Thursday, November 26, 2009

November Update

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. I Pet. 2:24
Dear Friends,
Why did Christ come? I have heard a dozen answers to this question in the past two weeks. What do you say? While the answer is multi-faceted, the Bible declares a primary reason: the salvation of lost sinners for the glory of God the Father and the good of man! God is granting us opportunities to declare a clear gospel!
Unfortunately it is not so clear to everyone. Christiano and Debora are a young couple with no exposure to the gospel and curious. I asked him last night: “What makes Jesus any different in your mind than the man who discovered Brazil?” He said: “Nothing – I don’t know much about either one.” This comes as a bit of a relief to us in the sense that most Brazilians are so tangled up in a religious web, that it is difficult to sort through it all. The night before, my brother James and I sat with Aguiar and Vanilda. Aguiar is a Spiritist/Catholic that believes that if a person will exercise love, forgiveness and charity for a good part of his life, he will gain favor with God and enter heaven. The debate was long and hard! The Scriptures seemed to press him against the wall as he made every effort to wiggle out of their implications! Pray for us as we teach patiently so that “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim. 2:24-25)
Pray also for other studies we are having with: Maurino and Luci, João and Patricia, and João and Maria. We are also doing studies with the two that have professed salvation: Roberto and Andréa.
We have one request that is on our hearts and would ask for your prayers. We believe that God has led us here indefinitely and we would like to purchase property and build a home. The difficulty we are having is in regards to acquiring financing for a home. In speaking to a certified CPA, we were advised that the best option would be through someone state side who might take out a loan on our behalf to whom we would pay off the mortgage. This is before the Lord and His plan is best and we wait on that.
We are grateful for a ministry called the Christian Hospitality Network. They granted us a 4 days and 3 nights, expenses paid vacation at the Iguaçu Falls. It was fun to go with most of my family and enjoy some relaxation.
Sharon is doing very well with were her pregnancy and if you haven’t heard we are expecting a girl! Name suggestions are welcome as we are having difficulties.
FYI – Gabriel has now changed his name from Bagel to Gabers.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!
David, Sharon and Gabe
P.S. Please let us know if you now have an e-mail address and would rather receive our updates via e-mail!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Candidates for Grace

João (69) and Maria (65) live in a one bedroom, one bath, and kitchen. They have taken in two children off the street to raise and occasionally house a couple of granddaughters for days. They make a wopping $240 per month. After rent and utilities - that's $50 for groceries and everything else. They have 5 daughters and 1 son. The kids behaviors range from prostitution to drug addiction. One of the granddaughters is having baby #2 at 18 years of age. João does what he can to make some extra change, but his children drain him faster than it comes in. João and Maria have attended the health and wealth gospel church and bought into some of the lies. They are seeking Jesus for what he can give them, but then wouldn't you if in their shoes?

My original title for this post was "Soap Opera". I am so deeply affected by lives like theirs, especially on thanksgiving day with deep gratitude in light of God's grace. First off, I must humble myself to understand that though my bank account is stable, my spiritual account is as deeply bankrupt apart from God's saving and sustaining grace. I must also acknowledge God`s electing grace and realize that His grace comes by no merit of mine which He might look ahead and save me for! Who am I and what makes me any different than João and Maria? Simply God and His sovereign purpose for His infinite praise! May God use us to the praise of His glory to speak truth into the lives of João and Maria. May their eyes be opened as mine were. May we never gloat self-righteously in our condition - because we too are ever so wretched candidates in need of His grace!