Saturday, January 23, 2010

6 Month Plan

For those prayer warriors out there - here is our 6 month plan of attack in ministry. May God use these events and their outcome for his glory.

Jan. 30 - Soccer Outreach: We are aiming to host some free soccer for about 10 men. Our goals - share Christ, and make future follow-up contacts.

Feb - Compassion Outreach: Our aim is to bless 8-10 needy families in our neighborhood. We will hand out coupons for a food basket to specific families. Upon their arrival they will receive spiritual food and then some physical. Our goals - share Christ, show compassion on those in need, and develop future contacts. We are calling it the "Not by Bread Alone" ministry.

March - Door to Door Evangelism: Hear me out before you scratch off this antiquated method! We will go door to door with a gift (the book The Passion of Jesus Christ). We will offer the gift along with an explanation of the gospel, and an invitation to next months event. Our goals - share the gospel clearly in 5 minutes or less.

April - The Passion Movie: We will use the local gymnasium to show the movie on the Friday before Easter. Our goals - Stir people's hearts to think about Christ's suffering, share the good news, and gain contacts by means of a prize drawing at the end.

May/June - 2 Children's Bible Clubs: 3 day club for kids ages 6-12 which includes games, Bible time, and a snack. Our goals - Lead children to Christ, gain contacts to visit kids parents.

Pray with us over these endeavors - that God may use these events to save many!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Year in Review and a Brief Look Ahead

We rang in 2009 in Curitiba with some of our family and shortly after, we headed back to João Pessoa to continue working at Valentina Regular Baptist Church. In January, we had a great teen week of camp and in February, a great family Carnaval retreat, in both of which David acted as the program director.

Family Carnaval Retreat at supper time

The church at Valentina called Pastor Gildo to be their Brazilian pastor and in March, we said goodbye to the church members we had grown to love in the short year we were in João Pessoa, packed up our stuff and headed 2200 miles away to where we believe God was calling us to serve next, alongside David's brother and sister-in-law, James and Christen.

Our family with Pastor Gildo and his wife Lucia

Our family with the Cavalcanti family at Valentina; he was the head deacon while we were there

Packing up the moving truck in João Pessoa

For six weeks we waited for God to provide us with a house to rent. Sometimes it seemed we hit a road block at every turn and we wondered how God was going to work things out, but He did and at the end of April, we moved into our new home in the city of São José, only a few blocks away from James and Christen's newly-rented house.

Our house in São José

After settling in, we began to try to get to know our neighbors and walked up and down the streets in our neighborhood handing out invitations to a six-week Bible study in our home. When no one showed up, we wanted to become discouraged, but went back to the drawing board and came up with a new plan. In July, we hosted two weeks of children's Bible clubs in our homes. We were glad with the good turn-out and began to follow up with the kids' parents. We have been able to have several Bible studies as a result of making contacts in this way.

Last day of Bible club at our house. These kids received a certificate for perfect attendance.

On a more personal note, in July we celebrated 5 years of marriage. Gabriel turned 2 in September and learns something new everyday, it seems. Right now he can count to 10 in Portuguese, with just a little help, and loves to sing a Portuguese song called "toque-toque". He loves chocolate; any kind of ball; and his cousins, Jer, Hannah and Daniel.

The cake options at the store were very limited -- hence the pink cake for Gabriel's birthday.

In October, my ultrasound revealed that we are expecting a baby girl. In November, we were given the very generous gift of a 4-day hotel stay at Foz do Iguaçú by the Christian Hospitality Network. We were blessed by their kindness and thoughtfulness to missionaries all over the world.

Our family at the beautiful Iguaçú Falls

In December, we hosted Christmas parties in our homes for our neighbors. We played some fun Christmas games, then shared with them a devotional on why we as Christians celebrate Christmas. We concluded with some refreshments and gave each family a gift book on Jesus and who He is.

Playing games at our Christmas Party

David's sister Rachel came to visit from the States and both mine and David's parents came to spend some days with us around Christmas. Having family around to celebrate holidays with is not a privilege many missionaries have, and we are grateful that God has blessed us in this special way.

The Taylor Family

Christen, my mom, David's mom, myself on Christmas Eve

My dad and I on Christmas Day -- I was his "secret santa". I wonder how many times I've given him a new book for Christmas. :)

We concluded 2009 at James and Christen's house, watching fireworks over the water from their balcony with them and our friends Viviane and Roberto.

myself, David, James, Christen, Jer, Roberto and Viviane

Our plans for this year include having weekly Bible studies in our home on Sundays at 10 A.M. with the hope of developing a core group of believers and being able to rent a place for regular meetings, continuing to have Bible studies in people's homes and pursuing new contacts. Our baby girl is due to be born in the beginning of March and we would love to be able to buy some property on which we could build us a house this year.

This is the view from the piece of property that we are hoping to buy for our future home.

We had no idea what God had in store for us during 2009 and of course we have no idea what is in store for us in 2010. What we do know is that God is completely sovereign and that what He chooses to give us this coming year is necessary, and what He chooses to withhold from us is not.