Greetings in Christ!
We arrived in Brazil May 19th with our feet running! We got started setting up the house, fixing the things that needed fixed, making connections again with those we work with, and visiting each place where we minister. Today is July 26th, and we don’t see anything in the immediate future that indicates things will slow down until after August.
The biggest news concerns the Indian village! But before that, let’s recap the last month…..
When we arrived, we found out the Utility companies had continued to bill us the normal amounts for the entirety of our visit to the U.S., nine months. After discussing these things with them, we reserved ourselves to pay the bills(Over $2200) and start the process of taking them to court. After billing us for the first 5 months and us not paying, because we did not know, they cut the electric wires from the house and took the water line out of the ground to our house. They would not reconnect anything until we payed everything in full.
Thank the Lord of Hosts for our local church, Igreja Batista em Dom Pedro for giving us a place to stay during this time(2 weeks) and for all they did to help with our ministry in the last year!
Then we started ministry, but do you know, we found opportunity to minister in the midst of our utility storm also? Ministry never stops when you are a witness and testimony for Jesus! He promised that in John 15:26-27a, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness…”
We went to Jardim Tropical. We started this ministry 3 years ago. Our local church has kept the ministry going through children’s ministry and outreaches. We talked with Artur and his family, who were the first family to let us into their house. He has started preaching 3 times a week from a small pulpit platform he built there in the community. He said that the drug dealers converted, died or left after he started preaching in January. Praise God! We hope to continue leadership training with him to equip him for the ministry God has called him to.
We went to ITV, Institute for Transforming Lives. We help with this ministry. We focus on the parents and young mothers while ITV focuses on the children. We reconnected with the people there. We saw much fruit in the attitudes of the children and youth, and in the eyes of the parents and adults as we passed by their houses again.
I, Brad, went to the Indian Village for ten days in June. Josiah and Doug, a friend of ours, went with me. The people are doing great, growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ! God has been speaking to Oscar and Analucia, two of our disciples there of returning to the village we evangelized last year, 14 hrs further up the river, and we are now making plans for that trip, possibly in February 2017. They want to start the same type of work that we are doing in their village, making disciples and teaching the word verse by verse.
Melissa and I, Josiah, Veronica and Benjamin will all return to the village August 2nd. Melissa and the kids will stay for 10 days and return to Manaus. I will continue on until August 20th teaching Inductive Bible Study methods and the major stories in Genesis.
There is so much ministry to talk about and so much fruit to be reaped! Luke 10:2, “Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth labourers into His harvest.”
Please pray for each of these ministries. Please also pray for Andrea, our oldest daughter. She moved back to the U.S. last week to begin school in Virginia. Some of our church family there have taken her in and are caring for her. One family from a local church donated a car for her to use to get to and from school. Others are helping with her documentation, Drivers License, and getting a bank account set up. God is good and provides the things His children need.
God bless you all,
Thank you for your prayers,
Brad and Melissa, Andrea, Josiah, Veronica, and Benjamin