Elba took a team of 4 Brazilian leaders to Macapá to have a spiritual retreat. Macapá is the capital city of Amapá and is about a 2 day boat trip from Altamira. The purpose of the spiritual retreat is to draw people away from their normal day to day routines so that they can focus on God. It is a powerful time because in addition to the teachings, fellowship, and worship, it gives the person time to reflect on where they are with God. Is He present in my life? Am I allowing Him to guide my life? Am I hearing His voice and drawing close to Him? What are the sin issues in my life that are preventing me to draw closer to God? With all the “noise and busyness” in our lives we miss the Lord guiding our steps to draw closer to him. During the spiritual retreat God came in power and touched many people.
Do you notice anything different in the picture of the church? That’s right, we put tile down on the floor. A couple of weeks ago, a doctor friend of ours who studies English at CDR came to our church for the first time. We were talking at the service and he said “I would like to help you buy tile for the church”. I was a little doubtful that he was serious because to tile the whole church would cost a lot of money so I said skeptically “Really!? WOW!? What a blessing!” Well, he turned me from a skeptic into a believer because two weeks later he purchased 400 square meters for the church and had it delivered. This helped cover 70% of the floor, and the church purchased the additional 30%. I asked the doctor to come back for a 2nd visit when our Pastor from the US, Rich Nathan, was going to preach at the church, knowing the doctor would be interested in hearing the sermon given in English and translated by Elba. To add to the goodness of this story, the doctor came to the service and at the end he accepted Christ as his savior. So many blessings, our doctor friend became a Christian, Brazilians supporting the local church, and the church got new tile.
The girls were in another wedding. Elba’s sister Preta got married and both girls got to participate. Camilly was a flower girl and Alyssa was the ring bearer. During the rehearsals we were unsure if Alyssa would walk down the aisle. She seemed nervous and was not excited about walking down with her cousin Apollo. Thankfully, she did a great job and there were no incidents. We are very proud of them both and they looked so beautiful. The dress that Preta wore was donated by the Vineyard Columbus. She was very excited to have the opportunity to wear such a beautiful dress. To rent a dress like this here in Altamira would have cost around $555.00 which is almost 2 monthly salaries. This donation was such a blessing for her.
Please continue to pray for spiritual, physical, and emotional health for us.
Love and blessings, Steve, Elba, Camilly and Alyssa
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