Friday, August 30, 2019

Bits August

On Saturdays this month we have been busy going to Tupanatinga to work on the space we rented. We prepped for painting one week, painted the next and the following week we finished painting and worked on pallet wall with a cross. This week we should be just going for a study and service. We have had some visitors in the new building, but we really need to get out and invite more. For now I am really happy with the few we have had as they have been very faithful for more than two years now. I think I would definitely rather have a couple faithful people seeking to be solid disciples than a dozen members just wanting to be called a church member. 

 Our finishing work on the upstairs is in full swing and we hope to be using it in the next couple of months. Our people have been faithful to give and so far the work has not had to stop. We are really looking forward to having the space for the kid’s ministries. We also started Sunday School this month and we are going through the Roots of Faith OT.

Our discipleship groups are going well. We read the same chapter of the Bible for a week and then gather to discuss it. We don’t really have enough time for all the groups we could have, mainly cause most people can only meet at night and our nights are limited (at least we have decided not to load every night with activities. We have services in Tupanatinga on Saturdays, Arcoverde on Sundays and so we left Wednesday and Thursday for discipleship group nights. I have two groups on Thursday evening, one at 5 and one at 7. Our colleagues Roger and Marcy have groups as well (Marcy is about to start her own as she has been with Sarah). 

We have looked at this year as a year to focus on people’s spiritual growth rather than making a big evangelism push. It has been good, but also sad sometimes. Some people don’t always want to grow; they are happy with where they are at or satisfied with just attending church and checking off their church attendance box for the week. Others fall away for some reason. As much as we wish we could just have microwave ready mature Christians that pop out quickly, the reality is that maturity is a painful, long process. We are preaching through Romans this year and are now on chapter 8 in the chapters on sanctification. Pray that our church will catch the vision to work hard on their sanctification! 

All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah and the girls who are on their 12th day of school! Evelyn is focused, diligent and finishing her school days before our perfectionist second born who has a higher amount of papers to do in first grade than she had in kindergarten. Our house also turned into a farm as we were give a cat and four chicks!  

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Bits July

Sarah and Sarah

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks. We have someone here, Sarah Rogers, who is deciding on her future in missions. We met her in Germany at the Missions Academy which was for young people interested in missions. She has been staying with us to see what it is like here in Brazil and to see about plugging into ministry here. Pray for her as she understands God’s will for her and the next steps in her missions journey. She has been a great servant here the last couple of weeks!

The mission team with some from our church
On the 23rd a group from Calvary Church in Raleigh, North Carolina arrived. Their schedule was loaded! I appreciated their willingness to do everything I put them up to! The first three nights were English camp. We have lots of good contacts in the Arcoverde English world and this event is always a highlight for everyone mainly because they can all communicate. There is no curriculum, just conversation, and so the Brazilians get to hear about what the U.S. is like and the Americans can find out more about Brazil. There are also opportunities to share the gospel. 

Musicians from the concert
From Wednesday through Friday, we made the trek to Tupanatinga. Because of the time of the year (rainy), holes have opened up and so it took us almost an hour and a half both ways. We visited schools, sang, presented the American culture and presented the gospel. Some of the students later went to the service on Friday night at the church that was launched there. We have been meeting in homes but now we have rented a small place to hold services. Saturday night will be our first service in the new building. Pray for this group that God would bless them. 

Our church service in Tupanatinga!
We had a youth event on Saturday afternoon, a concert Saturday night and a women’s event on Sunday afternoon before our regular Sunday night service. Our days were packed and we had a great time. When our partners can see Arcoverde and Tupanatinga and meet our people, our whole ministry becomes so much more real to them. These have proved to be great opportunities for us. 

This month we will be launching Sunday school right before the Sunday evening services. We will be teaching through Roots of Faith, which is a very in-depth look through fifty main events in the Old Testament. Our discipleship groups are going well, as well as our services. Thanks so much for your prayers and support!

All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, my translator Evelyn and my cat lover Anna Claire who had a kitten for a couple days again this month, but it ran away; she was super sad. 

Evelyn at Catimbau National Park