Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May Prayer Needs

We thank God for you and for your prayers on our behalf. We firmly believe that your prayers are a vital part of what God uses to encourage and strengthen us and enable us to be here in Brazil doing His work. As I write this, we are now just six weeks away from our second Stateside Assignment. At this point, we are planning on being in the USA for six or seven months. This will be a time for us to spend time with family and friends, reconnect with our partners and supporting churches in the USA, promote missions, eat lots of American food, study (and hopefully graduate after five years of work!), and maybe even relax a little somewhere during all of those other activities.

We are currently thanking God for good health. Some routine medical exams we were doing to get clearance to return to the field after Stateside Assignment showed that Cam had some possibly problematic cysts that looked at first as though they might have needed to be surgically removed. However, further exams have showed no evidence of anything serious and we are rejoicing that God has brought us through a little bit of a scare without any additional scars.

This Saturday, a team of 10 from Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas will be arriving to spend a week working with us and several of our Baptist partners. They will be doing personal evangelism through pre-scheduled home visits, evangelistic worship services throughout the week, and evangelism impacts in the public schools. All told, they will be ministering in one established church, four church plants, and two schools.

As the dollar has continued to weaken in comparison with Brazilian currency, this affects our buying power. For instance, the buying power of the funds for this volunteer team has dropped close to 20% in the few months from when we worked up the budget until now. While we are being as frugal as possible with the funds they are bringing for the costs of their trip, it has also been fun to see how God has been stretching their money even before they arrive. We went today to buy Bibles and found them for just $1.75 each, which is far less than they usually cost. While still rejoicing in this, we went to buy bottled water and found it for just $0.22 a bottle, which is almost half of what it normally costs at the wholesaler. It’s neat to see God’s blessing in even unexpected ways!

While God has richly blessed the work of our volunteers in the past, we inevitably face a great deal of spiritual warfare as the forces of evil seek to contain their losses. Please pray that the forces of evil will be bound and unable to interfere with the advance of God’s Kingdom. Pray for unity among the team, the missionaries, the translators, and the local believers, as well as for physical safety for everyone involved. Most of all however, please pray that God’s Kingdom would advance, that HE would be glorified, that HIS church would be firmly established and that HIS light would shine brightly in some very dark places.

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