After the baptisms we held communion at our house. The under part of our house is open so we can handle small groups. There were thirty one at our table to celebrate the bread & cup, foot washing and a meal together just like our Lord calls us to do in remembrance of Him. It was great to wash the feet of one of the new believers and break bread with George whom had just hours before stood in the water with a bold testimony. This is a man whom God has been chasing for forty years. All the years of toil seem to slip away with great joy as we celebrated these new lives and dreamed of a day when we will be sitting at the “Great Wedding Feast”. Pray that the next table will be double in size as we seek to add more to our number.
It is so exciting to see the fruit of our ministry result in new life in Christ. Many will say that they believe but to take that public step of faith is a real declaration that makes them stand out from the crowd. This was a very public venue, our beach on Cotijuba. We witness seven transformed lives baptized on our beach. It was a day that had been held up in prayer for months and the product of years of prayer.
A hand full of our other bible students were there to see what baptism was all about. Our hope is that from this bold testimony we will see other take that next step of faith. A few days after these baptisms one of our bible students said she accepted Jesus into her heart. Praise God! Please keep praying.
George has been studying the bible for the past year. He made a decision to invite Jesus into his heart a year ago and it has taken this long for him to take that step of faith and be baptized. We are so excited about his willingness to step forward in faith. He did not walk alone in this demonstration of faith. We work with another struggling ministry in the city, Canudos IEI.
A few years ago we had the first fruits of this ministry baptized out on our island, two young men. This past month we had the great joy of seeing six young folks get baptized. It was a great step of faith for these youth also. The church that Pastor Luiz is pastoring is mostly youth. The youth run the worship service and are taking leadership roles in the ministry there. This day was a great answer to prayer. Please keep praying, there is still more fruit to come in both ministries.
While we where visiting churches in back in the States the boat house was damaged by fire. It was not much to start with but it helped shade the boat we had. We are working on plans to buy a new boat which require a secure place to put the new boat. We need to build retaining walls in our pit so the new boat will fit under the structure. There is also a need to enclose the structure in some type metal fencing so that if some one shows up with a machete it would be difficult for them to get into the building. A machete is a common tool here that everyone has. If the to be bandits show up with some real tools then there is no way to secure the boat but that is not normal. Most bandits are hit and run guys that are looking to steal something they can sell quickly. Also we are looking at fencing the area around the boat and put a few dogs. The Brazilians are fearful of dogs so it is a good deterrent. So Please pray for our plans, that we will get the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
We all know that Americans love nuts. Well Brazilians love their nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews and a variety of peanuts. Though not peanut butter. Street vendors have all sorts of nuts for sale. The cashews are packaged in small little bags that sell for a R$. The Brazil nuts are stripped of their outer casing and sold whole or chopped up in larger packages – all fresh off the tree.
Then there is Spanish Peanuts sold hot. They take a piece of recycled office paper A4 size and make a cone out of it filled with Spanish Peanuts. These are then put into a steel bucket with hot coals on the bottom of the bucket. This keeps the nuts hot, dry and tasty. All sold for a R$ coin. This is one of Ellen’s favorite treats when taking the boat home at the end of the day.
The dream of a river ministry has always been part of the vision the Lord has given us. As we work this soil we realize this will never be achieve this dream alone. It requires lots of people and multiple skills to make this endeavor a success. The Lord has now sent me a small band of people with similar dreams. To see churches established out on the islands near us. This is quite a step in our ministry. At one time the dream of seeing churches we work with participate in our ministry seemed to be dwindling. This meeting we had on June 11 demonstrates that the Holy Spirit is moving and answering prayers. Not just my prayers but the prayers of many of those featured in this photo. Pray for the Holy Spirit to develop a burning passion in these peoples hearts and pray for labors for our harvest.
The ladies like to have a little fun and why not. Games seem to be enjoyed by our locals. It is fun and something they do not normally do in social gathering. The church we are building, we are striving for tight relationships among our brothers and sisters. What better way then to play group games.
Ellen came up with this one. It is a version of pin the tail on the donkey but we use a local toucan bird instead. Yes these birds can be see in the trees where we live. Pray as we try to build relationships among the people we live and work.
William is a Word of Life student finishing up his studies. He is also on the conventions mission committee. He spent two weeks living with us and helping out fishing for men. What he caught was Pepoca a motorcycle taxi driver who live just up the street from us. We used him to transport Williams to several Bible studies. Pepoca like the studies so much, he attended them all.
He also started attending our Spiritual Family gathering on Wednesday nights. We are so excited at what God is doing. Please pray for other workers of the harvest to come a help catch more souls for Jesus.