Tuesday, June 5, 2012

AIM III: AME


    With so many Brazilian young people showing an interest in AIM and due to the language, cultural, and financial obstacles, Raniere Menezes envisioned an AIM-like program for Brazil. It is called AME (imperative form of the verb to love) stands for Adventurers in Evangelistic Missions. Check out the site in Portuguese: www.ameprograma.org .  
    The purpose is to prepare young people willing to work in the Kingdom and connect them with congregations in South America that need help. The program is divided into two phases: 8 months of intensive classes and practical training and 18 months working on the field with a church.
    Raniere even visited the AIM institution, Lubbock, TX, gathered ideas, and discussed possible help since they have the experience of decades of encouraging youth for missions.
    We plan to start the first class of five young men on July 9th. Please pray that God will use this effort for results lasting years and years to come.

ELICAMP (Encounter of the Leaders in the Field)

    
    This semiannual event was held here in João Pessoa.  Its purpose?  To encourage and edify workers in the interior of the states in the Northeast of Brazil.  Nine congregations were represented.
    This weekend’s focus was on evangelizing children.  We pondered, planned, and prayed about how to help young people serve God at an early age in life and continue to walk in faithful holiness.  There were many great lessons that made me question my own thoughts about the importance of making sure children hear God’s Word. 
    One of the books suggested for reading on the topic was: Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions by George Barna.  The phrase on the cover of the book reads:  “The enemy has plans for your children – do you?”
    I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we all left this weekend encouraged to make plans to take better care of our children and plant the seed of the Gospel in the hearts of children in general. 
    Take care of your children or someone else will.

AIM II


The AIM program intended to change young lives towards God and missions. But since one spends time working with like-minded godly young people, other life changing decisions can be made.
Marcos Paulo (from João Pessoa) and Valerie worked on the same team in New Zealand and are getting married. Marcus Paulo’s father, Ricardo Sobral, will do the ceremony in English.

          Erick Paddy and Jenny Merritt worked with us in João Pessoa till November 2011. They just got married this past Saturday, and hope to dedicate their lives together on the mission field.
 
Pray for our new AIM team for João Pessoa (Caitlin Beckloff, Beta Katkus, Beka Taylor, Neal Schultz, and Jesse Focht). They should arrive on June 13th if they can get their visas approved with the Brazilian consulate. 

[as of July 13th, they still haven't arrived]

Cajazeiras Baptism Party


Great News and there's a party going on in Heaven.  This is your invitation to join.




Rivaldo Café reports:
There were three baptisms in the city of Cajazeiras.  All three are a part of the Right Step program and study the Bible with a group on Thursday nights.
Leonardo is 15 years old and lives with his parents.  He studies at the Costa and Silva school and has been a part of the Right Step program for one year and 1/2.
            Felipe is 14 years old and lives with his mother and aunt.  He also studies at the Costa and Silva school and has been a part of the Right Step program for 2 years.
            Vitor is 13 years old and lives with his parents.  He studies at the same school as the other two boys and has been in the Right Step program for one year and four months.

AIM I


AIM4PHX: Sofia, Kaitlyn, Heather, Beatriz

Beatriz Cuba is João Pessoa's latest student to go through the AIM program. She has been through the eight months of training and was chosen to be on the team in Phoenix, Arizona. She just arrived there this week and will be participating in several programs, like FriendSpeak, Innercity Campus Ministry, Community outreach through small groups and home Bible studies.

On a sad note, as soon as her roommate Heather Cannon arrived in Phoenix, she received news that her father had a stroke and died. Please pray for Heather in this rough beginning of the ministry and for her family.
If you would like to send encouragement to Beatriz or her team, write to beatrizcuba_br@hotmail.com

Monday, June 4, 2012

From Sodom to Ephesus

            I traveled to Cubati and spent three nights and one morning teaching the church about: the Lord's Supper, Fasting, Baptism, the Church.  A total of four visitors showed up to hear the classes.  They seemed to understand but later I heard one of the Christians wanted to hear about fasting again.  Overall, I think the time was well spent and on another visit I will be able to better help.  Please pray for this city which is kind of what I would imagine being a modern day Sodom, because of rampant drug use, prostitution, and Friday night gay night.

            I received a call from Afonso and Vânia before sending out this article.  They are very excited and have begun visiting people and offering for them to study the Bible through a correspondence course.  There are around 60 people interested.  I will be traveling to Campina Grande on June 14th, and staying through the 17th.  I will head off to give the correspondence courses to those excited about studying in Cubati.  I will also give an introduction to the course and set-up dates to go back and visit once a month to answer any questions and take them a little deeper in their studies.  Please pray for the church and their excitement and efforts to evangelize this sinful city.

            After the church service in Cubati, Afonso, Vânia and I traveled to Areial.  You may remember that there are only three Christian women in this town and they have a program on the radio.  We participated on the program and had cake and juice for our celebration of three people who finished a correspondence course and received certificates.  There are five more who are studying.  Please pray for this congregation and its efforts to evangelize this small town.

            After Areial, I headed off to Campina Grande, a city that reminds me of what I would imagine Ephesus being.  It is the gateway to Paraíba.  To travel through the state of Paraíba you most likely will pass through Campina Grande.  I went to visit and meet with the church and to share a spiritual blessing.  There were around 25 people present at the church meeting.  I was encouraged and uplifted.  Please pray that God may open up the hearts of these visitors and others with which they may come in contact.

Please pray:

  • that God will open doors and hearts
  • that the Christians will speak boldly and truthfully about God's Word
  • that the church may grow spiritually, as well as, numerically

Family Day

           
            I was invited to spend the day and speak in Emas and Catingueira, I'm sure you've been there before, at their Family Day.  Catingueira is about 6 miles from Emas.  Both congregations have about 10 members each.  We spent the day in a house just outside of Emas, the owner, who is not a Christian, was there the whole time but did not participate in any of the church's activities.  Interestingly, he was very excited to receive us and enjoyed the meal we ate together and sure did like to talk to everyone.

            After spending time in prayer and singing, I asked the group what was one of the problems that families faced now and caused some type of fear for the future.  They almost unanimously responded: finances.  So, we spent time talking about the dangers of debt and how God's Word teaches us how to handle the money He has entrusted us.  Quite a few of them seemed surprised that the Bible spoke so directly and correctly about the smartest way to manage finances. 

    Please pray for these two congregations and their evangelists.  Both of the evangelists are thinking about going into politics.  It is a dangerous game to play, spiritually, and I talked with them both about the possible pit falls.  They already knew.  I also suggested a support and accountability group for them in their Christian lives. 

Please pray that God may guide their steps to the path that will bring the greatest glory to His Kingdom.