Saturday, July 21, 2018

The View From Here

Hello Everyone!

I have so much to tell you! The last month of our lives have been filled with transition. We spent our last 3 weeks in Altamira selling the rest of our furniture and packing up the things that we would be bringing with us to our new city. We said goodbye to the many people we have come to love and are sad to leave behind.
On June 28, we finally arrived in João Pessoa and our new leaders, Phil and Jen Snell, picked us up at the airport. We spent the next few weeks staying at their house while we began our search for a new place to live and all the stuff we would need to furnish it. We had a lot of fun spending time with them, and Oliver had a lot of fun playing with their dog, Lincoln.




We were lucky enough to find a great apartment not too far from the Snells. It has 3 bedrooms and an office! Perfect for visitors! It gets an incredible breeze, so it is never too hot. We are loving it already, and we are finally feeling like we can start to settle down. We have been waiting for that for a long time.


The view from our window
Even while we were in the process of getting settled, we still made some time to start exploring how we can be involved in ministry. I'm amazed at what Phil and Jen have been able to accomplish here on their own in just a short year and a half.
They have been having church in their house for about a month. It has been very organic in how it has all come together. There is a Vineyard pastor in Recife (a city about 1&1/2 hours away), and he expressed a lot of interest in helping with the new church plant here. He also knew of a youth pastor and his family living in João Pessoa who had been praying about being apart of a Vineyard church plant as well. As of now, we are all in the beginning stages to getting to know each other and work out together how we see God forming the church here. It is an exciting time for all of us as our ideas and hopes are mixing together to create a vision for Vineyard Jampa.


I have also been working closely with Jen and Phil as they minister to the prostitutes who work near the beach. We have been going about twice a week to pray for them, as well as having a "tent meeting" for them once a month. We set up a white tent on the beach in order to create a different environment for the girls away from the streets. We serve them treats and offer a short moment for them to connect with God. It is a wonderful opportunity to share on a more personal level the love that Jesus has for them.
Phil and Jen have been connecting more closely with one of the girls for the past year. Her name is Maevia. She has been in and out of prostitution, as well as battling a crack addiction. They have been visiting with her and her family, getting to know them better and trying to figure out how they can help her get her life on track.

Maevia with her daugther
After asking around, Phil and Jen learned of a rehab center just outside the city that helps women with drug addictions. Maevia told them that she desperately wanted help, so just a few weeks ago, we all went together to the center. It is an amazing place that is beautiful and serene and led by some very dedicated and sincere people. The center is even in the process of trying to add some educational courses to the program, so that they can give the women a chance to have a job once they complete the treatment. I couldn't imagine a better place to go in order to try and start over.

The Rehab Center, Missão Resgate
Yesterday, we went back to visit Maevia and see how she was doing. We brought her a copy of the picture of her and her daughter, and when she saw it, she broke down in tears. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to leave her daughter behind (with her grandmother), but Jen encouraged her that everything she was doing for that little girl. A chance to be the mother she needs. Maevia continued to tell us about all of her challenges and victories in her short time at the center. It was a bittersweet moment for all of us.
This afternoon, Jen got a call from the center saying that Maevia had decided to leave. We were all shocked. We wondered if our visit did more harm than good. Jen tried to encourage her to stay, but she insisted that she needed to be with her family. As you can imagine, we are all very sad and disappointed by this. We know all too well what will probably happen if Maevia goes home right now.
Please, pray for her. We want to keep trying to help her in whatever way she will let us. The journey out of addiction is often a long one with many bumps along the way. Please pray that God breaks the power of the enemy in her life and sets her free.
On a positive note, we are very happy to have learned about Missão Resgate, as we believe we will be able to work with them again in the future as we continue to try and help more women like Maevia.

This is a very exciting time for Ronã and I as we embark on this new adventure as a family. We are praying everyday that God will show us more how he plans to use us here. We are also just trying to figure out day-to-day life in a new and foreign place. At least this time, I already speak the language!
Please, pray for our family during this time as we step out into this new world.

Prayer Request:
We were unable to sell our car before we left Altamira, so it is still there now. Please pray that we are able to sell it soon, so that we can buy another car here. Thanks!

Thank you all for your support and love and for being on our team! We love you and miss you and are so grateful to you! Please, let us know if you have any questions about what we are doing, and as always, we love to hear you comments and encouragements.

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Love, the Moura Family





Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Trip I'll Never Forget

Hi everybody! This is Ronã.

We are finally back home after one week of traveling. But all this trouble with the airline company didn’t damage the great experience I had with you guys. That was definitely the best trip I've ever had.
When I was denied for my tourist visa the first time, I felt so disappointed. I had prayed so much for the visa, and God knew I really wanted to visit the U.S. What I didn’t know at that time was that He was preparing a greater experience. He wanted me to enjoy the U.S. and Canada with my son.

Some people asked me what was the best experience in the trip. The answer is hard to tell because I had several great experiences.
I loved getting to know Allison’s family. They were so good to us all the time.

Family in North Carolina

My mother-in-law, Mona

Family in Columbus
Family in Montreal
           
Family in NYC





Visiting Allison’s home church and the other churches that have being supporting us was also a great experience.                                                                                
                                                                           
Morrow County Vineyard 
VIneyard Tuttle Crossing
Alive Vineyard in Neward
Northside Vineyard
VCDC
I enjoyed having meals with our friends and supporters. So many stories and paths that connected to us because of Jesus.          
                                               

Home group of Jim and Jo Ann McCann

The Lovely LaVerne
The Helsers
And all the adventures I had were very pleasing and exciting.    
     

Climbing Stone Mountain in Atlanta with my mom-in-law
                                 


Going to the spring OSU football game

Seeing Niagara Falls

Going Ice Skating

Seeing the snow for the first time
NYC blew my mind!
Visiting the Columbus Zoo
Oly and his cousins
I want to mention here how proud I am of Oliver. He did so well on this trip. He’s definitely a blessing. With all these travels, we expected him to be very upset, but instead, he was spreading his joy everywhere he went. Allison also put a lot of work into planning this trip. I'm so grateful for the wife I have.
Now is the part when I tell you what I took away from America. I know that you guys have your own issues, but I never felt so safe and never saw so many opportunities and high quality of life as I did in America. You guys share of what we wish we had. And when I see that almost all the missionaries that I know are from the U.S. or Canada, and how the churches in North America has being supporting churches all over the world, I understand why God blessed you all.
In a few days we’ll start our new mission in João Pessoa (Jampa). We want to honor your prayers and support. Pray that God uses us in many ways.
I also want to ask for your prayers for one of our supporters. His name is Steve Kocher. He recently had a heart attack, followed by triple bypass surgery. Let’s pray for his healing and recovery.

Steve Kocher
                                                       
As you can see from Ronã's pictures and comments, our trip was truly a blessing in so many ways. I want to thank you for welcoming our family with open arms into your homes and hearts. Your generosity and faithfulness through prayer and support allow to do this amazing work God has put before us here in Brazil. Thank you!


Love, 
The Moura Family


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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Memories for a Lifetime

Hello Everyone!

Our time here is beginning to come to an end as we will be leaving to go back to Brazil on June 1st. I can't say enough about what this trip has meant for our family. It will be an experience that we will hold onto for many years into the future.
Since our last update, we had the privilege of taking a 2 week road trip up through New York and Canada to visit family and friends. What an adventure!
I have a cousin on my mother's side who lives in Brooklyn, NY, so we spent a few days there doing some sightseeing.



Ground Zero Memorial

A stroll through Central Park

Time Square
 In Canada, we visited family in both Montréal and Toronto.

Family in Montréal

Family in Toronto



Oliver playing with cousins!


We also had the pleasure of spending a few days with our very good friends and mentors, Art and Cyndi Rae. Art and Cyndi have been on sabbatical for the past year in Cambridge, Ontario, and they will be headed back to Brazil in August to continue training leaders in the Living Waters program. We had missed them so much!


Since coming back from our road trip, we have started meeting with our supporters again to reconnect and making some new connections. This week, we had the pleasure of visiting the Schoppelrei family who are apart of the Morrow County Vineyard.

Out to dinner with the Schoppelrei family

Financial Goals:

We believe we are about $500-$700 away from our monthly goal! This is amazing! So many of you have already signed up to donate monthly, which has been so encouraging. Your desire and commitment to support us has confirmed even deeper the calling that God has on us for our new mission in João Pessoa. We know that we truly have a great team backing us as we move our lives and our family to this new work. Thank you!
If you have already signed up to support us monthly, it would be really helpful if you would send us an email to let us know how much you have committed to. This will help us to know exactly where we are at and how much more we need to raise.
allison.rupert@xingu.org

If we have not met with you already, we still have a little bit of time available. We would love just to catch up with you and answer any questions you have about our work in Brazil. Let us know.

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Love, the Moura Family



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Half Way There

Hello Everyone!

It has been such a pleasure to spend time with all of you on our visit so far. It has already been quite the journey, and we are only about half way there. For Ronã and Oliver, especially, this has been a time filled with new experiences.

When we first arrived, we spent a couple of weeks in Georgia visiting with my Mom. It brought me so much joy watching her interact with Oliver and Ronã.


When we arrived in Columbus, we spent the first week hanging out with my Dad and his wife, Mimi. They invited over all the family and some friends to welcome us home.


 
We also got the chance to visit my grandparents and some old friends in North Carolina. 

Dinner at my Grandparents' house

We are so glad that we have been able to spend time reconnecting with old friends and making some new ones!

Having lunch with Chris and Amanda Saul, and their beautiful daughter, Cora   




Visiting the small group of Jim and Jo Ann McCann



Financial Update:

I am thankful to say that we have made some progress toward our financial goals, but we still have a ways to go. 
The Xingu Mission asked that we have at least $5000 as an emergency fund available. As of now, we have about $4000. We are almost there!
For our average monthly support, we are expected to have around $3,300. At the moment, our current monthly average is about $2000. I know that many of you have recently signed up to become our monthly supporters, and we are so grateful to you. For those of you who have not, we ask that you prayerfully consider investing financially in what God is doing in Brazil. 
After speaking with our leaders, we decided it was necessary to extend our trip here by a few weeks in order to create more opportunities to meet with people face to face and continue working towards our financial goals. 
If we have not already had a chance to get together with you, we would love to schedule some time for either lunch or dinner. Below, I put some dates that we still have available. 

Thursday, April 12th: Lunch
Tuesday, April 17th: Dinner
Wednesday, April 18th: Lunch

Saturday, May 12th: Dinner
Monday, May 14th: Lunch
Thursday, May 17th: Dinner
Friday, May 18th: Lunch or Dinner
Saturday, May 19th: Lunch or Dinner
Tuesday, May 22nd: Lunch or Dinner
Thursday, May 24th: Lunch or Dinner 
Friday, May 25th: Lunch or Dinner

Thank you all for the love and support that we have received from you during our journey. Ronã has told me how welcomed he has felt here. That even though you have never met him before, he has been treated like an old friend. Thank you for welcoming me and my family into your hearts and homes! 


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Love, the Moura Family













































Monday, January 22, 2018

Homecoming

Hello to You All!

I hope your new year is off to a good start. For me, this year is filled with so much anticipation! In less than one month, we will be on our way to the States. Even though I am still here in Brazil, I find that in my mind, I am already "there". I am imagining sitting by the fire at my parents' house. I am seeing Ronã eating Grater's ice cream for the first time. I am imagining my Mom playing with and talking to Oliver. It brings both longing and joy.

In the mean time, we are preparing to be gone for 3 months and for our move to João Pessoa once we come back. We have sold most of our stuff. We have found a new home for our dog, Café. We are getting used to the idea of leaving what we have been building since we came back here to Altamira less than 2 years ago.

The hardest thing to leave behind is the women's group that I have been leading, as well as the individuals that I have been investing in. Thankfully, one of the women, Débora, will be continuing to lead the group after I have gone. We have already moved the group over to her house, and she had begun taking responsibility for it. It has been such a pleasure for me to watch her grow and develop into a mature follower of Christ. She has showed faithfulness and a sincere motivation to pursue Jesus at whatever the cost. Even though I am leaving, we will continue to keep in contact with each other while I am away in order to guide her.
Group Selfie!

This group has provided an opportunity for these women to share their struggles and victories in a safe environment which is often not available to them in other settings. Please pray for Débora and these women as they continue to move forward with each other and with God.

Update from Ronã: Hey everybody! We are almost finishing with the vacation flag football project. We started with around 8 kids (5 of those I had never met before). We still had some spots available, so my friend, Amoacy, advertised at CDR. One kid came and then he invited 3 of his friends, and they invited their friends!
While talking to them about Christ, I noticed that some of them have never heard the stories of Jesus before. I was glad God gave me the chance to introduce Him to them. Always, when I am with them, I am reminded of myself. When I started studying at CDR, my teacher invited me to do a play at the church, and also to play soccer a couple of times. I felt so happy and accepted at that time, and it is one of my favorite memories. I pray that these kids may feel the same way. Below is a video of the kids playing.

 


We would like to start scheduling our time to visit with you while we are there, so below, I am going to put the dates that we will be available. Please, send me an email with the time that will work for you. We can get together for lunch or dinner. Can't wait!

March 13-March 26
April 2-April 24
May 10-May 14


Love, the Moura Family

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Overcoming Fear


Hi everybody, this is Ronã.



I’m very excited to meet all of you next year. Yeah! That’s right, we are going to America in February! That’s awesome!


Until then, I want to talk about one challenge I’m overcoming during this time—The fear of evangelism.


Don’t misunderstand. It’s not that I am ashamed of Christ. It’s not that at all. I love to talk about Jesus with my friends. It’s about the fear of people’s response. I’ve shared the gospel with some people, but they didn’t receive it, or they ignored me, or they denied what I said. It really affected my confidence, and I started thinking that I’m not good at this (evangelism). That’s not my gift.


Although, as you know, evangelism isn’t an option. We all have the call to evangelize. Jesus’ last words on earth were a command to evangelize and make disciples. For Him to spend His last minutes with us telling us to evangelize shows its importance to the church.


So, I had to find a way to overcome this fear. I’ve overcome other fears before. When I was learning English, I was afraid that I would make mistakes when I spoke to someone. However, I knew that if I didn’t try, I would never be able to speak. The same happened when I started to teach. My hands would shake. I was afraid that my students wouldn’t like me or I wouldn’t do a good job. But I knew that if didn’t get into the classroom, I would never be able to improve. The same goes for evangelism. If I don’t practice it, I will never be able to see its fruit.


So I started praying that the Lord would give me opportunities, boldness, and the capacity to evangelize. I started seeing His answer when I took the last quarter of VI. One of the courses available was Evangelism and Discipleship. I knew that’s the one I needed the most, so I chose it and it was a blessing.


If I could summarize what I learned in one sentence, it would be this sentence:


Do what you love with people who don’t know Christ”.



We all have things we love to do, and our hobbies can be excellent tools for the gospel. In my case, I love to draw and play sports (even though I’m not good at them). So I started to offer some digital drawing lessons to some people at CDR, and also playing Flag Football with others in a field next to our house. The result is that now I’m connected to around 6 new people so far. People that I can offer my friendship, knowledge and help.

Amanda's Drawing Character




Flag Football on Saturday.



Every Saturday more people come to the flag football, and they bring their friends. Our plan is to invite them to an Alpha group in December. Pray for us.



A few points I’d like to highlight:



l  Sometimes we spend all our time doing church things (that’s not bad), but we end up just being around Christians all the time. It becomes hard to connect with others. The worship team currently has 4 piano players, so I asked for a break. This has allowed me to have more time to focus on these “outside” projects.



l  Community evangelism. I haven’t been doing these projects by myself. Amazing people have helped me so much, and I’m really glad God sent them. So if you want to evangelize, consider doing it with your friends. That’s encouraging.



l  The VI course really gave me a new excitement for evangelism, and if you feel the same, I would recommend you take it or read the books contained in it. They are: Re-imaging evangelism by Rick Richardson and 3D gospel by Jason Georges.



To finish I want to share an amazing week I had with two missionaries in a close city. Dean and Larry have been doing a teaching training with the 1st Baptist Church of Anapu for two years. They’re blessing that church very much. I’m glad I was able to be part of that. Guess what was Larry’s lesson in this module—Evangelism!


Interpreting Dean. He taught about Christian Doctrines.     
People say you understand better when the interpreter acts like the foreigner.


Interpreting Larry. He reminded me that God is the one who
draws people. So don’t feel discouraged or that you fail when
sharing the gospel. 

 

 As always, we want to thank you for your constant support of our work here in Brazil!

Love, Ronã and Allison

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Lives Transformed


Hello Everyone!

I hope you enjoyed hearing from Ronã last month in our blog. We want to give you all a chance to get to know him, even from afar.

We have some great news! We will be traveling to the States in 2018! We will be there from February 19th until May 16th. That’s 3 whole months! You will finally get to meet Ronã in person and also our new baby boy, Oliver. I can’t tell how much I am looking forward to introducing them to all of you.
Since moving to Brazil, I have only come back to the States for one month at a time. The trip has always felt rushed, not giving me enough time to connect with everyone that I would like to. That should not be a problem this time around. When the trip gets closer, we will give you more details of our itinerary, and hopefully start setting up some dates to meet with all of you.

As you all know, I have been taking part in a program called Living Waters, and we recently started a new semester. This semester, I am the only foreigner on our team which means it has been handed over to the Brazilian leadership. This is one of the main goals we have as missionaries. We want to train up native leaders in several areas of ministry, allowing them to take full ownership and responsibility. Art and Cyndi Rae have done a successful job of this with Living Waters, and I have had the privilege of being apart of and watching this take shape. I am constantly impressed with the wisdom and insight that has been birthed in our Brazilian team. They have a passion to see others healed of deep wounds and demonstrate the compassion and safety necessary to guide the broken on a healing journey. 
Our Brazilian Team

              I want to tell you about one team member in particular. Her name is Débora. I first met her last semester when she was one of the participants in a group I was leading for the Journey. The Journey acts as an introduction to Living Waters, and helps us identify those who are in need of emotional healing.
Débora was clearly desperate. The hurts of her past were overwhelming her. She seemed lost and helpless and lacked all confidence in herself. Throughout the Journey and Living Waters, she poured herself out to God and those around her, opening herself up to whatever God wanted to do in her life.  At the end of the program, you could see a significant change in her. She seemed lighter, more hopeful. She no longer carried around a spirit of being lost. She had been found.
Since then, I have been meeting with Débora once a week to help her continue in her spiritual growth. She has also been participating in my women’s group on Saturday mornings. What I have seen from her has been amazing to watch. Today, she is a woman full of joy and gratitude for the work of God in her life. And everything that the Lord has been doing in her, she has already started to give away.

Débora is currently training to be a Living Waters group leader. And almost every time our women’s group meets, she brings someone new with her. I jokingly asked her if she was just pulling these women off the street on the way to group! She is constantly telling me about someone she has met or knows who is going through a difficult time, and she has prayed with them and helped them connect to God. It’s as if all those around her can see the work of God in her humble heart and are immediately drawn to her.
A few weeks ago, after our Living Waters meeting, she was talking to another participant about a local orphanage. She came to me and said, “Allison, I think we should go there!”.
A week later, we were on the steps of the orphanage, talking to the attendant, only to find out that they currently had 4 babies living there. My heart broke. We went inside and spent the next few hours holding little babies in our arms and trying to give them all the love and attention we had. Since then, we have been talking to other women we know so that we can get a group together to go there and serve these children on a regular basis.
For me, it has been such a joy to watch what God is doing through Débora. Seeing someone transform right before your eyes is an incredible privilege. It is what makes all the sacrifice and challenges worth it! I believe this is what Jesus meant when he said that we are to go and make disciples. He wasn’t looking for converts or church goers, but to see others truly bearing the fruit of his likeness.

Thank you for your prayers as we serve here as missionaries in Brazil. Our goal and hope is to be apart of more stories like the one above: Lives Transformed. When you give and pray for us, you are taking apart in this transformation as well. We are all on the same team, working towards the same calling and goals. God bless you all! We love you!

The Moura Family