Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Hello to all my Supporters!

I want to thank you all for all your prayers and encouraging messages you sent last month concerning the situation with the school. For those of you who are unaware, last month we had a problem with the location where we were having our classes. We had been having our classes at another school, renting a room from them. That school had some financial problems, and the owner of the building decided to close it. Therefore, we lost our space. We were hoping that we could make some arrangement directly with the building owner, but that also did not work out. I found a smaller school that allowed us to rent a room for the afternoon, so our kids class was able to continue. However, I had no other options for our evening classes, so for a week, we met in my house. I set up a make-shift classroom in my kitchen, but between the heat and the mosquitoes, it was miserable. I spent that week trying to find another place, but nothing materialized.
This situation was quickly becoming more than I could handle. I spoke with my leaders about what would be the next action to take, and regrettably, we decided that it would be best to close down all the classes for the time being. It was a difficult decision, but we do believe that it was the best under the circumstances.
We also decided that it would be best if I went back to Altamira for a time. I was there for a few weeks, and just recently came back to Portel to take care of a few things. I will be leaving again at the end of this week to spend another few weeks in Altamira. I plan to use this week here in Portel to continue looking for a place for our school with the hopes that we can reopen again next semester. Please, pray that I am successful.
On a good note, my time in Altamira has been enjoyable. Ronã and I have been spending a lot of time together, which has been great (except that he eats all my cookies!!...lol) I had the privilege of helping Steve Dolan (another missionary) paint his house! I wanted to make sure I was still busy there. I was also able to help Art and Cyndi Rae with their Living Waters group one night.
This distance from my work in Portel has made it even more clear to me how, despite much difficultly, I very much want to move forward with everything I am doing there. I love our church. I love the English school. I love my small group. All these things are purposes that God has made for me. I long to keep watching them grow and develop as God uses us to bring about his Kingdom here on the Earth.
Again, thank you all so much for your prayers, and I ask that you continue to pray for our school and God’s plans for it’s future. Pray against any way in which the enemy is trying to impede the work of the Lord.
And I also pray for you. I pray that the hand of God hovers over you. I pray that you know him in a deeper and more profound way. I pray that you experience his protection and provision in every area of your life. Don’t give up hope, and don’t become weary in doing good. We endure so much suffering here on this Earth, but we will spend an eternity surrounded by the blessings of our God.

Love Always,

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Urgent Prayer Request

Hello to all my very faithful supporters!

I hope I haven't alarmed you too much, but I do currently have a situation that needs immediate attention. This past weekend, while I was traveling, the school building in which we have our CDR English classes was closed by the owner. Though I don't know all the details, what I understand is the director of Uniasselvi, which is the school we were renting a room from, was not paying the rent for the building. Therefore, the owner locked up the building with all of our supplies and materials inside. I have been in the process of trying to speak directly to the owner in order to at least get our materials out and possibly, continue to have our classes there. However, in the meantime, I am having to find another solution. Yesterday, I was able to find another school that allowed us to rent a room for the kids class held in the afternoon. My evenings classes, I am going to hold in my house.
My prayer is that this situation is resolved quickly, and that we can be allowed to enter into the building again to have access to our things and also have our classes there again. Please pray with me about this situation.

On a happier note, last week was a great time for our missionary team. A while ago, the team decided that we would start trying to have a Missionary Care Retreat once a year. We all had the pleasure of going to a lovely beach resort located in a city off the coast called Salinas. It is just a few hours away from Belem. While there, we also had the privilege of having the company of Craig and Linda Heselton who are pastors from the Columbus Vineyard. Craig gave us a seminar on Emotional Intelligence. It was encouraging and helpful, and it was great to get to know them better. It was wonderful for all of the missionaries to get to spend some time together away from the work setting. We had a lot of fun, and I believe we grew closer together as a team.

Some of the members of our team

Denise and I enjoying the pool

After the retreat, I visited Altamira for the weekend to spend some much needed time with Ronã. As always, we had a great time together. Please continue to pray for us as we walk out our relationship.

Out to dinner...

The next few months are going to be challenging for me. My friend Jennifer, recently went back to the States, and Richie's family just left to go back on furlough to Canada until February. That means I am alone here in Portel. As I am sure you have already perceived, life can be pretty unpredictable here. Please pray that God takes special care of me in this season.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. They mean so much to me. I pray that you and your family experience peace. I pray that God is near to your heart and that you hear him calling your name. I pray that you know in the deepest place of your soul that he always sees you.

"Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." Psalm 139:12


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

2 Pennies

Hello to all my Faithful Supporters!

I hope my last blog gave you a better understanding of life here in Brazil. I'm not sure what you imagine missionary life to be like, but maybe you now realize that it is not a paradise! Though, I would like to tell you that everyday, I am saving souls and seeing limbs grow, things are much more mundane in reality.
But I think this reality is normal for most of us. Our days are rarely filled with adventure and excitement teeming with a clear purpose. We ask the question, "Is my life meaningful?" So much of our time can sometimes be filled with seemingly meaningless tasks. We wonder if we are really making head way. Is it amounting to anything?
The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I realize that I need to find meaning in the mundane. I need to become more aware, everyday, of the subtle and unique way in which the presence of God is entering into my life and the lives of those around me.
A few weeks ago, I was at church and saw that many of the children had an eye infection. These children are poor and their parents, possibly out of ignorance, seem to pay little attention to their needs. I found the medication that they needed, and a few days later, I went to Portelinha to find the children I had seen. I gave their parents the medication and explained how to use it.
I'm not telling you this story to make you think I am a good person. The truth is that when I look at these children, I see a mountain of need that I have no power to attend to. I feel helpless. The medication is such a small gesture, such a temporary fix. I don't have what they need, and it weighs on me.
I could tell you other stories like this one, and my feelings would be the same about all of them. No matter how much we give, it never seems to be enough. It is a drop in the ocean.
But I have learned to take delight in this drop. I have learned to accept that God takes our little cup of water and turns it into more than we could ever have imagined. I believe he takes these small, precious moments that come along throughout our mundane lives and touches them with his glory.
And so I pray for those children that our simple gifts of love will one day awaken their hearts to the ultimate love that is our God.
It's easy for us to forget that our physical acts have spiritual significance. For better or worse, each day we change the world with little gestures. My hope is that for all of you who give to this ministry whether a lot or a little, whether through finances or prayer, that you would grasp the significance of your efforts. It is not of your own power, but with the backing of the Spirit of Power that works through us. We have a mission together, a journey taken in short steps. But we are never alone, and the desire of our hearts is always seen. God sees that we wish it were more. God sees our 2 pennies placed in the offering.
Thank you for opening your heart. Whatever little help I can give here, it is possible because of you. You are just as much apart of this as anyone here working in the field. Please, believe that. God bless you.

Love, Allison


Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Day in the Life

Hello to All,

Well, my time in the States flew by as you can imagine. I am already back here in Portel, and classes started this week. I am so grateful that I got a chance to have lunch or dinner with some of you and just check up. I regret all those of you that I didn't get to see. I really hope we get a chance the next time I'm in town. I also want to thank all of you who generously helped me in one way or another while I was there. Your support made the trip the refreshment that I needed.
While I was there, many of you asked the same question, "What is life like in Brazil?". It's a question that can be hard to answer, so I decided to do a little project. This week, I wrote down everything I did for one day. Although this one day is not all inclusive about my life here, it is a good representation of what my life can look like from day to day....

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

I get up around 8am and make coffee. I drink my coffee and pray and look at facebook. My friend Laudiane stops by around 8:30am to use the internet and stays for about a half an hour. The internet is working well this morning, so I decide to try and watch this sermon on youtube.  I listen to the sermon and eat breakfast. At around 10am, I work out. 
At about 10:30am, Ramon sends me a message saying he will stop by my house this morning to give me the projector and drop off his documents to sign up for the English class. I hop in the shower and start getting dressed. I need to go pay my energy bill and go to the TV Station to do some advertising for the classes by noon, before everything shuts down for lunch. Ramon still hasn’t come but sends a message saying he is going to be late. I tell him I have to go and that he can come by during lunch. 
I get on my bicycle and head to the center of the city around 11am. The first place I normally go to pay my bills is closed, so I go the post office. There is a note on my door saying, “Our System is down”. I ask the guy inside where else I can go to pay my bill, and he says the bank. I arrive at the bank around 11:30am and take a number. The bank is one of the few places that is open during lunch. I wait in line for about an hour to pay the bill.
At 12:30, I leave and stop by the grocery store to pick up a few things. When I come out, I realize my back tire is flat. I walk the bike about a quarter mile to a tire shop, but it is already closed. I lock my bike in front of the tire shop, and wait for a motortaxi. In the afternoon, I will need to go the TV Station to do the advertisement, and hopefully fill up the tire on my bike. I arrive at home around 1:15. I heat up the soup and rice I made yesterday for lunch. The internet is still working well, so I continue watching a movie I started yesterday on Netflix. The drinking water tank is almost empty, so I take it outside to the filter to fill it up again. I finish watching the movie. At about 2:15, I get online to start working on a survey that each of the missionaries have to do. At around 3, Ramon stops by to drop off the projector and give me his documents for the class. It starts to rain, so he hangs out for a little while. 
I go to check on the water, and it is yellow because I haven’t used the filter in a month. I pour it out and start over. The rain stops, and Ramon leaves. I go to take a shower. During the shower, the water runs out, so I hop out and turn on the pump. I get back in the shower, and then start getting ready. I organize my stuff for class tonight, shut up all the windows and leave around 4. 
I get a motortaxi and go to the TV station. I order the advertisement and then start walking about a quarter mile to the place where my bike is. I see Jennifer on the way, and she walks with me. When I get there, the guy has already taken my tire off to start fixing it. I stand and talk to him for a while as he continues working on my bike. 
At about 4:45, my bike is done and I walk across the street to print out some copies of documents I need for class. At around 5, I arrive at the school, and start getting things organized for the class. Several people stop by to pay the monthly fee or to sign up for the course starting tonight. Around 6pm, the students start arriving. It’s the first night, so we need to give them their books and take their deposits. Fabrício is teaching while I handle the money and books. 
At just before 8pm, the class ends and I ride my bike home. I heat up the soup and rice again for dinner. I spray my room with buy spray, and put some repellent on my legs for while I’m eating. The rainy season is almost over, so the mosquitoes are not so bad as before but I still at least a few.
I go get the water from outside. It’s not yellow this time, so I take it in. After dinner, I call Ronã and we talk for about half an hour. At about 9:15, I start watching a show I downloaded on my computer. I go to bed around 10pm. 

I hope that gives you a little better idea of what I do. 
Thank you all again for your support while I was in the States. I always would love to hear from you guys if you have any more questions or just want to check in with me. God bless all of you! I love you!


Monday, July 13, 2015

Home, Sweet Home

Hello Everybody!

I can't tell you what a great pleasure it is to be home again. As predicted, I have spent a lot of time eating since I arrived! It's been wonderful to spend time with my family and to see so many familiar faces at church.
The first few days were a bit of a shock. I literally felt like I had just been transported from another universe. It is hard to describe how different the two worlds of Portel and Columbus are. It took me some time to adjust, but now I am feeling at home again.
One of the unique things about being here this time is that I had the privilege of spending some time with a few of my Brazilian friends. A few of the families from the Vineyard churches in Brazil were able to travel here for the Vineyard Global Conference. I was surprised at what ease I felt having them in my American context. It has been great to still be able to speak in Portuguese even though I am here! I also enjoyed being able to show them a little of my world.

The Conference was amazing. The opportunity to worship together with brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the world was the chance of a lifetime. It was so beautiful to hear so many different languages and so many different stories of what God is doing all over the world. We were able to pray for one another and encourage one another in the Lord. I was an experience that really refreshed me and increased my faith. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to go.

Next week on Sunday, July 19th, I am going to be teaching at Vineyard Tuttle Crossing in Dublin, and would love it if you could make it! After the service, we will be meeting in the High School room to have a time of Q & A about my time in Brazil. There will be snacks provided. It would be a great time for you to come if you have any questions or would simply like to learn more about what exactly I do in Brazil.
Also while I am here, I would love to get together with you for lunch or dinner. I still have some time available this week and next week. I currently have a phone number, 614-580-3021, or you can send me an email.

In other news, a few weeks ago, a team from the Newark Vineyard went to Altamira and spent a week visiting the river communities. Ronã (Ronan) was able to go with them. He had an amazing time translating and helping the team pray for the people on the river.

I want to thank all of you for your constant prayers and support. I look forward to being able to tell you this face to face. You all have been the backbone to everything I am doing. I love you and I bless you. I know that God is looking at you and seeing your hearts and your sacrifices. He sees your desire to serve and be apart of his Kingdom. Psalm 41:1 states, "Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble."
I want to ask for your continued prayers. The many challenges in Portel can seem overwhelming at times, and your prayers make all the difference. Please, continue to pray for Ronã and I as we move forward in our relationship, and that God would bless my time here at home. 
Below is a link for some pictures of my time here so far. 

Love, Allison

Home 2015 Pictures

Friday, June 19, 2015

Coming Home

Hello Everybody!

In just a few short weeks, I will be back on US soil! I am so excited to come home again and visit with all of you and see my family. It has been a year and a half since my last visit, and it was in the middle of winter. I think this visit will be just a little more enjoyable since I will be able to go outside!
When I think about going home, other than friends and family, there are a few things I look forward to: Hound Dog's Pizza, Grater's Ice Cream, Jeni's Ice Cream, Thai food, Indian Food, fast internet, bathtubs with hot water......mostly, it just revolves around food! All these earthly comforts will be a warm welcome to me.
I will also be attending the International Vineyard Conference at Vineyard Columbus in the beginning of July. I am really excited about this conference as many missionaries will be attending, as well as other members of the Vineyard from all over the world. It will be such a privilege to meet them and learn about the work that God is doing through the Vineyard Movement around the world.
Also while I am home, I have a few needs that I am hoping you can help with. One, I will need a car while I am there. If you know anyone who would be willing to let me borrow a car for the month of July, I would greatly appreciate it. Please, send me a message if you can help. Having a car will allow me to meet and connect with all of you, so I can tell you more about my experiences here in Brazil. The second goal of my trip will be to raise my support. I need to raise my support by about $600 every month. I ask that you please prayerfully consider supporting me monthly for any amount that you feel comfortable. Consistent, monthly giving is the best to help me prepare for the future. I will put information below of how you can give.

*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:
Over the past few weeks, I have been wrapping up things with the English school. We just had our final class for the semester and had the opportunity to invite some American visitors to our party. A team from Vineyard Church of Delaware County came down on a short-term trip. The students loved the chance to practice their English with some native speakers! I think the team had a good time, too!
Our students with a few members of the team

 I also traveled back to Altamira to take Manoela home and also complete my permanent visa process. It was sad to see Manoela go as she has been so much help to me here in Portel. However, I am looking forward to introducing her to many of you when we go the States. While I was visiting Altamira, I also got to spend a lot of time with Ronã. We had a lot of fun together as you can imagine!

Ronã and I at the March For Jesus

If you want to see more pictures from my trip and from our English classes, check out the link below.
See you soon! Love you!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Very Exciting News!

Hello to all my Gracious Friends and Supporters!

I have some news for you all that I have wanted to tell you for a long time. But first, I want to give you all the back story.
As you already know, when I first moved to Brazil, I quickly started teaching English at CDR. I decided to offer my students an extra class if any of them would be interested in more help. A few of my students came, but not many, expect for one. His name was Ronã Moura (pronounced in english Ronan), and he already spoke English very well. Twice a week for almost a year, we met together as I gave him stuff to read in English and then we would discuss it.
Over that time, we developed a friendship that continued as he went on to finish the 4-year program with other teachers. He has since gone on to continue to be apart of CDR in Altamira as a class assistant and teacher.
A little before I came here to Portel, we decided that we would like to know if there was a possibility for our relationship to grow farther than just friendship. Ronã and I discussed this possibility with our leaders and friends, and they suggested that we start a specific process that goes as such. Ronã was a member of a different church at the time, and my leaders didn't know personally where he was at spiritually. They suggested that he agree to start coming to the Vineyard in Altamira, and start building relationships with the people there. They wanted to discover if he would fit well in the church and in our community. They asked that we would not date during this time to give Ronã a chance to grow.
Over that time, they saw Ronã grow substantially as he involved himself with a home group and practiced with the worship team. They began to see in him what I had seen. That he was kind, vulnerable, and had a very open heart to know and follow God.
Ronã is very unique to me. He reveals a tenderness that I find rare. He is funny and smart. As I said before, his English is very good and he is a teacher at CDR. He recently graduated from the Federal University with a bachelors in Science Education. He has a hunger for learning and excels at whatever he puts his mind to. I have so much respect for him and his attitude toward life. And of course, I think he is cute!
After having completed this process of allowing Ronã to become familair with our church, I sat down and had a conversation with Richie who is the Base Leader here in Portel. Richie said that he was pleased with how Ronã had progressed and with his connection to our community. Richie agreed that he and I could finally start dating. As you can imagine, Ronã and I are very excited about this as we have waited for this opportunity for a long time.
At this time, we don't know what the future will look like, but I will gladly let you know more as things change.
I ask that you would pray for us that God would continue to direct our relationship and our future. Thank you again for all your support and love and concern for me.
I also want to personally thank all those who played an intricate part in this process. Their support and advice have been a true blessing: Christopher and Denise Meyer, Danny and Penny Meyer, Steve and Elba Dolan, Richie and Christie Bouthillier, John and Cathy Lieb, and Cleide Oliveira. I love you all and I thank you!

Love, Allison

Ronã with his mother

Monday, April 27, 2015

True Growth


I just got back yesterday from a week long visit to Altamira. I was there to take care of some things with my permanent visa. I was last there in December, but this time around felt very different for me. I realized how much my life has changed in just a few short months here in Portel. My first 2 years in Altamira were all about preparation. Now, I am finally in the trenches.
This is both exciting and challenging. There are days when it seems like getting even simplest thing accomplished required all the resources you can muster. Just a few weeks ago, I went to the electric company only to find that they were without electricity so their system was down. It is the rainy season which makes it a little cooler, but I am also constantly fighting mud as I ride my bike through the city. My clothes often take a few days to dry. Taking care of my house is a full time job in itself with the leaking roof and toilet. I live with a can of bug spray in my hands to attack the mosquitoes. Even taking out the trash is a bit of an art form. It's difficult to describe to you my daily life, but it is a life of few conveniences compared to what I was used to in Altamira. Having a week away was something I really needed.
Now that I am back, I feel refreshed and ready to take on these challenges again. Because despite all these difficulties, I know I am in the right place. I have been waiting a long time in my journey through ministry to finally start building something, and I truly sense that that is happening here in Portel.
It is not only the English school, but the church. I told you that I started discipling a few women in our church, and I am seeing them grow. I also recently started a home group in my house, and I am already seeing the people in the group growing closer to knowing Jesus.
We meet on Saturdays for lunch. Lunch is the big meal for everyone here, so I thought it would a great opportunity for people to relax and spend some time getting to know each other. A little after lunch, we start our group. Manoela takes the children in the kitchen to do a craft, and I go with the adults to do a Bible study in the living room. I am introducing them to the Bible as a story, and each week, they open up more with questions and thoughts. I feel a sincere hunger among to learn about God and understand how they can have a genuine relationship with him. After the group, sometimes we hang out more or we go swimming at the beach. It sounds simple enough, but it's something I've wanted for a long time. I've wanted to see God's work in progress, and I've wanted to be apart of that work.
What has also been a blessing is having a new couple living in my house. They are Jim and Joann McCann from VCDC. They arrive about 3 weeks ago and will be staying until mid-June. They came for the main purpose of wanting to serve, and they have been doing that since they arrived. Everyday, they head over to Richie and Christie's house to help with homeschool. They have also been helping with our home group by hanging out with the kids and praying for people. Another thing that has been a true blessing to us is, once a week, we have a small kinship for the missionaries. It is not often that we get a chance to receive ministry, and I believe it has been a great help to all of us. Jim and Joann have great attitudes about all the differences here, but they have been suffering from the heat. Please, pray that God protects their health and allows this to be a great experience for them.
I few weeks ago, I had the privilege of following my friend, Jennifer, around to take some pictures of the work she is doing in Portel. We spent the morning in Portelinha, which is the poorest part of our city and also where our church is located. I have added a link below of the images so you can get a better idea of those who live in our neighborhood.
For Easter, Manoela, Jim, Joann, and I spent the morning helping the kids from Portelinha color Easter eggs. The kids had a blast making their eggs, and then we served them cake. I included some pictures of that as well.
 Of course, I always need your prayers. I am sure that you have noticed in your own lives that the needs are always greater than the resources. We are constantly asking God for provision in so many areas of our lives. God is so faithful to us and always willing to help us. Please pray that he continues to give me the energy and resources I need to do the work I am doing. Please pray that he puts the right people in my way to help me. And please pray that those who are hungry to know God would find us. Thank you so much for your loving kindness. Thank you so much for your sacrifice and faithfulness.

Love, Allison


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Manoela is Here!

Hello All my Wonderful Friends!

Always a pleasure to be writing to all of you about the exciting things happening here in Portel. I understand that the Spring is finally starting to show its face again, and I am sure that this is pure refreshment to all of you!
This month, I have been enjoying the company of my new roommate, Manoela! She arrived about 2 weeks ago, accompanied by Christopher and Denise Meyer. It was so great to see them and spend some time with them. Manoela has already started teaching the Kid's class, and we are adjusting to each other at home. So far, she is a great roommate who has relieved me of the terrible burden of dishes! It's great to have someone to talk to and eat meals with. She is a true blessing to me.
As you can imagine, along with my classes and getting Manoela settled in, I have been pretty busy. It can be quite the challenge to be teacher, administer, and accountant. But of course, these are just the normal challenges that go along with, essentially, starting a small business. They are challenges that I know are worth it, and I am glad to have them.
I recently finished with my Vineyard Institute class, "Ministry to the Poor". It was a great class in part for its relevance to my current situation. The effects of poverty are multifaceted, and what better way to explore those effects than being in the mist of it. The class highlighted for me how the Bible speaks time and time again about God's concern and compassion for the poor. It also pointed out the many different ways that the people of God can be proactive in confronting these issues in everyday life. It helped me to often reconsider what and how I do things so that my ministry choices might provide the maximum benefit for those around me. The English school, I believe, is just one of the many ways that can help lead our community out of the claws of poverty.
This class also marks the end of my classes required to complete the VI Program. I am very excited about that, of course, because now it is behind me. But I also must say, the learning experience I gained through the program was extremely valuable to me. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in furthering their understanding of the Bible, as well as how to put its message into practice.
Over the past few months, I have also had the privilege to disciple a few women in our church. The women had expressed an interest in going deeper in their relationship with God and also having a deeper understanding of the Bible. As the time has past, it has been wonderful to see the ladies growing in their understanding of who God is, as well as personally grow closer to them. What I have tried to do with the women has been two-fold. I am taking them on a journey through the Bible as a story. I believe that if they can see the big picture of the Biblical story, the smaller parts will make sense in relationship to the whole. If they can see God's overall plan for history, then they will be able to understand how each part fits into the ultimate plan. They will also be able to see how their individual lives have a part to play in the story. The other side that I am teaching them is how to hear the voice of God for themselves, and how to rely on the Holy Spirit for strength and wisdom in their daily lives.
Please pray for these women. Pray that the power of God comes over them, and that they would experience the love of Christ in the deep reaches of their hearts.
Last week, my students took their first test. I was very proud of how they did. The day after the test, I taught them a song in English called, "Set a Fire" by Will Reagan and United Pursuit. I will post the video below of them singing it.
Please, pray for them as well. Many of the people in this region are not accustomed to studying so a course like this one can feel overwhelming to them. Many of the schools in this part of Brazil do not really teach the students how to learn. They need courage, strength, and perseverance to continue. Please pray that God gives this to them supernaturally. 
Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement. Though I have said it many times before, I want to remind you that we are doing this together. You are just as much a part of this as I am. Your prayers, your thoughts, and your financial sacrifices all make this possible. God bless you and your family!

Love, Allison

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Back to School!

Hello Everybody!

I hope you are all doing well, even though it is the middle of February, and I know how miserable it can be in Ohio this time of year. But I give you this reminder from the Song of Solomon.
See! The winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth, 
the season of singing has come.
I know it feels like it will last forever--but it won't. Hang in there! Of course, you probably have little pity for me being that I live in a year-round summer....Sorry. One of the perks of Brazilian missionary life.
Two of my favorite little girls, Sophia and Samille

Anyways, on to business. I have some great news! I will be visiting the States for the month of July! I am so excited to go back and see all of you again. For the first week, I will be attending the Vineyard International Conference. After that, I will be free to meet with all of you and caught up. When my time gets closer, I will try to start scheduling lunches and dinners so that I can hopefully get a chance to see everybody. Unfortunately, my trip back will be a short one because the English classes will be starting again in August. Also, I would like to know if anyone has a car they would be willing to let me borrow while I am there. If so, please send me an email. Thanks

Well, I am now 2 weeks into our first semester for CDR Marajó, and things are going great. The students are doing well and really seem to be enjoying the classes. It has been wonderful to be teaching again and to feel more connected with the community. Already, I have made some new friends. 
Fabrício, a Brazilian English teacher who lives and works in Portel, has been my right hand and a huge part of the success of the school so far. It is clear how much favor God has given to this project. I feel a great sense that God will use our church and the projects we are doing to have a profound impact on the people of Portel. I feel humbled and grateful that God is using me to do his work here on the Earth. I find it amazing how my gifts and abilities can be used to do so much good for the people around me, even despite myself!  

Fabrício helping a student

I have also had the privilege of making a new American friend here. It is quite the coincidence actually because she is a doctorate student doing research here from OSU! She has been working here on and off since 2009. It has been great spending time with her and having another Westerner to talk to. This weekend was her birthday, so we went to the river to celebrate. 

Donna Julia and Jennifer

Starting this school has been a mile marker for me. When I started as a missionary, I really had no idea what I was going to be doing. I only knew that God had called me here. As I have walked, God has revealed more and more about how I can serve him and the people here. I thank each and everyone of you for walking along side of me into the unknown. In a way, we have all been called here together. We all have a part to play, no matter how small. I bless you all as God walks you into the unknown of your journey with him. Though our paths look very different, we are all going to the same place. We are all walking towards the light of our friend, Jesus. 

Please, pray for my students, that they will persevere in their studies. Pray that God will give them a special anointing to learn and comprehend.  Pray that God gives me fruitfulness among them. Thank you and love you!

Below is a link of my photos. I included some photos of my neighborhood so you can get an idea of what it looks like where I live.

Love, Allison

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Welcome 2015!

Hello to my Gracious Friends and Family!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and were able to rest up a bit before heading back to work (and driving in the snow). Here is Brazil, the rainy season just started, which is the closest thing we will ever see to winter. The temperature goes down about 5 or 10 degrees, which I know, doesn't seem like much, but believe me, it makes a huge difference! The only down side to the rain is that the humidity goes up about 200%, so your clothes take days to dry.
Since I got back from my time in Altamira, I have been working again on preparing for the semester to start in February. I have been holding a time for sign-ups, which has been going very well. There are many people in the city ready to start learning English! It's going to be great to start teaching again on a regular basis, as well starting to build some relationships with my students.
While I was in Altamira, I got the opportunity to spend some time with Art and Cyndi Rae leading the group called, the Journey. The Journey is a introductory class for the Living Waters program. It helps the participants develop a better understanding of the process of healing and what the program has to offer. My hope is that one day in the future, we can bring the program to Portel.
I want to explain a little to you about the family relationships that are common in northern Brazil. It has been my experience that to meet a family that has a mother and a father who are married to each other and all their kids are from the same family is rare. I know that maybe you are thinking that this is becoming the trend in the States, too, but here, the depth of it is even more profound. In general, I meet a lot of women who have children from more than one man. Sometimes, one of those men are in the picture, but often not. Those women tend to be very young, having had their first child when they were still in their teens. Often when I ask those women where their parents are, they describe a similar story, except many of them were raised by their grandparents. Their parents basically gave them up to the care of their grandparents or an aunt or uncle. They have several half-brothers and sisters, some of which they have never met.
When I hear these stories, I feel heartbroken for these people. They have been abandoned and rejected and neglected. They have been handed off from one family member to another as if they were used clothing. They have not been celebrated by the people they needed the most. They have not been protected or valued. Few have received the loving kindness of someone guiding them and looking out for their future. They have been lost and orphaned. The women, in particular, I see as vulnerable. They did not have a father present to protect and honor their beauty and fragility. They run after any attention they receive, and in the end, are left alone with more responsibility than they can handle. And for their children, the cycle continues.
The problem can feel overwhelming, but I know that God wants to use us to bring healing to these broken people. Please, pray for them and pray for us as we tackle these great challenges. Pray that we will have a deep compassion and understanding for them. Pray that the Holy Spirit brings great waves of restoration and spiritual breakthrough in their lives. Pray that God keeps our hearts and yours heavy from them.
And please pray for me as well. Coming here to Portel by myself has been very difficult. I miss my friends in Altamira, and it takes a long time to make new friends in a new place in a new culture. Please, pray that God gives me strength and speaks to me clearly. Thank you all for your love and encouragement and support. I am truly grateful to have you on my side.

Love, Allison

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4