Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Living in Eternity Now

Happy Holidays to the Folks at Home!!

Often when I blog, I give you guys a little update about what's going on in my life. This time, I want to talk about that but from a different angle. I want to talk about something that is close to my heart. Its an idea that propels me and gives my life meaning on a day to day basis.
Its the idea of investing in people. As we all know, we aren't taking anything with us when we die. No money or possessions. So the question becomes, "What really matters? What is going to last?"
I believe that the investment we make in others is one of the treasures we will take with us to Heaven. And it's a treasure that we can start building now.
I want to tell you about a few of the people who have made an investment in my life, and also about a few people that I have had the privilege to invest in. Remember, these are just a few examples...there are many more people in my life who have made an investment and have shaped me into the person I am today.
The first person I want to mention is Penny Barrick. Some of you may know her already. She is my sponsor, and she taught me how to do the 12 steps. She was there to help me when I was finally ready to get my life cleaned up. She did two things that made all the difference in the world. She loved me unconditionally, and she told me the flat out truth. For the first time in my life, I told all my most damning secrets to someone, and they didn't judge me. Because of her own past, she very much understood what I was going through, and gave me a lot of grace as I moved to the next level.
The next two people are a couple that I'm certain many of you know--John and Cathy Lieb. I have spent countless hours on their couch, watching their TV and eating their food. I have debated with John about many political and spiritual questions and ideas. I have been put to work on the many projects that Cathy has around their house. I have borrowed many of their books. I have spent many hours crying and lamenting and laughing with them. Their patience and acceptance of me has brought immeasurable amounts of healing to my life.
I don't want to know where I would be today if it wasn't for these people. I'm sure that many of you have these same kinds of people in your own life. They may even be the exact same people that I have!
Now, I want to talk about some of the people that I have been able to invest in.

Some of you might remember my friend, Cleide, because I have mentioned her before in my blogs. She is a teacher at CDR, and has been around missionaries for most of her life. Through those missionaries, she has gain a relationship with God, an experience of family, and speaks fluent English. She is charismatic and extremely intelligent. Over the past year, our friendship has been a constant source of strength and laughter in my life. We have prayed together on several occasions about many things. We have been honest with each other, rather than putting on a 'happy face'. I have been able to help her on many occasions financially. And she has fallen in love with my Red Curry Chicken. I feel that I am just one more human notch that God has prepared along the way for Cleide and her family. I am just one person here at this special time in Cleide's life, helping her move on to the next level. 

I want to also tell you about my young friend, Manoela. Her and Cleide have been friends for years, and Manoela also works at CDR teaching English for the children's classes. She is also incredibly smart, but very shy. For Manoela, the longer I know her, the more I discover how amazing and gifted she is. Its like unlocking a secret. I have the privilege of teaching her English, and she is a member of my small group. Over the past year, it has been wonderful to watch her grow and be stretched as she becomes more willing to open herself up to others about her deep heart. I have made an effort to try and support her in anyway I can. I am currently working on trying to convince her to come with me to Portel. Her gifts with children would be a valuable asset there.
Both of these girls are my friends, but I have made a point to challenge them in different ways. I see all the amazing potential they both have, and my desire is to stand behind them and be a support whenever possible.
But you see, the only reason I am able to bless these girls in anyway at all is because someone first blessed me. We were all designed to do this, no matter where we are in our lives. We cannot measure in this life how many other lives we can touch just by simply taking the time to invest in one. Most people won't do something "big" to change the world, but we can all do something small consistently and faithfully to change the world. I believe this is one of the most important ways for us to go about "storing up for ourselves treasures in Heaven." Please, think of the people around you who could use your help and encouragement and support. What opportunities could you help give them? What potential do they have that you could help them reach? I hope you will think on these things.
I love you all and can't wait to see you soon! God bless you and your families!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Looking Ahead

Hey Guys!!

Guess what?! I will be back in the States visiting with all of you in about a month and a half! I am so excited, you have no idea. As much as I love being here in Brazil, there is still no place like home.
However, the more time I spend here, the more comfortable with my surroundings I become. I notice little things that change with me. For example, I find that I can have conversations in Portuguese for longer without getting tired. I have even started praying for people in Portuguese sometimes. Also, when I travel, I don't get as exhausted afterwards as before. Basically, I judge everything by how long it takes me to get tired, and that's how I know I'm improving!
We take for granted in the States our modern conveniences. I'm not complaining, but I will just point out some differences. There are no dishwashers or dryers. Because there is so much dust from the streets, your whole house gets covered in layer of it daily. You constantly have to fight bugs and spider webs and dust, so you basically have to clean your house from top to bottom once a week. Also, for the water I use to wash my clothes, I have to use a pump about once a week to move the water to a larger tank. And sometimes, the water doesn't come. That's a headache, let me tell you. There are not any "fast food" restaurants around here either, so most of the time, if you want to eat, you have to cook yourself! I actually like cooking, but sometimes, you get busy with other things and don't really have time. Anyways, all this stuff adds up and takes a lot of time.
Well, I hope that gives you a better idea of some of the mundane things I have to do everyday. Now, on to the more exciting stuff.
So, last time I wrote, I told you I would be traveling to a city called Portel with Richie Bouthillier and his family. Well, it was a great trip and a great time on the boat getting to know their family better. It took us about a day to travel from their current city, Porto de Moz, to arrive in Portel. It is a very small town that is shaped like a peninsula on the river. From one side to the other is about a 15 minute walk. One side is a harbor with many boats coming from all over the Amazon region as well as from the large city of Belem. The other side is a very shallow beach area that stretches far out into the river. Even though the city is very small, it still seems to have a lot of activity because of the harbor. We spent the week checking out the different parts of the city and swimming at the beach. Richie found a piece of property right on the water, which is a perfect place to dock his boat as well as build a church building. He has already bought it, and his family were fortunate enough to also find a house to rent.
While I was there, I was asking myself if I could see myself working there. I like the city because of its beachy feel. (I always told the Lord I wanted to plant a church near the beach!) However, I was concerned if my abilities and passions were a good match for the city. As I have said, I really enjoy teaching English and the kinds of doors that are opened through the benefit of the school. I would want to start a school wherever I go. After talking to Richie and a few of the locals, it was clear that the people there would really be blessed by an English school, especially because of their proximity to a big city like Belem where there are a lot more opportunities. It gives them a chance to better prepare for their futures, as many of the Brazilian public schools in this region are of a really low quality.
Anyways, when I came home from my trip, I talked it over the Steve and Elba and all the other missionaries here, and I have decided that I am going to move to Portel with Richie and Christie and help with their new church plant! I feel like this will be the best fit for me at the right time. I am going to stay here in Altamira probably until June or July of next year and then move. I want to spend the next 6 months learning as much as I can about how CDR (the English school) works, and also give Richie and Christie a chance to get settled in there before they receive me.
I am very excited about this. I am especially excited because I feel like I have a great opportunity to really make a difference within the community I will be serving. One of my greatest hopes is that my life will make a lasting and powerful difference in the world, and I feel like Portel is a great place to start.
Please, pray for me as I work to make plans and get ready to move. Please pray that God orders my footsteps and directs all the timing and necessities. Thank you for moving along in this journey with me. You guys are really the ones who have positioned me to make a difference. I could never, ever do it on my own. God bless you!!!

Love, Allison

Check out the beautiful pictures from my trip below!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Still Searching

Hello to my Favorite Missionary Team!

Right now, most of you are experiencing my favorite season of the year--Fall. Oh, how I miss Fall! However, I would not trade it to have to endure those awful winters again....I am definitely a summer person! Anyways, I hope everyone is enjoying this special time of year and that you are experiencing joy and peace.
Let me catch you up on the latest with me. I have been very busy.
As some of you may know, I went to Vineyard Leadership Institute a few years, however, I never quite finished the program. Well, I have only a few more classes to go, and I have decided to work on completing the program while here in Brazil. As you may not know, the program has changed now, and is called Vineyard Institute. It is also launching to become a worldwide ministry training program for the Vineyard movement. We hope to have the program translated into Portuguese and moving along in Brazil in the next year or so. I am very excited about this as I believe solid theological training is a much needed asset for the upcoming leaders in the Brazilian churches. We have many passionate and talented leaders here who are hungry for a deeper understanding of the Bible.
The Alpha Circles group that my team and I started has ended, and we are now moving onto new endeavors. Through many of the relationships Christopher and I built in the Alpha Circles group, we have created a new group. This group is different in a few ways. For one, it is not in English, but Portuguese. It is basically a small group with the hopes of digging deeper with our new friends. We are looking forward to learning how to live the Kingdom lifestyle together. Please pray that God continues to bring us closer and gives us an environment of safety to be vulnerable with one another.
In the past few months, I have had the privilege of helping out my good friend, Marcelino, with a new homeless ministry. I admire Marcelino for his passion and his desire to change the world. He very much believes in doing practical things to make a difference and in loving all people, no matter where they are coming from. So, once a month he and a few others have been coming to my house and making lunch for the homeless people in our city. Then, we go out and give the food away while talking and offering to pray for them. Through talking to them, we discovered some of their other basic needs that we could help with. We decided to put a care package together for them that includes, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a shirt, soap, and deodorant. We also include a letter telling them about the love God has for them. It is one of my favorite ministries that I have done so far because it is so easy to make an impact in these people's lives.
At the Xingu Mission, we have had some new missionaries join us from another base. They are Art and Cyndi Rae, and their son Daniel. They are currently staying with me as they work on repairs to the new house they bought. Their hopes in moving to Altamira is to bring the program, Living Waters, here to Brazil. Cyndi is working with a translator to translate all the material into the Portuguese dialect best suited for Northern Brazil. I am very excited about having them here to start Living Waters in Brazil for the first time. I believe Brazilians are in great need of a healing care program to begin to experience deeper healing and deeper intimacy with God. It will be an amazing blessing to the church and the community. I have also been blessed to have such gracious and loving people in my home. We have become really close in this short time.
Lastly, I want to keep you updated on my future. Since I have come here, I have been keeping my eyes open to see where God might want to plant me. I have visited the other bases and other cities, but still do not feel any definite callings from God for a certain place. Recently, another missionary couple, Richie and Christie Bouthillier, and their children, have decided to branch out and start a new base. They are still not 100% sure, but they think they will be moving to another city in the Amazon Region called Portel. I will be joining them this week as they travel there again to make their final decision. So, this is yet another possibility of where I could end up in the future. This would be a completely new work, as there are currently no Vineyard churches in this city. Everything would be starting brand new. Please pray for my trip, and that God would speak to me one way or another about his plans for me.
The time for me to visit all of you is getting closer and closer, and with it, I am getting more and more excited. I can't wait to reconnect with all of you. Thank you again for all of your support, both financial and moral. I pray that everything you have given to me will be given back to you. I bless your families and your jobs and your dreams. For those of you that are struggling right now, I pray God's mercy and tenderness over you. That he would use this struggle to bring you closer to the knowledge of his great love for you. To all of you, remember that your true home is in Heaven, and that all of us are called to bring Heaven to Earth. Thank you for being apart of the journey with me. 

Allison Rupert

I am going to include a few links below showing you some of the things that has been happening here. We were blessed to have another baptism. Also, once a year is Children's Day, and our church held an event for the children in our neighborhood. It was a great way to show them that they are special and loved.

Marcelino preparing lunch for the homeless    

Me teaching at the Youth Group with Cleide translating

Pictures from the Baptism and helping the homeless

Pictures from Children's Day

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Good News and Bad News

Hello Everybody!!

How are you? I sincerely hope you are all doing well. I hope that whether or not your circumstances are good, that at least your heart is doing good and is full of peace.
So, I will go ahead and get started catching you up on the latest here in the Amazon Region of Brazil. Last time, I told you about the Intervinha Regional Conference featuring Phil Strout, and Danny and Penny Meyer. Well, it was amazing! It was so good to hear messages in English, and they spoke right to my heart. It was really what I needed for encouragement. I also got a change to spend some time with Danny and Penny Meyer because they stayed to visit with their son, Christopher. I loved getting to know them better, and just feeling their support and encouragement for me. They are a really special couple.
Well, CDR has started again, so I am teaching again, and I must say that I love teaching. It is such a privilege to not only teach these kids something that will help them in the future, but also to speak into their lives about the love Jesus has for them. It is very rewarding for me.
I have also been able to teach some at the Youth Group at church. The last time I talked, I explained to the kids about spiritual gifts, and how they could use those gifts to reach the lost. After I taught, I broke them up into groups of 3. In each group, the kids were suppose to pray for one another and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to them. If they heard anything, they were suppose to tell the person what they heard. To my excitement, many of the kids were deeply touched by the Holy Spirit, and God used these kids to speak powerful words of encouragement and healing to one another.
Also, I want to mention that there have been no new developments on my ideas of moving to Macapa. I have not heard any clear direction from God on how or when to move forward. So, I would like it if you continued praying that God speak to me clearly about the future he had in store for me. I, of course, will keep you informed.  
Ok, so you are probably curious about this Good News and Bad News thing. Let me start with the Good News!
So, I've decided that because I miss all of you so much that I am going to come home for a visit early! That's right. I originally had planned not to come home for another year, but I talked to my superiors, and they said it would be fine for me to come back early. So, I have decided to come back for the month of January. I will be on a break from CDR that month, so I will not miss anything happening here. I will be staying with my mom in Georgia for about a week and then heading to Columbus to spend some time with you all! I can't wait to see you again!!!
Ok, now for the Bad News. Financial Support.
Let me explain the situation. Over the past two months, I have not received almost $1000 worth of support. I need around $1500 a month to continue to stay here and work, and I have only received around $1000 the past two months. This is really significant. If this trend continues, it will wipe out the saved funds I have in just a few months, and I will have to go home. And not just for a visit.
I know that each of you supports what I am doing here in Brazil and would like to see me continue it. Its important. I believe in what I am doing, and I believe that God has a future for me here.
I ask that if you are not already supporting me financially, that you would make the decision to start. And I ask that if you are already supporting me financially, that you would consider raising your support every month. I want to remind you all that monthly, consistent support is the best way to invest.
I also want to remind of how grateful I am to all of you who have been so faithful to me through every kind of support you give, be it financial, emotional, moral, or spiritual. You guys are my team, and nothing I do here is possible without you. I hope that I do a good enough job helping you feel connected to the work of God here. I know its easy to feel distant from it or that your life doesn't have an effect on things down here, but its not true. You are so intricately connected, and what you are doing makes a profound difference.
I love you all so very much, and I am so looking forward to seeing you soon. Below is list of ways that you can give financially, if you so choose. Thank you again.


*You can allocate the funds at church for me by check or cash for: Xingu Mission-Allison Rupert.

*You can mail your support directly to the mission:
Xingu Mission-Allison Rupert
PO Box 340785
Columbus, Ohio 43234

*You can also donate online at:

Penny and I at the Intervinha Conference

Click on the link below to view more pictures.

Intervinha Regional Conference

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Going Back, Going Forward

Hello to all my Beloved Friends and Family!

Thank you for your prayers and support and for hanging in there with me. If you can believe it, next month will mark my one year anniversary here in Brazil. It seems that it has gone by so fast, and I can't believe the amount of things I've learned in one year.
My Portuguese has greatly improved. I can understand most of what is being spoken to me, and can communicate enough to even have some deep conservations. Last night, I even taught at a friend's small group in Portuguese. I have also decided that next month, I will stop taking classes, but continue to study on my own. I do still have a lot to learn, but I feel confident that I will continue to grow with more time and experience.
I feel pretty comfortable with the lifestyle here. There are many things here that in the beginning seemed so different, but now, I have started to take them for granted. Actually, the thing that has probably been the hardest for me to learn is the different communication styles between American and Brazilian culture. This is something, I know, will take me a lot more time to learn. Brazilian culture focuses on pleasing others. They use more indirect communication and avoiding telling another person "no". As you know, American culture is very different from this. Our communication is very direct and saying "no" does not usually offend someone. Neither communication style is "right" or "wrong". Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but for me, it is sometimes like trying to solve a mystery with a bunch of subtle clues. I am sure that if a Brazilian moved to the States, they would feel the same way I do!
Right now, I am on a break from teaching at CDR, so I decided to do some traveling. I took a boat back to Macapa. Macapa is a city that I traveled to when I first came to Brazil. Some of you may remember that Buck and Lusiane Schmit were missionaries there some years ago. They have since moved back to the United States, but the church that they planted still remains. I spent almost 2 weeks there getting to know again some of the people I had met originally, as well as meeting the new people in leadership. It was a great time.
While I was there, I started seriously considering the possibility of getting involved with their ministry. One of the ideas we discussed while I was there is the possibility of starting another CDR (the English school). CDR provides a great opportunity to help support the local community, as well as give exposure and credibility to the church. I also spoke with another couple in the church who have a great heart to minister to the people they refer to as "Urban Tribes". Basically, these people represent those who would not normally be attracted to the church environment because of traditionalism and legalism. They are also located more in the downtown areas of Macapa which is a large city of around 500, 000 people. Both of these ideas really got me excited as I feel I have a lot to offer in both of these areas. I am praying that if this is what God has for me, that he would continue to reveal his will and favor. Please, pray with me about this, and let me know if you feel that God is speaking to you concerning this possibility.
Next week, we have our annual Intervinha Regional Conference here in Altamira. This is very exciting because pastors and church members from the North and Northeast regions in Brazil will all be coming here to attend the conference. Phil Strout, Danny and Penny Meyer will also be coming here to speak at the conference. Several other missionary families and I will be joining them on a boat trip for about 4 days, and then at the end of the week, we will have the conference. For me, I am really hoping to be ministered to by our visitors and really get refilled by the Holy Spirit. Please pray for me that this is a time of refreshing and direction for my future here in Brazil.
Also, on a deeply personal note, I have a request. As you all know, I am single. I am 33 years old, and I will be 34 in October, which is just around the corner. Since I have been in Brazil, I have yet to meet anyone that I think I could marry. This is a deep hope and dream of mine to meet someone I could share a loving, life long relationship with and start a family. I ask that you would pray for me to meet the man God has for me. And again, if you hear the Lord speak to you anything about this on my behalf, please let me know.
Thank you again all of you for your faithfulness to God and to me. Thank you for being on my team, and for being my cheerleaders! I long to see all of you, and sometimes its hard to think that I have another year to go before that happens again. I long to worship with you again, to hug and cry with you again. I love you all. Bless you and your families and your hearts.

Love, Allison

Below is a link with the pictures from my trip.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Good Busy

To the Folks back Home.
Miss you. Love you. Sometimes, I wish I could fly back home for a day so I could go to church with all of you and see your faces. When I think about what I miss from home, I always think of all of you.
This month has been so busy, which is really good. One of the things I love about being a missionary is the variety of things I get to do and experience. This month, we had a baptism, a dance club night with our youth group, a church festival, and our Alpha Circles group. We also had a short-term missions team come in from VCDC in Sunbury, OH.
This baptism was special to me because one of my friends, Gustavo, who is about 15 years old and speaks English better than I do sometimes, got baptized. He had asked me about a month before to explain baptism to him. I told him it was like a wedding ceremony between you and God. You are making a public declaration of your love and commitment to a life long relationship with God. It is also a picture of moving from death to a new life in Christ. He liked that idea, and so he made the decision to get baptized. When it came time for him to get in the water, you could see the Spirit of God powerfully touching him and confirming this new relationship with Christ. It was a beautiful moment.
Our youth group is working on attracting more young people to our group, so they had a "Balada Gospel", which basically means a night of dancing offered at our church rather than at a club which usually involves a lot of drinking and other questionable activities. Use your imagination. It was a success, and the kids loved dancing and having fun with one another.
This past weekend was the 4th annual church festival. Each ministry in the church set up a booth to sell food and things donated by members of the church. We also had our worship team play and games for the kids. This year was the best yet, and the church raised over $6000 that they plan to use to make some needed repairs to the church building. We all worked hard and had a great time.
For our last Alpha Circles group, we did a skit of which I was a participant. I have a video of the skit below for you. Its now at the end of the semester for CDR, so our group will stop for now and start again next semester in August. We are still having fun with the group, and always thinking of how we can make it better.
When the team from VCDC came, they spent most of the time traveling, but I did get to spend one night with them at another Vineyard church in Altamira. Jonathan Meyer, Christopher Meyer's brother (our new missionary), spoke a powerful message about God's grace towards us, even in the face of our many imperfections. During the ministry time, the Holy Spirit really showed up and many people were strongly impacted. It was such a blessing to minister with them and be apart of what God was doing at that church. Those are the moments I live for.
In a week, I will be traveling to Macapa, which is a big city located on the Northeast coast of Brazil. I actually went there when I first came to Brazil almost 5 years ago. This will be my first time back. I'm really excited about reuniting with all the people there.
I've said it before, but I want you to know that I'm having the time of my life. I'm doing what I've been dreaming about for so long. I feel so incredibly blessed and cared for by God. Guys, I sincerely ask that you keep me in your prayers. I want more of what God has for me. I want to honor him here in the same way that he has honored me. I want to be used powerfully by him. I need the covering of your prayers. Thank you. Thank you for your support and friendship and concern and kindness towards me. I need it. And I know that what you give will be given back to you.


Here is a Link to the Alpha Circles Skit.

Alpha Circles Skit

Gustavo being Baptized

Night of Dancing

Our church festival   
Click on the Link below to view more pictures.

June 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Moving in the Right Direction

Hello Trusted Supporters and Friends!

As always, I hope you all are doing well! Things are going great here in Brazil. Everyday, I am still learning so much and working towards my goals. I want to give you an update on what I have been up to recently.
First of all, the group, Alpha Circles, is still going strong. The students from our English school seem to really enjoy it and have a lot of fun. What is interesting about the group is that in the culture of Northern Brazil, there are not a lot of people who claim that they don't believe in God. Most of the people in our group are either involved in church or have been at one time. As leaders, we question what is the best way to engage the members. We want to give people an opportunity to grow closer to God, no matter where they are on their journey. We have tried to set up an environment where people feel comfortable asking questions and expressing any fears or doubts they have about God. This is very important because in some churches here, people are often told what to believe without the option to be honest about their true feelings. We are continuing to question how to move the group forward. Please pray that God gives us wisdom.
Also, through CDR and the Alpha Circles, I am getting an opportunity to grow closer with some of the students. I have been working on building relationships with them, and helping them to grow closer to God. Please pray that God uses me to be a light in their lives, and that I would have the wisdom and patience and love that I need to bless them.
A few weeks ago at our Youth Group, we had a special night where we asked the kids to invite their friends. Around a 140 kids showed up for a night of dancing and skits and great worship. Christopher, our new missionary, shared his testimony. Everybody seems to really enjoy it, and many of the kids have been coming back since then. There are pictures in the link below.
I am still teaching English at CDR, and plugging away at the language. I am definitely improving all the time, but sometimes, because I am spending so much time speaking English, I don't get a lot of opportunities to practice as much as I would like. Please pray that I continue to learn and that my mind would be able to grow in this area.
Thank you again for all of your support. I am so blessed to be here, doing something that I love to do. You make this possible. Your sacrifice and willingness to give make this possible. I know that as you give, God is giving back to you in big ways and small. Thank you for your prayers for me. Even though I am very happy here, there are times when I feel lonely and miss the things that are familiar. Your prayers reach me in those difficult times. They have the power to comfort me and hold me up. God bless you all.

Love you,


 Please click on the link below to see my recent photos.

Pictures of our Youth Group

Friday, April 19, 2013

An Open Door

Hello All of my Friends and Generous Supporters!

I hope you are all doing well, even with the craziness that is happening in Boston right now. My heart goes out to the families who are suffering.

I loved being able to see you all at church this past Sunday! What a blessing. It felt like being home, even if only for a moment. I truly do love and miss all of you!

So, I want to tell you story to let you know what's been going on here over the past few months. Some amazing things are happening. But, first, I need to give you some back story.

I don't know if you remember or not, but not too long after I got here, we started a cell group for the single young adult women in our church. The first few months of the group went fairly well, but it wasn't exactly taking off. Then, I went traveling for a month, and the group pretty much stopped for that time period. Not only because I was traveling, but also because the month of January is sort of like our month of December where everyone is traveling or visiting their families and so forth. When I got back, I tried to bring the group back together without much success. Unfortunately, one of the other leaders (who was pretty much my translator) was very busy with school and work, and no longer had time to help lead the group.

I was disappointed. I felt like I was trying to do something, but I just couldn't make it work. Anytime that happens, I think its natural to question yourself about your purpose and abilities. In my heart, I had been praying, "God, I want to do something! I want to be apart of your Kingdom! How do I get my foot in the door?"

During this time, I had also been struck by the verse where Jesus talks about sharing your food with those who can't afford to pay you back. I decided I would have a "churrasco" (barbeque) and invite some people from my friend's neighborhood who I knew would not be able to afford such a party like that. I thought it would be good to try and develop relationships with them and just try to love them. So, I made the plans, bought the food, invited the people, and got everything prepared. When the day arrived, no one showed up. I had to call other people that I knew to come over and eat the food. I can't say that it was terrible. The other people were happy to come. But again, I was disappointed.

It's in my personality to get fired up about things. I want to do something. I need to do something. I can't just sit around waiting for things to happen. I need to be chasing after something, and I want my life to count for causes that matter. So, when I put my effort into a project, and get zero results, I get discouraged and feel a little like a failure.

After this happened, I went and talked to Steve, who is often the gracious receiver of all my frustrations and misunderstandings about my new home. He patiently listened, and then gave me some really good advice. He said, "Why don't you do something with the students at CDR? You already have a growing relationship with them. How can you develop that?" That made perfect sense to me, so I started toiling the idea around in my head about what would be the best way to engage them.

After a week past, I still did not have a clear idea, but I was talking about it with the Lord and asking him to reveal it to me. One day, I was sitting in one of the classrooms at CDR, preparing my lessons when another teacher, Marcelino, asked me a question.
 "Allison, have you ever heard of Alpha Circles?"
"No, Marcelino, what is that?"
"Well, we used to have them here on Friday nights with some of the other missionaries. The students could practice their English and we would have talks about God and I really loved it. Do you think we could do that again?...."

Well, that was all it took. I knew God was opening a door. I got Marcelino to tell me all of his ideas for the group and everything he knew about the previous group. We started talking to the other teachers at CDR, as well as Elba and Steve, and everyone seemed to be on board to start making plans in that direction. I was getting excited.

About a week after that, I was at church one evening and the youth pastor, Cleiton, said he wanted to speak to me after church. He asked me how my single's girl's group was going. I told him, sort of laughing, that it was not great, but that we had another had idea in the works to do something with the students at CDR. Then I asked him what his idea was. He began to explain to me that God had also put on his heart the idea of starting something with the students at CDR! Now, I was even more excited and even more confident that this was God's idea and not mine.

Last week, we had our first Alpha Circles meeting. We had more than 45 students show up for that first meeting. We have had a great response from everybody, and anticipate having even more students the next time. It was a great success.

This has taught me a wonderful lesson. Mainly that, its not about me. I don't make things happen or not happen. It is in God's hands. I just need to be willing and available. He does intend to use me, in his way and in his time. What a amazing privilege it is to co-labor with the living God!

Bless you all and please keep with new group in your prayers as we grow and continue to think of ways to make the group better. Thank you so much for what you have already done, and for partnering with what God is doing here in Brazil. You are amazing!

Love always,
Allison Rupert

I have some pictures in the link below of the recent Baptism at our church, as well as pictures from Easter and our group, Alpha Circles.

Baptism/Easter/Alpha Circles

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Being a New Missionary

Hello Everyone!
This month, I was asked by our leadership team at the Xingu Mission to write a short article about my experience of being a new missionary for our Field Report. I am posting it here for you as well. God Bless! 
I don't think any two people have the same experience of being a new missionary. Each perspective is so unique with its own expectations and past. So, I will do my best to speak of what this experience has been like for me.
Being a missionary has been a life long dream and calling. Its been my heart's desire to encounter new people and new ways at living life. I've always wanted my life to be an adventure. So, the real question is, now that I'm here, is it everything I thought it would be? Yes and no.
When I first got here, I expected to have some big explosion of delight. I expected it to be like stepping into an imaginary land where everything you touched was enchanted. But instead, I felt lost and disoriented. There were many changes to be sure, but they exhausted me rather than excited me. Instead of enchantment, everything looked mundane and ordinary and real. It was then that I realized that I had been holding on to this dream for so long, that I had started to put my trust in it. I had started to believe that it would be my salvation. This, of course, was not at all true.
But God used this disappointment to confront me. He painfully reminded me that my salvation and delight and enchantment can only come from him. I was thankful for this challenge because I knew God was using it to, once again, transform my heart. He reminded me that my true home will never be on this Earth. This is a temporary assignment. Heaven is the only real resting place, and I need to start making my home there now.
Along those same lines, God also began to confront my selfishness. Here in Brazil, the people share almost everything. The high boundaries that we have in the States against things and time and space operate here at a much lower level. I realized how much my daily life had always been about me.
Being single makes it even easier to fall into this category. Here, I have been given many opportunities to see outside of myself to the needs that surround me. When I cook, I'm not just cooking for myself. When someone isn't getting the water that comes from the city (which happens often), they come over to your house to take a shower or fill up their jugs. When someone has a personal disaster that is too big for them to handle alone (which happens often), we all pitch in to try and help financially or otherwise. Your role within the group is just as important as your own individuality.
I've been here for almost 7 months now, and I could certainly go on and on about the many changes I've experienced. I am in the long process of trying to learn a new language. Everyday, I learn a little bit more about where to find things in my city. I've learned how to drive a motorcycle. I've learned what to expect from the weather. I've learned that your clothes get stretched out when you don't use a dryer. I've eaten more different kinds of fruit than I ever knew existed. Seriously, the list is eternal.
And after 7 months of trying to get accustomed to my new land, I have found that the delight that seemed so void in the beginning is starting to appear. Not because of the place itself, but because this is where God wants me to be. My heart has expanded into allowing him to be my reason, everyday, for being alive. God is using me in this place to bring about his Kingdom. That is the goal and that is the joy. As this place has challenged and stretched me, my capacity has grown for allowing God to work through me.
What I think is common about the “being a new missionary” experience is confrontation. Whatever parts of your character are weak will certainly be revealed. What's really in your heart will be exposed. It is not fun, but it is absolutely worth it. If you allow yourself to be transformed by it, true delight will follow. 

Allison Rupert

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Hello my Faithful and Loving Friends and Supporters!

I miss you guys! I see on Facebook all the time about your problems with the weather. I don't envy you. Here in Brazil, its the rainy season, which is a lot like the very beginning of fall. I absolutely love it, and I have no problem boasting to all of you about how great it is!

So, if you remember from my last blog, I spent the month of January traveling around to the different missionary bases here in Brazil to get a better understanding of what everyone else is doing. It was a great experience, and it really helped me become more familiar with the missionary lifestyle.

After I visited Maribel (last blog), I came home to Altamira for a few days, and then headed back out to visit Pacaja and Maraba. The first thing I can tell is about the buses. Traveling is quite the adventure here, as much of the roads are not paved and are very hilly. I always have my Dramamine handy for the motion sickness.

Pacaja is about 4 hours away from Altamira, and the missionary family, Marsh and Keith Wilson along with their 2 sons, have been there for 6 months now. They were recently joined by a Brazilian couple, Fernanda and Ferrada Sousa, along with their 2 daughters. Building relationships in Pacaja has been a slow process for Keith and Marsh, but things are beginning to move forward. They are also greatly encouraged by their new teammates! They are starting a CDR(English school) there as well, which provides a great opportunity to make new connections. I have faith that God is going to use them in amazing ways in Pacaja, as they are true examples of a serving heart.

Maraba is another 6-7 hours away from Pacaja, and home to several missionaries families including one Brazilian family. There is Rick and Deana Bergen and their girls, who have actually lived in Brazil for 20 years now. There is Art and Cyndi Rae and their sons, who have been here for about a year and a half. And finally, there is Jenn and Phil Snell and their young children, who have been here about a month less than I have. Monica and Ivanildo Leao are the Brazilian couple, and they have 2 children as well. In fact, Monica is the sister of Fernanda, who is located in Pacaja.

So, these families are all working together in this very poor and very rough neighborhood in Maraba. The majority of their church congregation is kids. And these kids come from very broken homes. Many of the parents are drinking or using drugs in the home. It is not uncommon for one parent to have several children from different relationships, and it is also not uncommon for girls to get pregnant as early as the age 13. What the missionaries there are doing is hard work, but they are committed to loving these childrens in the midst of their brokenness and showing them a different way to live.

 I was totally blessed to spend time with all of them and to become more familiar with the work they are doing there. I also got the chance to give my testimony to the congregation, and I did it all in Portuguese!! I had written it all down before, of course, but it was still a big milestone for me!

I am back home in Altamira now, and I've starting teaching English again at CDR. I must say that I really enjoy teaching, and I was glad to get back to work! I am truly blessed to be here to serve the people of Brazil. I am learning new things everyday, and feeling more and more comfortable in my new home.

As always, I want to bless all of you for your prayers and financial support. You are my teammates! Even though we have so much distance between us, we are together in purpose and in heart. I want you to know that everything you have done is truly making a difference here. God does not waste our faithfulness, but uses it to further his kingdom. Bless you all for your willingness to step out in faith. I pray that the blessing that you give is given back to you. I pray for your health to be restored and for your hearts to be at peace and filled with joy. Take care!


Visiting a family in the Interior with the Pacaja Missionaries

The kids playing games at the Maraba base
Me giving my testimony in Portuguese!
My bus broke down on the way back to Altamira..not fun.

Please, click on the link below to see more of the pictures from my trip.

January Travels

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Into the Jungle

Hello All!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I had my first Christmas and New Year in Brazil, and it was great! I spent Christmas Eve with the Dolans, and Christmas Day with another missionary family named the Bergquists. For New Years Eve, I went to the Central Vineyard church where they had a dinner with worship and dancing after.
After the holidays were over, I left with the Bergquists, that is Kelsie, Clyde, Makenna, Maddy, Hannah, and Nate, to spend a week visiting their missionary base. They live in a small river village called Maribel. Maribel is very remote, being a 3 hour drive from the nearest city by way of a rough and tumble dirt road. There are no stores, no gas stations--nothing in the way of commerce there. People rely on a line truck that goes into the closest town (Uruara) twice a day if they need supplies or a doctor. Most of the families in this area use fishing and hunting, as well as growing some of their own foods to manage their needs. There are also many farmers in the village who raise livestock and grow cacau trees (chocolate). These people are very simple and very generous. When they have something extra, either from hunting or from farming, they usually give it to their neighbors. It was a great pleasure to be among them.
I want to start off by saying how much respect I have for the Bergquists, and the work they are doing in this village. They have made many sacrifices both large and small to serve the people who live along the river.  Each day, many of the things that we take for granted are an intense labor there. Kelsie takes all the clothes for a family of 6 to the river to wash them. The washing can take hours, and even after that, depending on the weather, the clothes sometimes takes days to dry. They have a generator that they use usually about three hours each night for all they electrical needs. Therefore, most of their food is dry food as they don't have the benefit of refrigeration. Clyde is always working around the house making improvements, but of course, there is no local hardware store, so it can require a lot of creativity and patience to get something done. Before I left, he and another man were working on building a fence to keep the cows and pigs out of their yard. Digging all the holes is done only with hand tools, and it is extremely labor intensive. Kelsie also has the responsibility of homeschooling the kids, cleaning, and cooking. The kids do help, but still the days are long.
All the while they are doing these things, they are working to build the community of believers around them. As of now, their church plant is the only church for the region. They lead a church service, small groups, and a children's ministry. They also spend a lot of time traveling by boat along the river to visit the many families who live there. And God is richly using their commitment and hardwork. They have seen many people come to Christ, and those who were already Christians are growing and being trained for leadership. Their hope is to grow the church over the next few years enough so that it can be taken over by the locals.
Even in the short time I spent with them, I learned so much about sacrificial love and what it really means to do the work of Christ. Their willingness to give up their comfort, their time, and their hearts to serve these people was a real challenge to me. I feel like since I have been in Brazil, God has really taken my spiritual walk to a whole new level. God is stripping away my flesh, encouraging me to step out into deeper waters, encouraging me to live a life of service and sacrifice.
Please, keep the Bergquist family in your prayers. Pray for their stamina and endurance. Pray that they are given favor as they bring more people to Christ and as they train up leaders. Pray for me as well that God continues to move me in the direction of service to him, that I would be able to fulfill the calling he has on my life with vigor and obedience.
I want to bless all of you as well. I ask God now to pour out his Spirit over your families, that he would richly bless them with his grace and mercy. I lift up your finances and ask for God's favor on them. I lift up your bodies and your health and ask that God would touch you with healing and protection. I ask that he would fight on your behalf against any and all attacks from the enemy. And lastly, I ask that he would continue to restore your souls, that you would know in the deepest part of you his everlasting love, and that all your hope would be in him.

Below are some pictures from Maribel, as well as a link that you can click on to see all the pictures.

God Bless you! I love you all!


Snacks before our Christmas Dinner

Church Service with Clyde teaching

The Bergquist Home

Me and their son, Nate

Clyde on the riverboat

Maribel Pictures