It is exciting to see Calvary Belém continuing to grow and be a light in the community. Our church services in the park continue to reach the lost and the prodigals, and our services in the church building continue to grow. As great as this is, the most exciting part of this is seeing how the Lord is drawing us together as a strong body of believers and a strong family in Jesus. Our men's and women's discipleship groups are being led by our Brazilian church members now and it is such a blessing to see God use these individuals to pour into their fellow Brazilians. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful people around us in our work here who share the same heart as we do to reach the lost. While we do have great help from the nationals here we are still in great need of full-time ministry workers to help us in the church and its ministries. Kyle is in need of an assistant to come alongside him and help him in the church and with its growing needs, and we continue to pray for the Lord to provide a consistent and strong worship team. We are still in the long and tedious process of legalizing/registering the church here in Brazil. We have a lawyer working on this and we pray things will be completed soon. Please continue to pray for these with us as well.
Recently, we had a team of 10 from Calvary Church in Aurora, CO visit us. They were able to experience our work first hand. It is always an encouragement to have short term visits from our supporting churches and we pray the Lord used their time here to move them on to big things for the kingdom of God.
We recently had a free concert at the church 'Calvary Music Fest'. This was our first outreach engaging the students who attend the University directly across the street from our building, as well as engaging with other individuals who may be far from the Lord or hurt by their experiences in the church. It was a great success and we look forward to having events like this more often.
Calvary Belém offered a time of preaching the Word, worshiping and testimony sharing with the men and women in law enforcement. We have been praying about beginning a program within these branches. Please continue to pray for the right person to lead and guide it.
We continue to work with the Venezuelan refugees (the individuals from the Warao tribe). A few came to 'Calvary Music Fest' to sell some of the jewelry they make. The individuals from the Warao group we worked with for the last year and half have changed greatly since this summer. Many who we used to minister to have moved to a neighboring state and the house where they were living is now empty. This new group of Warao are in much better shape (mentally, emotionally, physically, etc.) and have improved living condition then the last groups/families. They are healthier and seem happier with less addictions present in the home. Our team is very happy to see such an improvement!
Our work with the Warao continues to focus on sharing the Gospel message with them through the New Testament in their tribal language, bead/jewelry making with the women, and 'Sunday School' type teaching with their children. We are praying on how to begin ministering more specifically to the men through the men in out volunteer team. We also have a vision to begin a simple discipleship Bible study with the women as well as begin working at a second Warao house. We have a new leader of the Warao ministry who will be guiding this work, a Brazilian named Sarah. She will begin taking on full leadership of this ministry in the coming weeks. Please keep Sarah and this ministry in your prayers.
The above picture (the last ror on the left) was in a girls jail with some of the US team members visiting. Krista visits this jail every 4-6 weeks sharing her Proverbs 24:11 human trafficking prevention/education material. This material is far more than a prevention/education talk as it discusses the heart of each individual and has them asses their own hurts and what has developed from these wounds in their hearts creating rebellion and making them more vulnerable to being preyed upon. This is the same material Krista and the volunteers in this ministry use with their work in the Amazon river communities as well. The Proverbs 24:11 Ministry continues to work on the streets of Belém. Week after week Krista and her team of volunteers continues to work on the streets of Belém with individuals involved in prostitution. For about the last two years we have outreached in one particular area. We visit the same streets, on the same day, and at the same time. We have come to know many of the same individuals working there and they know and remember us. It has only been recently, after more than a year and a half of outreaching, that they are beginning to trust us to go into deeper conversations with them. We are thrilled that they trust us enough to ask some really difficult spiritual questions and we continue to pray that we can minister to them off the streets as well (I believe the time is getting closer for this). Recently, we have also begun working in a different part of the city, Ananindeua, on a different night. It is our desire to see the streets lit up for Jesus and the red light motels out of business.
The house and property shown above is a possible location of a 'healing home' for the women who desire to come off the streets, be discipled in the Lord, heal physically/emotionally/spiritually, and learn new life and vocational skills. We are still praying and waiting for the finances to fund this as well as the workers we would need to help in this. As we pray and wait for the doors to open for this we continue to work on completing the foundational curriculum and logistics needed to operate such a home. We are blessed to have a strong Brazilian volunteer team in place for this work as the work is very spiritually oppressive. Each new volunteer says the same thing when we go to the streets "it's so heavy" and "it's so sad". We love that the individuals involved in prostitution want to share their experiences with us from showing us their bullet hole scars, their stab wounds, and slashed necks to opening their hearts a little more to us each week. We pray that we are able to offer a home for these individuals where they can be ministered to and their hearts and bodies can heal. Please pray for this with us.
Prayer Requests & Updates-
We have secured the Bible Society Boat for our upcoming river mission trip for July 2020 with space for about 25 individuals (this mission will be a mix of evangelical outreach, medical/dental work, and our Proverbs ministry prevention work going to the needy river communities here at the mouth of the Amazon).