Plan, Plod, Pray, Pay

I drove to Altamira on Monday for our annual year-end leadership meeting. Among other things we all submit our next year’s budgets at this meeting. Where we spend our money and time has a direct relationship to our values. If the Xingu Mission can be remembered for only one thing, I hope it is that we are focused on starting a national movement of Church Planters. We love the local church and Brazilian people.

During the Leadership Meeting on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, Clenildo and Elba shared their vision for planting churches across Northern Brazil. About two years ago Clenildo shared a vision with me and others that he felt was from God. There were fires being lit in seven northern states. These fires grew and starting spreading, sparks jumping out and starting other fires. He felt God was calling him to lead this movement to plant churches in these states, an impossible task. He asked God how he could possibly do this. God said something like this, “First you talk about it. Then start visiting these places. Then watch it unfold.” Clenildo has already travelled to some of these states on survey trips, and shared this vision with the national church leadership team. Christian leaders who knew nothing of this vision have told Clenildo they have seen him in many Brazilian airports visiting these other states. This has happened at least a couple of times.

Last week Clenildo and Elba presented us with a paper entitled “Project to Plant Churches”. The seven northern states they want to plant churches in are Amazonas, Acre, Rondonia, Roraima, Maranhão, Ceará, and Piauí. This is in addition to the three states where we are already planting churches, Pará, Amapá, and Tocatins. The plan Clenildo and Elba presented is really optimized for their growing council of Brazilian church here in the North. Currently churches give 5% to an outreach fund for church planting. The mission wants to work with the young national movement.The really cool thing is that the plan presented does not depend on the mission. It can continue on without us if necessary. Clenildo and Elba are challenging the local churches, and us as a mission, to help with church-planting in the way that was summarized by William Carey. He said missions or sending agencies need to plan, plod, pray, and pay.

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Dream of Planting Churches in Seven More Northern States.

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Clenildo and Elba shared at the missionary leadership meeting.

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Clenildo shares the vision for planting churches in 7 more states in Northern Brazil.


Friday is a national holiday here in Brazil. Emma and Bella took the afternoon off to make special cupcakes to sell at the church fund-raiser party.


Emma and Bella decorate cupcakes.


Bella’s teeth are blue from eating the icing.


The brown cupcakes are owls.


The cupcakes sold out quickly at the evening event.


Special Cupcakes.


Cupcake art.

Corn Planting

First Ivanildo prepares the soil.

Then he invites everyone to a Corn Planting event.

Now everyone is looking forward to the Harvest Party in a few months.


Ivanildo prepares the cornfield.


It takes the right person to have a lot of helpers and to still come out with something reasonable like you thought it would be.


The corn seeds are coated with pink stuff to keep the little bugs from killing them before they get started growing.


Angelo gives Ellen a handful of seeds to plant.


Corn seeds get buried and die so they can produce 100 times as more corn than was planted.


Eliete loves plants. She brought a lot of helpers.


The best time to plant corn is just before the rainy season.


Yara helps with the planting.


pink hands!




Church Party

“Are you looking forward to tonight?” Big smiles. Big eyes. Shining faces. It is six a.m. on a national holiday. I am asking the young people who came to our morning prayer meeting at the church if they are looking forward to the church party the Youth Group is planning. (Of course, our whole church is “youth”. Youth doesn’t apply so much to age here. Nursing babies, children, adults and seniors will all show up. It applies more to louder music, more colours, smells, and tastes).

The Youth Group is raising money for the Cristovál Celebration in March, 2014. The church is organized into teams who compete to see which team can raise the most money.

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Emma buys some traditional food called vatapa.
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Emma poses with two of the neighbour girls and Kevin in the Photo Tent.

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Edilton reads the Special Mail. For 50 centavos (25 cents) you can write a special note to someone and Edilton will announce it over the loudspeakers, and then a runner will take the note to whoever it was meant for. This was hugely popular. Everyone wanted to publicly announce nice things about other people. Hugs. Emotions. Kids with parents. Friends with friends. Who would have guessed?

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Sammy and Miriam, or should I say David and Esther, sold Brazilian hotdogs, which is ground beef in a hotdog bun.

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Our church party was a neighbourhood event.

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Paula was in charge of the Special Mail booth, where for a fee helpers would run notes to people after announcing your message over the loudspeaker.

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The jail was another popular event. For 25 centavos the “police” would go and get anyone you requested and put them in jail. Then someone else would have to pay 25 centavos to bail that person out. The kids loved having someone care enough about them to send them to jail.

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Igreja da Vinha, Festa das Barracas

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The food booths.

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Aline is a great help in Sunday School.

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A cup of cold pop is one real, about 50 cents.

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Bella and Emma made a lot of food, and helped a lot of people get dressed up in costumes.

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Paulo Roberto is a jailer. This was also a costume party with the theme “Someone from the Bible”.

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Vera and Maria made and sold vatapa.

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Marques and Izak sold cachorro quentes, Brazilian hotdogs.

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Fransisco sold cake. His booth sold out quickly. Brazilians love cake.

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Neighbour kids.

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Aline’s personality matches her costume.

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Daisy and Julianna sit with some of the local boys.


Home in Marabá

On November 2 Bella turned 15. Saturday is our day off, and we celebrated with Bella as a family all day.

We drove to the zoo in the morning, but it was closed. Still, we had a nice drive.

We drove to the new Mall for Sushi in the late afternoon.

The girls went to the Youth Service at church in the evening.

Here are some photos of our home and the mission on this nice Saturday.

We gave Bella an easel for her birthday.

We gave Bella an easel for her birthday.

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Birthday Breakfast, Nov 2, 2013

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Last year Bella got a desert rose plant. This year she got a red rose bush.

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A favorite past time.

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Volleyball practice.

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The desert rose blooms again.

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The new kitty.

Bella’s 15th Birthday Party

Bella turns 15 years old today. Here are some photos from her party last night.

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Bella is the Princess of the Day! Our youngest daughter turns 15 today. Here in Brazil 15 is a Big Birthday. Often those who can celebrate with extravagant celebrations that appear very similar to a wedding party as far as decorating, gifts, and guests. Bella wanted a small party, with a few friends. And the girls had a very nice evening last night. Tomato soup and home made bread sticks. Tea and sandwiches. A movie called The Croods. Topped off with a chocolate fountain! It was a first for everyone, I think, and everything went very well. Thank you Heavenly Father, for Bella, and for the nice evening.

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Emma, Luana, Aline, Carol, Karin, Bruna, and Bella

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Celebrating Bella!

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Thaís, Barbara, and Anna came just a little later.

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Eliel came to pick up Aline just as the chocolate fountain got started.

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Fruit shishkabobs. Deanna found some strawberries, kiwi fruit, and grapes. The pineapples were small, but they were 7 for R$10, about $5 Canadian.

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A chocolate fountain!

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The tester.

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A very small birthday cake.

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Fancy sandwiches with fancy toothpicks.

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Delicious sandwiches, to go with the tomato soup and breadsticks.

Bella’s First 15th Birthday Party

The Bergquists were here for visit, so everyone decided to have a pre-birthday party for Bella!

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Bella’s First 15th Birthday Party

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Fancy tea, fancy juice, fancy cups, fancy cupcakes…

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We learned about tea parties at Grandma’s house, in Canada.

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Set the right atmosphere and everything tastes better.

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Our girls are all two years apart. The Bergquists picked up where we stopped. Our children are ages 21, 19, 17 and 15. The Bergquist children are approximately 13, 11, 9, and 7.

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Monica and Bruna.

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Marcos and Nate were born on the same day, 8 years ago.

Bergquists Come to Visit

The Bergquists stopped in for a couple of days. They are on their way back from a big road trip to get their documentation updated. On the way they visited several churches and missionaries, and brought back many good stories of the variety of ways people are serving.

Clyde and Kelsie moved to Brazil from Oregon in 2004. They came with two little girls Makenna and Maddie, and since then they had another boy, Nate, and then another girl, Hanna.

They have no internet where they work but somehow they still manage to post a few photos and stories at .

Four years ago the Bergquists spent a year in Marabá. Many people were glad to see them again, and hear their stories.

Here are some photos of a meal in our home.


Fransisco has been part of our church and group here at the chacará since we moved here 5 years ago.


Emma talks to Luana, who was Deanna’s helper for a year, and is still a good friend of our family.


Potatoe chowder and clay-oven baked rolls.


Fransisco and Paulo Roberto’s mom came for the meal. This was a first. Her husband left her a couple of years ago. Her sons often work for us on construction projects, and help put food on their table.


The kids discovered Kinnex, which is kind of like Lego.


The Bergquists continue on their journey home. About 2 days of driving left, though they will be visiting more people like the teams in Pacajá, Altamira, and Uruará.


The family of six is looking for a bigger, stronger, newer truck. They need a good truck where they live.