Thank you for your prayers last week. The thirteen member team from Friendship Community Bible Church in Houston did a wonderful job. Sunday we visited a small village. There are four new Christians there (including the community leader). The village was waiting for us to arrive and greeted us with warmness. We sang, played games, and shared Bible stories.
Monday we traveled five hours to quilombo Santa Maria (where we built the medical clinic with the last team). They worked there until Wednesday. Each day we visited people in homes to pray and tell Bible stories. In the afternoon we played soccer and told more stories to children. A few members of the team stayed the night in the village with me. They got up early and went fishing for Piranha. The team ate lunch at the house of the village leader which included the morning catch. The team also brought pillow case dresses for all the little girls of the village. The last day, the team passed out dental supplies and hygiene products. They also brought two large sacks full of medical supplies. This was such a blessing because they will be used to help stock the new clinic.
Thursday morning we made our way up to quilombo Miranda outside of the city Rosario. This was a large community of about 150 families. We visited in homes to pray and share the Gospel. That night I preached to a large crowd that gathered in the park. The next morning a young lady on our team lead a dance clinic for all the girls in the community. We passed out dental supplies and parted ways at lunch.
After lunch we visited a nearby quilombo called Nambuaçú de Baixo and visited more families. While the team was making visits, I had a long conversation with pastor Arilton. He is a young man (23) that is working hard to reach Maranhao with the Gospel. He has already finished seminary (started at 17) and has a vision to reach quilombos for Jesus. Friday night we lead a service at his church in a neighboring quilombo.
Thanks again for all your prayers. God is working and people are hearing the Good News...some for the very first time. We will travel this week to the southern part of Brazil for our annual "company" meeting. Afterward, we will meet up with some pretty special people in Jacarei. We look forward to sharing about our travels when we return.
The team from SC (Carl, Ronnie, Glenn and Jody) along with some local men of the community were able to install the roof and finish most of the medical clinic in Quilombo Santa Maria outside of Victoria, Maranhão. The local men will finish all the work next week. This has opened many doors for future ministry.
Sunday morning I was able to encourage a new congregation of believers (12 people). Then Sunday night most of the village (about 120) came to hear our message. We sang, shared personal testimonies and then I preached. It was a great night in the Lord. Tuesday night the team held another service in the local Catholic church building that’s never used while me and another missionary from the Netherlands shared at a church about 30 minutes away. Every morning one of the team members shared a devotion with the local workers. On the last day one of the men stepped forward in our circle to surrender his life to Christ! Of course it was the one that we would have least expected to do so. Isn’t that the way God works!
Wednesday the local leaders of Santa Maria took me to visit nine other Quilombo communities by boat. We left at 8 AM and returned late that night. They introduced me to all of the other village leaders and I was able to understand many of their community needs. They were all very grateful for our work and welcomed me to visit often in the future. This was an indescribable experience for me! Two village leaders even traveled four hours to see our work and pay me a visit on Friday morning.
There will be another team arriving from Houston on Saturday, July 9th. Their primary focus will be children’s ministry and Evangelism. We will visit several Quilombo communities around São Luis. On July 12th we will return to Santa Maria once again for two days. Plus we will take the boat-taxi to minister in some of the surrounding villages on July 14th. Please continue to pray for Quilombo Santa Maria and the surrounding villages. In addition, please begin to pray for this upcoming trip.