Monday, December 31, 2018

Bits December 2018

January 6- My dad’s SS class at HBC in Michigan
January 14- Sarah speaking to Moms group in Chattanooga
January 20- Yellow River Baptist in Atlanta, Georgia
January 27- Grace Baptist- Raleigh, NC
Community Baptist- Hickory, NC
February 3- West Huntsville Baptist,  Alabama
February 10- Blackburn Road Baptist- Athens, Alabama
February 17- Hope Baptist Church- Akron, OH
February 24-27- First Baptist of Westwood, Miami, FL
March 10- Daystar, Dallas, TX

 So that is our schedule for the next few months. This past month we traveled some, but mainly to see family. We were supposed to go to NC but it was the weekend of the snowstorm and we rescheduled due to mistrust in southern drivers, haha; actually the church services were canceled. Please pray for our safety as we make these trips and for a profitable time in services. 
As we travel during furlough we are raising money for a car as well as a new church plant in Tupanatinga. Before we left we looked at some land and buildings and discussed what would be the best option. We have had the Bible study for 2-3 years and feel we are ready to move forward to an option with more space and that could be weekly. While this will be challenging for us time wise and personnel wise, I believe that God will provide as we are stretched. The group was excited as we discussed and prayed

The cheapest option would be to rent a building but that would not show that we are serious about a church to stay; it would also be likely that the building would not fit the needs for the type of building we would like. Another option is to buy an existing building, which might be possible, but we would need to find a good building in a smaller town (population of 30,000) with few options. The third option is to buy some land and build. The land is around 12-15,000 dollars and then building would obviously be more. This would give us a piece of property of at least 20 meters by 20. We are not trying to build something like what we have as our base in Arcoverde, but more of an extension of the church, with a couple classrooms and bathrooms and then a simple main auditorium. 
This will depend on the resources God sends our way and our car will have to take priority as we won’t even be able to go to Tupanatinga without a car. We know that God is sovereign and often guides us in mysterious ways and so we are not nervous about all this; just looking forward to how He leads! 
We had a great time with family this past month! We went down to south Alabama to see Sarah’s Mamaw and aunts, uncles and cousins. We had a wonderful Christmas on the farm with Sarah’s family and currently we are with my family in Michigan. On Sunday we had get togethers with both sides of the family. On Saturday my youngest brother Jeff married Elisabeth in a beautiful wedding. We are grateful that it fell on a scheduled furlough! 

Happy New Year! May your 2019 be blessed and full of spiritual growth! We are grateful for all of you who sustain us through prayers and support. (Oh, we did find out our new number for monthly support that we need 213.29 more a month before we get cleared to return to the field). 

All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, and my sleepover girls who have enjoyed sleepovers with cousins and friends this past month! Also, Evie is playing indoor soccer and both Evelyn and Anna Claire worked hard loading the truck with split wood! 


Friday, November 30, 2018

Bits November

(link to our furlough video!)
Well, good news: Fall waited for us. We made it back to the US for Thanksgiving and will be here through March 21. Our schedule is pretty full and we start our travels to churches December 9 when we go to North Carolina. Our next update will be written from Michigan. 

We had a wonderful November as we celebrated baptisms and had a good going away lunch at our church. They tried to surprise us although their consistency in getting together whenever possible made us suspect to their surprise. I was able to make a really neat anouncement at that lunch. I have told you several times about Seu Nino and will probably tell you about him as we travel to your churches. He finished the Story of Hope this month and confessed Christ as his Savior! I cannot explain how excited this makes me feel (and many others in the church). 

We baptized five this month and had a good celebration surrounding our time. I was able to present the gospel at the baptism service as there were many family members present to watch those who would be baptized (lots of grandparents) and they all come from varying backgrounds. This service as well as a baby dedication service our last Sunday in Brazil saw some visitors and provided us with a great opportunity to talk about Christ. 

The last couple of months we have had a good bit of visitors and repeat visitors. A church donated some more chairs and we have been putting them to use and needed all of the ones that were purchased. We leave the church with our co-workers Roger and Marcy Smith who have been with us all this time. (He is the senior Pastor of the church). So we are not worried as we have them and a good core group of members. 

The week before we left Roger, William (one of our leaders and my main co-conspirator in our Tupanatinga Bible study) and I went to Tupanatinga. We went early that day so that we could drive around the town. We were looking for a land/building to use next year. Please pray with us that God would give us wisdom and the resources we need as we decide on renting or buying land and building or buying a building. It looks like a land buy would be around 14-15 thousand dollars and that is before we would start building! So that would be a heavy investment.

Speaking of finances. Before returning to Brazil in March we will be needing financial clearance. We are really close! But we just received news that our health insurance is increasing, so I am guessing with that increase and what we already need we are looking to raise around $350 more per month. (I have written up a commentary on our finances to be more specific, so if you would like to see that, please just reply to this email and ask for it! Basically we are raising that monthly amount as well as a one time amount for a car and for land for the church in Tupanatinga. That is a good chunk of change! So anyway you all could help would be great! Thanks guys! 

We are now a couple months into our second decade as missionaries to Brazil! We appreciate you all’s prayer and support. Please pray that we would learn to be more effective and efficient as we seek to make disciples for God’s glory! (By the way, I finished my master’s degree and Sarah decided that she is going to do a master’s in Biblical counseling! She starts in February (Actually she has already started reading)). 

All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, my soccer player (Evie has her first ever organized soccer game this upcoming week!) and my little farm girl (Anna Claire loves the kitty cat on the farm, the 7 new Boykin Spaniel puppies that were born on the farm and loves all the animals!)

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Respect in an ideal world is earned. We naturally respect people that we like or admire. So does that mean we should not respect people that have not earned our respect? If so, what are the guidelines for who we should respect?

The main trigger for this post was witnessing the live news conference with President Trump on Wednesday the 7th of November when Jim Acosta from CNN started speaking to the President. I do not necessarily think the President has earned respect due to his politeness nor do I approve of many of his mannerisms; yet I do think the office of the President demands a certain level of respect.

What I witnessed in that conference is common in Brazil. The loudest person gets the platform. Recently I was accused of being a silent person in a meeting. In that meeting environment it is very true because the environment is full of talking over the next person and interrupting each other. I prefer to remain silent than to try to force myself to be rude in order to get in my two cents. It is not worth it (especially if it really is only worth two cents).

Respect should be given to those in authority whether it be Presidents, police officers, referees parents or whoever is in authority. I was not even raised in the South and I see the great value in using yes ma'am and no sir.

Besides those in authority, to whom else should we show our respect. My opinion: everyone. People can annoy the heck out of us or believe the opposite of us, but that person was made in the image of God. Jesus talked about how we should treat the "least of these brothers of mine." Treat them like you would treat Christ. I am not saying we have to agree with everyone, but we should respect everyone.

If we really got to know more people, listened to their stories, understood where their history, their passions and desires and what drives them, it would be easier to talk to them with respect. Most people's passion stems from a strong value that you might not disagree with at its core. Their fruit may look different than your fruit, but their core values probably have to do with being good and not destruction. The stories we tell ourselves are that these people would want to destroy us (which may be the case with some groups, but most definitely is not the norm). Understanding that most people are real human beings with ups and downs and passions can go a long way towards encouraging love within humanity.

So let's show some respect people!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


I do not think that I would do well posting every day for Thanksgiving during the month of November but I certainly can write a post about my thankfulness. This year has been wonderful for us. This year I have told many people that we have a great life. God loves me and has saved me and my family. We can have joy in Him daily if we so choose. This has been so clear to me this year. Misery is my choice; circumstances do not determine my happiness; I do. I am thankful that God has shown me this and that more often than not I am choosing joy.

My wife and children have been wonderful to me. Sarah has grown so much spiritually and is a great friend to people in our church. She runs and organizes the women's group, children's ministry and our household all at the same time. The girls are growing into well behaved sweet girls with their own personalities. Evelyn is growing up and taking on responsibilities. Anna Claire is a little crazy but is more and more sensitive to how to treat others.

God has sent awesome people to our church. We have many involved in ministry to the point where one visiting pastor said our people ministry involvement ratio is out of the roof. We have a solid Bible study in another town that is probably going to take a big step in organization as a church next year. So many people work hard with us and are so kind to us.

When I signed up for missions I thought I was signing up for a life separate from family and the benefits we enjoy as Americans. I thought we would be poor our whole life and would have many difficulties. While some of those thoughts may be true to a certain degree I feel like the missions life is not as difficult as it has been in the past. I prefer to be in Brazil; we are very comfortable here and our family has only extended to include Brazilian family. Our other families are a Skype call away and our furlough schedule has made it possible to see them fairly often. Missionary families use to move to the field and pack their belongings in coffins as it symbolized giving their lives for the ministry of the gospel.

We have a load of faithful supporters. There are 62 churches/individuals that give to us regularly. It blows me away that there are that many people who make us enough of a priority that they send their hard earned money to the mission so that we can live, work and make disciples in Brazil. We often get single gifts or anonymous gifts that carry us as well. Our actual monthly support level has been below our need for a while but because of people who give a little extra here and there we have not gone in the red (at least not since 2012). 

Continuing to list everything would probably bore you as there is so much more. I do want to say though that I am thankful for my failures and weaknesses. We are all born with pride and it can come along so easily in life. I am already pretty prideful, but if I didn't mess up so much it might be worse. God is gracious, merciful, kind, good and Sovereign! Blessed be His name.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Bits October

October was a really busy month for us with two different groups that came down. Pastor David Frye, and Jamie and Kelly Nicholson came down for a preview trip. They will be bringing a group from their church in Raleigh next July. While they were here they helped us with some events for children’s day. The next week Jeremiah and Cindy Cook with their two kids came down to help with a women’s day event as well as for Jeremiah to speak to the police. 

Kid’s day in Brazil is pretty close in importance present wise and activity wise to Christmas. In fact, kids are probably more likely to receive a present on kid’s day than on Christmas. They have the day off from school after a week of special activities at school. We had a two day event at the church. The kids came, played on the playground, learned songs and games and even had some kitchen cooking activities. Then they had plays where they learned about God and fitting in. They crammed in a lot in two days! Jamie, Kelly and David did a skit as well as dressing up as clowns and doing fun clown stuff with the kids. The event was a blast.

The next day we took a group from church to Tupanatinga and did some of the plays with kids there. It was our first outreach event in Tupanatinga! We had a good time and our study group there did a great job of organizing the event. They were able to get a gym and bouncy houses to play on. I was proud of them for their iniciative. 

The next weekend Sarah and the ladies organized a women’s event with Cindy there. Cindy has a blog where she talks about making crafts for their home. She is involved with moms at their church and around Chattanooga. She was able to share her testimony as well as teaching how to do a craft. The women loved it. Sarah is doing a wonderful job with the women’s group! 

Jeremiah has served on the Chattanooga police force for eight years and the SWAT team for four years. This drew the interest of many people around here. We went to the Police station on Monday morning where he talked to them about SWAT. They loved the experience. They then gave us a tour and we talked to the commander for a while. The next night we held a time at the church that was open to the community. We had many unchurched people there. On Sunday night two families came as a result of being here that Tuesday night! So great to see. 

Pray for us this month as Roger and I go to Tupanatinga to check out options for the future of having an organized church there. Last night I talked to the study group about it and they loved it and are already looking at some options. As we head to the states for furlough November 20, this will be one of the things we will be raising money for. We need to get a new car when we come back to Brazil which will probably cost a good 12,000 dollars (yes, cars are much more expensive here). Then we want to see what our options are in Tupanatinga, whether we rent or buy or build. Pray for wisdom for those details! 
Thanks for your prayers and support. We would love to see some of you when we are back in the states! God bless!

All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, my motivated, growing up, smoked our visitors in Monopoly, Evelyn, and our rambunctious little kitty cat Anna Claire.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Bits September

On Sunday Brazil will have their presidential elections. The political climate is very similar to the US two years ago, except they have more candidates. Please pray for God’s will to be done and for their not to be a bad response from the results. Unfortunately there are problems with relationships due to political choices. Pray for unity!

This month we continued our study of Philippians at the church which focuses on joy and unity in the church. It has been really good for us to study! We generally have attendance ups and downs. Usually every other week we have a good crowd. For the last two Sundays we were supposed to have a down week, at least in my mind. Last night we had four key families who were travelling and could not be with us. Yet, we have not had a down week! We have had people coming from all walks of life and that has been very encouraging. We have all been fed by His Word. 

One major project has been finishing up the playground. We are practically there, just need to stain it for a couple more hours, but we pretty much have it all done. This has been a good bit of work.

The women’s prayer group has been very strong! Sarah does a great job helping with organizing it along with several other women in the church. Praise the Lord we have a lot of people in our church who enjoy serving and using their spiritual gifts. 

I continue studies in the Story of Hope. Pray for my organization! I am doing the study with several people and I keep forgetting where each study stopped! :) 

Pray for new unchurched families for the church. I am hesitant to use names as these days anyone can access these letters, but we have several families with whom we invest in that need Christ. We continue to reach out within our neighborhood as well. I keep praying that God would just give us ten percent of our neighborhood. There are around eighty families in our neighborhood now. We have opened up the playground to them on some days and have seen some come. This month we also had a conversation night about suicide as it is suicide awareness month. We hope to continue to offer opportunities (like neighborhood meetings) to get the neighborhood involved in the church. 

This month we will have two groups coming down. The first is Calvary Baptist from Raleigh and they will be scouting out some ministries for a trip next summer. We are going to do two events for kid’s day (October 12) with them. One is a two day event at our church in Arcoverde. The other is a Sunday morning event in Tupanatinga with our study group. This is the first event with them there in which we hope to see more interest in having a church there start up possibly next summer!

The next group is a family, Jeremiah and Cindy Cook. Jeremiah was the best man in our wedding and a Chattanooga police officer (actually just received the officer of the year award for the department). He is going to give a talk about the SWAT team to the police station here. Cindy has a successful blog and ministry with moms and doing really neat artwork. She is going to do a women’s event at the church October 22nd. Then both of them will also be involved in a field day type event with the local English school with whom we have a strong partnership. It is going to be a busy month! 

Thanks for your prayers! Life has been so good here and we are thankful for you all. We look forward to seeing some of you on our furlough from November 20- March 20! God bless!

All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, my little roller skater who turned 9 on September 20! And my little kitty cat who enjoys roller blading, playing with Pollys and now learning her letters in her kindergarten class!

Friday, August 31, 2018

One more meeting to go with Romildo and Eduardo as they finish up the Story of Hope. Pray that God will give them direction in their lives. They have been faithful and really into the study. I started teaching the Story of Hope in English with them and they have really enjoyed it. I have enjoyed it as well, so much so that we decided to do another class of it on Wednesdays from 7-8 at night right before we do our Servant Leaders class. This week we had eight in both English Story of Hope and Servant Leaders where we are studying Bibliology! 
Church has been going great since we have been home. We have a great group that welcomed us back and then we gave them a break in some areas! They had worked hard while we were gone. We seem to be a normal church in that there are marriage issues, sin problems and other struggles. Fortunately they are mainly a great group of people, but we all need prayer as we seek together how to be more like Christ. The women's prayer group has been going very strong and they beg to have more and more!  

This week culminated a decision I have been working towards since the beginning of this year. The football team has had a low commitment level all year and with all my other responsibilities growing where people wanted my time, it seemed unwise to spend a good bit of it on a group that did not really show they wanted it. The team has been a great ministry for us and I enjoyed it while it lasted (well, up until last year) and I felt obligated to continue with it due to various reasons. Yet I have been at great peace with being able to let it go. Some of the group have taken the team under their wings and we are cheering for it to keep going despite a tough economy and time and culture to have such a commitment. 
This month’s project has been making the playground safe and ready for lots of action from the kids. They love it already and we haven’t even got the slide up yet! Hopefully that will be up this morning and the playground will be safe and ready to use Sunday night. We still have a bit of work to do on it though. We have had a few people coming out, volunteering their time to help out. One who has not done as much time on the park but has focused on taking care of the grounds is Seu Nino. He has been a huge blessing. Seu Nino never liked church even though his wife and family were in church. In December his wife of forty years separated from him. In March or April he started coming to church and since then has been very faithful. We just started going through the Story of Hope and he has even come to Theology class. 

In October we will have a couple small groups coming to visit us and do some activities. We are excited about them and working on the preparation. One church, Calvary Baptist of Raleigh, is coming with their Pastor David Frye. They are doing a “scouting missions trip” in which they will do ministry, but also familiarize theirselves with the area in order to bring a bigger group next summer. One of the ideas we have is to launch the church in Tupanatinga with their help. We are working on what that looks like. The study group has been strong with several faithful families, but we have been meeting in smaller living rooms which makes it hard to really grow. 

Another reminder that we will be in the states from November 20- March 20. If you would like us to visit, please send me a message! The girls will be doing homeschool, so it might be a little tough for them to travel too far, but please message us to work out the details! 

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah and our third grader Evelyn Grace and our little kindergartener Anna Claire.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Bits from Brasil July

Last update we had just arrived in the US for a few week visit. We are nearing the end of this trip as we head back next Tuesday. Our time has gone better than expected. We started in Chattanooga and headed north after a great Fourth of July at the farm with Sarah’s family. We have never been at the family farm in the summer and it has been memorable. 

On our way to visit my family in Michigan we met up with some colleagues from Servant Leaders and had a good time with them. My family met in Manistee, Michigan. The last time we did a week vacation with my brothers and sister was in 2010. This year there were 7 couples and 8 grandchildren in two houses that were connected by a deck. We had a great time and it was neat seeing all of us within our little families. 

After sharing for a few minutes in our home church in Grand Rapids we left for Washington DC. The main reason for our US trip was to go to a conference for our mission that we are required to attend once every five years. There we did an interview on stage and talked about the church in Brazil. The interview went well and we had a good time catching up with other missionaries we had not seen for a long time. We were also able to go see a few key historical places in our nation’s capitol city. 

It has always been Sarah’s dream to catch a metro or train from Union Station and we did just that. We took the Amtrak to New York City for four nights. Evelyn really enjoyed the Statue of Liberty and Anna Claire liked chasing the pigeons in Central Park. 

We have lots of good news that comes in from the church and the services and prayer times that have happened in our absence. It is great to see our people taking ownership. Seu Nino, who has been unchurched all his life and has found a home with us, is taking care of the grass and plants at the church. Women have stepped up in leading the women’s prayer group. Each week a different man has preached and one of them is even going to Tupanatinga to do the studies. 

This month we will be jumping back into ministry but also rearranging our normal schedules. Pray for wisdom as we work on what our main works will include. Both girls will be studying starting August 15 which will keep Sarah hopping. I am working on trimming down my football activity to make more room for other ministries. We do want to eventually work the Tupanatinga group into a church and then start studies in other towns (Pesqueira might be the next one) and so we need wisdom as we proceed in those areas. 

This trip was mainly for the conference and vacation and so we were not in too many churches. We will be in churches soon though as we will be back in the states right before Thanksgiving until the end of March. So if you would like for us (or it might just be me as the girls will be in school) to come to your church for a visit please let me know. Hopefully we will not need more monthly support as we have had many faithful supporters that have kept us from that need but we have been close to our monthly need lately as some costs have been rising (health care and growing girls mainly). We appreciate you all’s prayers! Pray for our trip August 7!
All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah, and my two little tourists; Evelyn who walked thousands of miles in NYC and Anna Claire who was grateful Pop found a stroller! 

Evie is second from the left and ACC is with her twin cousin Lyla right in the middle. Which one is ACC????? :) She is the first of the two. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

This last week we had a great group come down from Salem, Oregon. They had three main ministry purposes. First of all they put on flag football clinics for kids and teenagers (and the adults joined in). We had great turnouts from the community and lots of fun. They heard the gospel several times as well. The group left flags, uniforms and lots of balls for them to use. As the amount of people involved in football grows in our community, the more contacts we will have for the gospel. They left many balls that will help the popularity of the sport to grow and thus our influence!

Secondly they did an English camp for three nights. There were several participants that came every night and we made some great new contacts. A couple of them even went to church Sunday night. The camp was mainly conversation and so they were able to share life stories.

Thirdly, a couple of the men in the group focused on building a playground at the church! It is well done and the kids are all really excited about it. 

This month we finished a couple of studies. First of all I did the Story of Hope with two of my English guys, Romildo and Eduardo. I did it in English! They started out as beginner English students in January but were able to study the Bible and English together. Pray for them as they wrestle through some questions. Then I did the discipleship book Way to Joy with Diego and Bruna who said they have never made it through a discipleship book, until now! We finished both these studies in the busyness of the last week! 
Sarah and the women’s group have been going strong with their prayer times. I believe that God has been blessing the church strongly because of this

We are on a short trip to the states right now and arrived last night. We are in for an ABWE conference and some family vacation. Being gone for over five weeks is not easy, especially since our colleagues Roger and Marcy are also in the states. Many people asked us what we were going to do with the church while we were gone. Yet we are not worried! We have a great group of people who serve. We have a good group of people who can preach and the music group is good to go as usual. 

With Servant Leaders I have taken on a project to do a quarterly newsletter to update people on what is happening. If you would like to receive that newsletter please send me a reply saying you would like to receive it and I will add you to the list. 

Your prayers sustain us! Thank you all so much!

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah and my little flag football girls; Evelyn had a couple touchdowns and Anna Claire had fun. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Bits May

“Should we ask for people to pray?” Obviously prayer is good in most situations but you also do not want to scare people when you do not have to. My dad came down for football camp and had gone to Recife with our colleagues Roger and Marcy Smith. I would have taken him had we not been in a crisis in Brasil.

Last Wednesday I was headed to Recife to receive the group of football coaches that come every year. We had heard that there was a strike and some road blockades. Roger and Marcy had come to Arcoverde the previous day and said they had been able to come ok, but that there was starting to be some gas shortages in some interior towns. I was not worried as I had enough gas to arrive in Recife where the gas stations were fine. Halfway into my trip I received a call from another colleague Dan Cook. “Fill up as soon as you can, I just passed four gas stations with no gas and the other one had a really long line.” Messages started pouring into my Whatsapp, “Find a gas station quick!” 

A few minutes later I found a gas station with about 40 cars already but a good amount of gas pumps. I pulled to the right and within twenty minutes had an overflowing tank. After sending a few messages that I had gotten gas I headed out at a much more relaxed gas saving pace. That night news was already coming in of closing airports and gas shortages due to a trucker strike. Blockades were being put up on roads where tires were burnt and the highway would close down. 

Much to my relief my dad and the group from West Huntsville Baptist Church made it in. Our other ride made it as well and we headed out. My car got stuck behind one tire burning that took thirty minutes to clear, but beside that the other blockades were peaceful and let us through. 

Our popular international football camp had not seemed to popular this year for some reason. We moved from our normal spot at a camp in Recife to host it in Arcoverde. Once the strike happened we knew why God had allowed that move. We would only have players from two other teams beside our own team. Fortunately we set up a couple other opportunities for the mission team.

On Friday afternoon we went to the English school Fisk with whom we have a great partnership. All the coaches talked to the students as the students had prepared some cultural foods to show the coaches. Then Hoss (who played offensive line in the NFL) talked to the students about football and God. That night we had our first of four practices. Saturday afternoon we opened up to families and had three football games going; kids, women and men. We had a great time. At night we opened up a time of testimony, music and questions and answers to our church group and the team. We had some great questions and topics and Hoss shared his testimony as well. 

On Sunday morning as we had practice Don shared a very clear presentation of the gospel. There were some great comments on how impactful the times of talking were for these guys. Pray that they would put these truths deep within their hearts and decide to havce a personal relationship with Christ. Our team has been on rocky waters this year and I told the coaches to speak as if it were these guys’ last chance to hear the gospel and they did. 

The whole weekend we were not sure what would happen with the airport, or gas to get home or rides. The coaches were great about being flexible and we tried not to stress, but we did really wonder what would happen. The guy who said he would do it was stuck in Recife and so we had plenty of plans and back up plans. Two big trucks came to pick up our coaches and then my dad’s flight was later and so he stayed and was able to go to our Sunday night service. He then caught a ride with Roger and Marcy on Monday morning. 

When they arrived in Recife he decided to go for a walk to the beach since he had the rest of the day. He said he would be gone for an hour or an hour and a half, got directions and phone numbers and headed out….the back door by accident. He then went the wrong way to the beach and took an hour and a half to get there. By then he was tired and took a little nap after going for a swim. On the way back he got turned around again cause he had probably gone to the wrong spot. He asked for directions and even to use someone’s phone to call Roger and Marcy, but it wasn’t working.

Roger called me after three hours of him being gone and asked if he should be worried. He then went out on foot looking for him. No one had seen him at the beach. After a while he got his bike and our friend Carlos did as well. They rode around for a couple hours. Meanwhile we had the dilemma of asking people to pray which would certainly spread across social media quickly or keeping it to ourselves. Prayer is a good thing and so we asked a couple groups to pray. It spread like wildfire and now my dad is the most famous person in Recife. :) 

After being gone for a long time my dad found a taxi that took him to a nearby hotel where they recognized him and pointed him in the right direction. He had been gone for six hours when he arrived safely at the apartment much to the relief of many people. It was neat to see how many people were very helpful with prayers and spreading the word. Many people knew policeman or fireman or others that would be able to be on the lookout for him. 
The gas situation is still bad here which trickles into other areas. Please pray it will be resolved soon; especially before our other missions team arrives in late June. They are coming to teach flag football. Right after that trip we will leave for the US for several weeks to attend a conference and have family vacations. We are looking forward to that! 

Your prayers and God’s sovereignty give us so much peace as we are here. Thanks for all you do in partnering with us to reach Brazilians for Christ and so they can reach others! We had our church’s first missions conference this month and it went really well! 

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah and our little flag football players that have helped coach and have played. Also, Evelyn just finished second grade and so in August we will have a third grader and kindergartener  

Monday, April 30, 2018

Bits from Brasil April

April started off with a bang when we had our church inauguration on April 7th. We were really excited to see a group of around 80 people come from the mother church in Recife. The room packed out that night and we had the band from Recife lead worship for a few songs and our band for a few songs. We talked about the vision, construction and training we would offer at the church/training center. Our boss Cal Clark brought the message for the evening and then we had a great time of fellowship with the seven cakes we had made for the occasion. I made a video (click on the link to watch) including lots of pictures from the last few years as well as the night of the inauguration. 

Sarah is doing a wonderful job organizing the kid's classes as well as the women's prayer group. The kids have had a great time in their classes and tell their parents they want to keep coming. There have been several women who have been helping as well which makes it easier on Sarah. This next weekend we are having our first missions conference! It will be really neat participating in a conference as one of the Pastors. :) That has never happened before. We are looking at supporting a couple projects as well as taking on a missionary through grace giving. 

The next couple months we have missions groups that are coming down for football. Late this month we have our annual international football camp with our group from West Huntsville Baptist Church. My dad is coming down as well! Pray for the football team! We have had some issues this year. This camp could be a big turning point for some guys. We usually have a couple players in services and a few have told me lately that they need to be in church. Pray that they would come. One of those guys came last night and wants to come more regularly. 
(Roger and Marcy Smith, our coworkers)

The English group we have had has diminished since we started up. People are generally not that committed. We have two guys that have been pretty consistent though. This last month instead of class one Saturday they went with me to Tupanatinga for our Bible study. It was neat having them along! The group there has been strong! We have several families that are faithful and we look forward to our visits there. Please pray about our future there and how God would like us to continue.
We are loving our home here in Arcoverde. Our friends are wonderful to us! Thanks for your prayers for us and for the people of Arcoverde!

All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, my diligent little school girl, and my scatterbrained cutie pie

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Bits March

One week from today, Saturday the 7th of April, we will have the inauguration for our church and training center. The mother church in Recife has around 75 people coming and we are inviting a lot of people here in Arcoverde as well. The Brazil administrator for ABWE, Cal and Carol Clark will be here as well. We are excited and trying to get the building ready for the big day. 

March has been the first full month for Servant Leaders in the church. We have several that are faithful in coming and we have had a great start. I had hoped we would have more students from outside of our church but that has not happened. Hopefully this start and posting some of the teaching online will get more people interested in what is happening, but for now I am thrilled in the members we have that are being faithful in attending classes. One pair of students are Chico and Bia, who are our main leaders in the Bible Study in Tupanatinga. 

This last week we needed to renew our passports in Recife and had hoped to spend a couple days at the beach. One of our friends here hooked us up with a resort apartment at one of the nicer beaches in the area. So we took a couple days to relax around one of the longest pools I have ever seen. While we were there Evie ran up to a little girl who showed up to the beach and invited her to play. We ended up hanging out for a day with them. They opened up some about their spiritual life and we were able to encourage them. We agreed that God had certainly orchestrated our meeting. I am grateful that God uses us even when we least expect Him to. 

During March our sermon series was about the church’s doctrine and values. We handed out membership packets and are seeing who is interested in joining the church. We are planning for membership interviews soon as well. March was birthday month at the church and we had a bunch of times of fellowship. We have a good time hanging out together. Yesterday most people did not have to work and so we had an informal lunch at the church. We have a good bit of contacts in Arcoverde and have had a decent amount of people interested in the church. Please pray that our unsaved neighbors and friends would be more and more open to the gospel in their lives. 

This coming week is a big week! We go to Tupanatinga and then receive the big group for the inauguration. Please pray that it all goes smoothly! Thank you so much for your faithfulness in praying and partnering with us in the ministry! 

All for HIS glory,

David, Sarah and my competitive eight year old and my soon to be five year old (Anna Claire’s birthday is Friday the 6th of April).