Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ringing in 2008

New Year, New Home
I rang in 2008 with friends the Rileys, and we sat atop their roof and watched fireworks all over the city. There were so many that soon the air was thick with smoke and our view became obscured! Earlier in the evening, we attended Calvary International Church, where the book of Revelation was read through out loud, interspersed with worship songs. It was a meaningful way to bring in the new year, and as Rev. 1:3 say, "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near."

The new year brought the blessing of a 'permanent' place for me to live in the form of an apartment close to both ministry areas I am working at. The owner of the apartment is a Brazilian woman who was also working at the orphanage for many years, and decided it was time for a rest. She was praying for someone to rent her place, and I was praying for a place to rent. She left it furnished, which was a huge blessing. Below are some pictures.

Another blessing I was able to take part in this month was attending Promife', an evangelism outreach event that was held in two towns north of Sao Paulo. There were approximately 120 attendees plus staff, and each day following breakfast was a time of worship and teaching, then in the afternoons, teams went door-to-door telling people about Jesus and inviting them to the "Jesus" film held in different parks in the cities each night. There were also children's ministry teams, which I was a part of, that included a time of singing, a skit with a message, small group time to talk about the message, games and snacks. I spent time in both cities with each of the teams, which was a great experience.

Below are pictures of the children's ministry time in the smaller town of Ibiraci, which started out with 50 children, and ended with close to 100!

These are pictures of the children's ministry time in the larger town of Franca, which averaged around 60 children each day. This group of kids included some 'break dancers', which gave a little performance at the end of each day, including some 3 years olds, who were absolutely adorable!

At the end of the week, there were victory celebrations in each town for all that God had accomplished. Because the numbers were given in portuguese, I didn't catch them all very well, but large numbers of households were reached each day, there were also between 100-200 people each night attending the Jesus film. With all this outreach, there was a good portion of people who accepted Christ as their Savior from sin. Each of these towns has their own issues to deal with, including a lot of drugs and drinking. But God is more powerful than these and we know His Word does not return void. These towns were covered in prayer while we were there, and I would ask that you join me in continuing to pray for the churches who are now following up on all the people visited. They have a big job ahead of them and 'the time is near'!

The January 2008 Promife' team!