Clean Drinking Water

My friend Arilton has started a Brazilian NGO called Missão Água Viva.  The Quilombola people of Maranhão need clean drinking water.  His mission works to provide clean water to communities by giving a ceramic water filter to each family.  This act of love is bridging relationships to share Jesus through Bible stories.  The mission is going strong and we are amazed at all God is doing amongst these peoples. 

In March we found a family factory that makes ceramic water filters in the nearby town.  Below are some pictures of the filters, the factory and the first delivery to Penalva, Maranhão.


So far we’ve been able to deliver water filters to four different villages.  Most of these villages are only accessible by boat.  The logistics can be a challenge but God has always provided a WAY.



The word is spreading into other Quilombos.  Village leaders are now requesting that we visit their community and share with them how they, too, can have access to clean drinking water. 


Opportunities have opened for sharing Bible stories to the villages through showing the love of Jesus.

Richie Allen with LINC-UP Missions in the USA has partnered with Arilton to help make it all possible.  LINC-UP enables individuals, churches or businesses to give financially to support Missão Água Viva by adopting Quilombola families.  


"let us be a generation that seeks YOUR face"

It's been a rough week for me on several fronts. On Monday, I spent some time working with the really impoverished children here in our city.

(Some friends of ours have started a ministry called CASA. They are working with these poor communities targeting the children between the ages of 4-12. They already have two separate groups, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, on Monday and Wednesday. I will be helping with the morning group.)

I felt I was up to the challenge but apparently it left me feeling pretty overwhelmed and inadequate. I came home and wanted to scream! Granted, it's hard walking through the sewage and realizing the enormous amount of unmet needs but the problem I was having wasn't the lingering smells that wouldn't escape my nose. It wasn't the way my head felt itchy after watching these lil' ones constantly scratching theirs. I was simply grieved again at the unfairness of life. My children sleep each night in their cozy beds with their bellies full and just a short drive away there are toddlers sleeping under a bridge with empty bellies.

When I say these children are poor, I feel that in itself is an understatement. Granted, I've seen a lot of poverty over the years and especially in the Q. villages where we work. I saw poverty in India and the rural areas of China but when you see it in the backdrop of where you live, just a couple miles from your house, it seems so much harsher.

Please pray that God would show us how he wants us to "be" Jesus to these children.

I've also seen a lot of upsetting things happening in our world online lately. It has really caused me to step back and evaluate all the things I hold dear and believe to be true.

Life on this planet involves deadly and destructive tornados, tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes. There are children all over the world suffering, in Africa and on every other continent as well. There are evil men that will never stop torturing and killing innocent people. Money rules the heart of the wicked and the majority of this world is extremely wicked. Leaders no longer look to God for guidance which is expected because the "majority" that elects them into office scoff at God and His Word as well.

But as for me...

I remind myself, again, this world is not my home. Sin is a powerful thing and seems to control almost everything in our existence. Good news though...it won't be like this forever.

I am not a Republican or a Democrat. In fact, my national patriotism is kind of weak lately. I simply desire to be a faithful Christ-follower. His allegiance is to the Father in heaven. I want my allegiance to be the same.

There are some things I hate...
I hate murder and I believe abortion IS murder in it's ugliest form.
Drug addiction is destroying someone I love dearly. I hate those DRUGS!
I am in constant prayer for my brother fighting a war in which killing is a daily force to reckon with. I hate war and believe fully that Christ is the Prince of Peace.

I believe we should take care of people that are hurting and hungry.

I believe that God created marriage to be between a man and a woman and I know that makes me appear to many as "intolerant and unloving". I would disagree though because I know I'm no better. I see all sin as equal. My many sins I struggle with each and every day are just as unacceptable to God as anyone else's. All sin separates us from God and keeps us from Him. I believe we are commanded to LOVE everyone, regardless of their sexual sin, in the same way that Christ loves me in spite of my sin. And let me just say...He loves them enough to give His life for them and for me.
I believe Christians, me included, have enormously FAILED to love above all else.

I believe the rocks are crying out in response to our ever present silence.

I believe the media, representing the majority, leads the minds of all, making the human race appear as goats being led into the slaughter.

I believe the harsh divisions between the Jews and Muslims will one day have an ending in which every knee and every tongue will bow and worship Christ as King. Until that day, I will prayerfully stand with the descendants of Isaac as I feel the Bible directs.

I realize and understand that the majority of people on this earth disagree with my beliefs. This doesn't shock, scare or even waiver what I hold to be true. God tells us it will be this way.

I would normally just ask you to keep praying right now but I really feel it's time for ACTION. As much as God wants us to pray, I believe He wants us to begin doing something....ANYTHING!

Let's stop being silent as Christ followers. Let's begin putting all our deep felt beliefs and convictions into action. We know of Whom will end all of this suffering and pain. We know of WHOM comes out victorious.

Let's get busy LOVING, above all else, in order to give others the same hope we have. Let's stop chasing after causes and denominational divisions. Let's not be afraid to offend with TRUTH as we know that true love is this, that man should lay down his life for another as Christ did for us. The Bible says in the end, Christ followers will not be the majority. Don't find yourself surprised at this but know that if we are silent we have been unfaithful.

Find the hurting and hungry near you. Find the orphans and widows. They're everywhere on every continent. Love them, feed them and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Be Jesus to them and share the hope found in HIM!

"So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." James 4:17

This world is hard and unfair but God is good and grace-filled.



14 candles

Today was JohnMark's 14th Birthday. We surprised him with a trip to Raposa (small nearby fishing town) for the day. We took a boat tour through the bay and ended up on the sandy dunes. It had rained all night before we left and began to pour as we headed home. Our time on the boat, however, was gorgeous. It was really nice to squeeze in a few perfect hours during this rainy season.

The boat captain stopped to serve everyone some oysters.

We gave JohnMark airline tickets to visit some friends that live on the Amazon. He leaves Tuesday morning and will return in 2 weeks. His time there will be an adventure for sure. Their home floats on the river and will give him many opportunities for fishing and swimming. He's promised to take lots of pictures and when he returns, we'll make sure to share them all.


it's not a grass hut

During our time in the states over Christmas, several people asked about our home and our living conditions. I was surprised to hear folks thinking we lived a very primitive lifestyle. While we don't have hot water from our sinks, a clothes dryer, dish washer, or central air, we are a long way from living in a mud hut. We are extremely blessed with a beautiful apartment here in the city. There is a guard downstairs so we also feel very safe.
The future might have other housing arrangements for us if we move into the interior but for now this is where we call home...

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If you're ever in our neck of the woods, come by and see us!