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|