The Dead of Winter

I’m not really sure how we managed to go a whole month with no “weekly” updates, so I reckon we have some catching up to do!

The last day of May found Emily and I celebrating our 7th(!) Anniversary. How the time has flown! God has blessed us over these past years, and faithfully brought us to the place where we are now.

Over the past couple of weeks we have had a couple of visitors from our sending church in North Carolina. The first visitor, Brandon Bell, was stopping by for a few days from the Dominican Republic. He and his family have just finished their first year as church-planting missionaries in the DR. We enjoyed almost a week with him, catching up on ministry experiences and enjoying some of the sights of São Paulo – including a lot of traffic. 🙂

A few days ago the Lyon family stopped by as they were travelling from the Northern regions of Brazil back to North Carolina, where they live. Shelly Lyon grew up in Northern Brazil, so the family spent 3 weeks together up “there.”

Things have been going well in the church at Moraes Prado. We’ve been able to do meals with a number of folks from the church and spend a lot of time with families there. I’ve been preaching the 4th Sunday of the Month for the past few months, and in May and June I preached the Sunday School hour in Portuguese with no translator. Last Sunday was the 4th Sunday, and it was encouraging to notice progress this month over last month.

On that note, language school continues to go well. We are always learning things that we go home and put into practice practically the same day. Our professor is always very encouraging to us as we progress. Yesterday she took us to the feira, which is basically a farmer’s market which happens every week. And every neighborhood has their own feira, on their own day. Some are on Sunday, some on Saturday, some on Friday…pretty much you can find a feira somewhere about any day of the week. The fruits, veggies, and meat (open-air meat!) are about as fresh as you can find.

I just got my cartão de habilitição, or Driver’s License, last week. Emily will pick hers up next week. Believe it or not we had to pass a psychological test (you’ve got to be crazy to drive here! 🙂 ) but not a driving test.

Chloe continues to open doors of conversation everywhere we go. She’s just gotten her first two teeth and her first real illness just for good measure. And though she’s been a little fussier than normal, she’s still been a very good baby.

There was supposed to be a big futebol (soccer) championship with a number of the youth groups from churches around São Paulo tomorrow. Our young men were all very, very excited about this. However, we have been getting a LOT of rain over the past couple of days, and tomorrow is supposed to be nothing but rain all day in the city where the championship was to be played. So the championship was cancelled just a little while ago. They’re all a bit disappointed about this.

However, we have EBF (VBS) coming up in just a couple of weeks, and they are all looking forward to that. We are expecting somewhere in the ballpark of 250-300 kids (!) for EFB. A number of the young people in the church are working hard already to prepare for it. Please be praying for our EBF, that the Gospel would go out clearly and that we’d see children put their faith in Christ. Emily is also in charge of a special class for moms. There are a lot of young girls in our neighborhood who are moms, and they are in need of a lot of instruction and help. Emily’s class is for them.

Also, please be praying for this weekend. Sunday night I am preaching (through a translator) at a sister church for their family emphasis month. I’ll be preaching on the priority of leading our families in the reality of faith – the practical looking-at-Jesus – to the end of glorifiying God in our families. One of the guys in our youth group is translating for me, and he’ll be coming over to our house in just a few minutes to prepare with me.

Speaking of which, I need to sign off here and get ready for his arrival. We’ll try to do better next week and get a normal update out. We pray for you all regularly. Fica Firme, Forte!

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