Thursday, December 15, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Hello to all our Friends and Supporters!

Christmas is just a few weeks away, and we hope that you all enjoy some time with your families, eating some delicious comfort food, and taking in the scenery of flashing lights and white fluffy snow. What a magical combination!
I am now around 4 months pregnant and continuing to develop. Recently, we went to the doctor and discovered that because of the extreme morning sickness I was experiencing, I have developed a thyroid problem. We are currently waiting to get back some test results in order for the doctor to determine the proper treatment. Basically, this problem greatly effects my energy levels. I become tired and winded very quickly from doing moderate tasks. We are hoping that gives me a treatment that helps me start to feel normal again.
In other news, I am coming for a visit to the States! However, it will be just me. As many of you know, we have not been able to get a visa for Ronã. We plan to try again next year, but there are no guarantees. In the meantime, Ronã and I and our leaders decided that it would be a good idea for me to spend some time at home. The purpose of my trip will be to visit my friends and family, meet with my current supporters, and work on gaining new financial support. I will be arriving on January 25th and leaving on February 18th, so it will be a short trip. I have already made arrangements to speak at Vineyard Tuttle Crossing on January 29th. When the trip gets closer, I will be sending messages to all of you to set up a time to get together and catch up.  Also, if any of you have an extra vehicle I can borrow while I am there, that would be very helpful. I really look forward to seeing all of you, and eating all the food I have missed so much!
Thank you all for your ongoing support. Ronã and I really appreciate your prayers and concern. God bless you all, and again, I hope you have a wonderful time this holiday season!

Love, Allison and Ronã Moura


Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Hello to all of our Generous Supporters and Friends!

We are always so grateful for your involvement in our lives despite the distance. Whether it be packages sent or notes on Facebook and email, we know that we are in your hearts and thoughts on a regular basis. Thank you.

In my last blog, I gave you the great news that I was pregnant, and I also explained that I was suffering some severe symptoms. 

The condition that I have is called hyperemesis gravidarum. That’s basically a fancy phrase for a very extreme form of morning sickness. And since the end of September, I have been battling with this condition. I have had days in which I vomited at least 10 times. I have had days in which I only moved from the bed to the bathroom and back. In that time, I have lost 16 lbs. I have gone to the hospital several times for IV treatments for dehydration. In the beginning, I was given a medicine for nausea and vomiting, but with little effect. Although Brazil does offer a public health system, the care is often indifferent and slow. 

A few weeks ago, I was in really bad shape. I was so weak, I could hardly stand. Finally, with the financial help of some family members, we were able to visit a private doctor, and she admitted us in a private hospital for a few days. There, along with IV treatments, they gave me a medication that finally started making a difference. It is a drug often given to cancer patients to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatments. With this medication, I was able to get some relief. I was able to eat and drink again, usually only vomiting once a day. 

As I explained before, the assumed cause for morning sickness is associated with the hormones flooding the body in order to develop the fetus. In the first 3 months of pregnancy, these hormones double every few days, therefore, the nausea and vomiting often grow stronger as you reach the end of the first trimester. After that, some of the hormones begin to subside, and most often, the symptoms of nausea and vomiting begin to subside as well. I have just reached the peak end of my first trimester. This week, despite the medicine, my symptoms have worsened again. Thankfully, nowhere near the level of before, but each day is a rollercoaster. My prayer is that now that I am at the end of the first trimester, the nausea and vomiting will start to lessen with each day. There is no guarantee of this, as some women suffer from these symptoms throughout their pregnancy. Please pray with me that this is not my case. 

Despite these hardships, there has been some good things. Ronã, for one, has been amazing. He has gotten me everything I needed, made appointments with all the doctors, cleaned up after me, held me when I was moaning in pain, and so, so much more. He has served me and our baby so faithfully. I am so blessed to have him. 

Another wonderful thing is that our baby is totally healthy and developing normally. We just went for an ultrasound yesterday, and we can already see it’s head and little arms and legs moving around, as well as it’s little heart beating so strong. 

Though I have had to stop most of the things I was involved in before, on my good days, I have at least been able to continue meeting with some of the girls I have been counseling. It makes me very happy to know that I can still walk along side them in this time as they continue to grow.
Our friends and the other missionaries here have been very helpful and supportive of us. We are so grateful for their loving kindness. 

Again, I want to say how much we appreciate your prayers and support. God bless and keep all of you.

Additional Prayer Request:
-A Visa for Ronã to travel to the US and Canada
-Increase in Financial Support
-Continued health of our Baby
-Wisdom as we serve

Love, Allison and Ronã

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mixed Blessing

Hello to all our Friends and Supporters!

We hope you all are doing well, and as always, we thank you for your generosity and prayers.
As I look on social media, it seems that the United States is going through a very tumultuous time. There seems to be conflict and upheaval in almost every area of life. I pray for all of you that peace would reign in your hearts, above all else. It is important to remember that the Earth is not our true home, and that our ultimate security cannot be found here. We have hope for a better day in a better land!
This year has brought a lot of changes into our lives. Ronã and I are adjusting to married life as well as moving once again. So, in order to keep with the theme of "major life changes", we have a new one to announce. I'M PREGNANT!!!!!!
Because of my age, Ronã and I wanted to get starting trying to have a family right away. We are both very happy and looking forward to yet another new stage in our lives.
However, I am sharing this news with you a little earlier than is usually recommended. The reason is that since becoming pregnant, I have been experiencing some severe symptoms.
You have probably heard of "morning sickness" being pretty common in pregnant women, and although it is actually a good sign for the health of my baby, it has been pretty debilitating for me. I have been having severe nausea and vomiting, accompanied by extreme weakness and fatigue. I basically can't do anything. There are only a few foods that I can manage to eat, and if I am careful, I can get them to stay down. I have had to stop almost all my other activities, including teaching at CDR.
I am simply taking it one day at a time, trying to find out what works for me. I have already been to the doctor, and they have given me some medicine, but it helps little. Here in Brazil, they do not have all the resources available in the States for this condition. However, Brazil does offer free medical care, and the doctors and nurses here are helping me with all my prenatal care needs.
As an American with a innate flare for independence, this has been difficult for me more than just physically. I am weak and in need of the help of others. Basic things like cooking and cleaning, I can no longer do for myself. Of course, Ronã is doing everything he can to help me, but it is a challenge for him as well. We are blessed to have some faithful friends and other missionaries who have been very willing to do what they can.
In most women, the morning sickness lasts only during the first 3 months of pregnancy. It is believed to be caused by a rush of certain hormones filling the body during those first 3 months as the fetus begins developing. However, there are other women who do experiences these symptoms throughout their pregnancy.
We are asking for your prayers. I really hope that these symptoms do not last the entire time. Of course, we have no control over the results, but we hope for the best.

Also this week, Ronã is traveling with a group of missionaries from another denomination. He will be translating for them as they visit their churches and provide training. This is a great opportunity for Ronã, but it is also very challenging. Translating can be mentally exhausting and require a lot of focus and attention. Please, pray for him that he would excel and that the Holy Spirit would give him strength and endurance.
While he is traveling, I will be staying with Art and Cyndi Rae. They have been so kind and generous to open up their home to me in my time of need. Please, pray that God returns to them the goodness that they have given to me.

Ronã and I are so grateful for your support, so grateful for your sacrifice and prayers for us. As I said before, it takes a lot of humility to rely and lean on others. You all have been here for us from the start. Our desire is to take what you have given us and use it to advance the Kingdom of God. That is our daily mission from our hearts. Every time we serve someone else, it is a testament to your loyal support. Thank you.
If you are interested in supporting us as missionaries, please click on the link below to make an online donation. God bless all of you!!!

Love, Allison and Ronã


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Walking with the Broken

Hello to all my Friends and Supporters!

I hope you enjoyed hearing from Ronã last month. Even though you haven't gotten to meet him in person yet, I hope you at least feel that you know him a little bit better.
We are both feeling settled back here in Altamira, and have been very busy. As I said before, Ronã has been working at CDR teaching English as well as helping with the worship team at church.

For those of you who don't really know my history, I would like to share some of my story. When I started going to Vineyard Tuttle Crossing back between 2006-2007, I was not in a good place in my life. It had been several years since I had gone to church. I was in a very difficult marriage with a man who was an alcoholic and verbally abusive. I also had my own problems with an addiction to marijuana. At VTC, I found a home and a refuge. Being there was very different from many of my previous experiences in churches. I felt that the people there really showed me love and grace despite my many failures. After about a year, I met a member of the church who was a recovering alcoholic. I asked her if she could help me with my addiction, and she agreed. She showed me how to the 12 Steps, and after that, my life was forever changed.
Through the process of the steps, I found freedom from addiction, but I also found a new way of life. I had a wisdom and a clarity that I had never experienced before.  I understood how to manage my life and my emotions in ways that I never had before. I knew when to say no. I stopped taking responsibility for the feelings and opinions of others. I had boundaries! I knew how to protect myself in healthy ways. And I knew how to have relationships. How to be vulnerable and transparent, yet still an individual. It was a miracle. 
Since that time, I have always wanted to help others in the same way that I was helped, but I wasn't sure if I would ever have the opportunity. When I came to Brazil, I really had no idea what would lay ahead for me. I just knew that I was following the call of God. The past 4 years have presented many challenges for me, and it seemed that the road was not straight. 
Now, it seems that the road has led me back to where I started in Altamira. At first, it felt as though I was going backwards, but I have quickly learned that is not at all the case. 
As I said before, I have been helping the missionaries, Art and Cyndi Rae, with a group called Living Waters. Living Waters is a healing care program designed to guide people to find God in the midst of their brokenness and pain.  It helps them identify how the past is effecting their present. It touches on many of the same principles used in the 12 steps. 
I have told you a little before about the dysfunction in families here in Brazil, but as I work with helping others in these groups, I realize just how profound it is. Many people were past around as children from their grandparents to an aunt or uncle or even to strangers who were willing to take them in. Very few grew up with both a father and mother present. They  suffered severe neglect due to poverty and lack of concern. They were even sometimes treated like slaves, expected to work just as hard as adults. I can conservatively say that at least half of the women I have talked to have suffered some sort of sexual abuse as children. The stories that I hear break my heart on a regular basis. 
I feel deeply privileged to have the tools needed to help these very broken people. I get to walk with them along the path to their healing. I get to see God touch these dark places with his profound compassion and grace. To be honest with you, nothing has ever felt so rewarding. 
My current goal is to see if their is a possibility for me to start a 12 step program here in Altamira. I am already working with a few individuals, walking them through the steps. I am praying to see if this is something God would like me to pursue. Please, pray with me for discernment and direction. 
Bless you all!

Love, Allison and Ronã

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"Missionary By Accident"

Happy Mid-to-the-End-of-Summer Everyone!

I hope that doesn't make you sad, but just remember that that means Fall is coming, and Fall is easily the best season :)!
So, this month, I am doing something a little different with the blog. I realized that, of course, none of you have gotten the chance to meet Ronã (Ronan), and that everything you hear is always from my side of the story. So, I wanted to give you an opportunity to at least meet him virtually! I asked him to write the blog for this month, and talk a little about his experience being a new missionary.

"Missionary by Accident"
That's what I usually tell Allison about how my life changed after I married her. On August 23th, we will complete four months of marriage, and this missionary life has already brought us many great and unexpected experiences.
My Version of the Story
I know well that you are already aware of much of my life. You know where I live, where I work, the church I attend, what I do there, how I met Allison, when we got married and other details, but I would like to talk about a few things you don’t know about me.
Since my childhood, I have been a “church kid”. I always liked the message of the gospel, and I loved to sing and hear about Jesus. But I always had difficulty connecting with the most fundamental Christian principle: Love. Even though I attended church regularly, I always had a bad habit of judging and condemning people. I judged them for their clothes, what they ate, their tattoos, the denominations they attended and many other things. It was automatic for me. In addition, I also had a wrong view of the person of God. Just as I judged people, I also believed that God judged me the same way. My relationship with him was based on fear. That was the thing I prayed about to God. I wanted to be used by Him, but I understood that I didn’t have what was essential. I needed to be close to Him and feel compassion for people.
Since I met Allison and we have been together, that area of ​​my life has been touched. Behind the tattoos, there is a person who is very sincere and dependent on God. Several times, I have seen Allison helping needy and dependent people and praying for them. When she is preaching with words and actions, she is also preaching to me. Last semester, we had the opportunity to work together in a city that I did not know, with people who I had never seen before. There we helped the church, caring for and teaching very needy children, helping with worship, and meeting with very poor people and praying for them. Things that I never imagined I would do. On our trip from Portel to Altamira, we prayed for a group of women who accepted Jesus. This was the first time I saw that happen, and it was very good.
I joke with Allison that I became a missionary by accident because I married her, but the truth is that I do not believe our meeting was an accident. I believe that God was answering both of our prayers. He is using us.
My Frustration
When I considered marrying Allison, this was my plan: my wife will focus on missionary service, and I will help in everything that she needs, but my priority is to get a job wherever we go to help in our finances.
I thought this was the perfect plan, but I was wrong. It did not work and will not work. The missionary life requires constant change and availability. Last semester, we were in Portel, and today we are in Altamira. In just two months, we will need to travel to Belem, and we do not know where we'll be going in 2017. The truth is that I could not get a good job, much less make money, because a good job requires a commitment of long period of time. Something I don’t have.
I do not know how it is in the U.S., but in Brazil, it is the duty of man to be the provider. This philosophy is well steeped in our culture, and we agree with it. So you can imagine how I feel. That's right, I feel frustrated.
I talked about it with my friend, Steve Dolan, the leader of the Xingu Mission in Brazil. He explained to me that I should not feel that I am not contributing with the finances because when we are receiving your donations, this money is not only for Allison, but you are donating to both of us. It's our money. But Steve also added something I did not expect. He told me that as a missionary, my focus should be in the ministry and providing services for free. He explained that that was the purpose of your donations, allowing us to do this work. And lastly, he explained that if I needed to increase our finances, my option would be to work on raising more support. That was a shock to me. Until now, I still have not assimilated to the idea that I will be totally dependent on donations, but I am beginning to understand that this is the path of God for us.
I am very grateful for the trust you have given us until now, and I would ask you to pray for our finances. Now I'm going to go out of my comfort zone and ask if you would consider supporting us financially?
Please also pray for ...
The mother of my friend Christopher Meyer, who is being treated for cancer;
That God may help us to have children;
Insight from God for our ministry in the coming year;
My development as I study the piano.

Thank you so much for listening,
Sincerely Ronã Moura
If you would like to make a donation, below are the options
Xingu Mission
PO Box 340785
Columbus, OH 43234
-Make your check out to Xingu Mission, with Ronã and Allison* in the memo. Thanks!
-All donations are tax-deductible.
 *If you don't add our names to the memo, the funds will NOT be allocated to us.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In God's Hands

Hello To My Faithful Supporters and Friends!

How I miss all of you! I miss your faces, your hugs, your smiles, and caring conversations. As the years pass by, my definition of home is always changing, but you all have a special place in my heart that says "home".
As you may remember, Ronã and I have moved again--back to Altamira--my first home in Brazil! Once again, our lives are going through a transition. That is the life of a missionary. Home becomes something you carry with you rather than a physical place. Home becomes memories, people, and moments. The landscape is always changing.
Traveling with our friend from Portel to Breves

And typical of this Brazilian life, the transitions are never easy. Everything is always an adventure, but not always the kind of adventure you wanted! Our latest adventure came with our move from Portel to Altamira.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to go from Portel to Altamira. There is no road that connects the two places, so you have to travel by boat. And not just one boat.

Typical boats on the River

We had made arrangements to travel from Portel to a nearby city called Breves. From there, we would take another boat to Vitoria, which is about an hour drive from Altamira. Last Friday morning, we left Portel and headed to Breves. The next boat, the Gabriela, was suppose to arrive early the next morning to pick us up with all of our things. After spending the night in Breves, we dutifully loaded all of our possessions onto the dock, and waited for the boat. Not too long after, we saw the Gabriela coming, and began to get excited, but our excitement soon turned into dismay as we realized that it was not stopping. The boat passed us by. We tried to send a small boat after it, but it refused to turn around, claiming that it didn't have enough space for our stuff!
Ronã quickly went into action trying to find another option for us. Luckily, we found another boat that would take us to a city called Gurupá, which is about the half way point of our trip. However, the boat would not leave for another 2 days. We would have to wait. We loaded our stuff onto this new boat, got a hotel, and waited.
Monday finally arrived, and we set out on the Mundial for Gurupá. We were grateful to be at least on the move, but frustrated with all the set backs. Little did we know that God had planned to use this set back to do his work.
The Beautiful River Sunset

I had sensed the Lord suggesting that I offer to do a Bible study while aboard the Mundial. I was nervous about it, so I had been praying that God would pave a way for it to happen. During dinner, Ronã had struck up a conversation with a family staying next to us. They were Christians, and were even familiar with some of the leaders from a Vineyard church in their area. I suggested to them the idea of doing the Bible study, and they accepted. So, I started going around to the people on the boat, both upstairs and downstairs, and inviting them. Many people were interested, and started going upstairs. However, one woman said that she would love to join, but she couldn't walk upstairs because she had just had surgery. I told her that we could do the Bible study upstairs and then come and do one downstairs as well.
Once upstairs again, we all sat down and read the passage in John about the woman caught in adultery. I explained that even though this woman was a sinner, Jesus had accepted and loved her. I explained that this same acceptance was available to all those present. I asked people if they had ever experienced the presence of God. Two woman said that they had, but it had been a long time since then. We prayed for both of them to experience, again, the presence of God. Each woman also prayed to rededicate their life to Christ.
Another older woman there said that she had never experienced the presence of God. I asked her if she wanted to, and she said yes. As we began to pray for her, her hand started to tremble, then she began to cry. It was clear that the Holy Spirit was touching her. I asked her if she would like to give her life to Christ, and she said yes! She gave her life to Christ that night!

The "Upstairs" Bible Study

Soon, we went downstairs to have another Bible study. I taught the same message, and we prayed for a man who had had a few encounters with God in the past. Then, I felt lead to pray for the woman with the surgery. As soon as I started praying for her, I could see in her face a lot of emotional pain. After praying, I asked her about the surgery. It had been a cesarean to remove the remains of a lost pregnancy. She could, now, never have children again because of the nature of the pregnancy. She was heartbroken. She explained how encouraged she had felt when we came to do the Bible study with her, and when we prayed for her. She felt the comfort of the Lord.
After all of this, both Ronã and I were so thankful for how God had used us. We could see so clearly how he had used our detour to bless others.
The next morning, we arrived in Gurupá, and quickly boarded another boat to take us to Vitoria. On Wednesday morning, we finally arrived with all our things. A moving truck brought us the rest of the way to Altamira. Now, we are staying at the mission until we find a house or apartment.
It is easy for us all to be so preoccupied by our own plans that we can miss what God is doing right in front of us. Please pray for us that we become more aware, leaving our own agendas to the side, in order to obey Christ. What a blessing it is!
Thank you all for your love and support and prayers. Now that we are a married couple both living as missionaries, our expenses have increased. Please prayerfully consider supporting us financially. Truly, any amount that you choose to give will make a difference. What is most helpful is consistent, monthly support that allows us to plan for the future. You can donate at church to the Xingu Mission: Allison Rupert, or you can donate online at the link below.

We love you all! Take care.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

New Places

Hello to my Wonderful Friends, Supporters, and Family!

Boy, do I have a lot of news for you these days. Life in Brazil can faithfully be compared to what it might be like to live on a rollercoaster. There is always something new around the corner, filled with both excitement and terror! I told God I wanted my life to be an adventure, and He did not disappointment!

I will start by telling you what an amazing time we had recently on our trip to Brasília, which is the capital of Brazil. Brasília is a planned city, and is certainly the most organized place I have ever visited. It is a shocking contrast to the rest of Brazil, especially in relationship to the northern region, which is where I live.We were very privileged to stay with a lovely couple and their daughters for the first few days of the trip. They were gracious enough to show us around the city to do some sightseeing. They also invited me to teach at the women's group they have at their house every week, which was a lot of fun. We had a wonderful time with Túlio and Diana (the couple), and we know that we will remain great friends with them into the future. 

Sightseeing in Brasília
Sharing at the Women's Group

As you know, one of the reasons we went there was to attempt to get a USA visa for Ronã so we could visit the States. Unfortunately, Ronã was turned down for the visa. We are only able to try again in another 6 months. The difficultly is in proving that we will not try to live in the States illegally. We have to prove that we have significant ties to Brazil such as jobs or property. We are still in the process of trying to get a visa for Canada. Please, pray for us about this situation. The idea of not being able to go home and introduce you all to my new husband really makes me sad. Please, pray that God will make a way for us. 
The other half of our trip was spent at the National InterVinha Conference. This was an amazing time with many people from Vineyard churches all over Brazil coming together. John and Eleanor Mumford (United Kingdom) , Phil and Jan Strout (USA), and David Ruis (Canada) all joined us to celebrate Brazil becoming an official association of Vineyard churches. Milton and Erika Lucas were ordained as the national leaders. It felt like a historical moment for the Vineyard in Brazil as it brought together both the northern and southern churches under one head. I personally look forward to watching churches being planted all over Brazil in the years to come, and the Kingdom of Heaven continuing to expand!

Milton Lucas teaching at InterVinha
As I said before, we are living on a rollercoaster, and soon, our lives will be taking another big turn. Ronã and I, along with our leaders, have decided to leave Portel. In July, after all the CDR classes have finished up, we will be moving back to Altamira. As you can imagine, this was a difficult decision for us. We are leaving behind the work we have started. The English school will not continue. We will be saying goodbye to the relationships we have built in the church and in the community of Portelinha. However in the end, we have concluded that Portel is not the right fit for us. I personally have been here for almost 2 years now and have put all of my strength into making it work. We believe God is simply leading us in another direction. 
What we hope to do in the future is stay in Altamira for around a year or so. After that, we would like to head out again in order to find another mission base in which to become apart of. We have no idea where that might be at the moment, but we will be spending the next year praying about it, as well as visiting the other bases. While we are in Altamira, we hope to focus on a few things. Ronã will be spending most of his time working at CDR and helping with the worship team. I will also be helping with CDR, but I also plan to focus on helping my colleges, Art and Cyndi Rae, with leading both Living Waters and Celebrate Recovery groups. Because of my background, I have a special heart for those who struggle with addictions and emotional trauma. I am really excited about getting involved with these groups. Ronã is also very excited about helping CDR again and being involved with the worship team. We believe being in Altamira will also be a good time for us to transition into our first year our marriage without the added pressure of church planting.  
Letting go of the school has been the most difficult part about this. It was a challenge to feel like we were letting down our students. As you know, the journey of the school has been a rollercoaster in itself, but there have been some really great moments along the way. It has been an honor to watch our students grow and learn. It has been an honor to know that we were giving them an opportunity that they wouldn't otherwise have. It was sad to tell them the news of our leaving. We gave each of them a certificate showing that they had completed at least a portion of the course. Though it is not everything, the certificate should help them as they try to get jobs in the future. 

Our class receiving their certificates.

Thank you all again for your generosity and concern for us here in Brazil. I know that all of you are on this journey with us. Please, keep us in your prayers as we go on this long and winding road. God is always leading us, even when we don't know where. We trust in his infinite wisdom in our lives. Things often don't make sense, but his redemption can make sense of them. He can take the pieces and make a work of art. He is our redeemer and hope in all things. I pray that you know His loving-kindness for you even in the midst of confusion and deep mystery. God bless you! 
I will make a link for all our pictures below. Also, I love all your comments or questions, so please feel free to post. Thanks!

Love, Allison and Ronã

Brasília Pictures


Sunday, May 1, 2016


Hello to all our Wonderful Supporters and Friends!!

As you can see, I have some great news! Ronã and I got married! On April 23rd, 2016, we had a simple ceremony along our friends in Altamira. It was a wonderful experience, and both Ronã and I were filled with a lot of joy. We have already received a few pictures from our photographer who did an amazing job of capturing the day. I will post them in a link below. After the wedding, we spent a few days at a nice hotel in Altamira, and then we headed back to Portel. We have quickly continued with our normal routine of teaching and helping with the church ministies.

Next month we will be traveling to Brasília which is the capital of Brazil to participate in the annual Intervinha conference. This conference is an effort to try and gather as many members as possible from all the Vineyard churches located in Brazil. It is a great time of fellowship and entering into the presence of God. This year, we will have some guest speakers: the Mumfords from England, David Ruis from Canada, and the Strouts from the U.S. We are very honored to have these leaders come all the way to Brazil to share with us!
While we are in Brasília, we will also be visiting the U.S. Consulate to have an interview for Ronã to get a visa. Please pray that this process goes smoothly because we hope to travel back to the U.S. for a visit at the end of the year. I am very anxious for all of you to finally meet him!

Our church here in Portel has been continually growing, and Richie has already made a lot of progress building a church on our property. One of the projects that has helped us grow as a church is delivering soup once a month to our neighbors. This is one of my favorite ministries to be involved in. It is pretty simple. A group from our church takes a pot of soup to about 5 different houses close to the church. We spend a little time talking and sharing the word of God with the families and then we offer to pray for them and their needs. Many of our neighbors are very poor. We often encounter many women who basically live alone raising several children. Some of them have husbands but they often work on the river and are gone for weeks at a time. Some families are taking care of a sick, elderly parent which creates additional strain on their already very limited resources.
Yesterday, we visited one mother who usually sends her children to our church services. She showed us that her well had collapsed and explained that she now had to walk to her mother-in-law´s house to get water everyday. In reality, it would probably cost less than $100 to fix the well, but she will never have enough extra money to spend on something like that.
Another family that we visited had been robbed just that morning. The thieves stole their moving cart. This type of cart is used here almost like a moving truck. Men load the cart with cement or furniture and literally pull it along to the destination. It´s back-breaking work, as you can imagine, but at least it´s a job. Now, the husband of this family has lost his livelyhood. They don´t know what they will do.
It is hearing stories like these that gives me a lot of perspective on my own life. As you remember, I was robbed last month. They took my gas tank, my bike, my computer, and cell phone. Luckily, I was able to retrieve the bike. And because of the very generous support of people like you, I was able to replace my phone, my computer, and my gas tank. Being near to the poor makes me realize just how rich I really am in comparison to most of the rest of the world. I have never gone hungry, and I have more than I need to survive. I feel honored to be able to pray for these families, and even provide for some of their needs.

The Church in progress

Thank you all again for your generosity, especially for your extra donations to help with the robbery. What an amazing gift it is to feel your support from such a distance. I know that I am in your thoughts and prayers.
Please pray for Ronã and I as we are starting out on this new journey. I believe marriage is a great opportunity to grow in Christ-likeness, and also to experience a taste of the love Christ has for us. Please pray that Ronã and I are about to embrace both parts of the journey.
I also pray for all of you. I pray that your can soak in a spirit of gratitute as your look around at the details of your life. Whether in joy or heartache, there is a blessing. Our longings are only reminders of the other life we will live. That beyond the curtain of death lies the fulfillment of the promise. It is not as far off as we would imagine. And God is walking closely by our side, aware of every step, guiding us there. God bless you.

Love, Allison and Ronã


Wedding Pictures

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Scary Night

Hello Friends and Family at Home!

As you may have already heard, last week, my house was robbed while I was sleeping. It happened at around 4:00am. I woke up and saw a man taking both my computer and my cell phone from a table on the side of my bed. I jumped up and lunged toward him. I grabbed him but I couldn´t hold him and he ran away. I tried to run after him but fell. I was still half a sleep, and didn´t really have time to react. I stood up and could see that both my front door and the gate were wide open. There was a hole in my window screen. The shirt and the sandals of the robber were laying on the ground.
I immediately went back inside to get dressed and go to the police station, which is very close to my house. It was closed with no one there. I wanted to contact friends but without a phone, that was not possible. I could do nothing but wait until the morning.
Finally, morning came and Ronã and Richie helped me with the details. We went to the police to file a report and also tried to reconstruct how the thieves had entered. My neighbors told me that they saw everything happen as two guys were trying to pry open the gate and one was standing off to the side with a gun. They were too afraid to intervene.
The next day, a friend of ours said that he had found my bike. He had been driving around his neighborhood and saw it at someone´s house. He stopped and confronted the guy, taking the bike from him. We immediately went to tell the police of the discovery.
Over the past week, the police have asked our friend several times to retell his story, but they have yet to confront the guy with the bike. They tell us that they are waiting to find him on the street because they are afraid that if they go to his house, he will try to hide the items somewhere else. Then, they may be even harder to find later. I´m not sure if I believe them, but I don´t really have another choice.
I´ve heard from others friends that the robbers are trying to sell the computer, but nobody wants to buy it! It´s an Apple and it´s in English, so no one here (at least the drug dealers) don´t know quite what to do with it! I guess this is a cause for hope!
Luckily as well, I have everything from my phone and my computer backed up to a hardrive and the internet, so I am not going to lose any information. But of course, now I am without both. Please, pray that the police are able to get at least the computer back soon.
As you can imagine, this was a pretty tramatic event for me. I wasn´t afraid at the moment it was happening, but the after-effects have been difficult. I spent a few days sleeping at another missionary´s house, Patty Fultz. She helped me recover and gave me a safe place to rest. I am back home now, but I will not live in fear. All I can do is try to make my house safer, which I have already done. The rest is in God´s hands.
Our classes are going well as Ronã is teaching both the Kids and Beginner classes. His students are really enjoying having him as a teacher. I am teaching the Advanced class, and I am really impressed with my students. The classes are being held in my house.
Our church is also doing well with steady growth. Richie has just started building our future church building. We are all excited about the progress.
I wish I could give you a better report of what is going on here, but it has been a crazy time for me. Again, your prayers are so necessary. Thank you for all of your love and support and prayers. They sustain me.


Love, Allison

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lost in the Light

Hello Faithful Friends and Supporters!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying a mild winter. Honestly, I would love to be cold right now—not freezing—but cold sounds great. I would wear a scarf and a sweater and curl up my hands in the sleeves and drink hot tea. I would watch the early evening light lower between the tall, naked trees. I would listen to the quiet of crisp air, and I would be still in my very soul.
But instead, I am here in Portel where the heat often feel like a smothering lover. You long for space and a refuge from it. A sacred place, but none exists.
I will take this opportunity to be unusually candid with you. This can be a hard place to live. There are so many demands coming from so many different directions, and you never feel “on top of it”. It is always on top of you.
I was asking the Lord last night, “Are you sure you picked the right person for this? Am I really cut out for this?” And he took me to a passage in 1 Corinthians 2:3-5 where Paul states, “I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

The truth is that I’m not the best missionary. I’m not like the ones you read about in books. I only have a cup of water to give away. I am not feeding the masses. I am not saving thousands in orphanages. The Holy Spirit doesn’t bring everyone to their knees when I walk in the room. My service is simple and incomplete. I still have to fight with myself. I don’t live in the place of perfect peace and perfect trust in God. I get just as impatient waiting in line as the next person. I have nothing to offer God. I came here in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
And sometimes, I feel so spoiled. Maybe it’s just complete apathy, but the people I see everyday do not seem to be nearly as up in arms as I am about their circumstances. They live in the same harsh world that I do, except that often, their plight is much worse than mine. And of course, they have nothing else to compare it to. I, unfortunately, do. I have a whole world of luxury to juxtapose my daily experiences. And these lost comforts call me, and I want to listen.
But I didn’t come here to be comfortable. I can spend eternity being comfortable. I gave up comfort for a simple dream. I wanted to see the Kingdom of Heaven. I wanted to watch God work and move in the Earth. I wanted to see a demonstration of the Spirit’s power. But do I have enough strength to let go of myself long enough to see it?
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” 1Corinthians 1:27-29

I am a foolish and small and weak thing, so I guess I’m qualified. My only hope is that in all this emptiness, God would reveal himself. I can’t tell you how much my heart aches daily to see the Lord. I long to see him move tangibly in the lives of those around me. I long to see them overwhelmed and overtaken by the true lover of their souls. I long to watch them fall in love. It is this desire that has so directly positioned me in the place of weakness and fear.
Won’t you come with me? Won’t you enter into the place of your own heart to find the darkness there? Won’t you allow the light of a new hope to shine in there? Only when all other lights are dimmed can we see the One that shines the brightest…. 

We die a thousand times

And then you bring us back to life.

We die a thousand times

And then you bring us back to life.

Dig our bodies from the grave

Take us from the sweat and mud

Cleanse us with your refreshing blood

Wipe the lies from our eyes

And we see for the first time

Though we rested in the belly of destruction

You birthed us again, naked with redemption

What mystery is this that we could tell the story again?

What path is this that we could share what we have learned?

Only you and I know

Only our feet walked it together

I cannot walk it for another

Take them down the road

Lead them into the lonely wilderness

Let them smell the fiery smokes of hell

Let them taste the decay of their flesh

Let them hear the whisper of your tenderness

Let them feel the hint of your breath

Let them sense the weight of your presence

Take them into your arms again

Pick them up from the miry pit

All is new all over again

All is new all over again.

Breathe, veins pump blood.

Rich again, well again, free for the very first time.

We die a thousand times

And then you bring us back to life.

Love, Allison

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Welcome to the New Year

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I must admit, seeing pictures of my family gathered around the cozy living room opening presents made me a little homesick. Something about being in 90 degree weather makes it hard to get into the Christmas spirit. It's just not the same.
I'm sorry that it's been so long since you heard from me last. Last month was very busy, and I have a lot of news to tell you!
First of all, and most importantly, I AM ENGAGED!!!! Ronã asked me to marry him on November 23rd, 2015, and as you can guess, I said yes. We are both very happy and excited about our new life to come. We have already set a date for our wedding in Altamira for April 23, 2016. We will have a small ceremony with our friends and family here in Brazil. Our hope is to visit the States sometime at the end of 2016 and have a celebration there with all of you! We will keep you posted as more details come. Please pray for us as our plans move forward and that God will continue to bless our relationship.
The night of our engagement...

During the holidays, Ronã came to Portel in order to start settling into his new life there. We are currently in Altamira where we will gather his things to shortly move him there. During his visit, he spent time looking for a job and a place to live until we get married. In part, he will be working as a teacher for CDR, and hopefully, he will be able to get another teaching job. Richie was kind enough to allow Ronã to live on the boat with Ramon (our worship leader) for the short time before we get married. This will help us to save money as we plan for the future. Please pray for Ronã as he continues the job search in Portel.
Ronã playing soccer at the Mission

As you may remember from my last blog, we had decided to close CDR (the english school) for the time being because of the situation with the location. After spending some time in Altamira, I went back to Portel to continue to look for options for a location. What I decided was to turn one of the bedrooms in my house into a classroom. I painted the walls and had an air conditioner installed. I organized it with chairs and a desk and shelves for storage. It is a little small, but it will work for our purposes until we can complete our building on the mission property.
During our trip, both Ronã and I were very busy. For Christmas, we helped the kids learn a song to present for our Christmas service. It was a bit of a mess, but everybody had a lot of fun. For New Year's Eve, we also had activities for the kids in the evening. The kids in our neighborhood are very poor and are often under very little supervision. Having events and activities for them can often be very challenging, but it is also well worth it. Ronã has a special gift with children, and as we worked together, it was clear that God wants to use us to be a blessing in their lives.
The kids singing a Christmas song..

We also began work on starting the classes again in February. We will continue the classes that were put on hold last year and also open up a few more terms. When we go back to Portel at the end of the month, we will continue to focus on signing up students for the next semester.
Like I said, we have a lot of new things happening, and we are very excited about all of them. We will be experiencing many new changes in our lives over the next year, and we would really like your prayers. We long for God's grace and guidance over us as we make decisions and minister together. We pray for patience as we learn to integrate our lives together. I was recently reading a book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Bonhoeffer is quoting as saying this about marriage,
"As God today adds his "Yes" to your "Yes", as he confirms your will with his will, and as he allows you, and approves of, your triumph and rejoicing and pride, he makes you at the same time instruments of his will and purpose both for yourselves and for others. In his unfathomable condescension God does add his "Yes" to yours, but by doing so, he creates out of your love something quite new--the holy estate of matrimony."
We would hope that our decision and future marriage be about the work God wants to do in the Earth. That we are his instruments, and that our covenant reveals a glimpse of the love of Heaven.
God bless you all in this new year. Whether the coming year looks dim or bright, remember that God is the one who walks you through it. He is the God of all seasons. May you know him in every season.


Holiday Pictures