August 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your prayers and support. They have been greatly appreciated in this time of continual transition in our lives.

We are glad to be back in Brazil! Our time in The States was amazing. Our honeymoon, time with the family, seeing and catching up with friends was all special! Although our time in the U.S. was great, we are excited to be back in Brazil and starting the next chapter in our lives.

Sunset in Altamira

On the river

On the river

Cutting Denise’s brother’s hair while her other brother looks on

Fresh fruit (papaya and coconut) trees in our yard

We have been so excited about working in ministry together. Since our engagement, Denise and I have been praying about what our lives should look like directly after our marriage. One of the things recommended to us by some of our leaders was to stick around Altamira for a bit. Beginning our marriage on the right foot is very important to us. Staying in Altamira for now just makes sense as here we have the much needed support to help us through these first stages of marriage.

Although we have known for a while that we were to stay in Altamira for now, we were unsure exactly how God wanted us to use our time, so we made a commitment to pray and seek God’s will until after our marriage. While we were in The States, we began to share with each other what we felt God was speaking to us as individuals. To our delight, it seemed that God was speaking the same thing to each of us!

We both see church planting as a target down the road, but first believe God wants to teach us how to work in ministry together. For the next year we will be taking on the Worship Department at the Mirante Vineyard. This was not the direction either of us thought God was going to take us, but this was what God put on both of our hearts, and we both feel peace about our decision. When we approached the leadership at Mirante about this idea, they felt it was an answer to prayer. The worship team at Mirante is very young and the church’s leadership feels our influence and guidance will be helpful. We are excited to have an opportunity to lead and nurture this ministry together.

In addition to taking on the worship ministry, we will be available to lead groups, do community outreaches, or any other things that will help the church and reach our community. I am currently not teaching English at CDR which is helpful because I am now immersed with people who speak only Portuguese instead of those who want to speak English.

Although we were excited to get back to Brazil, there was a troubling situation waiting for us when we got back. Three days before we left the States to return to Brazil, our house was broken into for the second time. A number of items were taken, but the most troubling thing was that the thieves took our 4 month old puppy (Lily). We were both very heartbroken about this and saddened coming back to the house without her. There was also extensive damage done to the house as they came in through the roof and left by breaking apart a door requiring replacement of the door frame as well as the door and repair to the ceiling.

Where the thieves came in through the ceiling

Our pets

This situation definitely tested us in many ways. Buying furniture was really the only thing on our agenda for the house, but because of the break-in, we had so many questions: Are we safe? How do we improve the security at our house? How much will repairs from the damage cost? Is there a chance we may find Lily? … With all these things going through our minds, anxiety was always at the doorstep. Like so many times before, this was a lesson in taking one step at a time and handing each day over to God.

Now the damage to our home has been fixed, we have a new guard dog and are feeling much more secure in our situation. Although our search for Lily persists, we are feeling God’s presence in this time. We constantly need to remind ourselves that no matter what we lose or have taken from us, we still have Jesus. All in all, that’s all we really need.

Prayer Requests

– Prayers for protection.

– Continue to pray for God’s grace and empowerment as we move into ministry together in Brazil.

– Pray for continued growth in our financial support.

Thanks again for all of your support and prayers. We love hearing from you.

In His Service,

Christopher & Denise


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