On December 16th 2012 I reached my 10 year mark as a missionary in Brazil. Wow, can you believe it? It is hard for me to believe. Trying to reflect back of all the things that have happened since my arrival is so overwhelming. There have been so many wonderful things such as getting married, having children, being part of church plant, developing friendships, and continually being transformed by God. Thanks for all your prayers and support. We hope you enjoy the below blog.
We had a great Christmas service with a wonderful time of worship, Elba sharing the Word, and then follow-up by an amazing presentation to which Alyssa was a part. She is the one holding the star on the stage. I downloaded it to Youtube if you are interested in watching. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx_26EY9tuk Then afterwards we served dinner to everyone in attendance. The men of the church purchased a lot of meat and with the help of the members of the church we had the opportunity to serve dinner to everyone that was at the church service. Everything went so well up until we were just about to serve dinner, and then the lights went out. However, in Brazilian style, the party continued….they brought a couple of motorbikes into the church and used the headlights for light. Thankfully, our church is big and the risk of carbon monoxide was lessened. After everyone left, we noticed that we still had quite a bit of food leftover, so members of the church packed up our truck and headed down to the bus stop where some of the homeless live and they served them a great meal. We were all blessed!
The day after Christmas our whole family traveled about 1 ½ days by boat to Macapa. We went to Macapa to visit the church and ordain Felipe as pastor. The Macapa church has gone through a lot of transitions but it continues to keep hanging in there and staying true to the faith. We were able to sit with the leadership and equip them with more tools on how to grow a church, and encourage the leadership. We are very proud of Felipe, his wife, and the church. They have come a long way and we pray the Lord’s continue favor upon them. While heading back on the boat, we were just about to fall asleep when the boat Captain’s daughter approached us. She asked “Are you pastors?” to which we replied “Yes”. She went on and said, “My dad asked if you could pray for everyone on the boat for safety and protection because we just got word that we have been targeted to be robbed by pirates”. Knowing the seriousness and the reality of this situation we prayed. It was very nerve racking because these boat are very slow and you are just a sitting duck in the water with no earthly protection. During my prayer in front of the boat while looking out onto the river, God showed me that he was carving a protective route through the middle and the water was calm. I took comfort that God was going to protect us on our voyage home. Unfortunately, the comfort only lasted a moment and I needed to continue to keep praying and remembering the vision that God showed me. Praise the Lord, we got home safely, and guess what? I have never ridden on the Amazon River and the Xingu River where the rivers stayed so calm. Never!! It was incredible. We serve an awesome God.
Elba is traveling to the States on January 28th to participate in 5 all day meetings. She then will head down to Florida to spend a couple of days with my parents. Please pray for safe travel for her, successful meetings, and for me and the kids that all will continue to be well.
Love and blessings, Steve, Elba, Camilly and Alyssa
Tax deductible donations can be written and sent to:
The Xingu Mission
P.O Box 340785
Columbus, Ohio 43215
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We had a white elephant Christmas party with our home group and this is what I got. The color is just not me. LOL