Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bursting at the Seams

Last week we had eleven children at church. That may not seem like many to those of you who attend a big church in a big church building with a big church staff ,but to us it is significant. I teach Sunday school in Ben’s room. We push his train table into the closet and set up a utility table in the middle of the room with folding chairs around it. One poor kid was practically flush against Ben’s crib, and the child at the other end was touching the edge of the train table that stuck out of the closet. There wasn’t a clear path around the room, so the kids down one side had to crane their necks just to see the pictures in the story I was reading. Nobody complained. In fact, it was great. I’m just not sure what we’re going to do when the kids bring the friends they promised to bring next week.

The adults were in the living room. It’s a little bigger than Ben’s room but it’s on the small side, considering a church meets there. John and I talked about having the grown ups meet in Ben’s room and the children in the living room next time. That arrangement might buy us a few weeks but, at the rate we’re growing, not much more.

Since the beginning of this ministry in March, we went from thinking we were going to be a Brazilian church in a church building to being a home church with a focus on strengthening families. God has brought many broken families to us and together we are praying to restore them to what God intended for His people. You read in my last entry about Daphne and Jake. The changes in both of them are phenomenal and they are a testimony to God’s ability to transform a life. A Brazilian woman I met at the YMCA lost her husband eight months ago to a massive stroke. She has a daughter who just turned five and they call us family now. She brought her friends who have been struggling to keep their marriage together. They have a four-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son with special needs. He has been consuming every ounce of attention in their family and they are paying a huge price. After much prayer and counseling they are headed in the right direction. We’ve used our experiences raising a special needs child to help them learn better ways to cope and discipline their son. He recently made it through his first Sunday school hour without being called out for bad behavior, which brought tears to his mother’s eyes. The stories don’t end here, but this is enough to give you a sampling of the flavor of ministry God has chosen for us in south Florida.

John is currently on a circuit to visit each of the five families’ homes to discuss the basics of Christianity. These people have come to us with differing levels of understanding of the Bible, as is evident in our prayer meetings and Sunday fellowship. In order to establish a strong and true foundation for this church, we’re going to get down to the brass tacks and make sure that each individual has a good relationship with God. We trust that investing in each person on the front end is going to unlock a sea of potential for God to bring about a revival in this part of the world. I’m ready to be a part of that.


  1. Awesome!!! I am so happy for you all! Sounds like God is blessing you all greatly! Keep the faith - always!

  2. I would love to hear more about the basics of Christianity that John is teaching to your core families!

    Way to go , guys! You are doing amazing things in Jesus' name.

  3. Wow! So encouraging! Praying for you guys and your new church family! Love you.

  4. What wonderful news this is! God knew where He needed you and why. When
    we let Him take charge wonderful things happen.