Hello and Merry Christmas! We are looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior with our church family and friends here in Belem. In fact, we are having our first church service in our newly acquired building for Christmas service this Sunday!
It has been an extremely busy few months for us here in Belem. Last October we were asked to share our ministries, and our new church plant, at the Calvary Chapel Merritt Island missions conference in Florida . It was a great privilege for us to be included in this conference and we were encouraged by many people there. It is amazing to us to know that people are interested and pray for our work here. We were hugely blessed by the team there and even managed to have a few days of rest before we headed back to Belem. Kyle continues to be busy with running the church, preparing for Sunday services, studying for his classes, and preparing the new church building for our first service. Krista had been working on a Biblical counseling training that she used for the YWAM staff, helping them to further meet the needs of those they minister to, she recently traveled 18+ hours up the mouth of the Amazon River to visit a ministry working out there and to focus more on her Portuguese, and she continues to lead both the Proverbs 24:11 and the Refugee ministry. Aidan and Liam just finished there first full year in Brazilian school and while it was a rough start things are going much better and they are quickly adapting to the new school and all the differences that come with it. Their new school year begins in January, so please pray that they will continue to adjust and adapt.
Calvary Chapel Belem
We have moved into our new church building and will have our first church service this Sunday for our Christmas service! It has been a lot of work getting the building ready these last couple of weeks, but we are hopeful that it will all come together by this Sunday. After a year of using the park for: church services every Sunday, our weekly prayer meetings in the park, and it being our meeting place for our weekly ministries we are excited to finally have a place to direct people and a place Calvary Chapel Belem can call home. We will continue Sunday morning church service in the park and will have our more traditional church services in the evenings at the church building. Sunday mornings in the park has been a wonderful ministry and we have seen many people accept the Lord as their Savior, and have seen many prodigals return to their Father in Heaven through these park church services. Our new building is located in front of the large university in our state, UNAMA, and we have daily access to the college students, professors, and other professionals coming and going. Our prayer is that this building will be a light to many in the dark; the homeless, the refugee, the prostitute, the academic, the drug addict, to anyone who is lost. We love them all and we love that we can share the Gospel message with these people whether it is from our ministries who work directly with these individuals already, and/or for the ones who will step inside our church out of pure curiosity as to what the 'gringos' are doing. Calvary Chapel Belem also just celebrated its first year anniversary in November! We had a big churrasco (Brazilian style BBQ) to celebrate, as well as used it as a time to thank our 20+ volunteers for all of their help with the church and its ministries...we are blessed to serve Jesus with some amazing people here.
The Proverbs 24:11 ministry is continuing to meet with the individuals involved in prostitution each week during our Thursday night outreaches on the streets where they work. We have recently started a phone hotline exclusively for these individuals. They now have a way to contact us where we can offer prayer, we listen to their struggles/hurts, offer phone numbers for social/emergency assistance. The vision the Lord has given Krista for this ministry continues to unfold step by step by the Lord's leading. This ministry includes 4 components and we have seen the Lord guide and begin the first 3 over the last year which are: our weekly outreaches, the phone hotline, and the prevention/education program (we use this in the local girls jail in Belem as well in the different river communities in the Amazon region). We continue to pray and wait for the Lord to provide for the 4th component of this ministry which is a to have a healing home. This is a home for the women involved in prostitution who desire a new life to live in, be discipled in, learn a new vocation, and to heal from the inside out. We have found a property in the area we believe would be a perfect location for this home, and so we ask for prayers for funding and prayer for workers.
The Refugee Ministry
The Refugee ministry is going well, but it is not without difficulty. Our teams minister to the Venezuelan refugees here in Belem; however, these refugees are from the indigenous tribe called the Warao and are very different and have very different needs then the average Venezuelan refugee. When we were at the missions conference in October sharing this ministry, as well as the others, we were shocked to learn that very few people in the US have heard of the Venezuelan refugee crisis. It has been said that the amount of individuals fleeing Venezuela from lack of food, money, and most other resources may soon surpass the Syrian refugee crisis. These refugees are flooding into Brazil and neighboring countries as well. For us, here in Belem, we have a large population of indigenous Indians, the Warao. These individuals speak hardly any Spanish, very little Portuguese and mainly speak their tribal language, Warao. Two times a week our teams visit the Warao in two different houses where they live. During our weekly outreaches, we have a few team members teaching the Warao kids Bible stories and Portuguese while the other group of volunteers works with the women making jewelry and listening to the New Testament on our portable speaker in their Warao language. Last week we were able to bless the Warao with small Christmas presents for the parents (hygiene kits), and the kids (small toys and stuffed animals). A local church here, a few of our volunteers, as well as a former missionary from Canada helped to acquire these items and it was a great blessing.
Calvary Urban Missions
Our Friday night ministry, Calvary Urban Missions, is lead by our friend and dedicated Brazilian worker, Kauê Seoane. Kauê has been leading this ministry faithfully for over a year now, as well as being Kyle's weekly translator and a general help in all of our ministries in the church. The Lord had put the individuals involved in drugs and alcohol on his heart and he, along with other volunteers, go weekly to a local bar/party area. He and his team go and share the Gospel with these individuals using creative means to draw them into meaningful conversation and they have begun to create relationships with these individuals and pray that the Lord will continue to grow these relationships into an opportunity for discipleship. Kauê has felt the call to be a missionary and we rejoice with him in this! As he prepares for the work to come he feels called to attend Bible school in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has already raised over half of the support needed to attend and is still prayerfully waiting on an individual(s) to commit to supporting him with the remaining amount at $200.00 a month. This will help to cover the cost for his tuition, room, board, and food. If you feel led to support Kauê in this you can do so through us on our support page, www.diagratia.org/support, but please make sure to indicate that your donation(s) is for Kauê. It would be a blessing to see this young man of God supported by his church family around the world.
-We are still in need of a couple more individuals and/or churches to commit to financially supporting the church here in Belem at $250.00 a month. These contributions will be used to help pay the rent/utilities for the new church building, as well as to help the various ministries in it. In the future, we hope to have the church supporting itself, but as it's so new now we need help.
-Pray for finances for a healing home for Proverbs 24:11. The property we believe would be a great location for this is currently listed for sale for about $40,000 (as is and needs a lot of work). Please also pray for the more workers for this ministry.
-Please pray for a worship team for Calvary Chapel Belem.
-Pray for faithful and dedicated leaders to rise up in our church as well as more workers to help us here in the field.
-Pray that this new church building will be a light in a very dark place and that it will be used mightily to bring glory to the Lord and to save souls.
-Pray for our family as we work here in these dark areas. There is a lot of spiritual warfare for us (spiritual, emotional, and physical) and we are always on the defense/battling with the enemy and this battle can be tiring and overwhelming at times.
It is an amazing privilege to serve Jesus here in Belem, Para, Brazil. And we continually thank God for all of you who pray for us, message us, financially support us, and love us. Without all of your encouragement, prayers, and support from back home we would not be able to do this work. Your help allows us to further the Gospel and we are blessed that you continue to love and support us. We love you all and pray you have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Kyle, Krista, Aidan & Liam Fox