"Let everyone who has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!" Psalm 150:6
What a wonderful reminder this is for everyone; for those whom still have breath/life in them... praise the Lord! It is so common to meet individuals whom believe they are too far gone to be reconciled with the Lord. These people believe that their sin is too great, their thoughts too grievous, dark, depressed or haunting for them to be allowed into a relationship with Jesus. They have been taught incorrectly about what it means to be saved...they have not been taught the full Gospel. Each week we encounter these individuals either on the streets with our work with the individuals in prostitution with the Proverbs 24:11 ministry or with the newcomers to our church, and each week we remind them that "...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). The news that Christ died for us while we were still sinners is amazing news to the people we minister to. Think about this for a moment from the perspective of a person involved in prostitution. Many of the individuals we minister to in our Proverbs ministry began in prostitution as a young teenager. For what ever reasons that forced them to the streets to work; family, addiction, desperation, money, trafficked, etc...they are all involved in a work that is grievous to their souls. When we share Romans 5:8 with them they can't seem to comprehend it. In their world, where their friends are dying from the violence of their work, and where they are abused and used on a nightly basis they cannot understand that anyone, let alone Jesus, would die for them...especially with some of the things they are/have been involved in. So, for an individual involved in prostitution since 13 or 14 yrs. old who have been working the streets for over 10 years this Good News seems implausible, and sadly it seems just as unattainable to the individual who can't seem to get 'perfect' enough for them to get back to Sunday church service. What a joy though that we are reminded throughout the Bible that there is no place to dark, and no valley to deep for the Lord to rescue us from...and for this let everyone who has breath Praise the Lord!
Calvary Chapel Belem-
After many months of praying and waiting for more workers to join us in the new church plant, and its ministries, we are very excited to announce that we have a fulltime Brazilian worker with us, Sarah Menezes. Sarah has been helping us in various ministry related things for over 3 years. She began in discipleship with Krista almost 3 years ago and while they continue in this relationship, Sarah has become a great help to us in many, many ways. We have also been blessed with two new Brazilian interns from the local Word of Life seminary. These interns have been helping with the Refugee Ministry, teaching the kids Bibles stories, doing crafts, etc...; helping with evangelism in the park prior to our Sunday morning church services; and they will help with the Proverbs Ministry when they return from their summer break. It has been a huge blessing to us to have extra help, but we continue to pray for the Lord to provide more full-time workers as the need is great. We also have been blessed to have a young couple helping us with worship both in the park and in the church building. Rodriguez and Emma Daniel were recently married here at Calvary Chapel Belem, and they are now leading worship. Our church recently had a baby dedication and we are excited to see the Lord work in this family's life! Calvary Belem's building still has many repairs that need to be addressed...part of the ceiling needs to be replaced, we have some very serious leaks from the roof creating water damage and mold in a wall that needs to be torn out. These basic repairs should cost around $1,800. In the near future, we hope to redesign the inside of the church building to be more functional for everyday use. We are looking forward to ministering to the students of the college directly across the street from our building. Using a coffee shop and free English classes, we are certain that the place could be full of people throughout the week. We desire to have a church home that is clean (mold free), free from water leaks, and functional for daily use in order to allow us to minister to all who come through our doors, but we need help to accomplish this. We estimate that the build out and all the equipment needed would about $25,000. Please pray for with us for this large need to be met. If you feel led to donate towards this you can do so through our support page, www.diagratia.org/support, all of your donations are tax deductible as we are a registered 501 c 3. We have hired an attorney for the church to help with the legalization process. We have submitted all the paperwork needed and are waiting for approval from the city of Belem. Once legalized, we will be able to open a bank account for the church and operate as a normal congregation.
Proverbs 24:11 Ministry-
We have a huge praise...a few months ago, in our last newsletter we had mentioned that one of the individual's, 'Brenda', who was involved in prostitution had been asking us for prayer for 'her' family as 'her' brother had recently been killed and 'she' was very worried about his kids. As mentioned last time we saw this individual again a different week and 'she' was doing better, and felt as though our prayers helped. I am happy to announce that last Thursday night, while we were working on the streets with the prostitutes, we were told by 'her' friends on the streets (other transgendered prostitutes) that 'Brenda' had been converted! 'She' no longer works on the streets as a prostitute, 'she' now has transitioned back to being a male and uses his given name of Jean. We know that Jean has a lot of healing ahead of him and we pray that he continues to grow in his relationship with the Lord and that his life can be used as a testimony to others in his same situation. While we rejoice over the news of Jean it is with a very heavy heart that we report the death of two people we know, that are involved in prostitution/drugs. One of the first individuals in prostitution we ever met when we began this work was Rahpella. She was energetic, happy to see us, let us know the news on the streets, and kept us up to date with the whereabouts of some of the other 'workers' who we hadn't seen in a while. We were told recently by other prostitutes that she had died. While our hearts broke for her family we were confident that she had heard the Gospel many times during our time with her; whether she accepted the Lord as her Savior...only the Lord knows. It is also with great sorrow that we learned another individual had died. Kyle had shared the Gospel to this woman after one of our church service's in the park and while her and her friends were very interested in how to be saved and asked many questions, this particular woman told us she did not want to accept the Lord and she knew she was going to hell when she died...we can only hope she was saved before her death. Please continue to keep Jean in your prayers and the 60+ other individuals involved in prostitution that we've encountered since we began this ministry. The seeds are being sown and it is exciting to see some fruit come from such dark areas. We continue to pray and wait for funds to open our healing home...the current price to purchase this refuge for workers coming out of prostitution is around $40,000 (the possible healing home house pictured below).
The refugee ministry continues to go through some changes. Recently we began working in a new location with the Warao refugees. There are about 75 living (more like camping outside), in an outdoor park near the center of the city. Due to the previous work and relationships we had created with the other Warao for the past year or so the leaders easily and readily let our teams enter their community to work with them. We continue to work in the previous location as well, but many have left this location and have moved to other, cheaper, areas/states. The longer these refugees are in the city the more restless we see some of them become. The use of drugs and alcohol in these places have increased and recently there has been a brief encounter with a drunken Warao man wielding a knife at us while we were working with them. The atmosphere in these places is very different now as many of the Warao are moving (by the hundreds) to a neighboring state. We are unsure as to the future of this ministry as things ar changing very fast with it, but we continue to be led by the Lord and wait for Him to guide and redirect us.
Fox Family Update-
The Fox's are coming for a US visit this summer! After 2 years all four Fox's will be in the US together for a short summer furlough. We will be visiting supporting churches/individuals, new churches, and of course our family and friends. We never have the time we want to visit everyone, but we hope we can meet up with many of you while we are there...please message us to connect:) Kyle will be traveling to the south of Brazil next week to attend and teach at the Pastors and leaders conference for the Brazilian Calvary Chapels. It is always such a joy to be with our Calvary brothers and sisters each year. Aidan and Liam are just finishing their semester at school and they both continue to adjust more and more to the Brazilian school system and the language. This will be Aidan's last semester at the Brazilian school as he will begin the fall enrolled at an online school to finish his 12th grade year as it is important for him to finish school with a US high school diploma. We are in the process of applying for our permanent visas now as well. All of the documents have been sent and now we are just waiting on a response back from the ministry of work. Should the Lord choose to grant our permanent visas, our visa problems would be non-existent for the next 10 years! So, please pray for the visas to be approved and for it to be done quickly. Also, please pray for our rental house back in CO. We just learned of some water damage that will costs thousands to repair...please pray the insurance company will allow us to file a claim for this.
-Prayer for Jean, the newly converted individual who was involved in prostitution.
-Pray for the purchase of a Proverbs 24:11 healing home- Purchase price of $40,000.
-Pray for funds to repair the Calvary Chapel Belem building- Repairs, $1,800 and redesign + coffee shop, at $25,000.
-Pray for the legalization process for Calvary Chapel Belem.
-Pray for the refugee ministry and the wisdom needed in this.
-Pray that our furlough back to the US would be fruitful, and restful, and that our visas would be approved and granted soon.
-Pray for more full-time workers to join us in the field.
Thank you all for your continued support, prayers, and encouragement! Look forward to seeing many of you soon!
Kyle, Krista, Aidan & Liam Fox