Our Hope

Monday morning Emma, Bella, and I, were sitting at our table, luxuriating over a meal after an exhausting week-end, which included the big wedding on Saturday, the baptism, preaching on Sunday, and studying almost every free second until 4 a.m. Monday morning (midnight PST) to submit a university essay, worth 30% of my grade.ccmissions (11)

We were telling stories, and enjoying fried eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, bacon, and fresh mangoes, which fell from the tree right outside our front door, suddenly the dog was barking and there were people at the door. “Could you take Bruno to the hospital!?” Then I remembered that at some point during the week-end Phil told me that he had taken Bruno’s grandma to the hospital. She passed out from all the violence in her home (which shares a wall with our church property) when the police came in and arrested Bruno. He had gone on a kind of rampage, I’m not sure why. Now, Monday morning, he had a broken knee. I took him to the hospital three times this week, and he is scheduled to get surgery next week. Bruno told me “William was arrested and thrown in jail last night.” When I told Bella, she told me that William’s girlfriend was pregnant. Bruno used to want to be a missionary. Bruno, William, and many others participated in church programs. Now they are repeating the stories their parents passed down to them. Bruno wants to reform his life. Please pray for God to transform him. There is so much pain in broken families. At least two of our neighbourhood families had no food in their homes this week, and lots of children. We brought one of them some basic supplies. Our hope is to help transform this neighbourhood. I think of 1 Cor 1:26b, 27 “Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth, but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.” Maybe God will raise up a harvest of missionaries from this violent neighbourhood, people who will serve God with complete abandonment.

We have three major goals:
1. Help develop the local church.
2. Build a training center and host regular events.
3. Plant many more churches, especially among the unreached.

We are low on support. I say this just so you know. (1) We need funds for building maintenance and improvements (2) We need a caretaker home in the church yard so we have someone to keep an eye on things. We need funds to develop the training center, (3) especially an eating area, and (4) a new shop, so we can use our existing shop for a conference teaching room.

One day this church will have enough offerings to care for itself and to help many others. Right now you have an opportunity to invest in a startup organization that will produce missionaries, healthy families, and countless acts of kindness until Jesus returns.

Altamira Trip

At 6:30 a.m. Phil and Jen, Ivanildo and Monica, and as many youth as they could fit in their vehicles, headed out to a conference in Altamira. They allowed two days to get there, stopping along the way to visit the church in Pacaja.

Since Emma went with the group, that leaves just Bella and me home for the week. Eliel, Aline, and Edilton are sleeping some of the days at the chacara, to help keep an eye on things, and to keep the church programs running.

Phil puts their house garbage on the roof of his kombi, to drop it off at the gate on his way out.

And they are off, in a cloud of dust.

The Leaos drove their car, so more people could go.

Nine People Baptized

Nine People Baptized!

Last Sunday morning many of our church members had breakfast together and walked down to the river on the edge of the church property to baptize nine more people. Felipe was in trouble with the law not too long ago. Now he is training for the worship team, and his life is turned around. Other baptism candidates included Eliete and her daughter Shianne, the Snells daughter, Faith, the Leao’s daughter, Bruna, and several others. It was a great morning.


Phil, Felipe, and Monica

Phil, Felipe, and Monica

The Tocantins river, at the foot of our property.

The Tocantins river, at the foot of our property.

Phil, Monica, Jen, and Ivanildo - the baptizers. (They paired up so there was one fluent Portuguese speaker per team).

Phil, Monica, Jen, and Ivanildo – the baptizers. (They paired up so there was one fluent Portuguese speaker per team).

Nine people were baptized at the river this morning.

Nine people were baptized at the river this morning.

Marques led worship.

Marques led worship.


Josias and Vanessa

First Josias started coming to our church. Then a girl started coming with him. They are both not from our immediate neighbourhood. Here is how some conversations went. “Who is the new girl?” “Josias’s girlfriend.” “Ohhh (and an opinion).” After several months, Josias and Vanessa started to think seriously about marriage, and Ivanildo and Monica set up regular pre-marital counselling meetings.

Yesterday, at the wedding feast, at about 10:30 at night, I was walking along the food line-up, talking to people, and reflecting on what a beautiful wedding it was. One of the 14 year old girls had a different expression on her face, so I stopped. She said, “One day I am going to get married.” It seemed to me like this was a new thought for her. Many girls in our neighbourhood get pregnant young, and go from their boyfriend’s house, or his mom’s house, and back to their mom’s house when things don’t work out, and many relationships are full of pain and difficulties. The beauty of a community of people supporting a young couple as they make marriage commitments is very profound.

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“I do!”

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The church transformed their front yard for the wedding.

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Huge amounts of food capped off the evening celebration.