Our kids club is a relational bridge into the community, at least that is our goal. Last week we invited the women to come to the kids club in celebration of Women’s day. It was a success, at least I thought so. We had a few mothers, a grandmother and a few neighbors attend the event. Some of them participated in playing games with the kids. Our volunteers got to know the ladies a little better and build a few new relationships with the people in the area. There was also a Baby Shower on Tuesday for one of the ladies in this group. All these activities has lead Ester, Pastor Jeu’s wife, to the idea of starting a womens group in the same location. It is a big step. The kids club is working as a relational bridge but please pray we can continue this project, I understand that most of the volunteers are sick this week and we are trying to find substitutes. Pray that this will all work out this weekend.
This part of the ministry is greatly hindered with Ellen in the States. In our last team meeting Ester, Pastor Jeu’s wife, has it in her heat to start a new women’s group on the other side of the island, Farol beach. We already have a kids club at this location and a small bible study. It sounds like a good idea as a next step in progression. The reality is with Ellen not on the team Ester would have to work this alone. We do have one lady in our group Stephine who is a baptized believer, who hosts our kids club, but she has never participated in the leadership of our groups. This is a big stretch for our resources at hand. We need your prayers as to how to proceed. Should we start a new women’s group at Farol as a weekly event? Please bring this petition to the Lord for us. Also pray for workers for the harvest.
This was not the plan, to steer the boat from the back end of it. We bought all the items to control the boat from the front, but the dealer did not know that you needed a conversion kit to make it all work. So for the moment I am steering from behind with a tiller mount. And this is not working at all. When you put six other people in the boat I can not see out the the front. If I shift my weight in the boat to get a better look the boat shifts direction. I thought this would be a simple purchase but like any thing here it comes with complications that we would not find in the States.
A good friend Jim is now purchasing the parts we need in the States for me. We will be sending it with a returning missionary on April 2. Please pray for the parts and other things in our package will arrive with out problems. That customs will just passes him though with no questions. Please keep all of this in prayer.
Building a new ministry in a new location is very time consuming, but rewarding when it comes together. There has been a lot of ups and downs on this startup for a kids club. We now have two teams from two different churches working this Saturday Kids Club. The one church is a city church, Cafe Liberal, an the other is a river church, Monkey Island Church. They are excited and eager to see this ministry grow.
This Saturday is a spacial day, women’s day. It is a Brazilian holiday dedicated to women. So our team is inviting the mothers and other women for coffee and cake along with the kids club. We need your prayers for this event. They have also organized a baby shower for this Tuesday that will tie these two events together. I am praying that both of these events will generate interest in our ministries at this end of our island. Pray that the Holy Spirit will move the hearts of these ladies to join our on going Thursday Night bible study and that we can have a stronger presence at this end of the island.
I am a very visible person in the community. Many people know about the Gringo that lives on the island and his dogs. They also know that we are starting a church. There are other religious groups trying to establish a presence on the island. One of them is the Jehovah Witness, whom have spend a lot of time with volunteer groups walking around on the island talking to people. They are dedicated group of people who will show up with about fifty people and walk for miles just talking to people out on the road or in their houses.
Last week some of them caught two of our students. Our students told them that they where studying the Bible with the church group at Vi-King-Kare beach. “O you mean with the Americans”, was the response quickly given. We know all about them! They are a group of satanist who are looking to trap you and take you back to America and sacrifice you on their altars. They practice human sacrifice. Our students pointed out the only person that was sacrificed was Jesus, and that was for payment of our sins. This then ended the conversation and they moved on.
This is just some of the opposition we face here on the island. There are several religious groups striving against us. This is a spiritual battle that is only won through prayer. Please keep us in pray.
Joelson is one of our new converts. He and his new wife Margaret are here in the photo giving a testimony of their transformed lives. They just go married in November. They were to be baptized a few weeks ago but plans changed because Margaret was admitted to the hospital for a back problem. So they did not baptized. Then Friday Joelson got up and walked out of his new marriage. He is living with family in a town four hours drive away. It is by the grace of God that he is near one of our GBC churches and the pastor there is able to make connect with him. Please call upon the Lord to finish the work that the Holy Spirit started.
The life of a poor Brazilian is hard and relationships are temporary at best when it comes to marriage (which is mostly live in relationships). We would like you to join us in calling upon the Lord to use this situation to demonstrate His power to redeem lives. It is hard on our team because Joelson had great promise but things can change so fast. Also pray that our team is not discouraged.
It is hard to express the joy that I felt as we wash the feet of a these believers, some just baptized others seasoned in Christ. It was such a joy to hold this event out our house. It is part of a vision that the Lord gave us many years ago to reach the river communities. It has been hard work but the Joy of the Lord is worth all the effort we have put into serving him.
The event included believers from our island, Monkey island and two friends from the city. I hosted over thirty people for lunch. Now I did not cook. The ladies from the Monkey island church prepared the meal for the group. I also hosted 12 of the people overnight at our home where the cooks spent hours in preparation for the three fold communion service. The Monkey Island church has been very supportive of this ministry as they have partnered with us and their pastor lives on our island and works on our team. Pastor Jeu and Ester have been such a blessing. Please pray that this partner ship will last for the next few year.
The boat has arrived after many months of set backs. On Monday we waited for hours at the boat ramp for the boat to arrive. The firm that built and mounted that hardware got tied up in the city traffic so a hour trip turned into four hour wait on our part. Christava in the picture is one of the men who joined us in picking up the boat. He is one of our new believers. Unfortunately it the boat did not come compete. It is missing a few key pieces yet to make it fully functional. Please pray that I can get the missing bracket and control systems work out soon. It still needs to be registered before we can use it, so we have some time to work out the problems. We can drive the boat from behind with no problem so it is usable. So rejoice with us that we will be back out on the river with our own boat.
The day has finally arrived, and it was a time of great joy! We saw two of our men take that step of faith and be baptized. The man in white is Valdamir and in green is Roger. Our service started with some sining at a beach side restaurant and then moved out on to the beach where each man knelt down in the water and was dunked three times by our teammate pastor Jeu. After the baptism we moved over to our house for the three fold communion service that included lunch. Not all of the members in our little group joined us for communion because they have yet to take that step of declaring their faith. We had planned for four to participate in the service but one couple was not able to come because of medical issues, one of them is in the hospital. We are now looking at June as our next date for baptisms and we have three candidates already. Pray that the Holy Spirit will move in these peoples hearts.
Ellen has an important ministry here to the women we work with. She is a key part of the team but has had to return to the States for surgery. This is were we need your help. The mission only pays for half of the plane ticket back to the States. The other have is at our own expense. The ticket was $1,700 so we are looking for our facebook friends to help us with the $850 in personal gifts. Please prayerful considering helping us out. We do have insurance to help with the surgery, the typical deduction with the insurance covering 80% of the bill. So there are still a number of bills we will be caring for but our need is for the plane fare.
If you can help please send a check to our son:
For Personal Financial Gifts
Wayne & Ellen Patton
c/o Jacob Patton
203 Elkin St.
Berea, KY 40403-1118