Well, you are about to be asked to endure something that I have never done before. As much as it pains me to do it and knowing the reaction that many will have to it, I must press on regardless. It is inevitable. That’s right; for the first time ever, I will be sending a two-page prayer letter. Pastors, you have my profound apologies, but there is just too much going on for me to cram it all onto one page, unless, of course, I type it in a font too small for any of you to read.
New Family Member Here
Back when we first came to Sao Paulo, we began working in an orphanage almost immediately. One of the girls Cynthia became very close to was a young lady named Natalia. Like many other unwanted/abandoned children, her past is quite the tragic story, but we have seen God do a work in her life. By law, when someone turns 18 here, they cannot stay in the orphanage any longer, and Natalia had no one else to take her in. For several months Cynthia and I discussed and prayed about trying to get guardianship of Natalia so that we could ensure that she would continue to grow spiritually, and we could also help prepare her for life as a responsible, self-sufficient adult. Well, a little over a month ago, we welcomed her into our home as part of our family. Fortunately, our house was built with a separate apartment at the back of the property, so we were able to provide her with her own living quarters, as opposed to making room in the broom closet (kidding, of course). She gets along tremendously with Mia and Mahaela; they consider her a big sister. She is also a great help to Cynthia around the house, considering our next bit of news.
New Family Member on the Way
For those who haven’t yet heard, we are expecting a new baby to arrive sometime in June of this year! We are blessed and thrilled. Please keep Cynthia in your prayers. I guess you should probably pray for me, too, if this one ends up being yet ANOTHER female family member.
A Breakthrough on the Building
Right before the holidays, we received a small glimmer of hope concerning our building situation. A good friend of ours here in Guarulhos found out I was looking for a church location and came to me offering a building that he and his brother own! To make a long story short, they own a property that has a four-story house/building on it. The construction was never finished because of some financial difficulties that they ran into, but most of the material has already been purchased to finish it. He and his brother talked it over and decided that if we were interested in the property and were willing to pay to finish it, then we could have it rent-free until the construction costs were paid off. At that point, we will have the option of renting with the intention to buy.
The Lord has done something amazing for us, and I really don’t have the space here to detail the positives of this option. It is in a very central location in the city just a few minutes from the highway. It is about 15 minutes from where the majority of our Spanish congregation live. It is 10 minutes away from another large Spanish community that we just found out about, and they are going to let us have major input on the terms of the contract. We are very hopeful about this sudden turn of events in our building search efforts. We need much prayer and wisdom that God will work everything out according to His desires. Lord willing, in a few days, I will be sending out a video of the property with a little more detail about what we need to be able to move in and have our first permanent location.
Please pray with us about the building matter. Also, pray for more souls to be saved. In the past two weeks, we have seen 6 folks trust Christ after services. Pray for the Lord to send laborers to Brazil, and continue to pray that He will open doors of opportunity in ministry here.
We are blessed and grateful to partner with you in reaching Brazil. We are simply ambassadors for Christ and your representatives on foreign soil. God has blessed us immensely over the last few months, both in ministry and in family. I don’t ever want to get to the point where I lose the wonder of His goodness. God bless you and keep you. May we all be busy in the Lord’s work in 2016.
Declaring His glory,