Oui! (“Hi” in Portuguese—it’s about one of the eight Portuguese words I know…) Once again it’s been so long since I’ve been around this place, so I have much to catch up on. As many of you know, Joe and I went on a one week missions trip with a group from our trip to Brazil, where we have a partner church in Manaus, Igreja Presbiteriana de Manaus. The week was absolutely amazing, and our team was beyond blessed.
We love them! Joe and me, Thea, Cindy, Mark, Cory, Cindy, and our bro-in-law Brandon. Check out Cindy’s blog because she is living in Brazil for the next 6 months and is one of my favorite people in the world. 🙂
The country is absolutely incredible, the people, even more so. We were so encouraged by our brothers and sisters in Brazil. Their love for Jesus and for people is so real and beautiful! They showered us with hospitality moments after getting off the plane.
So what was our “mission” for the week? To go into orphanages and schools (mostly private English Institutes, a private school, and universities), to share Christ’s love. To share the Good News! We were able to help students practice English, love on and encourage some kids and adults who need the sweet, healing love of Jesus, and promote an English Camp that the church will be having this summer.
It was one of the best weeks of my life-like being a married disciple in the New Testament or something. 🙂
Church Sunday night:
On Monday we visited a place called “Amar” (Love).This place was started by the wives of some pastors for kids who have rough home and family situations. In Brazil, children go to school for half a day, so these kids can come and receive extra support, care, and love for the other half. They receive nourishment here: physically, spiritually, emotionally, academically and socially.
Throughout the week, we were able to make hundreds of these Gospel bracelets with students. These bracelets were a way to symbolize and share our faith.
See that little boy’s bracelet up above? The black bead symbolizes sin, which we are all guilty of. The red bead is for the blood of Christ, who died for us to pay the penalty for our sin. The white bead stands for how Christ will wash away our sins and make us clean when we ask Him to. He wipes our slates clean, which I’m so thankful for. The yellow bead is for Heaven, which we are promised when we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, asking Him to forgive us and be Lord of our life. There is no other way to heaven-not good deeds or trying to be a good person. That is the amazing grace of Jesus Christ-we didn’t earn it, it’s all a gift from Him. Finally, the last bead is green, which means we can grow with Jesus. He helps us with the sins we struggle with, and helps us to grow to know Him better, for example by reading His Word and praying, and He helps us to become more like Himself. So, that is the background of our bracelets and an idea of how we explained them. It was so cool when a child or adult in a classroom would speak up in Portuguese, sharing their love for Jesus, or when someone would ask questions about faith. Jesus was working in their hearts and it was a blessing to witness that!
It was amazing how many times we thought we ran out of bracelets, only to keep finding more in different bags and such. It reminded us of how Jesus fed the 5,000 with only 5 small loaves of bread and 2 small fish. He can do anything.
Also, we’re so thankful for our wonderful translators, Ketyb and David (two of Pastor Djard’s kids), who we were able to have with us the entire week. They were also so much fun to be with! Without them, a lot of things we shared wouldn’t have been understood for those who are just beginning to understand English.
Ketyb (pronounced “Catchabee) and David
Oh! I also can’t forget to tell you about our morning team devotionals and breakfast up on the roof of our hotel every morning. Such a precious time to share, get in the Word, pumped for the day, and pray together.
Tuesday we went into one of the schools and shared with the older kids about the camp this summer, and the younger kids we sang songs and gave them little stuffed animals. They were so cute!
Little ones brushing their teeth: 🙂
Tuesday night with our dear friends from the church, planning and talking about the English Camp.
Ok, so I think I’m going to go ahead and upload this, but I’ll be back with more from the week!
Thank you for reading!
“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, ‘Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.’” Romans 10:9-11