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May 20, 2010
After a total travel time of 14 hours (on our 23rd wedding anniversary) Jeff and I made it back to Miami safe and sound Tuesday morning!
Our time in Porto Alegre was unforgettable and God used us in ways I could never have imagined. Although this part of Brazil is known to be a very difficult area to evangelize, in just 10 short days we not only saw more than 77 people make decisions for Christ but we also saw pastors and leaders being strengthened and encouraged. We serve an amazing and awesome God!
We attribute all of this to all of you who supported us daily on your knees in prayer. THANK YOU but please don’t stop now... Pray for these young believers. Pray also for the pastors and Christian leaders in the area churches who will now assume the responsibility of following through with discipleship.
Would you also pray for Jeff and I as we transition this month into full-time ministry and endeavor to do even more work in cities like Porto Alegre? Imagine the impact for the kingdom! "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory..." Ephesians 3:20-21
Continuing in His Service,
Posted by Bernadette at 12:10 AM
May 12, 2010
Greetings from Porto Alegre!
Just checking in to let you know that all is well with Jeff and I here in Porto Alegre. I’ve been working hard yet having a great time with my new friends … Pastor Rogerio (pictured in the orange jacket), who prepared my schedule and drives us everywhere, and Pastor Eduardo (seated next to me), who translates every single word that comes out of my mouth.
These two men have been working tirelessly beside both Jeff and I and together we are seeing many lives changed even though this is a very difficult area to evangelize. This region is literally dominated by mysticism and spritism. Centers of witchcraft abound and are filled while churches struggle to exist. People actually hate evangelicals here but so far I have been well received so your prayers are making a difference, keep them coming!
The ladies tea on Saturday afternoon was great! I watched as God worked through many tears to encourage the hearts of several women who were going through a very difficult time in their lives. It never ceases to amaze me how God orchestrates the timing of things and always sends me to the right place at just the right moment to bring a message of hope to people who desperately need to hear it.
On Sunday morning, I woke up feeling as if a huge truck had run over my head several times and then parked on it. It was the worst headache I had felt in a long time. It was so bad that I couldn’t eat breakfast. We had to drive an hour to the church in Estancia where I was speaking and about half way there, I began sweating even though it was 59° F outside. I became so nauseous that pastor Rogerio had to pull the car over so I could throw up. It was then that he asked if I wanted to cancel but my fighting spirit just wouldn’t let me. I was determined to press on because I knew there was a small mission church, Irgreja em Estância Velha, waiting for me.
I’m so glad I went because this little church is the only evangelical church in the town of Estancia, a city also ruled by mysticism. The leadership had been discouraged by the challenge set before them. After hearing my testimony, Tiago and Thais, the pastor and his wife, said God used my life to remind them that He uses the small and the weak to do mighty things. Join me in praying for this couple as they continue to shine a light in Estancia.
On Sunday afternoon I was greatly encouraged when I arrived back to my hotel and one of the front desk receptionists came running after us. “Excuse me…excuse me… may I ask you a question? Are you Christians?” “ Yes” we answered. “I just knew it,” she said in tears, “We are very few here in Porto Alegre and I just knew there was something different about you two.” We told her about our mission work and she was excited because of the great need for missionaries here. I left her that afternoon feeling wowed and remembering what Jesus said in John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
I was feeling much better by Sunday night and spoke at Igreja Passo D Areia. The church was full and had many visitors who came simply because they heard about me on the Internet. I just love how God uses technology to draw people to Himself. At the end, Jeff gave a special word of encouragement to the men and prayed for all the husbands. Seven gave their lives to Christ that night!
Well, there many more stories to share but my fingers are tired from typing and it won’t be long now before I am picked up and taken to my next speaking engagement. THANK YOU for all your wonderful e-mails, please know that Jeff and I have read each and every one. We love you! :-)
Because of Him,
Posted by Bernadette at 02:31 PM
May 08, 2010
Shining a light in Brazil!
Hi Dear Friends,
Just wanted to send a quick note to let you know that Jeff and I are in Porto Alegre safe and sound. It was a LONG journey. First, our flight from Miami was delayed 1 ˝ hr and then our connecting flight in Sao Paulo was canceled. This made our total travel time 19 hrs! Through it all we remained joyful knowing that God has a purpose in what He allows.
When we arrived in Sao Paulo we were amazed by Elizabeth and Eduardo, the two American Airlines employees who assisted us. These two went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that we were going be ok. Near the end of the process Eduardo, who couldn't speak English, asked (through Elizabeth) if we were Christians. He said there was “a shine” about us, something "different" in our eyes. When we confirmed his suspicions, he was elated!! He was going through a very difficult time and had prayed for the Lord to send a “messenger” into his day to bring him hope. My eyes filled with tears at realization that God has orchestrated our delay for this young man, wow! Well needless to say, I spent the next hour sharing my testimony with Eduardo and Elizabeth. As we parted, both said they will never be the same.
Well, I'm off to breakfast and to prepare for the Tea that I'll be speaking at later this afternoon but I leave you with this thought... "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Your Missionary in Brazil,
Posted by Bernadette at 08:39 AM