South Brazil Update
July 27, 2018 | Skip and Betty Harkins
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise. His greatness is no one can fathom. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is faithful to all his promises. The Lord is righteous in all his ways. The Lord watches over all who love Him.
Psalm 145: 3, 8, 13, 17
Hi friends and financial helpers and family,
Trust I can get this letter out today. I have been trying for two days and have written the letter over three times. So, I hope I can get it to Mary today. I don’t understand the problem yet. Ugh
Here we are half through this year already. It seems time goes by so fast, we hardly get one thing done it is time for another. Time marches on and very fast these days.
Skip had trouble with his bladder infection the end of Jan which ended up with a biopsy which turned out no trouble with the prostate. Thanks for your prayers for him. He has been doing much better. He walks slowly with his cane and can get in and out of bed alone and, we raised the couch about two inches, so he can get up and down there. We watch him however, so that he does not fall, but he does really good most of the time. His left side is about the same. He feels very little from that side.
His speech continues to get better in English. However, his Portuguese is still slowly coming along. Now he greets everyone in Portuguese. He wants so bad to be able to pray in Portuguese, so I am helping him and maybe he can soon. A couple weeks ago he got really excited in church and I had a rough time getting him to quiet down. He kept saying it was wrong. Well, when church was over and had him back home I got it out of him. He was confused. We had a visiting preacher that night because our pastor was on vacation and Skip had the idea another preacher was going to preach, so he kept saying it was wrong. Anyway, I had a time getting him to be quiet.
We had our yearly checkup and after tons of exams we came out without much to worry about. Skip came out really good. I have to watch the blood sugar and that is so hard. What I wouldn’t give to be able to eat a big piece of Chocolate cake. ha! I manage with diet. Of course, we have our aches and pains and who doesn’t at our age. ha!
We did not have Camp at Carnival this year. Too little interest. However, the church did have a picnic, but Skip and I did not go as Skip was not feeling very perky that day.
Our annual friendship Sunday was enjoyed by the two other churches from our area (Igreja Cristao Evangelical) in April. Skip and I did not go as they had it in another town. I did not know what the accommodations were as I did not know the place, so I decided we would not go. It was good I did as there were no chairs out there, only benches. Everyone enjoyed the fellowship and spiritual food also.
Also, in April our ladies (Women in Action) group had a fellowship with two churches and other churches represented. We were chosen to be the host for this event. We met in the unfinished building and had about 150 ladies present. Our church hosted the event and another church was in charge of the message and singing and the others provided refreshments. Our girls did a swell job of decorating the building and all had a very good afternoon. We have had two bazars and one feijoada to help raise funds for the construction fund. We have another bazar on August 11. The construction has come to a halt for a while. So, we are hoping to be able to help some.
The feijoada is a sort of black bean soup with mostly pork, feet, ears, ribs, tail, sausage and other parts. It is really quite good, but you don’t want to eat it very often. It is eaten with rice and kale salad and an orange. Our ladies retreat this year is on October 26-28. We have lots of planning yet to do, but we do have a speaker lined up. I need to work on the schedule and work plans as we divide between the churches, chores of the day. I am so thankful I can help in the church in Sunday School, music and the ladies’ programs plus being on the board. It is a blessing to serve in this way as well as taking care of Skip most of the days.
Our 35th Anniversary service on May 5th was very nice. We had a men’s quartet come to sing.
We had lots of visitors and the cake was huge. I would love to send some pictures but haven’t learned how to do that yet, but I am working on it.
In May, Brazil came to a nationwide stop because of a truck strike. It was a scary time. With no transportation there were shortages of gasoline, food, milk and diesel and food for animals and many chickens died in the trucks and lots of milk went out on the ground for lack of transportation.
They did let medicines go through, but they were not making more as there was no material to make more. I was a little anxious there for a while, especially for the medicines Skip needs for the rest of his life. They were striking for better freight prices and lower prices on diesel. We hope that does not repeat but people are so dissatisfied with the government here, we can expect anything.
We need your prayers for Samuel, the boy in the rehab for drugs. He is coming along but he needs to give his life wholly to the Lord. He says he is saved.
Pray for our church projects, especially evangelism; and that the people will not get discouraged.
Pray for the sick ones in our church that they might draw nigh to God during these difficult times.
Pray for the church construction fund and that they can do some more on it soon, The Women in Action group are studying Philippians now and have been blest. We plan on going on to Colossians next.
There are new faces in church and others who need salvation especially Valdeci and Vanessa and Christiano.
We have had two VBS this year and both were well attended 50-60 by the children of the neighborhood. Three kids accepted Christ.
We do thank the Lord for taking care of Sara (preachers daughter 1 ½ years) as she pulled their tv down on herself. She was not hurt but the tv broke to pieces. She just got an egg on her forehead. She is a go getter for sure.
We want to thank all of you who pray so faithfully for us. We appreciate you all. Thank you to those who give toward the work here. So glad to have you in our lives.
May God bless each of you and give you health and strength for each new day.
Your missionaries to Brazil,
Skip and Betty Harkins