Monday, November 21, 2011

Prestonwood November 2011 - Villages Day Two

Greetings from the Amazon! Bags still M.I.A. but spirits are high.  We once again split into three teams and journeyed into three different villages, Varre Vento, Saint Sebastian and Saint Antonio. 
The Varre Vento team was invited to the school to conduct a VBS in the morning which about 18 children attended.  We were encouraged to see how open the teacher of the school was as she allowed us to preach the gospel to the students. We had planned another VBS and an adult Bible study for after lunch, however the Lord had different plans.  It proceeded to pour down rain.  The villagers do not like to leave their homes when it rains, therefore no one showed up for the afternoon meetings. Two VBS students (sisters) came and invited us into their home.  During our visit, we discovered that the parents and sisters were not believers.  After sharing with them the Evang-a-cube and personal testimony, all four prayed to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Praise God!!!
The Saint Antonio team followed up with the villagers we visited with yesterday.  The influence of the Catholic church is very strong in this village.  One woman, Maria, said that she could not put her faith in Jesus because the church would kick her off her property.  She lived with 3 of her 6 children and 5 of her grandchildren, so this decision would effect not only her but her entire family's well-being.  Many in the village profess to knowing Jesus, but they believe that it takes good works to get into heaven. This town has an incredible number of children, the majority of which have been coming to VBS.  Today we held VBS in the school which is a great blessing since the Catholic church has such a strong hold on the village. Part of the reason this was possible is because the president has been away.  We pray that we can continue to use the school for VBS once he returns. 
The Saint Sebastian team had the opportunity to visit with Vanderlay and Tiani, who are new believers and have suffered much persecution for their faith.  We were very encouraged by their story and will be praying for their influence in the village of Saint Sebastian.  We went to visit a man named Junior, who we met yesterday, but he wasn't home.  Instead, we had the opportunity to speak with his brother, sister and niece.  All three came to know Christ!! Also, this village is receiving a water well.  The digging of the well is progressing very smoothly and should be up and flowing tomorrow!
The medical team has been serving Saint Antonio the past two days. Dr. Pablo, a local missionary doctor, was able to share the Gospel with many children as they waited to see Dr. Tom.  He walked the kids from Genesis through Christ's ressurection. 7 out of the 12 kids raised their hands to receive Christ. Dr. Pablo did a great job following up with each child to make sure they understood their decision.  God is really using our doctors to serve and minister to these people.
God is visibly moving in the lives and hearts of many Amazonian people.  Please continue to pray that walls and traditions will be broken as people profess Jesus Christ as their Savior. Also pray for the health and wellness of our team since a couple of us have been sick.  We are truly learning that we have been blessed to be a blessing.  It's a great lesson to learn!
Boa noite! (Good night)
Varre Vento Team:
The Symes Family (Jeff, Kim, Sydney, Zach and Avery)
Traci Townsend
Lauren Davis
Saint Antonio Team:
Aaron and Jen Lill
Amy Dearmon
Jenny Clemmons
Cathleen Moffit
Megan Elmore
Marshall Hunter
Saint Sebastian Team:
Josh Rolf
Kate Brewer
David Snedecor
Amber Lee
Corrienne Bottom
Leslie McAninch
The Medical Team:
The Johnson Family (Tom and Nancy)
Bo Patterson
Roy and Jessica Reis

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prestonwood November 2011 - Villages Day One

We made it! Oi from the Amazon!
Today is Sunday and our first day in the villages.  After several days of travel we are really excited to finally be with the people of the Amazon. 
The week started off great and we all shared amazing stories tonight after dinner!  Between all three villages we had a little over 100 kids in VBS.  We also started the medical side of our trip in Saint Antonio, the largest of the three villages with two doctors and one dentist.  The dentist pulled over 30 teeth - ouch! Dr. Tom and Dr. Pablo treated about 150 people in the village and are preparing for another very busy day tomorrow. 
The rest of the team started door to door evangelism in the villages and had great success. Success for us is defined as finding a person of peace. These people allow us into their homes and are our best avenue in spreading the gospel.
We never realized how much we love peanut butter, body wash and hair gel. Please pray God brings us our much needed  checked bags for VBS supplies, protection against the sun and bugs as well as a good old American PB&J.  Not to mention that some people are beginning to stink...praise the Lord for the three people who packed body wash in their carry-on bags!  "They're on their way" is all we know after TAM left all of our bags in Miami.
We end the day saying Muito Obrigado Senhor (Thank You Very Much Lord)!
Prestonwood -  November 2011 Team