Hello Prayer Partners! Today God blessed our clinic again in an incredible way. Our nets were full with people who surrendered their lives to Jesus. We also had many people that we got to encourage in their walk with Christ, and even those we saw today who didn’t become Christians had the Gospel seed planted in their hearts.
As we pulled into the clinic this morning, the line of people waiting to be seen was wrapped around the church. We hurried to set up, to pray, and to get started so that we could see as many people as possible. Even though it is the third day of our clinic and our bodies are tired, God is continuing to give us the strength that we need to serve. We know that your prayers are playing a huge part in the blessing that God is giving us to share His love with the people of Santissimo.
Cheryl had a young man named Wesley that had been shared with in Evangelism today. He understood the Gospel message but had not yet prayed to receive Jesus. After she shared the Evangecube and prayed with him, he said that he wanted to ask Christ to come into his heart. Carol shared that she had a 15 year-old girl who was her first patient of the day. It was a divine appointment beacuse the Holy Spirit had been working in her heart. She prayed to receive Jesus. Carol saw her later that morning, and it was evident in her countenance that her heart had been changed. They exchanged kisses and hugs of joy, because a life had been changed.
Britton shared that there were a lot of dental extractions today, and many of them were difficult. Even with the difficult work of pulling teeth, the whole team was glad to do everything needed to take care of their needs and to share the Gospel with them. Kent had the joy of leading someone to know Jesus today as well.
Frank shared today that he had a great day, but he was burdened for two patients that would not give their lives to Jesus. While it is hard to let people who do not receive Jesus leave, Frank said that we must rest in knowing that we have been obedient.
Chance shared that he ministered to a lady with a Catholic background, who thought that good works were what allowed her to get to heaven. He helped her to understand that our salvation is a free gift of God, and that no works that we can do can save us. As Priscilla, Chance’s interpreter, continued to talk with her and they were blessed to lead this lady to have a true relationship with Jesus.
Trisha shared that triage had an amazing experience today, with four people praying to receive Jesus at their station. Vicki and Trisha have learned what we should all remember; never take it for granted that people who claim to be Christian truly have a relationship with Jesus. Chad also reported that the medical team had a burden for a 9 year-old girl whose mother brought her to the clinic because she was throwing up every day. As Chad talked with her, she told him that she was making herself throw up because she wanted to be a thin Brazilian supermodel. She saw that as her way to get out of poverty. Chad and the medical team were able to talk with her and her family about the fact that Jesus loved her and that she needed to let Him fill the void that was in her heart. Please remember this girl in your prayers.
Chad was also able to pray with another lady with depression symptoms. He found out that the reason she was depressed was because she had seen many members of her family experience death and tragedy. Chad was able to encourage this lady that she could turn to God for comfort and strength, even though she had seen unbelieveable tragedy in her life. Please pray for this lady as well, that God wil strengthen her and use her to minister to others.
Erin reported that the children continued to make artwork and bracelets today. This area of our clinic is invaluable because it allows the Evangelism team to have the undivided attention of all the adults we share with. Even though Laura and Erin don’t have an interpreter for their area, they are still able to share Jesus through their actions and their love. Tomorrow, the Children’s Ministry will be sharing the Gospel as they make salvation bracelets with the children. Please pray that we will have an interpreter to help share the Gospel with the children tomorrow, and that God will bless their Gospel presentations to the children.
Nathan, Scott, and Suzanne went with Pastors Pedro and Douglas and the leader of the new congregation, Franca, to a new church about five minutes away from the church we have ministered at this week. This new church will be starting at the end of August. Scott led the men in a time of prayer for the new church, for Pastor Pedro’s church, and for an amazing harvest of souls in Santissimo for God’s glory.
Thank you for your continued prayers. They are definitely working! Please don’t let up your prayer coverage for our team.
MEDICAL – 54 Adults, 35 Children (TOTAL 89)
Pharmacy: 314 prescriptions filled
Dental Extractions: 44 Patients, 77 extractions
Dental Cleanings: 46
Eye Clinic: 90 Patients
Professions of Faith: 45
READ: Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
We must forgive, as we hope to be forgiven. We must bear no malice or revenge toward a brother. We must not rejoice in any hurt that befalls him, but must be ready to help him. If we have found mercy with God we must show mercy to our brothers. Jesus put no limits on forgiveness. When Peter asked in Matthew 18, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven.” If we are not ready and willing to forgive him; we are assured that God will not forgive us.
Our Lord makes it a condition of our obtaining forgiveness, that we shall have a merciful, forgiving spirit. Have you ever been guilty of not forgiving and harboring bitterness for another person? Have you seen how this can affect a life? Ask God to help you forgive those who have hurt you in the past, and to be able to pray for God to bless.
I was especially touched by a great experience I had while sharing the gospel on the evangelism team. Three people I was sharing with seemed to be listening very intently. As I asked them if they would like to turn away from their sin and surrender their lives to Jesus I noticed that one of the ladies had a tear running down her cheek. She said something with a smile to Francisco, our interpreter, and I noticed that Francisco was also starting to cry. When I asked Francisco what the lady had said he told me, “She said, who would not want to receive such a wonderful gift?” All of our team fought back tears as this story was told over and over. Isn’t that why you would spend so much time, money and energy to go to a foreign land? Isn’t that why thousands of dollars have been raised to provide medicines that will open the door for us to share the gospel? Who would refuse such a wonderful gift as eternal life? The answer may be as simple as one who has a sin filled life that feels they are unworthy of God’s forgiveness. In days to come you may see people in Brasil or here at home who have pasts they can’t believe God will forgive. They can’t accept God’s gift of forgiveness because they can’t forgive themselves. Pray that the Spirit of God will intervene and that many will accept the forgiveness that God wants to give them.
To those of you who prayed for God to strengthen our team and to have a fruitful day today – God certainly answered your prayers and we thank you! We were greeted with a line in front of the church today that was longer, and every department of the clinic stayed busy ministering to people all day long. We had many more people today come from the community who were not churched and we were able to share the Gospel with them. God is giving our team a special anointing to share Jesus, to pray with people, and to meet physical needs with love. We know it is because He has called us to this task, and because you are covering us in your prayers from all over the world.
Sharon was blessed to have visits from five area Pastors today who personally asked Sharon to pray about bringing a clinic team to their church. This is a sign from God to show us that the fields are still white unto harvest in Rio, and He is looking for people who are willing to work the field of souls here. These Pastors know the power of short-term medical missions! Please pray for Sharon to have the wisdom and discernment to know where future teams are to serve and to partner with churches in the coming days.
Carol reported that while they didn’t have any professions in dental hygiene today, they did have a lot of divine appointments to pray with those who needed prayer and encouragement. It is always a blessing seeing those who have been to dental hygiene showing off their clean teeth with beautiful smiles.
Christine reported that the eye clinic had many opportunities to minister to people all day long and they loved partnering with the evangelism team to share the Gospel with all our patients. Christine reported that Pastor Pedro’s father came to her station in tears and she asked him what was wrong. He told her nothing was wrong, but he was overwhelmed by the love our team was showing and the desire of our team and the church together to reach people for Jesus. He was also overwhelmed by the lostness in Rio and the need for the Gospel to be shared with the millions of souls here.
Vicki reported from medical that while many physical needs were met today with love, the greatest joy of the day was that she and her translator, Erica, were able to lead three people to know Jesus. One particular lady had told Scott that she was a Christian in evangelism, but when Vicki asked her in medical where she went to church, the lady began to tell her that in fact she was not sure that she had a personal relationship with Jesus. Vicki and Erica shared the Gospel with her and were overjoyed to see this lady surrender her life to Jesus today. Praise God!
Laura reported that the children’s ministry was blessed today. Even though we did not have a translator available for the children’s area, the language of action and loving the kids made a connection with many children and families. The back wall of the church was covered with artwork made by the children by the end of the day, a sign of all the Gospel seeds planted in the hearts of the kids of Santissimo.
Tim told us that the dental clinic was much, much busier today, with many extractions completed to remove infected teeth from the people God has sent to us. Tim said that he was very blessed to see that many of our patients had given their lives to Jesus today and that Christians had been encouraged in their faith. Please continue to pray for Greg and Tim and the dental extractions they complete with the help of Kent and Britton. Their job is very labor intensive, but it is extremely important because people come to hear the Gospel because of our dentists’ willingness to minister to the people of Rio who have abcessed teeth. This is the bait that brings them to hear about Jesus.
Ben shared that we had an extremely fruitful day through the evangelism department, with 43 people professing their faith in Jesus today. Ben got to share Jesus with two sisters who had young children. Ben was worried about possible distractions of the children, and he silently prayed that God would help these sisters hear and receive the Gospel message. Ben told them the Good News of Jesus, and he was blessed to lead them both to give their lives to Christ. Stories like this were repeated all through the day all over the clinic.
As we left for the day, we saw the sun shining through the clouds on the mountains and it was beautiful. It reminded us that God’s favor is shining down on us as we do our best to serve Him this week. His love is also shining down on the favela of Santissimo, calling them to receive the grace and forgiveness that only Jesus gives.
Tomorrow is the third day of clinic and will be even busier than today, as the people of Santissimo continue to discover our ministry and come to the church seeking what we can offer to them. Please pray for divine appointments, for openness to the Gospel, and for the continued health, strength, and safety of our team. We are thankful for your prayers!
Medical – 47 adults, 27 children – 76 Total
Eyes – 95
Dental Extraction – 28 patients, 64 teeth
Dental Hygiene – 42
Pharmacy – 229 prescriptions
Evangelism – 43 Professions of Faith
READ: Matthew 6:11-13
Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
The word “bread,” here, denotes everything necessary to sustain life. Matthew 4:4 states, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ This petition implies our dependence on God for the supply of our wants. We ask for our daily bread; which teaches us not to take thought for tomorrow as stated in Matthew 6:34. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself, but constantly to depend upon divine Providence. And forgive us our debts … The word “debts” is used here figuratively. It does not mean “literally” that we are “debtors to God,” but that our sins have a resemblance to debts. Debtors are those who are bound to others for some claim; for which they are bound to pay according to contract. We are guilty, and God only can forgive, in the same way as none but a “creditor” can forgive a debtor. Just as we pray for our daily bread, we need to pray for daily pardon!
What do you think of when you hear “daily bread?” How can we avoid temptation? C.S Lewis quotes. “We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it; and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation is also the only man who knows to the full extent what temptation means—the only complete realist.”
How many people living here are suffering because they have lost their relatives? Some have even been killed because they were living a life trafficking drugs; how many people are living with the pain of a daughter who died with hepatitis… she was only 5 years old and her sister (9 years old). The 9 year old was depressed because of her sister’s death… these were only a few of the things I learned while sitting with Shirley as we cared for the people. Sometimes we complain about the small things in our lives, our little problems… we complain that we don’t have this or that when, actually, we have everything because we have JESUS IN OUR HEARTS! We have something more precious than possessions. We have God’s life in our life! And we have the authority to do like Peter did, in Acts 3:6 : “..I don’t have silver or gold, But I will give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, get up and start walking.” It’s amazing! It’s all we need to do… SHARE WHAT’S INSIDE OF US!
This morning, our team gathered at 6 AM Rio Time for breakfast, devotions, and prayer, before we headed out from our hotel for the hour-long drive to favela Santissimo. As we drove, we enjoyed being reunited with our translator team at bus stops all along the way. This group of outstanding servants of Jesus is an indispensable part of our team. Our translators have busy lives. Many have professions as lawyers, teachers, business people, or other full-time jobs, but this week they have set all their normal responsibilities aside to help us share Jesus. We could do NOTHING to reach the souls of Rio without them. We are grateful for all our translators and all that they do to help us connect the people of Santissimo to Jesus Christ.
Today’s clinic was up and running very quickly this morning, thanks to the hard work and sweet spirit of our team. The line was rather small today, simply because we are in a new favela that has never had a clinic ministry before, and word about our presence has not yet spread much by word of mouth. The eye clinic definitely saw the most patients today, even though every area of our ministry had people to share Jesus with and to serve. We had the blessing of serving many of the members of the church today.
Greg Boston said that dental went very well, with several extractions completed today. He expects the number of patients to increase as the week continues as word spreads through the favela about our clinic. We are thankful for Greg, Tim, and our entire dental extraction team.
Valerie reported that the eye team had many patients today – 75. The eye clinic stayed extremely busy the entire day. Valerie was blessed to connect with a nine year old boy named Manuel that had not heard the Gospel. When she shared with him that Jesus had died on the cross to make a way to pay for his sin, he gladly prayed to surrender his life to Jesus. Valerie has been preparing and praying for the moment in her life that she could lead a person to receive Jesus. We thank God for the eternal fruit she got to harvest today!
Kaci reported on medical today. She enjoyed getting to know a young lady, Maria, who was a follower of Jesus but witnessed her husband murdered. Maria tearfully shared that since his murder, she did not feel like praying or praising the Lord anymore. Kaci encouraged her that she could come to Jesus with her broken heart and He would help her with her pain. Kaci helped Maria pray to rededicate her life to Jesus, and Maria left with her burdens lifted by God. Please pray for Maria, that God would continue to comfort her and strengthen her in her walk with Jesus.
Nathan reported on evangelism. Many of the people who came to our clinic already knew Jesus. We were blessed to pray for and encourage these folks as they go through the challenges of life. One particular young man, Jaldecir, began to cry as Nathan shared the Gospel. He told us he was already a follower of Jesus. After Nathan prayed for his group, Jaldecir asked if he could pray for us. Jaldecir then began to cry out, praying for God bless the church and our ministry with great fruit. People all across the church heard Jaldecir praying and were encouraged by him. Isn’t it great how God sends people to encourage us at just the right time?
Right after Jaldecir prayed for us and his group left, Nathan and Scott were blessed to see the very next group of four people pray to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. Nathan finished the day excited and encouraged, as did the entire evangelism team.
Another awesome part of our team is the children’s ministry, organized by Laura and Erin. While parents went through the clinic, Erin and Laura enjoyed engaging the children in art activities and games that taught the kids about Jesus. It was awesome to see the parents and families appreciate how their children were being ministered to while they were going through the medical clinic today.
At the end of the day, we enjoyed fellowship with our translators and church volunteers. Ben and Nathan even enjoyed playing soccer with some of the young men of the church. While Ben and Nathan are great soccer players by American standards, they were impressed to see how much better the young Brazilians are with the game. Thankfully, the Brazillian guys were nice to Ben and Nathan and gave them some good soccer lessons. New friendships are growing and God is bringing our team and the church people closer together.
We are expecting the attendance and workload of our clinic to increase greatly tomorrow as word spreads through the area, that we are here. Please pray for us to get much needed rest tonight, and for God to bless us with another fruitful day tomorrow. God bless you all! Thank you for taking the time to pray for us and for the Church of the Solid Ground in Santissimo.
Medical – 39 ped 21
Dentist – 7 patients, 9 extractions
Dental Cleanings – 35
Eye Team – 75
Professions of Faith – 12
Rededications – 2
READ: Matthew 6:7-10
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’”
If you’ve visited a Muslim country you are familiar with the call to prayer. They call from a minaret over a loud speaker 5 times daily. They repeat the same words over and over. Basically it’s the same words all 5 times. Vain Babblings! Our Father wants us to follow His example. We are to come to Him with love, reverence and dependence. He is a Father that knows our life and knows our wants better than we do ourselves. We pray, not to inform God of our needs, but to be informed by God of His plans to meet our needs, to use us for His glory.
Are you depending on God like the Heavenly Father He is to you? Confess your self-reliance and ask God to help you to follow Him one day, one step at a time instead of trying to figure out your life on your own.
We have seen the omnipotence of God many times as we have traveled on mission. We know that the prayers of God’s people have been a huge part of why we have seen God move in such a mighty way. We have every hour of every day that we are gone assigned to someone to pray. You may be one of the prayer warriors for this trip. I have found that it’s easier to pray when I know there is danger around. I’m guilty of being more devoted to prayer in the greatest times of need, but I’m beginning to realize the power of prayer in times when I am not endangered or needy. Last year we had 200 plus people that prayed to receive Christ in 4 days. We do serve a MIGHTY GOD! I’ve seen miracles happen because of prayer. Think of what an impact we can have on our community if we prayed. Paul exhorts the Philippians “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6- 7. In Colossians Paul says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ.” Colossians 4:1-3. Not only are we to pray but we are to be accountable “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16.
Hello Mission Trip Family and Friends – We have added pictures from Saturday night and Sunday.
PLEASE NOTE: Our Internet connection has gone offline several times since we have been here. If our connection goes down, we will post updates as soon as we can get connected again. Thank you for praying for us as we share Jesus this week.
This morning, our team was up bright and early to eat breakfast at 6:15 Rio Time (5:15 Eastern Time). It wasn’t but just a few minutes later that we were loading our bus with items for every area of our clinic. We left at 7:30 Rio time for an hour long drive to the Church on the Solid Ground in the favela of Santissimo, which is on the Western Side of the Rio de Janeiro metro area. Singing praise songs to the Lord, our team pulled into the favela at 8:30 Rio Time, and we were greeted by many loving people from the church.
After our team spent some time loading equipment and supplies and getting it in place all around the church campus, we began to enjoy the church’s Praise Team leading us in worship. We were overwhelmed with God’s presence as we sang “Shout to The Lord ” in Portuguese and English at the same time together! Pastor Pedro is not just a great preacher and pastor, he is a gifted singer and he does a great job leading his church in worship. He has been serving at his current church for a little over two years, and is leading churches because of the time and love that Ray and Sharon Fairchild invested in him during their time in Rio as IMB Missionaries. Pastor Pedro shared that since he came to this church, he has been praying for a mission team to come and partner with him to share Jesus with the people of Santissimo, and this upcoming week is a tremendous answer to his prayers. He encouraged Greg Boston to come and pray for the week of clinic, and for Pastor Scott before he brought the sermon for the morning.
Scott shared from Acts 2:42-47, about how God desires to fill followers of Christ all over the world with His power and use us to build His Kingdom. The early church was made up of ordinary people like you and me, but when they sought God’s cleansing in their lives and cried out honestly to Him in prayer to use them, God’s presence and power fell down from heaven in their worship. As they worshiped Jesus fervently, they grew closer to Him than ever before – even to the point of sharing their possessions when needed. This is the kind of fellowship that is sorely lacking in too many churches today, but God can bring it quickly when His people fall in love with Jesus again. Finally, our team and our new friends in church loudly said Amen when Scott shared the fruit of a church that is in love with Jesus – “And The Lord added to them daily those who were being saved.” (Verse 47). It is our desire, and it should be our desire as churches, that we are Kingdom-growing churches. Churches that are in love with Jesus are sharing Jesus and seeing people saved. This should be the driving passion that we have every day, not just when we are on mission trips away from home.
Scott’s message led into a time of response and prayer. The Mission Team and Church gathered around a gentleman who has been waiting for life-saving surgery. Because of the healthcare system in Brazil, he has had to wait now for over two years. We surrounded him and asked God to either heal him supernaturally or provide a way for him to get the surgery he needs. We also gathered together around the altar and cried out for the lost people of Santissimo. We begged God to use our team this week. We thanked God for all the people praying for us at home. As we said “Amen,” we knew we had experienced God’s presence today. We also had a reassurance inside us from the Holy Spirit that God is with us and He is going to protect us and empower us this week. We were surprised by the church with a time of refreshments and fellowship after church and enjoyed that before we left for the day.
This afternoon, we went shopping at a hippie feira (flea market), and then we had a time of training and preparation for our clinic. Sharon, Greg, and Jerry showed us how the clinic would work and then we practiced sharing the Gospel together. We are looking forward to what God will do this week!
Prayer partners, please intercede for us to have a good night’s rest. It is crucial that we get some sleep tonight because we are about to have four very long days of hard work. Also, please pray for us to have a smooth setup tomorrow morning, and for God to draw many, many people to us so that we can share His love to them and tell them about Jesus. Thank you for being our prayer warriors and for all the ways you are supporting us! By praying for us, you are enabling the Gospel to be shared with every soul we encounter, and you are a part of every life that will be brought to Christ this week. God bless you all!