Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gearing Up for Success

We did finally get into the house we showed you in our last entry. After spending December with John's family in Colorado and half of January with our more-than-gracious hosts here in Florida (one of the couples that invited us to be part of this ministry), we moved in. We've spent the better part of our first days and weeks shopping Craigslist and thrift stores for furniture and household items. It's finally beginning to feel a bit more like home, and now we are setting our sights on the ministry.

We were asked to come here by a small group of Christians (pictured below)
who have been trying for years to get a Brazilian church established. It's a mixed group - some Brazilian, some Hispanic, and some American. Due in part to lack of resources, i.e., workers, it has yet to get off the ground. They have not had a full-time minister until now. What once was a group of about 30 Brazilians has dwindled to about ten. The group has been meeting with a Hispanic church for some time, but, because Brazilian culture is different, that hasn't been an ideal situation. Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish, and they have different traditions and customs. It is an independent culture that deserves its own congregation. The Spanish-speaking church has been very generous and hospitable towards the Brazilians - even singing some songs in Portuguese during worship. John has become friends with their minister, Carlos. There is not a hint of jealously as we suggest that the two cultures may be better suited to separate from one another. On the contrary, Carlos is eager to see the Brazilians become independent and strong in their own right.

There is no Brazilian Church of Christ anywhere south of Orlando that we know of. There are also very few Churches of Christ of any persuasion in the area. After being here for this short time, we can already see that this is not like any part of the United States we have ever known. It is much more ethnic and international - like Brazil and the US wrapped up in one package. There is no local church support for what we are about to do - plant a Brazilian church. That means that your role - to pray, encourage, and generally support in any way possible - is the same where this ministry is concerned as when we were overseas, even though we are technically on the same continent now. We need your help to see that this forgotten group of Brazilians may be reached with the good news of Christ so that they may grow and expand the borders of the Kingdom.

We plan to meet in our house this Sunday for a church service involving the Brazilians who have remained part of the group which has met with the Hispanic church and those that have stopped coming to those services. We hope to re-energize the base that has been holding this group together and encourage them to work with us in once and for all establishing Christ's church among their people here in southern Florida. It's been estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of Brazilians in southern Florida and we know that we will need all the manpower we can get to reach even a portion of them. Please pray for success in this mission.


6 comments:

  1. Ben is so Brazilian...trying to take his clothes off at all times...man this picture is cute.

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  2. Exciting! We will definitely be praying for you and would love to help in any way possible. Any gauchos in your group?? We love you guys!

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  3. Sounds like a great work that God has called your family to. More and more lately I have been thinking and praying about ministering to the growing number of Hispanics and Brazilians who are now living in the US. You guys are perfectly suited for this endeavor, having lived several years in Brazil, understanding both their language and their culture. You will be in my prayers, and I look forward to seeing how God uses you to further His kingdom in Miami!

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  4. It sounds like things are getting better. We will continue to pray for your family and the work there.

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  5. Eddison and LaJuanaMarch 3, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    May God bless your efforts in Southern FL

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  6. Judy and CharlesMarch 5, 2010 at 6:27 AM

    We are looking forward to hearing of your work. I believe God has been preparing you to reach those people. We are here to hold up your hands in whatever way you need.

    God Bless.

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