Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kids Month Wrap-Up Update

25 Kids showed up - looks like a trampoline is the key to get kids here.

Christ was proclaimed and the kids were attentive. I'm not sure of conversions - only time can tell. Two incredible truths were made clear though - 1. we are undeserving sinners, 2. Christ died to be a substitute for sinners! I'm so glad more kids in this neighborhood are now aware of that. May they come back and bring their families.

Ok - so here's the final product. I admit that I photoshoped a bit before I took the picture - but you can get the idea. Got some work to do - but I will definitely use this tool again. Thanks Dad Nunley for giving me the paints, a board, and the confidence to do this. May God get all the glory!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Kids Month Wrap-Up

This month we have hosted a simple Bible club for kids every Saturday. We have used the Jesus Storybook Bible to tell stories of kids in the Bible. The book is excellent for the way it takes each story and uses it to point to Christ!

So tomorrow is the story of Abraham and I will attempt telling the story with paint. Here is my board ready to go. Maybe you can fill in the blank if you're up to speed on your Portuguese. Please pray for me as this is a first for me. More importantly pray for good weather, many kids present, and repentance and faith among the children.

I will take a picture with it all filled out and an update tomorrow night!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

All Souls Day

Next Tuesday Brazilians will celebrate All Souls Day, a holiday connected with a doctrine of the Catholic church. The idea is that this day is set aside for people to go pray for the "faithfully departed" who did not quite attain sanctification before leaving earth. This is designed to guarantee a shorter stay in purgatory and a quicker arrival in heaven. Although most just go to the grave to leave flowers. Read more about it here.

We plan to reach out to those who come on Tuesday with true hope - the gospel. Our goal is to address people as they leave the grave side. We've designed a t-shirt that should cause them to ponder where their soul will end up. Pray that God would grant good opportunities and cause many to repent and believe in Christ!

(Corpo - Body, Alma - Soul, Vida Eterna - Eternal Life, Morte Eterna - Eternal Death)

Pray with us on Tuesday, November 2nd in the morning!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

An Opportunity/ Dificulty

Opportunity - About an hour ago I left home headed for a friends house on foot. My plan was to invite him to church tomorrow. I lined my pocket with some bridge tracks for opportunities along the way. God immediately put 3 (cool, nose and ears studded) teenagers in my way. "Will you give me five minutes to share some good news with you three?" All three agreed and I was pleased.

Difficulty - Often, someone will say that they feel unprepared to share Christ with others, but this time I felt over-prepared. Please understand the spirit with which I share - for God's glory. My struggle was to share the glorious gospel in a simple way. Surely some simple logic would work with these guys - oh but no! One thing I said for example: "Should I be arrested if I take someone's life in this neighborhood?" Pretty basic - right? Let's just say that it looked like I had asked them the square root of 83094098.

Eventually there seemed to be some understanding in their eyes - but ideally we would go straight there, not after a few strikes. Sometimes the difficulty lies not in lack of content, but in the proper use of it! Pray for us to be clear, concise, and complete! We cannot afford to leave certain things out of the gospel, regardless of education! God, Man, Christ, Response are the minimum! BUT WE MUST COMMUNICATE!

Pray for Wilson, Christiano, and Geovani.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pray for Jhonata

Jhonata is my 16 year old neighbor and was recently in a bad motorcycle accident. They had to put a titanium rod in his right thigh. I went to see him in the hospital and his attitude was one of anger and pride. He was not thankful for another opportunity in life. He was not thankful for anything his parents would do for him. His response was disheartening in light of a life threatening accident. Since then I have prayed about ways I could reach him, for fears that he might be strongly opposed to anything God or Bible. Yesterday, upon my request, he came over for a Bible Study. We read the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5. I showed Jhonata that Christ loves us even though he shouldn't because of our sin - the same way the servant girl loved Naaman, a prideful captain, even though she didn't have a reason to. That Christ died to substitute sinners, absorb God's wrath, and forgive us from the penalty of our sin. That in the same way that it was required of Naaman to humble himself and trust in Elijah's word, we must humble ourselves, repent of sin, and believe in the payment Christ made for sin on the cross. Jhonata listened, interacted, and suggested we have more talks like this. Let's pray for his salvation! His younger brother comes to our services on Sundays and is thoroughly enjoying it as well - his name is Vitor. Vitor said to his mom the other day that he doesn't want to go to Catechism anymore because he doesn't understand anything, but that at our church it makes sense - go figure!

God be glorified for this opportunity.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Club Update

So things haven't gone as we had hoped for our children's outreach every Saturday this month. We've had a really low turnout both weeks so far. The first Saturday was cold and rainy -- like winter decided to have one last party on its way out.

Juliana dressed for the weather

The second Saturday was a beautiful day, but since it was the Saturday before Children's Day, a local community association hosted a free all-afternoon event for the neighborhood kids. It was a little sad to see train load after train load of kids drive by our house. Many of them were kids we know who have come to our events in the past. They would smile and wave at us and I wanted to yell, "Please! Come here to our club! We're having fun here too!" But, well, it's hard to compete with the Fun Train. :) But the few kids who did come seemed to have a great time and we're glad for the opportunity to teach them about Jesus' love and His salvation.

Here are some pictures of the fun games David planned for the kids:

What team can get through the giant maze first?

Don't let the ball drop as you race down the line!

Run through the chalk maze on the ground ...

and take a bite out of a hanging "rosquinha" (no hands, Saimon!)

David telling the story of Naaman the leper and his servant girl

Craft time -- thanks to one of James and Christen's supporting churches who sent some fun craft materials

Eating canjica for snack

Learning the Bible verse with gestures

In hopes of getting more kids to come the next three weeks, David rigged some speakers on top of the car and made a recording inviting neighborhood kids to come participate. Right now, he's driving around with the recording playing loudly. Now, before you think that's a little odd, it's actually very typical here to announce things this way. Several cars drive by our house everyday announcing everything from the sales at a local grocery store to the healing and miracles service that will be held at a certain church. Let's see if this method helps get the word out and bring new kids to our club. I'll post a brief update either tomorrow or Monday about how things go today and tomorrow in our services.

*Update: Well, we didn't have the turnout we had hoped for, but we did have a few more kids show up, which was great. We had a fun time playing games and acting out Bible stories. We are still praying that some kids will come back with one of their parents for a Sunday service so they can win their free book.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Two Birthdays and October Plans

Gabriel and David both have birthdays in September, so it's a special month for us. Gabriel has been looking forward to his big day for a long time now, and we were able to celebrate his birthday with both sets of grandparents and some friends in Curitiba.

Here he had just woken up from his nap and was so excited to see all the birthday preparations.
He sat at the table kind of mesmerized by everything -- the cake, candy and presents.

Gabriel is a very determined child and loves having a routine. He has been a big challenge for us in the parenting aspect, but we are very blessed to have him as our son. He loves to sing, watch tar-coons (cartoons), sneak onto Daddy's computer and move the icons around, take things apart and try to figure out how they work and eat apples -- sometimes several a day. He is a great big brother to Juliana, who just adores him. Sometimes he just looks at her and she starts grinning. He has an endless source of energy that I wish I could tap into, and he's also very shy but he's learning to greet people when they come to our home for services and to play with the kids who come instead of clinging desperately to David or me. Almost everyday he says something really cute or funny that makes us laugh out loud. Like the time his pants were too big around his waist and in frustration he said, "Mommy! My pants keep walking away!" Or the fact that he calls David "Uncle David" instead of "Daddy" when his cousins are around. I'm so thankful for this playful, sweet, strong-willed little boy and pray that one day he will learn to love God and place his faith in Jesus for salvation.

David's birthday was yesterday and it was nice to celebrate it with James and Christen and their kids. Having family around to work with and share special days with is a blessing that we try not to take for granted. God blessed me more than I could know when I met David almost 8 years ago. It has been great being married to this man for just over 6 years now, to follow his leadership, to learn from him as he grows in his walk with Christ and to share my life with him. I admire his wisdom and patience in dealing with different aspects of ministry, his love for God and His Word, his desire to see Christ exalted in all things and his passion to see people be saved. I'm thankful for the good father that he is to our children, taking time to play with them, correct them, and care for them.

On a completely different subject, for those of you who keep up with the happenings in our ministry here, we will be having a kids' club every Saturday this month. Brazil celebrates Children's Day, which falls on October 12th, and it's a pretty big deal here. We're using this as an opportunity to reach out to the kids in our neighborhood again and hopefully get to meet their parents as a result. As an incentive for coming to a Sunday service with a parent, we will be giving away the Jesus Storybook Bible -- one per family that comes. This is such a well-written book, very Christ-centered, and we were so excited to find it already translated into Portuguese. Here is a link to the book if you're not familiar with it. We ask for your prayers this month, that God will give us fruit as a result of this outreach effort.