Aline and Eliel’s Wedding

Aline and Eliel are the first couple in our church to get married without living together first. Our church is five years old. They wanted a big wedding, which would include as many people as possible, so that the neighbourhood young people, and especially the young girls, could start dreaming of a wedding, and marriage, and a family structure different from the ones they grew up in. I think they accomplished their purpose. We are very proud of Aline and Eliel.


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The Wedding Party

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The front yard of the church is transformed.

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The ceremony begins.

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Bella and Emma are two of Aline’s bridesmaids.

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All the girls got dressed in Emma and Bella’s bedroom.

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Ivanildo loves to see that first kiss as a married couple.

Aline and Eliel's Wedding

Husband and Wife!

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Marco’s conks out.




Wedding Preparations

The church really pulled together as a community this Saturday to help prepare for Aline and Eliel’s wedding. We have a lot to learn, as a church, about how to do these large celebrations, but we are pleased with how God is helping us get started. This is our second wedding on our property here. Weddings are an important part of social justice and neighborhood improvements. Most people who come to our church are not married. And their relationships are not everything they hoped they would be. We are sowing hope into these relationships.

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Marques and several others worked all day on the lighting and electricity for the band.

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Eliel had his hands full, trying to keep everything organized.

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Railan was a big help, and worked a lot of hours.

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The front yard of the church is transformed.

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Maria and Monica work in the kitchen, along with many other ladies.

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Kelsie describes a big situation to Eliel. (I am assuming it is a big situation). 🙂

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The bridesmaids helped for hours to prepare.

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Table decorations.

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Bella has lots of friends.

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Luana was especially helpful, and worked for many hours.

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Kelsie and Emma prepare the backdrop for the cake and photo area.

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Vera is on her motorbike, talking to Elda, who was in charge of decorations.

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Fransisco gets the lighting decorations in place, from the top of the scaffolding.

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Paula works in the kitchen, preparing food for more than 300 people.

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AdĂŁo helps get the roadway ready for parking the cars.

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Ivanildo keeps everything moving in the right direction.

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Elda explains the table layout to Ivanildo.

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“I rest my case.”




Suzi and Nadeson

We had our first church wedding here in Marabá. A couple of years ago Nadeson worked as a bricklayer on our house. More recently, Suzi enjoyed the Alpha course, and ended up giving her heart to Jesus. Yesterday, Saturday, September 21, the city government hosted a group marriage where 1,000 couples could sign up and get legally married. Suzi and Nadeson  were one of these couples, and they followed this legal wedding downtown with a Christian wedding and ceremony in our church. Their three beautiful daughters were in the wedding with them.

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The ceremony! Ivanildo did a great job!

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Both of their families drove about one whole day to come to the wedding. The church joins Ivanildo to ask for God’s blessing on this new marriage.

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“We’re married!”

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Suzi and their three daughters.

Second Alpha Course

Our second Alpha Course started with mostly women. While this is normal for young churches, at least in our experience, I am sure Ivanildo and I could have done a better job inviting our friends. Those who come love it. Deanna made soup, and even little AliceMaria ate it all up. Her mom told me she doesn’t eat like that at home. Everyone loves Deanna’s soup. And everyone likes the Alpha style of hanging out and visiting around spiritual topics for an evening.

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Mostly women showed up this first night.

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First night of our second Alpha course.

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Everyone loves eating together.

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First meal…potato chowder.

Passion Fruit

About six months ago we planted a few passion fruit seedlings. We just harvested our first two ripe fruit.

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Passion fruit is one of our favorites for juice. It’s right up there with fresh-squeezed orange juice, biribá, cupuaçu, and açai.

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Passion fruit has the most exquisite blossoms. The whole vine is worth growing just to see the blossoms, and smell their fragrance. And then we get the fruit too, like a bonus.

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Passion fruit blossom.

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Passion fruit grows on a vine and turns yellow when it is ripe.

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Unripe passion fruit.

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Our first two ripe passion fruit.
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Yara gave us a cactus plant. Bella planted it in a little pot outside. It is now about 4 feet high. Cactus! Here in the Amazon! It is growing just a few feet from our passion fruit vines.

Men’s Outing

September 7th is Independance Day here in Brazil, a stat holiday. To celebrate some of the men in our church loaded up our car and 4 motorbikes, and drove 18 kms upriver to a beach to fish, play soccer, and hang out together. In one photo you see Edilson, in the yellow shirt, explaining the bible to two of the others. I was admiring how Edilson is seeking first the Kingdom of God. He is trying to be a disciple of Jesus. The next day Edilson’s brother, who is not a christian, tried to commit suicide. The hospital was able to pump out the rat poisen and stabilize him. Edilson hopes he’ll come to church this week-end.

The reason for this outing is so we can spend time with the neighbourhood guys. This might be obvious, but I need to keep reminding myself, so I can be more intentional about how I live. With time, and a variety of activities and backgrounds, we can live out the gospel together, and learn from one another.

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Sossego Beach is 18 kms upriver from Marabá.

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Edilson shows Sammy and Marques what he is learning from the Bible.

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Paulo Roberto gets the chicken ready to roast over the fire.

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Marabá Church Men’s Group

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Ivanildo the story teller.

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Everyone asked what they could bring. Ivanildo kept absentmindedly saying, “How about rice?” We had tons of rice. The joke of the day, “You better hurry and fill your plate. We are almost out of rice.” It would always get a laugh.

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Marabá Men’s Outing at Sossego Beach.

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Edilson is a disciple.

Saturday in Marabá

This week’s highlights:

1. Soccer training school started up again.

2. Deanna, Emma, and Via are back from Canada.

3. We are coming into mango season.

4. The little bouganvilia plants we bought are flowering with all their might.

5. The neighbours come to the chacará Saturday afternoon.

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The mangos are almost ripe.

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Neighbourhood guys come to the chacará to watch the soccer game, and to hang out.

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Ivanildo is very respected, and the guys love it when he coaches and refs games.

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The swing.

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Deanna visits with Lene and Quita. Quita is pregnant with baby number 5, a girl after 4 boys.

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Michelle enjoys the afternoon.

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Mango trees are fun to climb.

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Our little bouganvilia plants are outdoing themselves with color.

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A meadowlark sits outside our window.

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Bella and Emma play volleyball on Saturday afternoon.

Home in Marabá

Bella and Emma have a lot of friends.

 The girls left Canada Sunday morning. I met them in Belem Tuesday. On Thursday afternoon, when we got home, the girls quickly showered and went out to see their friends. Later that day others from the neighborhood came over to see them.

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Everyone is happy to see Bella and Emma back.

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The neighbour girls are thrilled to see “Tia Deanna”.

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Sharing bread together at the end of the day.

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Eliete and Emily
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“How about a game together?”

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Spanish Train

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“I’m going to tip it…”

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Emily, interested in everything.




Couple’s Night

“You guys are going on a date night, with each other?” Incredulous looks. Then smiles. Then rolling eyes and laughter.  Even now, five years after we have moved to Marabá, people start laughing when they hear that Deanna and I are going on a date. Tuesday nights. The girls have to figure out something to do on their own. So this is what I talked about on our first Maraba Church Couple’s Night.

Monica hosted three games, including one where all the men had to close their eyes, and all the women had to some to the front and put their shoes on one big pile. Then the women sat back down with their husbands, and the husbands had to go find their wife’s shoes from the pile, and put them back on her feet. Some of the husbands were at quite a loss.

Quita and Lene were in charge of making supper, which included fried chicken.

Healthy, long-term, marriage friendships are very rare here. Most of these couple’s have a very broken history but I think everyone dreams of having a loyal, best-friend as a spouse. Judging from the smiles and laughter, this was a fun evening for everyone. We want to start doing this on the first Friday night of each month.

Couple's Night 1

Suzi and Nadeson, on the left, are getting married in our church in two weeks. They have three cute little girls. Preto is Nadeson’s brother, and he is with Ghislaine, who is Adrianna’s mom. It was very cool to see them all at this Couple’s Night event. Very cool.

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Monica did a great job hosting three games. 1. Find your wife’s shoes. 2. What stresses you out. (You blow into a balloon as Monica lists potential marriage stressers, until balloons started popping). 3. Write down your spouse’s response to various questions, and later review to see who really knows each other. It seemed to me like these games were kind of awkward for everyone, and scary-fun, which really was attractive. I think many of these relationships will become committed marriages. Some already are, and I think those people had the most fun.

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Zecca and Nilma

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Marques and Adrianna are both gifted worship leaders, but neither of them are serving on the worship team at the moment. They have a cute little baby girl, Alice VitĂłria.

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This is the first time Lene, on the left, has helped cook a big, church meal. Quita, her sister on the right, is 23 years old, and pregnant with a baby girl. This will be child number 5 for her. She has four healthy little boys ripping around the house at her feet when she is home.

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Ivanildo tells Paula and Izak about the big fish that got away last Saturday, and the big fish he is going to catch today. (We have a men’s fishing trip planned for today, Saturday, following the Friday Couple’s Night event). I think Paula and Izak have their doubts. 🙂

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Zecca and Nilma are the grandparents of Alica Maria, and the parents of Jacquelene, who is married to Wandro.

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Food and church go together like root beer and ice cream.

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I think maybe Wandro never got the answers right to what Jaquelene likes.