Gratitude and Thanksgiving
This is a praise letter to the Lord as we have witnessed His mighty work through us in our ministry work in Brazil. The Lord is good. As we read it in Psalms 118:1 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
This letter also brings our gratitude to you for your faithfulness, prayers and sacrifices for us. Our hearts are full of thanksgiving as we pray and remember all of you. We thank you for your support and investment into our lives as well as the other people’s lives. It is hard to measure costs of lives. In behalf of all the lives we came in contact with and especially the ones who Jesus Christ has transformed. Priscilla, Simone, Tais, Elton and his family, MateusR, Roberta, Felipe C, Felipe F, Claudinei, Juliana, Carlos & Maria, Paulo & Lucilene, Cesar, Joao Guilherme, Mike, Otavio and his family, Joao Otavio, Rodrigo, Giovane, Mateus Lima and his family, Efigenia and her family, Dirceu and Elisa Thank you so much
A gratitude letter from two new born Christians:
Rogerio, Susan and Family
Thank you for everything you have done for me. Thank you for your love, kindness and understanding. Thank you for showing me Jesus Christ; He has changed my life completely. Thank you for everything. I love you all very much.
Your daughter Tais
I never imaged that playing basketball would be so cool, better with you to teaching us; even though I know you are getting older and cannot keep up with us. Just kidding! Thank you, for introducing God to me, Thank you so much for everything you have done for me and for all of us. I want to Thank you too Susan, you are so gentle, joyful and caring it is so fun to hear your Portuguese accent, that’s so cool. I hope you miss us because I am going to miss you all. Big hugs for you
1 Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Psalm 150:1-2
Glory to God
The Lord God has given us great opportunities to glorify His name. We are using the platform of sports to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with young kids from public schools, young athletes and their parents and adult athletes. Our role in this project is to develop and create opportunities for young kids from the public school settings to be involved in sports and include them into our Bible teaching program. Our program has great potential mainly because the way the schools hours are set up in Brazil. The younger kids go to school in the morning for four hours. Then another group of kids coming in the afternoon and older kids goes for the evening section. With that kind of schedule it opens up great opportunities for us to get young kids involved in our sports program. We focus on teaching Bible principles through Bible Studies, individual counseling and constant challenging them to change their lifestyle to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Once being transformed then we introduce them to the local church.
The Lord has given us opportunities as we introduce our program to three public schools in our area the city of Nova Odessa a small city in São Paulo, that open up a potential to reach about 200 kids, in 2008 we had about 135 kids involved in our programs. We have built our reputation in one school when we began this project and it is a blessing to offer it to more schools now. This is an answer to prayer. Praise the Lord. Along with this praise we have to add Priscila and Simone. They are two young ladies that are now committed born again Christians. They have been faithful servants of the Lord. As you read this letter they are back in Brazil overseeing our programs with the kids. WE praise the Lord for their lives. Priscila and Simone also assist me in our Sports competitive program for youth. This is a sports program for youth to compete in Basketball. We divide the groups by age; and we involve them in practices, bible studies and take them to play games in the local basketball league. Priscila and Simone helped coach the teams last year and we had about 90-100 kids involved in this program.
The Lord has also given us great opportunities to train and share our vision with others. Dirceu and Elisa spent some time with us learning how to start and conduct a sports ministry. They are now full time staff developing soccer programs to reach young boys to Jesus Christ. The Lord has blessed them with the gift of loving kids. Dirceu took his soccer program to other states in Brazil and has been multiplying since then, no boundaries to share the gospel. He is using the many opportunities that God brings him because of the people’s love for soccer. In all of this we want to glorify Jesus Christ. Timothy and I went to his first soccer missionary trip to the north of Brazil; we had a great time sharing the gospel to little kids. We spent some time in three Indian tribes. What a great time. It was great for Timothy to see all of that effort and be involved as well.
The Lord gave us an opportunity to begin in our church an experiment actitivity for young kids, a program that we call the little AeA club. This is a program that is similar to Awana in the US. Our goals were to get kids out of the streets, teach Bible principles/Bible stories, and get kids interested in playing sports. Actually we wanted them to be involved in our sports program (Basketball and Soccer), once they are old enough. We praise the Lord because it was a success. We were averaging 70- 90 kids every week ages 05-12. Our vision now is to share this program in other churches, equipping the church and send them out to reach their community for Jesus.
Before we left Brazil for our time here in US a couple of churches showed interest to learn more and begin this program in their church.