It has been a very difficult and trying season for us lately here in Belem, Brazil, both personally and in our church and its ministries. Beginning a new church as well as new ministries in a foreign country, in a different culture, and in a new language from nothing is not for the weary. We continue to be impacted by traumatic/grievous situations in our work with the individuals in prostitution and with the refugees. It is hard to see the fruit in these very dark areas where we work, and that can be discouraging. As the leaders of the church and its ministries we know we are not only working in dark areas, but building up and discipling others that work alongside us as well, and it takes so much strength to continue, but we serve an amazing God who gives us strength in our weakness and endurance in our trials, and for this we can rejoice in Him.
Calvary Chapel Belem continues to serve the individuals in Belem and the surrounding areas. We have weekly prayer meetings, men's & women's discipleship groups, and home fellowship. We are in need of a worship team as Kyle (and sometimes Aidan) has had to take this on as we wait for the Lord to provide. We also pray for more workers/missionaries to join us in this work. The church, and its ministries (the Proverbs and Refugee Ministries) also are in need of monthly financial commitments as the church and ministries grows and takes root. We are in need of $1,500 more each month for rent, maintenance and ministry expenses. We are continuing to cover these things from our living expenses, but it is becoming extremely hard to provide for both living and church/ministry expenses. Please keep these things in prayer as well as our language acquisition.
The Proverbs Ministry team has been going through a season of growth. We have had some team members move on to other adventures and have welcomed new volunteers as well. We continue to reach out to the individuals involved in prostitution each week. We always share the Gospel, a chocolate, and the Proverbs hotline phone number. These men (transgendered), and women working on the streets know us and share more about their lives each time we meet them Thursday nights. Recently, we were able to pray for an individual whose brother was murdered and who was worried about his nieces and nephews...the following week this individual thanked us for the prayers and reported that his family was a doing a little better. This is a very challenging work...we do not know the circumstances of what brought these individuals to where they are at now, and many have other jobs by day. The lure of money for them, as some have told us, brings them back to the streets each night. They always ask for protection when we pray with them. Please remember these 60+ individuals that we have connected with involved in prostitution and help us as we intercede for their souls in prayer. We continue to pray to open a healing home for the women desiring to leave prostitution. The picture below is one of the possibilites we have here near Belem to purchase a property that meets all the needs to be a wonderful home (a place of love, discipleship, and healing), for these women. We have already begun the process of developing the program for these individuals who will live in the house. This is a huge step of faith for us, but we know the Lord does not desire that any should perish. We would like to offer the listing broker $40,000 to purchase the above property for this ministry. We do not have funds for this, but we pray and trust the Lord will provide.
It has been a very, very sad time with the Warao Indians (refugees from Venezuela). In the last couple of weeks 2 Warao children have died from preventable diseases. The boy in the yellow (pictured in the middle) died as his family tried to return to Venezuela looking for a witch doctor to heal him. He died on the journey there and was buried in Manaus (a city in the Amazonas state in Brazil). The mother of this child showed us pictures of his body and his grave as she mourned the death of her son. These are not isolated instances and while Belem is trying to help vaccinate these individuals, their living conditions continue to be horrendous. They live in filth. Each week we work with them we see large rats, deal with cockroaches running across the blankets where we sit while working with them. Their kids are black from dirt, their noses are always running, they have bug bites, boils, measles, and pneumonia...sickness abounds in these houses where they live. These individuals need a safe and clean place to live. They need to learn how to be part of their new society/culture (they do not desire to return to Venezuela). They need to learn proper hygiene to help protect them for further illness, and the list goes on. We are able to help in some of these areas, but we know their primary need is Jesus. While the loss of their children is horrific, it has allowed us to share more about heaven and Jesus with them. Please continue to keep the Warao in your prayers.
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