Praises and Prayer Requests from Brazil
January 30, 2016 | Skip and Betty Harkins
“Thus far hath the Lord helped us” I Samuel 7:12c
He leads us on by paths we do not know;
Upward He leads us though our steps be slow,
Though oft we faint and falter on the way,
Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;
Yet when the clouds are gone
We know He led us on.
He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows and o’er clouded days;
We know His will is done;
And still He leads us on
We had a number of year end activities that kept us on the go:
The end of November and first week of December Jess came down for a whirlwind visit, but it was so good to have him home. In December we had Christmas activities: our Christmas program included all of us in the church. Also, the second Saturday night, we were honored to have two churches come and present a Christmas cantata to us. They did a good job. Then we had a nice quiet Christmas with family.
On the 15th of December our granddaughter and great-daughter arrived to spend Christmas with us and will be here with us until April. We are enjoying the great granddaughter.
On New Year’s Eve we had a watch night service to worship and pray in the New Year. Skip did not go and stayed to sleep but I can’t believe he slept through all the fireworks which are really loud at that time of the night. It always amazes me at all the different times the New Year comes in (fireworks begin about 2 hours before midnight and don’t end until about 2 hours after). We had nice outing for Skip on New Year’s Day, as we were invited out to dinner at a Japanese friend’s house. We had a mixture of Japanese and Brazilian food. Was yummy and Skip did enjoy himself, and did not tire as much as we thought he would.
Our pastor gave a message to challenge us to have a good year at our watch night service:
Pursue peace with all the people, and holiness — Heb.12:14
Seek the will of the Lord in everything — Eph. 5:17
Seek spiritual maturity — Eph 3:17-19
Better your relationships and be a blessing — Prov.11:11
Have definite plans and seek to achieve them — Philippians 3:14
We had our Vacation Bible School January 13-15th, with an average of 90 kids and adolescents. One of the adolescents is talking about returning for Sunday school and church. Also, our son, David and wife, arrived on the 15th to help our great granddaughter (David’s grand) celebrate her 15th birthday on the 30th. They make a big to do about it here in Brazil. Almost like a wedding.
Since we are in our summer vacation months here, our ladies are on leave till March when we start again with our studies on prayer. We are looking forward to seeing War Room in February, and we will resume our visitation program and visiting the rest home once a month. We meet twice a month.
At time for Carnival (like Mardi Grau) we like to get the young folks and kids away from all the goings on around the town. Our church is uniting with two other churches for our camp again this year on February 5-8. I usually help with early morning devotions.
The construction of the new church building is going rather slowly as we wait for further funds to come in. But the pastor is dreaming of having it nearly done by our Anniversary service this year.
Skip is doing much better. Those who see him at intervals remark at how well he is doing physically. He is mentally alert and can remember those he knew years ago and remembers dates and reminds us of these. Every first Sunday of the month is communion and he reminds us that it is. This year he remembered my birthday, and other events that are happening. If we tell him he will go somewhere, he reminds us it is time to go etc. Tells us we need to go by the store for medicines or fruit also. He keeps us hoping, lol.
His arm remains limp at his side. His speech is coming along, so well it surprises us at times at how well he can express himself. Even in Portuguese he is improving. He still has therapy exercises five days a week and speech lessons twice a week. The doctor tries to check on him at least once a month. So we are encouraged with the results.
for Skip doing better and seems to be feeling better
for a good Vacation Bible School and for the kids who came
for good trips by air of Jess and David and Rebeca and Addie
for two people who were saved at the end of the year
for all our prayer warriors and financial givers
for my (Betty’s) legs and feet, which are improving with the swelling problem
For Skip to continue improving physically and mentally
For our building program, for needed funds to continue and that our building can be mostly finished by our Anniversary date in May
For the two people who were saved at the end of the year, that they might remain firm in their new life with Christ
For Brazil political and moral and financial crises at this time. Things are not looking good at all
For our church family that we might be faithful in attending, and also in obeying what God’s Word teaches.
Thanks once again for all you do for us. We love you and pray for you every day.
Yours for Brazil,
Skip and Betty Harkins