Merry Christmas!! Just kidding! South of the equator, poinsettias bloom in June/July, as you can see!! It makes sense, since it is “winter” down here right now, and in the States, (or north of the equator,) they bloom around Christmas time. It is interesting, though, that down here, they are called “Flor de Natal” which means “Christmas Flower!” Some of you were wondering what our front yard and also “Panga” our family dog looks like, so this will help out! Panga normally sits real still when John pets him, but not for this picture!!
Our traditional “Noite de Milho”–literally translated “Corn Night” evangelistic outreach was held this past Saturday night, and proved to be a huge blessing. Besides there being an attendance of over 200 people, LOTS of “corn delicacies” served (corn bread, corn cake, corn patties, corn pudding, corn on the cob, popcorn, and even corn juice to drink!?!), and “warm” fellowship enjoyed around a large bonfire late into the night, MANY unsaved heard the Word of God preached and the Gospel presented. John had the privilege of bringing the devotional from Psalm 95, and the last point of his message came from verse 8, “DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEART.” Four people came to him to talk for long periods of time, the last being a man named Paulo for whom we have requested prayer before. Paulo was in the room when Gilmar made a decision for salvation in the hospital with John, and he told us straight up that day that he was a spiritist, and that he was very happy with his “religion.” At the time, he seemed really closed to hear about what Christ had done for him. How shocked we were to know first of all that he came to a church event, and especially that he said he wanted to talk to John afterward! John once again gave him the plan of salvation, and was able to give him a “Crucial Questions” booklet which he promised to read. Please continue to pray for the salvation of Paulo, Karla, Leticia, and Jane.
This week we are gearing up for VBS which will be held next week July 22-28. We are right at this time in the process of making up the fliers and the youth will be distributing them on Saturday night. If all goes as planned, the actual VBS will be held during the week and then next Saturday will be the practice for our program held on Sunday night. The plan is to invite the parents to attend the Sunday evening service/VBS presentation. We are excited, since this will be used as a “kick-off” into our new childrens’ club ministry beginning the following week!! Please pray!
Since we last wrote, the church auditorium ceiling has been completed and it looks soooo nice!! As we mentioned before, the best part about this project is that we as missionaries gave VERY LITTLE financially towards this. In order to save money, John headed up a “campaign” for the collection of empty milk boxes to help out with the insulation. The church family then held several “work days” to wash, cut, flatten, staple together, and attach the boxes to large sheets of styrofoam, which were fit together tightly above the PVC ceiling. We were amazed at how the church body worked on this ministry and we are SO THANKFUL that it is 100% paid for!! Please praise the Lord together with us for the victory of our auditorium ceiling being completed!!
Our next construction phase includes covering the iron supports that still show on the sides near the ceiling (see picture), followed by the re-doing of our flooring of which several options are being considered. John has been preaching on Sunday evenings (our best attended services) on different Bible characters, and this coming Sunday he is planning to speak on Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls. What a blessing to see our people getting excited about making our place of worship more pleasant and attractive. The Lord has continued to bless us with many visitors in our services and also the salvation of souls.
The biggest family news that we have is that our Josh is now here with us in Brazil! He is taking a break from his Bible college studies and is currently teaching English. After accepting his teaching position, two other schools contacted him as well, so he was thankful that he had several offers!! He seems to be enjoying it so far, and is doing well. Since his visual impairment will not allow him to drive, he rides the bus, which picks him up at the bus stop right at the end of our driveway. Josh also got some good news yesterday after a doctor’s exam showed that he would not need to continue to take the strong seizure medicine he has been taking for over three years. He has been a good help with the girls’ home-schooling as well as working in the church, was asked by John to give the Bible study at prayer meeting tomorrow night, and also plans to work in VBS next week as his work schedule allows.
Jerrod is on summer break from FBBC and is spending the summer as a counselor/lifeguard at Lincoln Lake Baptist Camp in Michigan. We don’t hear a lot from him since he is only allowed computer access on the weekends, but is pretty faithful at keeping in touch, even if his e-mails are full of abbreviations (which our kids have to interpret for us “old folks” to understand) and short, “sweet,” and to-the-point messages. We are thankful that he is being used of the Lord in this way and pray that he is not only making an impact in the lives of the kids, but also growing in his own walk with the Lord. Jonna is busy in her senior year of studies. She made up her own daily schedule and has kept with it so far. It looks like her goal of being finished in December may become a reality! That way she will be able to go back to the States with Jerrod, who plans to come down at Christmas. We are really excited for the entire family to be together then! Jeanne has begun her sophmore year on a lower key–reading and doing her five book reports. She is on her third one now and really isn’t minding it too much since she enjoys reading. She got some very exciting news today. Her friend Laura, who lives in the States that she invited to church back in 2006 just accepted Christ as Savior!! Jeanne has asked prayer for her nearly every Wednesday evening, and tomorrow night she will have a “praise” to share! Please thank the Lord together with us for Laura’s salvation, and also remember to pray for Josh, Jerrod, Jonna, and Jeanne!
How thankful we are for each one of your prayers on our behalf!! God has been good, as you can see!!
His for Brazil,