We thank you for your support, love, prayers, and encouragement. It continues to be a difficult, but growing season for us in Belém, Brazil. Each month that continues in the pandemic seems to bring a new lesson of patience. It has definitely been an intense ride navigating lockdowns, as well as the many new rules/mandates that have made ministry complicated. Our area of Belém just recently came out of its second lockdown this year. We are currently operating at a level red which is the second highest level and there are still many restrictions, but God has been faithfully taking care of us and His church and its ministries.
Calvary Belém- The last couple of months have been an extremely difficult time for many people here as many day-laborers/non-essential workers haven't been able to work and many are having trouble feeding their families. The Lord has provided abundantly through you, our financial supporters, and Calvary Belem was able to feed over 170 families during the week of Easter. We were really encouraged to meet many of our neighbors around the church building while we were handing out food and have been pleased to see some of them return for church service. It was amazing to see hundreds of people lining up in front of our church waiting to receive a box of food that would feed a family of 4 for about a week. While restrictions are still in place for churches, and we are still not able to have church in the park we are able to have in-person services again in the church building, as well as our men's and women's discipleship meetings. We also had another baptism two months ago as 3 people from the church were baptized...it was a wonderful time and as always a joy to be part of these lovely ladies spiritual journey.
Thanks to our many faithful supporters, the ceiling at the church building has been repaired and we will focus on repairing the roof next. The rainy season has been intense and it is a constant struggle to keep water out of the building form the broken roof tiles and when flooding occurs to keep it from entering through the front windows. The church has also been blessed with start-up funds to begin the build-out and preparation for Calvary Coffee House. This has been years in prayer and to see it begin is amazing. Our desire for this coffee shop is to offer a place for the individuals working in prostitution, who we meet during our Proverbs 24:11 ministry, to have a new source of employment and income as well as discipleship. We also pray that it will attract the students from the large private university located in front of the church. Please continue to pray for this as we still need to raise the rest of the funds to complete the project and pray for the landlord to be willing to share some of the costs of the building repair. Please also keep a new ministry in prayer "Calvary Kids" as a couple in our church have hearts for the little ones and will begin this new ministry soon.
Proverbs 24:11-It seems as soon as we get a little momentum going with this ministry due to the lockdowns, restrictions, etc...then we are forced to stop and wait again. The restrictions have made working with these individuals extremely difficult this year as there are curfews preventing our street work at night and restrictions on travel up the Amazon River to share our prevention and education programs. However, in between the lockdowns and restrictions we continue on the streets when it is allowed. We have also had 2 dinner banquets for these individuals in order to grow our relationship with them off of the streets. We are praying about how to effectively bring these individuals working to these dinners. We were really encouraged recently to hear that many of these people we have met on the streets desire to attend the banquets, but are nervous/scared to go on their own. So, we are praying about renting a van each month to pick-up these individuals and their friends/co-workers and bring them to the banquet, we think this may make them more comfortable so they don't feel like they're going alone. Please pray for wisdom in this as it is our desire to host these banquets each month once restrictions have been lifted. Also, we have been planning, scheduling, and rescheduling our Amazon River trip for our prevention/education program as each month it has been planned COVID rules change preventing us from doing this work up the river, but praise the Lord it looks like things are beginning to calm down and we hope to be up the river with our prevention work in July.
The Refugee Ministry- We have decided to pause this ministry until a new leader can be raised up and take over. We continue to keep all the Warao families in prayer (the indigenous refugees from Venezuela), as well as continue to try and gain access to the large government run shelter that currently houses hundreds of them. Due to COVID restrictions we have not been able to gain access to the Warao in the shelters, but until December we were working in the houses of a different Warao group/family. We pray that the Lord will bring a leader for this ministry soon and that the work can continue and that the seeds we have been sowing with the many different refugee families over the last 3 years would begin to take root and grow.
The Fox Family-Kyle and I have mostly recovered from COVID we had lighter symptoms, but I still can't smell or taste most things and we both struggle with continued fatigue and some brain fog. It has been about 5-6 weeks since our diagnosis so we are hopeful that we will return to normal soon. Both boys are doing well too! Aidan is currently working full-time in CT and is really enjoying the various roles he fills there through administration, office management, sales, etc...he applied to many new universties this winter when he was home with us in Belem and was accepted to most of them, but he has decided to attend Colorado Christian University in the fall. Liam has been doing school online through Calvary Prep academy and has started playing basketball with a team here in the area and is really enjoying it.
We are headed to the good ol' USA!! We are excited about our upcoming 'home assignment' trip to the US in May. It will be an intense time of meetings with churches, and individuals, as we will be in 5 states in 4 weeks. While this isn't a time of rest for us it is always a blessing to be back in our home country. We are always excited to be able to connect with our supporters and look forward to seeing many of you next month. Please keep this trip in your prayers as we need to raise funds to: finish the coffee shop, help pay for language school in the fall for both Kyle and I, and continue to raise committed monthly support.
Please pray for...
Calvary Coffee and Calvary Kids
Kyle's upcoming meeting with the landlord of our church building
The Proverbs 24:11 ministry- our monthly dinners and our river trips
The Refugee Ministry- Their hearts to be touched by Jesus and a new ministry leader
The Fox Family- Restored health for both Kyle & I, for Aidan as he prepares for college and his heart/walk with the Lord, for Liam as I am sure it is lonely being the only kid in the house and with all the restrictions not having the ability to see friends is a little difficult, and please pray for our upcoming home assignment trip that it would be fruitful.
Thank you for your love and support!
The Fox Family