As Julie and I sat in the Brasilia airport waiting for our connecting flight to South Brazil, where we would spend a few days with our daughter Joy Anna and son-in-law Fabio, I decided to look through the pictures Joshua Huang had taken during his time with us — 3000 pictures!
The pictures transported me back to the many special moments we enjoyed in ministry over the previous 50 days.
Sacred Music Week Though we weren’t directly involved in this annual music conference hosted by our college, we did enjoy hosting several of the guest lecturers and musicians. At the end of the week we were treated to an incredible concert put on by nearly 200 musicians. I doubt that this side of heaven it can get any better than this.
Bible Study On Wednesday nights we have been visiting a family in a mountain village 30 minutes from our home in Crato. The purpose of these visits has been to disciple Antonio and Lucia, who were saved last year. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and grandchildren have also attended the Bible studies. Just last week Rose, the oldest daughter, declared her faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
Parque Grangeiro Youth Our church plant in the Parque Grangeiro was begun as a ministry among the neighborhood children, and we continue focusing a great deal of attention to the children’s work. However, children do grow up. As they grow, the transition from childhood into the adult world is critical. With very little, if any, spiritual encouragement from family and friends, we have seen too many of these adolescents slip away into the world. This was our concern when we had ten of these young people, between the ages of 12 and 15, join us for an overnight campout at our home. We combined Bible studies, testimonies from older youth, and other fun activities, all focused on encouraging them to stay close to God. Each of them was presented with a daily devotional book for adolescents.
English Hope Encounter Americans have something that many Brazilians want — English; and we also have something all Brazilians need, but may not realize it — the Gospel. This is why we combined English and Gospel for a super fun three days of English Hope Encounter. Using the Aventura Brasil staff, we hosted 70 English students with activities to develop their English skills, served American food, and had six workshops from “The Story of Hope”, where the gospel story was clearly presented. Every participant received his/her own book, dontated by Joshua Huang. We had a great time, and the gospel seeds were planted in some previously unreached hearts.
Ministry in churches The Aventura Brasil team ministered in eight different churches at various stages of development. The young people shared testimonies and special music, and made many friends. And Joshua got to preach six times; in English, through an interrupter.
We thoroughly enjoyed having Joshua Huang and Danae Oliver, friends from Iowa, join us for the summer, and later Destiny Gates from New York, who came in for the three weeks of Aventura Brasil. Our prayer is that this summer made a permanent impression on their lives, giving them a clearer focus for ministry; hopefully in Northeast Brazil; but we’ll leave the final word with God to lead.