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|
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