First, we would like to thank all of you who have been praying for Liam and his recovery. As of the end of October he was cleared to return to school after 30 days of home recovery and rest. The neurosurgeon is very happy with his recovery and while Liam needs to continue to take it easy for the next few months, he will make a complete and full recovery!
These last few months have been full of awe, wonder, and firsts for us and our ministries. As our 3 months of intense praying for the new church plant, Calvary Chapel Belém, and the new human trafficking ministry Proverbs 24:11 concluded we had our first church service Sunday, November 19. As we still wait upon the Lord to provide a building for us we did not let the lack of a structure stand in our way of sharing the Gospel. We meet outside in a large park in the middle of the city, the Praca da Republic. On Sunday, this park is transformed into a large open market where thousands of people come to hang-out, shop, watch cultural events, and now be a part of church. Our 'out' church acts as any church in a building would; however, we get to see people who would normally not enter a church or feel welcome/comfortable in a 'normal' church setting. Two weeks ago, we watched as a woman accepted the Lord has her Savior. She had come to the park and felt that the Lord had called her to listen to the message that was given. She sat with us and listened as Kyle preached, and Kaue our faithful helper translated, the Gospel. She knew that the Lord had called her to our church that day to hear the message that was given. We cried, prayed, and rejoiced with her as we watched her become a sister in Christ and join us in the family of Christ. Calvary Chapel Belém had two more firsts as well...we had our first wedding as a church that Kyle officiated and our first baptism.
Proverbs 24:11 continues to grow and Krista has been blessed to receive some training/insight from a like-minded missionary in Thailand via phone, which has helped prepare the way for what the Lord is doing here with the human trafficking ministry. Proverbs 24:11 is now able to offer prevention/education to public schools, Amazon river communities, and to a local girls prison. The Lord provided an open door to each of these areas and Krista has been busy preparing the material she uses in each location. It is a new work for this area and so all of the work to be done has to start from the beginning and, of course, must be completed in Portuguese, which we are super blessed to have many people who offer their help in translation. Recently, Proverbs 24:11 was blessed with 100 Bibles for us to use for this work as well as for the church...a huge blessing! Proverbs 24:ll also has partnered with local churches to bring this ministry into their churches, as it is already a part of Calvary Chapel Belém, and will begin doing outreaches in their local areas. This is a huge answer to prayer, as many churches in the area will not and do not accept these type of people into their churches. These churches will all be trained by Proverbs 24:11 in how to safely reach out, outreach, to the women/men involved in prostitution, how to work the phone hotline, and how to serve the needs of these individuals through discipleship as each church in these different neighborhoods will be responsible for the discipleship needs of these individuals as they see the needs unfold through the phone hotline work. As we reach out the the victims of human trafficking, we will begin to compile information that will help us to direct our prevention program. We continue to pray for a healing home for these women where we can minister to their spiritual, emotional, vocational, and physical needs as they are discipled in the Lord.
All of this work does not come without intense spiritual warfare...emotionally, physically and spiritually. Our family was robbed, Thanksgiving night, by armed gunmen on the bus we were riding on as we returning home from our Thursday evening prayer meeting in the park. We are all safe and unharmed. Krista's purse was stolen, but by a miracle from the Lord her purse, and all of its belongings, were returned a few days later by a good samaritan. The Lord is truly protecting us as we work unto Him in this dangerous city and this very dangerous work of human trafficking, but we would cherish your prayers of protection and endurance.
Liam just celebrated his 13th birthday on December 18th and so now we officially have 2 teenagers in the house! Both Aidan and Liam are doing well in school and are enjoying being part of these new ministries. We continue to pray for both boys as they navigate life in a foreign country, deal with robberies, and not always being included in things as they once were back home which can be hard/hurtful, but we know that the Lord uses all of these blessings and hardships to grow the boys as well as us.
-Pray for a building for Calvary Chapel Belém.
-Pray for a consistent location for our church service in the park.
-Pray for the upcoming training Proverbs 24:11 is conducting Jan. 27th.
-Pray for our protection/safety in our ministries.
-Pray that we are able to get health insurance here.
-Pray for a reliable vehicle for us.
-Pray for financial support for us as a missionary family as well as for the new ministries.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!