Good afternoon, everyone! Here in Brazil we have just turned our calendars into the season of Winter. And yes, at least in our part of Brazil, winter = cold. Cold takes many forms, however. For us, “cold” means nights down into the 40s or 50s, and days in the 60s or 70s. Today was a gorgeous, sunny day that hit about 75.
A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Valentine’s Day. Actually, here in Brazil it’s
called Dia Dos Namorados. Our church had a special Couple’s Banquet for which Emily helped decorate. Nine couples participated. Though it was quite a chilly evening, we warmed up with a buffet of soups and some fun games. I gave a short challenge on how to reflect Christ to the world through our marriages. (No, Chloe did not come to the banquet; she just crashed at the end!)
The next day, Sunday, was Pastoral Appreciation Day. The church was very gracious and recognized me along with Pastor Arthur.
The church recently welcomed a new couple into church membership. This couple just recently had a baby – probably the cutest baby since Chloe! This is a picture of the baby dedication.
Some of you may remember that last October we had the opportunity to host in our home a pastor from Brasilia. His name is Rubens Silva and he has been serving as pastor of a church there for the past five years. Prior to that he served as a missionary in the Amazon area of the country. He had invited us to come and visit his family and his church. Brasilia is the Capitol of Brazil, the equivalent of our Washington, D.C. Last week we made the trip. Brasilia is about 633 miles due north of São Paulo…quite a long drive for us to make. So, on Tuesday the 14th we flew up to Brasilia. We spent a week in the home of Pastor Rubens, getting to know him and his family a lot better, and getting to know the ministry there in Brasilia. We attended prayer meeting at his church on Wednesday, where he invited me to bring the evening message. On Friday night they had an in-home prayer meeting, at which Pastor Rubens also asked me to speak. Saturday night we attended the anniversary service of one of the other five churches in the Brasilia area. Sunday we enjoyed the day of worship with the folks at Calvary Baptist and by Tuesday morning we were heading back to São Paulo.
Throughout the week we were able to do a bit of sightseeing. Pastor Rubens took Brandon to the center of Brasilia on Wednesday, and a couple from the church took us as a family to the center on Saturday. Among the many attractions in Brasilia is the ONLY Dunkin Donuts in Brazil. We bought donuts there (twice!), and though they were missing a few of the flavors we like, they were still very good donuts.
Pastor Rubens’ wife, Sofia, is in culinary school. While we were visiting, we celebrated Pastor Rubens’ birthday for which Sofia made a Coca-Cola cake to celebrate. It was quite the cake!
Pastor Rubens and Sofia have four children, the youngest of whom is just a couple months older than Chloe. They got along pretty well while we were there, even sharing each other’s bottles. Chloe’s OCD daddy did not freak out. 🙂
While we were in Brasilia, Pastor Rubens talked with us a lot about the new ministry he has been called to. Historically here in Brazil there have been 6 Baptist seminaries. One of those seminaries, the one in Belém, closed its doors a few years ago. The property has remained in the BMM mission’s name and a BMM missionary has been taking care of the grounds, but it has not been in operation as a seminary. Pastor Rubens was recently asked to reopen the seminary. He accepted the call to the seminary and plans on moving from Brasilia to Belém next January. Classes plan to begin in February. Pastor Rubens will be traveling to Belém for the entirety of next month, and asked if we would like to join him there to visit. He also asked if we would consider working with him in the seminary. We have commitments during the month of July, and so cannot spend the whole month in Belém. However, we scheduled a 1-week trip during July to take a look at things with him. Please be praying for us as we consider this ministry. We had a lot of discussions with Pastor Rubens while we were there, and are very excited about the opportunities of the ministry in Belém. Please pray for wisdom as we go and check it out. We will be headed up to Belém on the 20th of July, and returning the 28th.
Back here in São Paulo, we continue to be very involved in The Baptist Church of the Bible here in Carapiquiba. Emily is teaching in the primary class, as well as helping in the nursery and playing the piano. She is also involved in the planning for many of the church functions. Brandon is preaching the morning messages at church, as well as teaching the adult Sunday School class. We are also involved in church visitation. Please be praying for our ministry in the church. We know the Lord has us here in Caripiquiba right now, and want to be faithful and used in this time.
That’s about all for now. Thanks for praying for us!