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.
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