Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Prayers for a Pal

Remember our pal, Nicolas?  Before our furlough the little guy spent a lot of time in our house.  We hadn't gotten to see him since we'd arrived until this weekend.  But when we did it was just as if we'd never been gone!  

Seems our little buddy talks a lot about us to his grandmother.  Made me think of the impact adults have on children.  The little time that Mr. Nic spent in our house had a big impression on his life. We had rules and some consequences and there was lots of patience and love.  We spent lots of time playing games together, digging in the dirt together, and reading books.  There was also lots of time to talk about God.

I'm praying for my little pal this week as some big changes are taking place in his life over the next few weeks.  I'm praying and planning on how to continue to make an impact in his life even from far away.

In much the same way, I'm working to stay involved in our three boys' lives and in those of our two grandbabies.  It takes effort and involves consistent prayer.  But I know from my own mother's example over the years that the labor is worth the prize.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6: 6-7

Saturday, August 4, 2018

E Agora?

Essa parece ser a pergunta que todos nos fazem hoje em dia desde que chegamos em Sobradinho. E agora? O que pretendem fazer agora? Onde vocês vão? Algumas pessoas me perguntam sobre como os meninos estão ou coisas sobre meus netos ou pais. Mas não muitos. Nesta semana, três pessoas perguntaram quando eu poderia começar a ensinar inglês para seus filhos novamente!

Fortaleza, 1994
Então, o que vem a seguir para os Athas no Brasil?  Tentarei dar uma breve resposta à grande questão.

Lembra daquela viagem que fizemos no interior da Bahia no outono de 2017? Nós visitamos mais de 200 comunidades durante duas semanas, todas dentro de algumas horas de onde Sobradinho. Você pode voltar ao meu post sobre isso e rever alguns dos detalhes aqui...

Viagem no Interior de Bahia (em inglês, com fotos)

Byron e eu planejamos começar a evangelizar algumas das comunidades mais próximas e mais necessitadas que visitamos em nossa viagem. Nós voltamos do EUA com materiais evangelísticos. Byron está melhorando o nosso veículo, um Mitsubishi Pajero SUV.  Ele estará retrabalhando a nossa situação de dormir no carro como fizemos na primeira vez e com Greyson quando fomos para o sul em 2017.

Viagem para o Sul com Greyson em 2017

Provavelmente ficaremos em uma comunidade por uma semana ou mais de cada vez, passa para uma outra e depois voltaremos para casa para reabastecer os suprimentos, descansar em uma cama e sair novamente como um pregador de circuito ou um ministério de barco sem barco! Não sabemos exatamente como isso tudo se parece na vida real, mas estamos animados e nos preparando.

O nordeste semi-árido do Brasil, onde moramos, está entre as principais áreas mais carentes do país, econômica e espiritualmente. Enquanto ainda temos alguns bons anos, esperamos ter um impacto mais amplo sobre o estado da Bahia em que vivemos. 

Esperamos fazer nossa primeira série de viagens ainda neste semestre do ano. Vamos dar apoio e ajuda aqui na cidade na Igreja Batista de Maranata, além de ajudaremos outras igrejas da região nos intervalos. Também gostaríamos de revisitar alguns dos pastores nacionais que Byron conheceu em sua viagem ao Amazonas no ano passado para encorajar e ajudar.

Espero que isso explique um pouco e responda a grande pergunta e por que voltamos ao Brasil para mais um período de serviço!

Porque o Senhor assim no-lo mandou: 
Eu te pus para luz dos gentios, 
para que sejas de salvação 
até aos confins da terra.
Atos 13:47

What's Next?

That seems to be the question every one asks us these days since we've arrived back in Sobradinho.  What's next?  What are you going to do now?  Where are you going?  A few people ask about how the boys are or things about my grandbabies or parents.  But not too many.  This week three people asked when I could start teaching English to their children again!

First year in Brazil, 1994

So what is next for The Athas in Brazil?  If you were able to attend one of our furlough meetings, hopefully you have some sort of idea.  If not, I'll try to give a brief answer to the big question.

Remember that trip we took all over interior Bahia back in the fall of 2017?  We visited over 200 communities over the course of about two weeks all within a few hours of where we live.  You can back to my post about it and review some of the details here...

Byron and I plan to begin evangelizing some of the nearest and neediest communities that we visited on our trip.  We came back with evangelism materials.  Byron is working on our vehicle, a Mitsubishi Pajero SUV.  He'll be reworking our sleeping situation in the car.

on our trip with Greyson to Southern Brazil in 2017
We'll most likely stay in one community for a week or so at a time and then come home to restock supplies, rest in a bed, and head out again like a circuit riding preacher or a boat ministry with no boat!  We're not sure exactly what this all looks like in real life, but we are excited and getting ready.

The dry, semi-arid Northeast of Brazil where we live is among the top most needy areas of the country economically and spiritually.  While we still have some good years left, we hope to have a wider impact on the state of Bahia in which we live.  We hope to make our first series of trip yet this fall.

We'll provide any support and help here in town at the Maranata Baptist Church as well as helping other area churches with pulpit supply or special events.  We'd also like to revisit some of the national pastors that Byron met on his big Amazon trip of last fall to provide encouragement and help.

I hope this explains some of what were up to these days and why we came back to Brazil for another term of service!

For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, 
I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, 
that thou shouldest be for salvation 
unto the ends of the earth.
Acts 13:47

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Back Home?

We arrived in Brazil on Friday, July 27, with no problems in immigration or customs.  The only problem with our flights was our 11 hour layover in Recife waiting for a one hour flight to Petrolina!  Yes, we could have driven in about 10 hours, but we were dead tired and our flight was free - more or less.  Let's say, already paid for.

Our dogs and the cat were happy to see us.  The cat purrs and purrs whenever one of us walk by and gets up in the night every time I do.  One of Wishbone's (the white dog) 5 puppies is still here.  We're hoping to find it a home soon enough.

All in all, we can be very grateful for an easy arrival and transition. We've come back to a house full of bugs once.  Another time we had to battle a house full of rats.  Once there was a horse living in the back yard along with the stuff that comes of horses who live places.  This time there was just a clean house and happy pets.  

Tomorrow we go to the Federal Police to see what's what with my permanent visa status.  Some of the laws about foreign residents and immigration changed this past November.  We'll see how that is going to affect us.

Slowly we are getting everything organized and getting out and about in our little town.  Soon we'll start making some trips to interior communities as we map out where to begin our new ministry.  
Stay tuned!

Crazy Experience

And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you,  he shall by no ...