Monday, February 29, 2016

Bits February

We are back! And we love it. We love our house. We love our friends. And we love the ministry to which God has called us. Our trip back here went well. All of our luggage arrived and it was neat to see Evelyn push Anna Claire in the stroller through the airport when Sarah and I both had to push luggage carts. Not sure what we would have done without her help. We have been able to catch up with most of our friends and start organizing for the year. At our first service back, a teenager, Pedro, gave his life to Christ! We are following up with discipleship and visits. 

Chico, David, Pedro
big US/Brasil cake they had made for our return

We have continued through the Story of Hope on Sunday nights. Alison has been leading mainly football players through it. Last night we had a good group with a couple visitors. For our midweek time we are going to launch an 8-10 week study for couples on marriage and raising children. Please pray for the right couples to come to this group. We have a decent list and just need to get them coming. 

I have enjoyed being the head coach of the football team. We are planning to do a seminar on conflict soon for them. I have been giving little talks during practice and trust the Lord will use this position to open up more opportunities. We have our first game this month and then will have almost one game per month for this year. Pray I can leverage this position to help our witness within the community.  

The girls are doing well getting readjusted. Evelyn is studying at the Brazilian school in the afternoon this semester. She didn’t really lose much Portuguese from our US trip, but Anna Claire seems like she is starting from scratch. Just in Portuguese though, cause her English is non-stop. Sarah is back at it with hospitality. She also is doing English conversation with the owners of the language school here and had a deep conversation this last time. 

It has been neat seeing construction being done on the church property. They will soon start the foundation for the building, but in order for the building to be finished later this year we will need more funds. I have an opportunity that I will be sharing in a week or two that I hope some will be interested in!

I also booked my tickets for Rio de Janeiro in August. I will be going to be a translator/participant for an evangelistical group for the Olympics. It should be fun! I think there are actually still vacancies for the trip if you are interested in going. We also have recruited a couple more for our football camp in June. I am looking forward to what God will do there during the week!

One highlight of the furlough was to do another prayer night in January. I put together a video to promote prayer nights and since March is ABWE's prayer month I thought I would post it here: 

Thanks for your prayers and support! 

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah and our involved school girl who loves participating in studies, and our little play girl who loves dressing up in princess dresses and running around in “her big blue house.”

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bits January

“9 days til we leave!” Evelyn keeps telling her grandmother. 

“Evelyn!” her mother Sarah yells. “Stop reminding her of that!”. We have had a good few months with family and friends here in the states, but we are excited about returning to Brazil. We have already planned on doing our furlough schedule similarly in the future in that we come back to the US every year and a half to two years. 

This month we have made a lot of progress with the Servant Leader’s work. In early January I was able to meet in person with most of the partners in this endeavor. One, Pastor Dave Graef, is now the pastor of our sending church. Cam Woolford, who partnered with Pastor Graef as ABWE missionaries in latin america, is also stateside and was able to meet with us when we were in Grand Rapids. This month a platform site called disciple systems is starting to be piloted and will enable online organized mentorship to take place (ideally by in person mentorship). I wrote about Servant Leaders in a separate post here if you would like more information. But the main goal in it is for Pastors to mentor/train their church leaders with the Servant Leaders resources. If you are a Pastor or church leader, consider looking into it for your church! Right now we are working in English, Spanish and Portuguese. If you would like a sneak peak of some of the material; I did a quick run through on our Constructive Conflict class. It is only 32 minutes long and can be seen with this link.

Speaking of Michigan; we were there for a couple weeks and since then have had a few opportunities to speak as well. Yellow River Baptist in Atlanta had us Sunday night the 17th and if you would like to see the video of it, it is available on youtube. They said that my video from 2013 at their church had received quite a bit of volume. I admitted the reason for the hits; that night Evelyn sang in portuguese as a 4 year old. Obviously the hits were you all watching her (and I know that Evelyn watched it herself dozens of times)! 

Upon returning to Brazil we will be met at the airport by our teammates and look forward to catching up with them. We will be planning more on what the next few months will look like. But as of right now, it is looking busy! Since we have left Arcoverde building has started on the property. We will be looking to keep up with the idea of training area Christians through CeTAK as well as reaching out to the unchurched through our Bible studies. 

Also since we left I was asked to be head coach of the football team. This year we have games for the state league and so that will keep us busy. We are also planning a clinic for football teams from Northeast Brazil in early June. I am sill amazed at how God is widening our sphere of influence in Brazil through American football….What??? Crazy. Anyway; what is also crazy is the Servant Leader’s program that will also hopefully keep us busy as Pastors catch the vision for this means of developing national leadership within the church. In every part of Brazil we have lived there has been struggle in developing leaders within the church. Pray this can be part of the solution!

It was great seeing so many of you! Your prayers and God’s sustaining work in us are the only reasons we can be on the field and we are grateful for both!

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah and my Zingo queens (Zingo is a game with objects on it on a tic-tac-toe style board and you match objects to fill your card. Both girls play at least 10 times a day).