Christmas Greeting from Brazil
November 30, 2018 | Skip and Betty Harkins
Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
We are nearing the end of another year and are so thankful for what God has done for us this year. It has been a year of ups and downs as Skip started out the year with a very bad urine infection. We praise the Lord that all the exams came back clear of cancer and he has not had any more trouble along that line and his health has been good. He still walks with his four legged friend, the cane, and can get around a little better but his left side remains the same as it has been. Slow but sure.
However, on the 21st of November, he fell while coming out of the church. Luckily, a lady was by his side and helped him fall gently. He had turned around quickly and lost his balance. He was looking to see if I was coming behind him. So thankful it was just a scare. Just need to be there by his side most of the time. However, his speech is still coming along slowly in the Portuguese and his English is enough to make himself understood.
We are seeing new faces in the church and some who drifted away are coming back and it is so good to have them. However, there are two families who have come almost regularly who are yet unsaved and we so pray for them and long to see them at the Savior’s feet. May they not harden their hearts, but may the Holy Spirit convince them that they need Jesus. Others in our midst are growing spiritually and we are so encouraged to see them grow and have a desire to reach others for the Lord.
The ladies’ group that I lead has been busy this year with bazaars to help raise funds for our new building which has come to a standstill because of lack of funds to continue. There is so much to be done, however the rains have stopped the outside work. We have had three bazaars and are scheduled to have another one on the 8th of December. We have learned how to make cookies and made cookies for Fathers’ Day for the dads. We learned how to sew and still have some to go on that project. We did some visitation and had classes in painting. We had a Ladies’ Retreat on Oct. 19-21 with two other churches with the theme: Women (Christian) in the Last Days. But we did study the book of Philippians also and were so blessed by this study.
I am still helping in the church wherever needed especially the music and do praise the Lord for the opportunity to do so. I would so like to be able to do more but with Skip it takes much of my time so I do the best I can. The other day two little boys (age 8) from my SS class came a running to get me to go translate as they tried to talk to Skip. They were interested to know how it was that Skip came to be a missionary so I told them about him wanting to be a missionary since 4th grade in school while studying about the Amazon. One little boy wanted to know about the work of the Holy Spirit. Blessing for us.
We are a small church but a missionary-minded church in praying and giving to the work of evangelism here in Brazil and the World. It is such a blessing to see their interest. We are praying for a number of missionaries in northern Brazil and in Africa, and neighbors of Brazil. Our Missions Conference was in Sept and the theme was about what we can do as a church for Missions.
We are planning DVBS on January 14-18, 2019. Looking forward to helping.
For our health as well as can be in the circumstances.
For answered prayer for Samuel our young person who was in rehab for drugs. He is done with rehab, got saved and is now living for Jesus.
For all the faithful prayer warriors and financial helpers for the ones in church who are growing
For Samuel to find a job and stay clean
For the church construction funds that we can finish the building
For the end of the year programs to be glorifying to the Lord
For spiritual growth among our members
For those who are attending and need salvation- Valdeci and Vanessa, Maria and Edwardo, and for Christiano
For the country of Brazil. We have a new president elect who gets sworn in on January 1st. His wife is a Christian and he is a Catholic. He is one of the few in our govt. who has no criminal record and has high moral values. He was stabbed during his campaign and has been recuperating from that. He campaigned mostly by internet and other media means. He has a very good platform and we believe he will be a great help for Brazil. PLEASE PRAY FOR HIS SAFETY.
We want to wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Thank you for your prayers, financial gifts to keep us going, emails, cards and letters. We Thank God for your concern for us and your faithfulness. May God bless you richly and May your New Year be one of Blessing and Peace. You know this could be the year we meet in the air. Won’t it be wonderful there?
Your missionaries to Brazil,
Skip and Betty Harkins