Hello Prayer Partners and Rio Mission Family. Our entire Mission Team has made it home safely. Thank you for covering us in prayer as we have enjoyed seeing God work! We are thankful for all He has done. More pictures from our Mission Trip will be posted soon. God bless you all!
Hello everyone – thank you for your prayers! The Tennessee Team is the air right now from Miami to Charlotte. The Arkansas team is in the air to Dallas and then to Little Rock this morning. Thank you for praying for us! We will post pictures of the last couple of days of our trip soon, and let you know when we arrive at Nashville.
Thank you for praying for us this week! Please pray for us as we take the journey home overnight tonight and into the early hours of Saturday. Pray for safe travels, and for a smooth passage through security and customs. Also, please pray for us to have opportunities to share Jesus with people all along the way. Thank you for your prayers!
Thank you for taking this journey! What an incredible week it’s been. Blessings abound! Aren’t you glad to have been a part of God’s work by being faithful to His call?
Your experiences make this journal meaningful and we want to be able to share those testimonies with other teams. Whether you’ve traveled to Brasil or you’ve covered us in prayer, we would appreciate your testimonies of the experiences with God this year. Please write us to share your testimony. Please e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
“Expect great things from God.
Attempt great things for God.”
William Carey 1761-1834
Known as the Father of Modern Missions
Today has been a bittersweet day. It was sweet because we saw such a huge line of thankful people from the community who came to receive care, and because we saw so many people come to know Jesus. It was bitter because we had to turn people away when it was time for us to go. It was also sad because we had to say goodbye to the people of the church and to our translator family.
Many of the people of the church in Santissimo have sacrificed so that they can be with us during our clinic this year. One man in the church, Fabiano, is 36-years-old and works two jobs to support his family. He has been doing without sleep this week so that he can work, and then help with our clinic each day this week. Fabiano told us that it was his blessing to get to help us share Jesus this week, and that he looked forward to seeing God continue growing his church because of this week’s clinic.
Carol and Cheryl shared that God’s presence permeated their area of the clinic today. One of their early patients was a man who had just received Jesus as Savior, moments before in Evangelism. He was so thankful to be set free from his sin, and was showing great appreciation to everyone in hygiene. They also saw a very large lady who had never had her teeth cleaned. After her cleaning was over, she hugged Carol and thanked her for the love that had been shown to her. She told Carol that nobody had ever treated her with dignity because she was so large. The way all our team showed love to her touched her heart in a special way. Cheryl told her that she could see the beauty of Christ shining through her heart.
Another prior patient in dental hygiene returned today, a five-year-old girl, with a gift for Cheryl. She went home and told her mother they had to get a present because of the love and care Cheryl had shown her when cleaning her teeth. The entire family came to thank them for the love and care our team had shown their family and their community.
Vicki, Trisha, Chad, Kaci, and Alan reported that there were four professions of faith today in the medical area. Alan said that they had a great day today. Alan said that after providing care for a lady today, he asked if he could pray about anything with her. She jumped up and said, “I would like to pray for you.” She then prayed, thanking God for the love and care that had been shown to her and her community this week. The people of Santissimo are filled with gratitud. Best of all, they have heard about the love of Jesus.
Frank reported that the eye clinic had yet another powerful day. One particular lady with many children said that she wasn’t yet ready to surrender her life to Jesus. Frank then told her that we don’t know how much longer each of us have to decide to follow Jesus. Frank continued to share the Gospel with her, and even though she didn’t surrender to Jesus today, let’s continue to pray for God to draw her to Him.
Kent reported that dental was extremely busy, but great again today. He shared that their first patient with his sister, along with their mother, got in line at 1:30 this morning so that they could be sure that they received care today. This shows us the amount of need for basic care in this community, and why the love and care our team shows is such a great way to bring people to hear about Jesus.
Laura reported a great, great day with the children today. At one point, one of our translators, Sidney, came to help Laura and Erin share the Gospel with the children they were caring for. Three children chose to give their lives to Jesus – Praise The Lord! The Children’s Ministry this week has been a new way that God has used this year to minister that we definitely want to conitnue to use in future clinics.
Jerry reported that 14 souls were saved today through the Evangelism Team, while 15 souls were added to God’s Kingdom today through the other areas of our clinic. This is a great reminder that even though we have a specific team to share the Gospel with everyone, that every single member of our team is called to be an evangelist.
Jerry shared about one particular lady that he and Laura got to share the Gospel with today. She didn’t think that she was worthy to receive Jesus. When Jerry talked with her and asked her why she didn’t feel worthy of God’s forgiveness, she told him that she couldn’t read. She told Jerry that she thought that Jesus wouldn’t let her be forgiven if she couldn’t read or write. When Jerry shared with her that God loved her and all she needed to do was to simply place her life into God’s hands, she gladly prayed to receive Christ. She then lifted her hands into the air and shouted “I’m free! I’m free!” This lady, in her late 60’s, thought that God had forgotten her because she wasn’t able to read or write. Now she is a member of God’s Kingdom!
In closing, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have prayed for us and supported the work God has called us to in so many ways this week. We are simply a bunch of saved, ordinary people who are called by God to reach people with the Gospel. We give thanks to Him for all the lives that have been changed this week, and for the seeds planted in the hearts of the people of Santissimo that will bear fruit in God’s time.
The title of this post is “God’s work is not finished.” While we have seen God do incredible things this week, we are mindful of the fact that God’s work continues as we go, both in Santissimo and at home too. Let’s pray for God to use His people in Rio to be a light to everyone around them, and for our team to be a light for Christ when we return to our communities where we
As we go sight seeing tomorrow, we hope to have opportunities to share the Gospel with our bus driver and tour guide. We also hope to have opportunities to share with people on the journey home. Please spend some time with God right now, praying for their hearts to be open to the Gospel. Please also pray for us to have a safe journey to the airport and a smooth check-in process for our journey home tomorrow night.
THIS WEEK’S STATISTICS
Medical Clinic – 167
Pediatric – 103
Prescriptions – 838
Dental – 98 Patients, 187 Extractions
Dental Hygiene – 146
Eyes – 315 Patients
Professions of Faith – 134
READ: Matthew 6:16-18
“Whenever you fast, don’t be sad-faced like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive so their fasting is obvious to people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! But when you fast, put oil on your head, and wash your face, so that you don’t show your fasting to people but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life. When God’s people fast with a proper Biblical motive-seeking God’s face, with a broken, repentant, and contrite spirit, God will hear from heaven and heal our lives, our churches, our communities, our nation and world. Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. Moses fasted and Jesus reminded His followers, “when you fast,” not if you fast. Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of the “first love” for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ. Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God. King David said, “I humble myself through fasting.” Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
Is fasting something you have done? Do you think of fasting from food only? Are there other things in your life you need to fast from? How are we instructed to fast in this passage? Remember the enemy makes you a target because he knows that fasting is the most powerful of all Christian disciplines and that God may have something very special to show you as you wait upon Him and seek His face.
Edna was the young woman who came to the medical clinic to have a pregnancy test preformed. The medical team found out that her intent for the child was to end its life. Two years ago our team prayed with Edna that she would receive Christ and that she would choose not to abort the life God had placed within her. Our team joined together and prayed for Edna while we were in Brasil, but we continued to lift her up throughout the year. As we prepared to return last year we wondered would Edna come back to the clinic. Would we know what choice she had made? Our first day to the clinic a smiling Edna and her beautiful baby girl named Immanuella were the first through the door. Some of the team members who had been the very ones trying to convince Edna to keep her child the year before excitedly carried Immanuella to greet mission team members who had prayed fervently that her mom would give her life. As Edna’s story was shared on the bus on the way back to the hotel that afternoon one of our new team members sat and wept. She had been a child that her birth mom did not choose to raise, but she thanked God over and over for the people in her mom’s life who encouraged her to give birth to this beautiful woman of God. She was overcome with emotions as she thought about her own birth mom who went through so much to give her life. As she exited the bus she grabbed the medical caregiver who had invested much into Edna. She said, “I know there must have been someone like you in my mother’s life, so on behalf of Immanuella, thank you.” Wow, God knows where we are and continues to remind us that His love really is forever even when we don’t understand all that is going on.
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.