Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Bits March

Do not boast about tomorrow because you do not know what will happen in a day. That is a paraphrase of Proverbs 27:1 and pretty direct about everyone’s life recently. We are doing online services as well and are cranking out the videos for services and studies. So with that in mind, we decided we could do a mini-furlough! Since you all are doing online services, we have the possibility to be just as present as you all are in your services! So here is our “not actually in the US” mini-furlough video. 

Along the same lines is kid’s church! At our church I sometimes teach and I have a personality called Dr. Kid. One of my friends in the US said he was planting a church and didn’t have a kid’s church for them to watch and so they did something in their home and so I made a video that can be used for kid’s church in English! Here is the link:

The world events have certainly affected us. We are doing online services and trying to serve our people while staying home. We have not had so many nights at home in a really long time! It was when we first arrived in Arcoverde in 2014 that we had very little to do at night. We have kept a fairly normal schedule during the day though as the girls are homeschooled anyway. Some of the daily activities have changed up but a lot was already online. 

Evelyn started a discipleship group on her own with some of her friends. We are really proud of her. They are going to study Proverbs. Sarah wrote up some material for them to use as well. The girls and I actually finished going through Proverbs at night. They have already started using the idea of not being a fool and being wise! 
Besides the virus this month, our neighborhood has dealt with flooding. There have been heavy rains in the region; rains they haven’t seen in 5 to 10 to 35 years depending on who you talk to. New developments in the city have pointed their sewage and water overflow towards our neighborhood and so we receive rivers flowing through and entering houses. Our house is at a high point and the church was built high, but we had one day in which the whole first floor of the church was full of mud. It was pretty bad. 

The praise in all of this is that God has used this time to open up the hearts of our neighbors. Roger and Marcy Smith as well as Sarah and I have had so many opportunities to minister. The neighbors have been more trusting as we have sought to serve them. Praise the Lord for these opportunities during this crazy time. 

As of this moment we have not heard of losing any support, although we understand that these times could bring major changes in many lives. Thank you for your prayers and continued support as we seek to make disciples in the Sertão!

All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, my discipleship group leader as well as expedition leader Evelyn who likes to tout around with my animal lover Anna Claire (who has a cat, but recently a stray dog adopted us and stays outside our gate). 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Bits February

The year is now officially starting. Brasil has always been interesting in this respect; people do not take the year too seriously until after Carnaval. Every year numbers are down in church until after Carnaval. But this year was different for us; we experienced only one week of this in our church which is normal due to retreats, beach trips and such to get away from Carnaval. This was really exciting for us as we feel we have continued momentum in the church and are experiencing good spiritual growth. 

The women are organizing discipleship groups for the year as well as continuing their prayer meetings. The men have been going through the course “How to Biblically Process Life” and we have had good turnouts. Our services have been dynamic. We are about to start an eight week series on the church that everyone is excited about. 

Sarah had her Counseling Module this month for a few days and it was all about practice. They went through counseling situations and received instruction. Our colleagues Al and Kim Yoder are her teachers and have been amazingly helpful in training Sarah. 
As we have preached through Romans 8:28-30 and how God uses circumstances to draw us to Him we have both experienced and seen this in the life of our members. Walking down tough roads can seem so difficult, but it is so comforting to know we serve a sovereign God who has a plan and purpose in all these rough details. Pray for the maturation of our church! We have a lot of great people that are learning so much through their own study and through the church. Pray we will be good stewards of the gifts He has given us. 
This month Roger, Anderson and I went to a town of 65,000 people about 35 minutes away where my friends Wilker and Ricardo live. Wilker was on the football team and turned into a good friend. He sometimes watches our live feeds although he doesn’t belong to any church. He gave us a tour of Pesqueira showing us some of the churches there and giving us a rundown of the town. Pray for wisdom for us as to whether this could be a possible future Bible study/church location. We are praying about it and continuing some research as we make long term strategy to reach the region for Christ. 

Thanks so much for your prayers and investment in God’s work here in Northeast Brasil!

All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, my Bible study girl Evelyn (she does the adult Sunday school class on the OT) and my puzzle genius Anna Claire

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Bits January

We had a group over for New Year's.

Happy New Year! How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? I hope that you are in the Word this year! There was a good group from our church that decided they want to focus on reading through the Bible this year. 


Evelyn went off to camp for a week this month. She had a great time and even won camper of the week for her room. They have theme nights and one was profession. Here is a photo of her as a stewardess. I was able to go to the camp (our mission has a camp that has been around for over forty years) during Adventure week where we camped in tents and did lots of outdoor activities. I spoke five times to over 50 young people. It was a great opportunity. 

Evelyn with some girls from her room
Sarah and I are taking on some counseling and this last month we got beat up a little. Pray that we would grow in wisdom in dealing with difficult issues. We had our office redone so that for the first time in her life, Sarah has an office. We are together and then we have an area in the office for counseling as well. We inaugurated it this last week. In a couple of weeks Sarah travels to her class for a few days. 

Sarah is very involved with our kid’s ministry. I begged for involvement as well and finally get to follow in my dad’s footsteps as a doctor. I am Doctor Kid who sees spiritual sicknesses with kids and treats them. You wouldn’t believe it, but my first treatment plan was for obedience. We have a Farmacist in our church who helped me (she is legit) and we have a nurse as well, but didn’t realize it until afterwards… but we will use her in the future. 

It has been hot! This is our little
blow up pool
Our Tupanatinga group has remained firm and have had some extra people attending as well. We are praying and looking for what God will do and what the next steps will be. We are also praying about starting a smaller study in another town as well as we see how long the process of planting a church takes. Getting our foot in the door and testing the waters is a very first step and Roger (our coworker in Arcoverde) and I are praying and looking towards a survey trip possibly this month.

Thanks so much for your prayers! This month our needed support went up once more cause of health care increases, but so did what came in for the month. God seems to touch hearts in a rhythm that always meets our needs.  

All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, my little camper of the week Evelyn and my other little water bug Anna Claire