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Jornal Catarinense

What a privilege!

The other day the one of our kids came rushing into the house with a fist full of letters and cards. Right on cue, one month after Christmas, the mailbox suddenly fills with cards and letters! The Christmas season is still upon us. Yeah!

To quote the old Christmas carol written during the American "uncivil" war (as Paul Harvey used to say), "There is no peace on earth, I said."  When we look around at the chaos and division, see so many of society's institutions crumbling, we are reminded that though nations fail and the heathen raise their fists, God is building his church. This work of God, as in all others, will not fail. Brothers and sisters, if you want to know what God is doing in the world today, stop reading the political headlines. Go to a church that teaches the Bible. Love your brothers and sisters. Pray. Preach the gospel of Jesus (not the gospel of a party). You will find that God is not frustrated. His plans are not failing.

What a privilege-and responsibility-we enjoy, to share in life and ministry with so many of you. Literally hundreds of people participate in this church planting effort in Palhoça. Thank you for being a part of this. Your prayers and generosity encourage us to keep looking to Jesus and preaching the gospel day by day. Hopefully you can be encouraged by the reports that follow. 

I only knew 1 of these brothers at the beginning of last year. What a blessing it has been to grow in our love for Christ and for each other over the last 6 months. This picture around our dining room table is the prayer part of our Wednesday night meeting. As we prayed for one another, for our unsaved friends and family, and our leaders, we rejoiced at what God has been doing among us. Our wives were praying in the other room. We recently received the following encouraging note: "I just wanted to say thank you for giving your time and lives so that you can teach us how to walk with God. I am thankful for you and the church family. You have encouraged me to seek the Word of God with my wife and to learn to put it in practice. We are praying for you. Thank you."  All glory be to God! This same brother filled our prayer list on Wednesday with his family members and friends who do not know Christ. Will you join us in praying for

  • Ducinea: she attended last Sunday (January 24) and heard the gospel clearly for possibly the first time. 
  • Kailton, with whom the gospel was recently shared.
  • João Victor: came with friends a couple of times in December. He has not been back this year. 
  • Claudiomir and Gabriel.
Sunday services are now being held in the garage (well, when we are not having cyclone-like rain). It kind of felt like a significant move. And...the customary eating of food after church on Sunday's has been nixed, in favor of once a month instead of every week. Growing pains, I guess. 

Several have given towards purchasing furniture, etc as we anticipate renting space soon. Thank you! So far we have purchased 30 chairs, a music stand, and a whiteboard. We are still keeping our eyes open for the right building. Thanks for praying! 
Welcome to Palhoça David and Erin!
After a year long delay, our coworkers are finally on their way! Yeah! Please pray for David and Erin as they move during the first part of February. We need their help and are grateful that God has brought them along at this time. Please pray for their fruitful ministry among us! 

Family Highlights

In January we celebrated two birthdays. We praise God for ElliAnna and Noella. They are both such blessings in our lives and have brought us so much joy. Will you please pray for them? We are praying that God that they will seek Christ to the glory of God all the days of their lives.

The fourth and final picture is of the little temporary building that will house the construction operations on the land that we purchased last year. We are waiting on the final projects from the engineer and Lord-willing will be able to begin building our house in earnest in February. If the rains let up, construction will begin on the fence next week.

As a family, besides our excitement of actually saying good bye to the rental life (when the power and water were installed earlier in January we were ready to set up a tent!), we are grateful for the opportunity that this project has already given us to be able to meet people. Building in general is a rather overwhelming thought in my (Jon) mind. And, since we began negotiating the land, building costs have gone up 20%. But, more important than what we know or do not know how to do well, we are here for a bigger purpose. We are praying that the opportunities that this project gives us to meet people we would not ordinarily meet will prove fruitful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, if God sees fit for the funds to be there, and the rain to stop falling, and pandemic shutdowns to be avoided, we might be able to be moving in by the end of May. That is pretty cool to imagine! 
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