Byron's Prayer Letters

Special note:  Between Greyson leaving the country and Dalton and family coming to vist in August, I {Michele} didn't post this letter when it was mailed out last month... Sorry!


The Athas in Brazil
Taking the Living Water to the desert Northeast
Maranata Baptist Church 
Rua Araras 12 / Sobradinho, BA / 48925 
55 74 98806 9559

Summer/Fall 2017 

We're on our way!!   Well, one of us is.  Greyson, our youngest, is off to school.  He was invited to go early for his senior year and to live with a family there.  Just got word he finished his first solo international trip.  We plan to join him for a short furlough for his second semester starting in December.  So…find us a spot in your calendar the first half of 2018.

We're starting the wind up for the wind down.  The parsonage is done - or it better be since there's a pastor living in it - so I'm trying to get caught up on all the other stuff.  Like writing a letter.  There's still stuff left over from the camp that was sold.  More about that in a bit.  And then there's the packing, and, since I'm not running a camp, there's some stuff I should probably start passing on (to the dump).

Wait! What's that I said? There's a PASTOR in the parsonage?  That's right. And if you act now we'll throw in a wife and two kids for the same low price... 

The congregation voted to call Pastor Máximo, the mother church approved and voted to help subsidize the salary, and he - eventually - accepted.  I think he is a very good match for the church and we're hoping for a long term relationship.  He's assuming more responsibilities and will even start baptism classes or the next group.  They seem to like the house.  

To help with the move I asked a neighbor to take me in his truck to get Maximo's stuff.  Two days before, he said he couldn't go but since I had a truck license I could take the truck and go.  I took him up on his offer but did ask for a slightly smaller truck.  Just after 4 Michele and I took off.  About 10 we dropped off 3 rather cold boys for music week and about noon we arrived at our destination.  Two hours to pack and we were back on the road, arriving at the parsonage around 10 and safe at home at 11.  You got your money's worth that day!

Several of the recent "converts" have drifted away.  One in particular I was really excited about. One candidate was saved several years ago but never was consistent. I pray that some of the others will come back, too.

Car repair has always been a philosophical conundrum for me.  I can do the work, but it's cheaper for you to pay a Brazilian to do it than for you to pay me.  On the other hand, if I get a shop to do it, I still have to sit there and wait, go get the parts, and sometimes take my own tools.  Then next week, I may have to do it all over again.  I switched to bikes but I'm not sure I gained anything.  First it's tires.  You likely can't image how many ways there are here to get a flat tire.  The first time I went out with the boys on bikes we got 11 holes. Just a few more and I could have opened a golf course!  Something's always breaking.  I recently started a repair on the sprocket that lead to quite a "chain" of events.  The chain had stretched and was making noise.  I replaced it but it wouldn't fit on the sprocket because the teeth were worn.  When I tried to replace the sprocket the wheel bearings fell apart. Most bike parts are available, but they're the stuff even China doesn't want.  You almost have to buy 3 to get enough good pieces to make one part!  When I was done a week later I'd paid for ½ of a new bike.  I just don't know what to do with ½ of a bike.

I've been hit or nearly hit several time recently and got concerned enough to put brakes on the bike for the first time in 10 or 15 years.  The prize for originality goes to Greyson.  Together we put together a recumbent (feet forward) trike and then he decided that if 3 wheels is better, 4 would be best.  We eventually finished converting it to a quad - with a differential just like a car. (Actually, some of it is from a car.) It was a fun father/son project.

The church's music skills continue to improve and they are taking more initiative in the services.  We've added voice lessons but the jury's still out on that one.  They also have 2 Saturday clubs going and did everything but food for a mini-VBS this month. Six went on a local mission trip and several are talking about going to the Amazon next summer.

One last prayer request.  We are considering 4 possibilities for future ministry ranging from "across the street" to "across the world".  Pray for the Lord's guidance in our decision.
Until next time we're…

Yours in Him,

The Athas in Brazil        

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