Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Peru Trip

Don't forget to pray for the Peru team as they prepare to leave on Friday!! The team members are: Bill Niccolai (team leader), DeLynne Day, Larry Furr, Toni Little, and Nancy Woodell.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday in Pelo Sinal

Today we went back to Pelo Sinal primarily to put the new roof on Jose's house. How like God to put on our team an engineer and 3 men who work in construction!! The old tin roof had already been removed so our guys along with the owner Jose, our bus driver Manuel, Pr. Carlos, and Pr. Moabi got right to work. Cheryl, Emilie, and Monica also worked at the house throughout the morning. Even better, Jose and his oldest daughter accepted Christ!!! (His wife accepted on Saturday.)

The rest of the team divided up and went on house visits. One team (Bonita, Sheila, Faith, and Katarina) were able to visit with a woman who had attempted suicide when we were there on Saturday. We heard about it after she had been taken to the hospital. They were able to share the gospel with her today and she accepted Christ. She was open with what she had done and our group was able to tell her how devestated we were to hear about it. We were so grateful to have the chance to come back today----especially since this was a change in schedule! She said learning about Jesus and receiving salvation was "just what she needed."

DJ, Shelby, Justin, and Ruth went to a type of recycling center where kids were making things out of recycled objects---cans, cardboard, plastic, etc. Not really sure if this was part of a school or not. But they were able to share Christ with them using salvation bracelets. The teacher and 5 or 6 students accepted Christ. Our kids gave them each 2 bracelets, one to keep and one to share. See! The kids are fantastic missionaries!!

Tomorrow we leave our hotel and travel 3 hrs to a new city called Arco Verde. We will be going to a school and a daycare. Since this is a new place we aren't exactly sure what all we will be doing. But to be sure, God does!!

We'll be staying there tomorrow night and going back to Recife on Friday for the day. Then we come home on Saturday. Not sure if we'll have internet access after tonight. So just keep praying and we'll definitely blog as soon as we can.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday in Agua Branca

Today we travelled to a new city called Agua Branca. Pastor Carlos has been preparing for this visit for 5-6 months. It's a rather large city and is in another state---don't ask me the name please.

We started out in the school, in their "gym." It was sort of a covered cement basketball court but they use it for volleyball, soccer, and assemblies as well. Brooke, KP, and Chad shared their testimonies. (And let me just say that 16 yr old KP was a ROCK STAR to the girls there.) They were actually screaming for him when he walked up to speak! We all got a kick out of that and we'll try not to let it go to his head.

After lunch, we went to a small remote village almost an hour from Agua Branca. As with most of the other smaller villages in the outback, our bus can't go on the dirt/gravel/rocky/hole-filled roads. So we rode in pick-up truck taxis. Can I just say that we'll all be needing appointments with a chiropractor when we get home?

This village seemed very oppressed to us. Since it was such a long way there, we only had a little over an hour for house visits, prayer walking, and a school visit. Quite a few children prayed to receive Christ in the school after DJ used salvation bracelets to share the gospel. Another group went to an afterschool type program and another 8 kids prayed there. There were still more salvations through the home visits. As Pastor Carlos establishes more relationships in this area, it looks promising that this will be a place we'll return to on future trips.

I'd like to say that the kids on this team are blowing us all away. They are excited and willing and BOLD. They led our team devotion tonight and we were all commenting that we wished we had been more like them when we were their ages. The parents of the kids on this trip should be very proud. We are honored and blessed that they are on this team.

Tomorrow we return to Pelo Sinal to put a new roof on a house!! We'll also go on house visits and the guys will play soccer in Solidao in the afternoon. Go Team USA!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sunday in Solidao and Monday in Ingazeria

Sunday in Solidao started in the school with a little program for the kids. The local pastor's teenage daughters led them in singing and games. Some of us hiked to the statue that overlooks the city. It has sort of become tradition to go there and pray over the city. The others stayed at the bottom of the hill and witnessed to a few people. One woman approached the group and asked why they were there. What a perfect opportunity!

We were able to visit with a lady (Damiana) with whom we've had previous contact. Her baby was named after Wendi McCarn who led Damiana to the Lord 2 years ago. Baby Wendi is beautiful and we'll post pics soon. This family is still faithfully attending church and growing in the Lord. Her husband who was an alcoholic 2 years ago is a believer and is now mentored by Pastor Moab weekly. Praise God!

The afternoon was spent ministering to Pastor Moab and Pastor Carlos and their families. We had the privilege to wash their feet---literally. They were encouraged and we were blessed to honor them for all they do as missionaries in this area all year long.

The team ended the day at a worship service. Brooke, KP, and Chad gave their testimonies. The team performed a skit originated by Mark Kessler and the Steele Creek youth (to "God of This City") It was a late night but a very encouraging Lord's Day.

Monday we travelled to Ingazeira and Cacimbinha. These two places are very oppressed and have previously been difficult to witness and form relationships in. Some of the group led a program for the younger kids at the school including face painting and singing. Shelby and Brooke used the story of Joseph and his brothers to teach about forgiveness.

DJ, Chad, Justin, Hebert, and Rico met a group of teenage boys and witnessed to them. All 3 accepted Christ! One wanted a group to go talk to his mother and another wanted to know how to study the Bible and start a Bible study.

Meanwhile, Sheila, Emilie, and Katarina went next door to the boy's home and witnessed to his mother, grandmother, and sister and they accepted Christ as well. God is moving in that little village!

The elders of the village (which is only about 10 homes) met in one house with Pastor Carlos and Pastor Moab and some of our team. This was a time of building trust and relationship.

In the afternoon in Ingazeira, there was a boy's soccer game. Daniel, Hebert, Rico, KP, DJ, and Justin played the Brazilians and actually won! DJ and Justin gave their testimonies and did a great job. The girls played a handball game (NOT the Americans). We had a little worship service afterwards. Kesia sang and Shelby gave her testimony. We also performed the skit again.

During the games, some of the team went on house visits. Many people prayed to receive Christ. God did some miraculous things today and answered prayers of Pastor Carlos as many people he had been praying for were saved.

Tomorrow we go to Agua Branca which is a new city for the team. We are expecting great things!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Brazil--Saturday in Pelo Sinal

OK, we'll start with our departure which started off with some drama. Our first flight to Miami out of Charlotte was delayed almost 2 hours. Considering we only had an hour and a half to make our connection for Brazil, this was NOT good. God worked it all out because that flight was delayed as well. Yay! After almost 30 hours of travel (flights plus a nice 7 hr bus ride) we ended up safe and sound in Afogados da Ingazeria.

This morning (Saturday) we went to Pelo Sinal, a town we have visited during previous trips. It was such a sight to see dozens of children running down the street to meet our truck! Precious! Our whole group went to visit one of the poorest homes in town. They are in need of a new roof since theirs is tin and makes the house extremely hot. The team agreed to give from their spending money and some of our team funds to buy the materials. What a God thing that 3 of our team members are in the construction business!! We're going back on Wednesday to raise a roof!! Oh, and the lady of the house accepted Christ!

We spent the rest of the day singing and playing games with the kids, making house visits, and of course, playing soccer. Several people accepted Christ. We've found that there is still a big stronghold of tradition/religion (Catholic). God is breaking down barriers, especially with the younger generation.

We found out that around lunch today one of the young moms who had been at the kids' activities tried to commit suicide this afternoon. Pray for this mom. We are hoping to be able to visit with her on Wed. Pray also for our team member/translator Kesia. Her grandmother has been in critical condition in Recife (Brazil) for a few weeks and passed away last night. She left early this morning to be with her family and will probably join us again in a few days. Pray for her as she copes with this loss.

There are 5 teenagers on this trip and they are jumping right in! Justin gave his testimony to a group of kids today and all who heard it were blessed.

Tomorrow we go to Solidao, a larger town in the area. Keep praying for open doors and open hearts. It will be a late night but we'll try to update again tomorrow.