Monday, October 31, 2016

Bits October

I talked with Robson and Nilson about the future of the Cetak training center as we ate a cultural dish of escondinho (meat, cheese and a root similar to potato called macaxeira). Robson just moved into one of the 11 houses that are now right around our church property. He is catholic and his wife is spiritist, but both are excited about the courses we will be offering at the training center. He also would like to play some soccer there at the property soon. I was able to share the gospel that day with these two, but the gospel here takes time to sink in, for the people to fully grasp what salvation really means.

People here are very open to God, the Bible and Jesus. Our football team received Bibles and have loved having them and thanked me often. They ask for me to pray during our practices and games and I have often spoken the gospel to them, but it takes them a while to understand their need for repentance and salvation. Soon and very soon there will be more and more disciples here and we are excited about the huge platform God has given us through football, cheerleading, English and other opportunities. 

This month I was invited to a school in a nearby community called Caraibas. From the highway you can barely see that there is a community, but the school has 600 students! They asked me to come talk about the US to the English students. Upon arrival I saw that it was a school assembly with all 300 morning students (and 300 more in the afternoon)! What a neat opportunity. They asked about Trump and Hillary, the economy and many other interesting questions. Of course, my favorite is when they asked why I live in Brazil which allowed me to freely talk about God’s calling in my life. We were invited back to the school to watch their very first basketball game. Tyler and I were honored as special guests! I am not sure what God has for us in this contact, but it is neat to see God opening doors. 

Another neat open door has been Tupanatinga. We went there three times this month, 2 Bible studies and 1 birthday party. This has been a neat opportunity to have a point of ministry where we can involve others from the church in using their musical gifts for the Lord as well as minister to new people. Rodryggo and his newlywed wife Danielly have never gone to church before and now look forward to the studies. We pack out Chico and Bia’s living room and have a good time. We plan on going tomorrow (Tuesday) night for another Bible study. 

Pray for our China trip as we leave in 2 weeks! We made a video to advertise for the course we will give and the Brazilian community was excited! We will leave November 15 and arrive back in Recife at midnight on the 30th! We are not looking forward to this whole jet lag thing; so I am going to look forward to your strong prayers on our behalf!!!!!

During the last couple years with the property here God has provided finances at just the right time. Ideally we would have a few hundred thousand dollars and assurance that we can build exactly what we want as fast as we can, but God has not chosen to provide in that way. The last couple of weeks we have had meetings about how much more we can do before pausing, but then yesterday we received news of a $2000 gift that keeps us going for a little longer. It seems like it has worked that way for the last year or so. The Brazilian church continues to give some, churches in the US have come through, and individual donors have given. It is neat to see where it all comes from. Below are some amounts that we need in order to finish the first phase of the project that will last us for a good amount of time! 
Iron and cement to be the second floor ceiling/third floor- $8,653.13
Electric on the first floor- $6,562.50
Finishing the rooms on the first floor- 3,250 per room (6 rooms)- $19,500
Two bathrooms- $6250
Roof- $5000

If anyone wants to donate it all, you are welcome to, or even cover a room or phase; that would be wonderful, but what we have seen is that God has worked through many people and smaller donations to put it together to get the work done and we are grateful for every gift. 

Thanks so much for your prayers!

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah, our big 7 year old cheerleader Evelyn minus two lower front teeth, and our OCD Anna Claire

Friday, October 21, 2016

Is the Election a Reflection?

A couple days ago I went to a school in Brazil as an american representative. The school assembly met in the gym and had representatives ask my friend Tyler and I questions about the United States and being an American. I shook my head in both in the morning and in the afternoon as they asked me about Hillary and Trump. Of all the Americans there are in the US, how did we find these two representatives?

In a democracy the people choose their President. When our founding fathers set up the system it was  a brilliant system because the President would reflect the people. Fast forward to today and we see little satisfaction in our country's candidates. How could our country choose these two? But then I go on Facebook and see the debates on people's pages and I realize exactly how we have these two candidates. They are a reflection of the people. We have turned into a bunch of debaters calling ugly names disrespecting each other! This is a true representation and it grieves me to the bone!

The truth is that both of these candidates break codes for which we, the American people, are passionate about. Trump has utterly disrespected women! Hillary is going after the unborn! What American does not have something against these ideas therefore making them passionate against either one of the candidates! Then we look at our neighbor, who is passionate about one issue that is very legitimate and we accuse them of being for an issue we are passionate against! It is a doomsday spiral!

We need to stop this disrespect for our neighbor! They are probably an entirely rational human being that is just a little different rationally than you are. Do not lose their respect and friendship over this election. Instead of looking at individuals as entirely disappointing, let's look at our culture as disappointing. We have fostered this type of negative culture and it needs to stop if we are going to survive!

Love your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Americans are strong, patriotic, thoughtful and proactive. Let's emphasize these qualities. The difference starts with the individual and moves to the culture. Be an advocate of peace and love, not of division and hatred!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Bits September

This month we went on vacation on the beach for 5 days. We had a great time and had been looking forward to it since March! It was relaxing and healthy for us and the girls had a great time. 

This morning I woke up at 4:30 for the second time in a month to go carry concrete for the Cetak construction. We finished the first floor finally (after three phases of pouring the floor). They like to get up early and get done early with this few hour job where we have 10-20 people working. 

Our service this month went well especially considering that we moved location, day and time. We are trying Sunday mornings at a nice area right beside our house. The football guys are less likely to come in the morning, but we had people from other places including the Story of Hope study I have been doing on Thursday nights with a family of one of our study participants. We are in the NT already studying the life of Jesus and in a few weeks will be concluding. They have been around churches for a while, but are not in one currently, nor do they fully comprehend the story of the Bible.

Sarah is having a good time with cheerleading as she is up to 10 girls now and will present during the football game this month. Pray these contacts translate into disciples! 

Last night I delivered Bibles to the football team! We received a great discount on some really nice Bibles thanks to our coworker Roger Smith and the money came from Faith Baptist in State College, PA (my uncle Drew is the Pastor and my Aunt Diane organized the VBS project to raise this money). We were able to buy 50 Bibles and gave out around half last night (that is about the amount from the team that shows up to practice…). They were all really excited to receive them; one guy came over after practice to sleep and get up early and he was reading his before bed at midnight. Please pray that these guys will follow this new playbook they have!

The Servant Leaders development has been going great! Check out the site in English and think about whether your church wants any free material or mentorship to develop leaders inside the church! If you are interested or curious, shoot me an email and I can talk to you about what that would look like for you! It is probably easier than you think! 

This month we applied for Visas to go to China! Sarah’s sister Anna and her husband Daniel have lived there for a few years and we have an opportunity to go teach the Good Soil seminar to the group of Brazilians they have as well as some in English! We are planning this trip for next month! It is a pretty crazy opportunity for us! 

Also, we are planning a trip to the US for January until April. If you would like us to speak at your church, let me know and we can work on setting that up. We will be based in Chattanooga and go up to Michigan late March into April. Will be great to see the people who hold us up! Thanks so much!

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah, my big seven year old Evelyn who got to celebrate with a tent PJ party the weekend before her birthday and on the beach for her birthday, and our little merpup(that would be a mixture of Mermaid and puppy from Paw Patrol) Anna Claire who loved the water and sand at the beach!