing that church very much. I’m glad I was able to be part of that. Guess what was Larry’s lesson in this module—Evangelism!


Interpreting Dean. He taught about Christian Doctrines.     
People say you understand better when the interpreter acts like the foreigner.


Interpreting Larry. He reminded me that God is the one who
draws people. So don’t feel discouraged or that you fail when
sharing the gospel. 

 

 As always, we want to thank you for your constant support of our work here in Brazil!

Love, Ronã and Allison

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Lives Transformed


Hello Everyone!

I hope you enjoyed hearing from Ronã last month in our blog. We want to give you all a chance to get to know him, even from afar.

We have some great news! We will be traveling to the States in 2018! We will be there from February 19th until May 16th. That’s 3 whole months! You will finally get to meet Ronã in person and also our new baby boy, Oliver. I can’t tell how much I am looking forward to introducing them to all of you.
Since moving to Brazil, I have only come back to the States for one month at a time. The trip has always felt rushed, not giving me enough time to connect with everyone that I would like to. That should not be a problem this time around. When the trip gets closer, we will give you more details of our itinerary, and hopefully start setting up some dates to meet with all of you.

As you all know, I have been taking part in a program called Living Waters, and we recently started a new semester. This semester, I am the only foreigner on our team which means it has been handed over to the Brazilian leadership. This is one of the main goals we have as missionaries. We want to train up native leaders in several areas of ministry, allowing them to take full ownership and responsibility. Art and Cyndi Rae have done a successful job of this with Living Waters, and I have had the privilege of being apart of and watching this take shape. I am constantly impressed with the wisdom and insight that has been birthed in our Brazilian team. They have a passion to see others healed of deep wounds and demonstrate the compassion and safety necessary to guide the broken on a healing journey. 
Our Brazilian Team

              I want to tell you about one team member in particular. Her name is Débora. I first met her last semester when she was one of the participants in a group I was leading for the Journey. The Journey acts as an introduction to Living Waters, and helps us identify those who are in need of emotional healing.
Débora was clearly desperate. The hurts of her past were overwhelming her. She seemed lost and helpless and lacked all confidence in herself. Throughout the Journey and Living Waters, she poured herself out to God and those around her, opening herself up to whatever God wanted to do in her life.  At the end of the program, you could see a significant change in her. She seemed lighter, more hopeful. She no longer carried around a spirit of being lost. She had been found.
Since then, I have been meeting with Débora once a week to help her continue in her spiritual growth. She has also been participating in my women’s group on Saturday mornings. What I have seen from her has been amazing to watch. Today, she is a woman full of joy and gratitude for the work of God in her life. And everything that the Lord has been doing in her, she has already started to give away.

Débora is currently training to be a Living Waters group leader. And almost every time our women’s group meets, she brings someone new with her. I jokingly asked her if she was just pulling these women off the street on the way to group! She is constantly telling me about someone she has met or knows who is going through a difficult time, and she has prayed with them and helped them connect to God. It’s as if all those around her can see the work of God in her humble heart and are immediately drawn to her.
A few weeks ago, after our Living Waters meeting, she was talking to another participant about a local orphanage. She came to me and said, “Allison, I think we should go there!”.
A week later, we were on the steps of the orphanage, talking to the attendant, only to find out that they currently had 4 babies living there. My heart broke. We went inside and spent the next few hours holding little babies in our arms and trying to give them all the love and attention we had. Since then, we have been talking to other women we know so that we can get a group together to go there and serve these children on a regular basis.
For me, it has been such a joy to watch what God is doing through Débora. Seeing someone transform right before your eyes is an incredible privilege. It is what makes all the sacrifice and challenges worth it! I believe this is what Jesus meant when he said that we are to go and make disciples. He wasn’t looking for converts or church goers, but to see others truly bearing the fruit of his likeness.

Thank you for your prayers as we serve here as missionaries in Brazil. Our goal and hope is to be apart of more stories like the one above: Lives Transformed. When you give and pray for us, you are taking apart in this transformation as well. We are all on the same team, working towards the same calling and goals. God bless you all! We love you!

The Moura Family

Saturday, August 26, 2017

I Got My Visa!

Me with My Visa

 
Hi everyone, This is Ronã

I’m so happy to share with you the good news about the visa. That’s right! After one year of the disappointing denial, we tried again and my visa was accepted. Praise the Lord!

The time for me to meet you is closer. But while we can’t at this time, I’d like to share the things we are doing here:

We just came back from an awesome trip to João Pessoa. The time we had there was a blessing. Our trip had these goals:
* Register baby Oliver and get his passport;
* Change Allison’s last name and get her new passport;
* Try to get my visa
* And see if there’s a calling for the church planting with another missionary couple there.

Thank God, we solved all the bureaucracy and paper work at the embassy. We’re just waiting for the documents to come in the mail. But we are still praying about the possibility of helping the church plant in João Pessoa. We want to invite you in this prayer.

The classes at CDR started. Both Allison and I have some great classes with very motivated students. It’s amazing to see the blessing CDR is to this city. I’m an example of that. If it were not for CDR, I wouldn’t have been able to learn English. It’s unaffordable for most of the families here. So I feel very grateful to be teaching there.

Picture of when I started studying at CDR in 2009

  

Picture of my class today


This quarter, I started the VI course in Discipleship and Evangelism. It’s been challenging for me, but I’m definitely learning many good things. I want to start sharing what I’ve learned in a discipleship group we have at the church on Tuesday nights.
The whole idea of studying the VI course came after a conversation with my friend, Art Rae. As I have the gift of teaching, he challenged me to study and find effective ways to teach what I have learned. That felt like it was from the Lord. It is a way to use the gifts he gave me.

Following this, I asked my friend Wade Kirt to help me. He’s the youth pastor at the Alive Vineyard in Newark, Ohio. I had the opportunity to be his interpreter on a mission trip 2 years ago. That was my first experience interpreting a sermon. I’m glad it was with him. Now we are committed to meet regularly, so that I can be trained and learn from his experience. I see myself dealing with kids or teens wherever we go. My prayer is to offer the best of me to the Kingdom and that God gives me boldness and opportunities.

My first sermon interpretation with Wade

I keep working with the worship team and the kids ministry;

I want to thank you all for your donations and ask for your prayers for our family:

*That we would be good parents for our son. (parents that reflect our Heavenly Father);
*The Lord’s direction in our next step;
*Financial provision.

Illustration I drew when Oliver was born










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!

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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