Starting the last weekend of the year the boats filled with people from the city heading to our island, the local getaway. They pour in by the thousands each day to enjoy a night on the beach to celebrate the new year. It happens every year. We canceled all of our church actives because everyone is working night and day to serve the tourist. It is one of the busiest times of the year and months of income are made in just a few days for many of those in our church. Pray that 2020 will be a fruitful year for our little church.
Telling The Story
The Christmas Eve gathering was more spontaneous than planned. A small group of our core believers gathered to tell the story from nine in the evening till one in the morning. Not just the Christmas story but our favorite bible stories all told from memory. It was a very emotional time for us because after all the years telling Bible Stories and training others to tell the story; the fruit had just burst forth. Everyone was able to share story after story out of the Bible. Some needed a little help while others shared their stories with eloquence. The next day presents were distributed, and one last story was told, from the book of Kings. It was a fantastic Christmas.
The Touch Of Snow
How do you describe the touch of snow to someone who has never seen temperatures below 70 degrees? We live in the tropics two degrees off the equator, where it is hot year-round. Winter and Summer are just seasons where the trees give different fruits with more or less rain. Bare feet are worn year-round. No need to own a pair of shoes, except to go to church.
Our last visit to Ohio in December, we sent pictures back on social media, and it stirred a few questions that were hard to answer like what does snow feel like? It is Cold! But how cold? Like an ice cube, you hold in your hand? Is it solid like an ice cube? These are all excellent questions, and one I found hard to answer. Snow is part of my routine existence, and there is nothing like it here. My vocabulary in Portuguese does not include words to describe something so foreign. So how would you describe snow? (text me at 513-440-6171)
- Pray for the Farol kid’s club; we are losing our host for this site. They are leaving for various reasons.
- Pray for the men who are stepping up to new levels of leadership; Codero, Raiol, George, and Valdimir.
- Pray for a couple that is joining our core leadership group; Raiol and Natalia. They have two young kids and work at a restaurant here on the island.
- Pray for our January meetings with our leadership as Wayne looks to turn over additional leadership responsibility to them.
- Pray for Wayne’s search for new leadership for the local non-profit he has been managing for over ten years. In April, a new board of directors needs to be elected with a new constitution.
- Ellen completed her Master Level Bible Storyteller Certification in December. This is the culmination of two years of hard work.
- A good Christmas here on the island of Cotijbua. We joined a small group that shared favorite Biblical Stories from memory for over two hours. It was such a blessing to experience.
- One member of our church was able to find a doctor who could arrange surgery for her in January. Our church has been assisting her to pay for her health care because she is not able to get the care she needs from the government.
- The New Year celebrations were light here on the island, providing income to our church members but not overstress the island’s resources. In past years the crowds have overwhelmed the island leaving a mess in the aftermath.