Dear Friends and Family,
Happy New Years! For those of you who have been around Amazon Outreach for a while I have some exciting news, our dear friend and translator Thiago Ramos got engaged last night during our New Years party! His girlfriend and her mom are serving as doctors on our trip and so we are all extremely happy for them, we had a blast bringing in the new year last night on the Amazon.
Today was definitely the most difficult day of our trip. We stopped in Bejamim Constan today and struggled meeting people because many people in the village slept in after a late night. It was a much needed "chill day" if you will because it went at a bit of a slower pace. We actually had a few interesting encounters with some Jehovah's Witnesses today that challenged us as a team. But Antonio, one of the leaders from Chapada church in Manaus encouraged us with a great verse. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. This verse really encouraged me because although we were somewhat discouraged momentarily by these people who only wanted to argue technical doctrine with us, God is much bigger than that situation and He did so many other things throughout the day worthy of praise.
One of our translators had a neat opportunity to share the gospel with a young 12 year old girl who ended up accepting Christ and Jason Delph reminded us all that that is why we came and if that is all that had happed on this whole trip it was totally worth it. My good friend Lydia Hurt also had a sweet moment with a little 4 year old boy in the midst of all the religious conversations. "I was playing with a little boy/holding him throughout the day and continued to hold him while I was listening to my mom and Mr. Delph talk to a Jahovah's witness. Because I was trying to pay attention to their conversation i was somewhat neglecting the little boys fast-paced talking. He seemed to have gotten a little frustrated and finally tapped me on the shoulder and looked me in the eyes,spoke very slowly so I could understand, and said.. "Do you have a heart?" I smiled and said "Yes i do, do you?" and he said "Yes, Jesus is inside". I told him Jesus was inside my heart also and he proceeded to ask if my mom and my sister had Jesus in their heart. I told him they did and they loved him very much. He said "does everyone on your boat have Jesus in their heart" and i told him that they did and thats why we were here. He gave me a big smile and a thumbs up. It was truly a blessing, I felt like it was God's way of saying He is still working through us, even in the life of a 4 year old little boy. In the midst of our frustration He is there and He is doing His work and is allowing us to be blessed along the way. Previously I had written verses in my journal for brazil and the verse I came to today was perfect. Luke 16:21 says "He has hidden things from the wise and revealed them to little children." How great is our God! :)