March 9, 2017
The Lord never ceases to amaze us as He demonstrates His sovereign control over all things. Circumstances come and go, and the result always gives glory to God. If it is not glorifying Him, it is not over yet. Always trust Him. So, during the last few months, the verse that has been ringing in my ears is “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b. We endure all things joyfully, so that He may receive the glory. He does strengthen us, everyday. How comforting it is to know there is nothing our Father cannot resolve. (Can I get an amen?)
As mentioned in last month’s letter, we stopped homeschooling and enrolled our kids in a Brazilian public school for this school year. The educational calendar begins in February and goes through December, with a month break in July. Homeschooling just didn’t work out as we anticipated. We rejoice and are counting our blessings for these reasons: 1) the school is seven minutes away from home; 2) it is one of the best public schools in the country; 3) this change in plans did not incur extra monthly expenses (private schools in São Paulo are generally more expensive than in the States); 4) the kids like their teachers and friends – the are loving it; and, 5) We can interact with our neighborhood families more effectively. One thing is certain, we are so glad the Lord placed us in our current home, as we are within an exceptional school district.
Health wise, Raquel and I are doing well. The children had it rough this last month, everyone was sick with different issues. Laura and Melissa still have an infection and Benjamin continues to have mild stomach pains. All four of them are doing blood work and doctor’s follow-up visits.
I was in the States for 9 days during February. I meet with Bros. Randy Jones, Dave Parks and Steve Wainright and was highly encouraged by changes being implemented within Baptist Faith Missions. While in Lexington I also met with several pastor friends – Russel Zik, Donovan Stewart, Tim Parsons and Todd Thomas. Then, drove down to Tennessee and onto Virginia where I participated in the Pastoral Leadership Advisory Board at Liberty University, led by Dr. Dave Adams. There were 41 pastors from across the country, with lectures from Pastors Jonathan Falwell, Ed Hindson, Dave Adams, Troy Temple and Elmer Towns. We also had small group discussions coordinated by Jason Suitt. I connected with pastor friends Russ Dean, Matt Willmington, Tim Grandstaff Sr., Daniel Broyles, Danny Campbell, and Joey Bray. A special thank you to Scott and Cindy Phillips for hosting me in their home. I enjoyed visiting Scott Phillips’ SS class and the folks at Thomas Road B.C. and Living Word B.C.
The Lord has opened incredible doors for sharing the Gospel and mentoring here in São Paulo. We are praying as the Lord is confirming in our hearts where to start the next new works, including something within our own neighborhood. In preparation for this, we need to purchase 100 chairs – each at roughly 40 dollars. As you read this (and, if the Lord lays on your heart), would you consider a financial contribution for chairs? I am thankful for your consideration on this matter.
We are grateful as the Lord has taught us so much over the last 6 months and has guided us over hurdles. As mentioned earlier, our children’s education has been a major adjustment to our original plans. We are also grateful for the local community of English-speaking Expatriates – an informal association of English speakers who meet each month and organize family activities. We all share similar experiences in adjusting to life in this massive metropolis. Raquel and I were glad to be the host home for February’s monthly brunch. We have met so many wonderful people and our kids love interacting with other children who also speak English. Friends are always an encouragement.
- Children’s health and education
- Opening new doors for church planting
- 100 chairs
- Personal finances
- Missions Conference at Thompson Road B.C. in Lexington, KY in April
Please, continue to pray for us. We are grateful for every prayer invested on our behalf.