Wow, what a month of ups and downs. The big downer was the flood that came through the lower part of Altamira and wreaked havoc on so many people’s lives. The big uppers however were that we baptized 16 people, more than 10 people came to the Lord in the month of April, and Sidney, Elba’s sister's husband, who relapsed into drugs and alcohol and left his family, is now in rehab and seeking to be restored.
On the flood front, there still is no relief in sight as of yet. Things were starting to get a bit controlled after the flood waters subsided but now the river is starting to crest and families are again moving out to safer grounds. Fortunately, they have the time to move their stuff without anything being damaged unlike the flood that overtook them so quickly. We are still serving many families with food, clothing and shelter and we have been trying to restore items that were lost and/or damaged during the flood such as stoves, and mattresses. We are also now in the process of helping rebuild houses and work on structural problems. Please keep us in your prayers for wisdom and that we are good stewards of the money that was given. The pictures below are of a family that received a new mattresses and a stove. The other is where a bridge existed but got swept away in the flood.
On the church front, I would like to share the story of Ramires. Ramires has been coming to the church for easily over a year with his wife and he was seeking God and really wanted proof that God existed. Several months ago, Ramires went to the local doctor to have some tests run and they showed that he had some heart troubles and high blood pressure. To confirm the test, he sent them as well to a doctor friend that is a cardiologist, to which he confirmed the results. During this time, God was working on Ramires and he knew at some point he needed to surrender his life to Christ. We had our church service and he came up for prayer but something was holding him back from asking God into his life. It just so happened that we had a guest speaker that night at church and as he was praying over the crowd of people up front. God stirred his attention to Ramires. He walked straight to the back of the crowd and embraced Ramires. Ramires weakened and said “I want to receive you Lord, I want to receive you Lord, I want to receive you Lord”. It was a really moving moment and ever since Ramires has embraced Christ with all his heart. We just had a baptism and we had the awesome privilege of baptizing him. It has been a beautiful journey to watch him grow. The good news does not stop there. His cardiologist friend wanted him to go through another battery of tests for his heart. He did and he sent him all the results. The doctor called him last Sunday morning and asked Ramires “What did you do to your heart?” Ramires responded “I received Jesus into my heart”. The doctor responded “Well, science cannot explain those things, but by all indications from the test, you have a brand new heart”. Isn’t that amazing! God is so good!!! AMEN!!!
Praise God Sidney has now sought out treatment. He just started treatment on Monday May 4th and the first days have been rough as he is going through withdrawals. Please continue to keep Sidney in your prayers for a complete recovery, and full restoration. Also, please keep Nira in your prayers as this is going to be a process.
On a Camilly front. I say Camilly because she turned 4 years old on April 18th. She was so excited and she had a great time at her birthday party. The party was only for girls except for me and Apollo. She had been talking about her birthday every day for the last 2 or 3 months. Mom and Dad were very happy for her but are glad that it is now over, we are just hoping that she is not going to start talking about her next birthday starting now. Alyssa is doing well and is starting to talk and form words. She is now saying “goodbye, obrigada (thank you), and sair (get out). During prayer time last Sunday, Elba was praying for someone and Alyssa kept interrupting them by telling the person that Elba was praying for to “sair”, or “get out”.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Love and blessings, Steve, Elba, Camilly and Alyssa
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