Deanna, Emma, and Bella host a girl’s Bible Study group every week. Two of the girls, Anna and Michelle, had birthdays last week. Anna’s mom brought a cake.
Izak started coming to our church, and he was looking for work. He got a job at a restaurant as a server. Then a training opportunity came up. Soon Izak was learning to be a heavy-duty mechanic for Caterpillar. Caterpillar started sending him out to nearby towns on jobs. At one town, Breu Branco, Izak met Paula, who was staying at his aunt’s house. Last week-end they got married in Breu Branco, at Paula’s home church. Now they live in Marabá, and are members of our church here. May God bless you, Izak and Paula, with an awesome marriage.
A few months ago Bella wanted to plant some tomatoes. We went to the store, bought some seeds, and they started to grow. Now we harvest about 20 tomatoes every day, and every time I eat one I think, “This is the best food I have ever tasted”.
One of the neighbour boys pulled a Bird of Paradise flower out of the ground and gave it to Deanna. We planted it, and now it is blossoming along with the Iris we gave Dee for Mother’s Day.
Every year it is part of the cultural tradition here to have a Harvest Festival. Every makes special food to sell, and maybe they donate clothes or get prizes to auction off. It is a fun kind of fund-raiser, community party for the church.
Here are some photos from last night.
Bella took these photos of Emma, for a school PE report. This sport is called “slacklining”. It strengthens your core, and helps with balance…plus it’s fun.
Ivanildo and Monica, and some of the other leaders, planned a volleyball tournament, and you can only play if you are a regular member of our church. We have a lot of neighbours who like us, and even think they are part of our community. Some of us would prefer to include all of them as well. And we do, in many of our events.
In the Bible Paul talks about expelling people so they miss the church community so much they will repent of their sins and turn away from them. Here in Marabá this is making a little more sense to me.
Becoming a Christian includes a lot more benefits than just “not going to hell” or some theoretical or real peace “now that we finally adhere to the right creed”. I wonder what your thoughts are, as you read this, and what your story is?
The girls found a geode down by the river. We cracked it open this week. Sometimes geodes are filled with crystals, or sometimes they have nothing. This one had a light purple sand. When we wet the geode, the inside becomes a deep purple color.
Slack-lining has become one of the new favorite games. The idea is to walk across a 10 meter herc strap. Emma and Bella can walk about 5 meters now, without support.
As church-planters, we are trying to build community. This involves so much more than attending a service where you “like the preaching”, or you “like the worship”. It involves playing together, working out differences, loving God by loving one another. It is challenging, and it takes time.
This is the beauty of missionary life. We live among people, and our lives are the message. This is sometimes scary, and we would rather just hide, but we take courage, and ask God to let Himself somehow shine through our brokenness.
Anni turned 21 on Saturday! To celebrate Anni, Via, Janaea, and the Brown family went to the Scottish games in Washington state. Here are the photos.
When Anni was born I was with Deanna at the hospital. I went to work that day. I was a grader operator for a paving company. I felt like I was walking on clouds. I think that feeling lasted for about three days. And Anni has brought us immense happiness ever since.
Anni was one when we moved to the Amazon as missionaries. Now she has completed one year without us, in Canada. We are so grateful for all the good choices you have made, Anni, and to God, for the great environment of supporting friends and family!