Last month, when we sent out our prayer letter, I had just recently discovered that I had Covid. Thankfully, I recovered quickly from a mild case, and nobody else in the family got it. It was sweet to see how, once again, our church encouraged and helped us. The nurse responsible for my case was extra cautious and ended up asking for half the church to be tested. It was a little nerve wracking for a few days, but in the end, almost everybody came back negative, and it appears there was no spreading at church. Despite the uncertainty, there was a sweet spirit of understanding and kindness. Dozens of meals were delivered, errands run, prayers prayed, and encouragement given. God was so good to us.
Since then, the summer has been flying by. It feels that way especially because the kids didn’t finish Portuguese school until July 8th. Imagine that! Once school was done, Laura and Samuel both got to go to camp with other kids from church, and they all had a great time. Otherwise, we’ve mostly been busy with “normal” life and ministry.
We want to challenge you to pray in a very specific way in the week to come (August 2nd through 7th). During this week, we will be sending twelve teens from our church to camp. Several of these teens are doing well and growing in their walk with the Lord. However, for at least half of them, this week seems like a last ditch effort to awaken their lives spiritually. Will you pray for these teens?
David – Nine years ago, David was just a little boy who came to our kid’s club in the park with his sister, Paula. He made a profession of faith and eagerly came to church at every opportunity. I remember how he would memorize entire psalms in order to get a scholarship to go to camp. But as he grew older, he became more rebellious and ambivalent. He hasn’t been to church in at least three years, but this summer he told me he wants to change, and he agreed to go to camp. Pray that God will stir his heart and that he will repent of his sin and run to Jesus.
Vinicius and Debora are brother and sister who were baptized a couple of years ago and were sincere in their desire to follow Jesus. However, family problems and Covid have kept them far from church for a long time. Pray that God would mend their hearts and help them to return to church.
Beatriz, Joana, and Carolina – These are three sisters who attended our church since day one, have been to countless camps and activities, and have heard the gospel over and over again. In 2016, Sarah did many weeks of Bible studies with Joana and she was baptized. Both Beatriz and Carolina also made professions of faith. However, over the past couple of years, these girls have fallen away and are living only for the pleasures of this life. God knows their hearts, but we ask that you would pray that they would truly be saved and follow Jesus.
Sharing stories like these brings a mixture of sadness and hope to our hearts. Sadness, because we so often see people respond positively to the gospel and then fall away. These are people we care about and love, and it hurts to see them turn their backs on Jesus. And yet there is hope. We believe there will be more to these stories. We pray fervently and believe that God will move in a mighty way at camp. We pray for revival, salvation, repentance, and transformation in these lives. And now we turn to you… We need you to pray, and we want you to share in what God is going to do in the week to come. It would be a huge encouragement to us if you would do the following: pick one of these teens, reply to this e-mail with one line saying something like, “This week, I will pray for David (or whoever God lays on your heart).” Thank you! We look forward to sharing how God will work in the week to come!