Friday, February 26, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

Well everyone we are home. Our trip home yesterday was pretty uneventful other than several uncomfortable wand body searches and bag invasions through security in Recife Airport and a run through the halls of Miami Airport when the screen said one gate and the attendants telling us another. But, everyone made it home on time at 11 pm last evening. It was a wonderful reunion with husbands, boyfriends, parents and of course Pam's dogs and Krystal's dog. It was great to meet those we had been hearing about and to hug and say good bye. When I left Marianna and Megan couldn't find their bags, I am praying they are safe and sound!

To everyone that prayed for us and sent comments we are eternally grateful. We have come back on fire spiritually, changed internally for His work and with much growth of heart. We love you so much and could not have survived some of the sights and smells of poverty without you going before us. We love these women, their children, their families, the missionaries and the interpreters. Praise God for the body of Christ working together to add a little bit of joy to a hard, simple existence. No woman had ever had a pedicure or manicure before that I spoke with. Many had never heard about a relationship with Christ, few new of hope for tomorrow and finding joy in their hard way of living. They could see the joy that we carry and feel the love that God offers. Praise God that we had the honor of sharing His name to these people.

We would appreciate continued prayers for the people; open eyes, softened hearts and transformation of the village and fovela not only spiritually but physically and emotionally as well. Pray for financial support for the mission teams and for the missions. Pray for the growth of the ministy and more volunteers and mission groups. Pray for an additional 1.5 million dollars plus for the building of a campground that can be used for years to come. Pray for your own possible involvement in this ministry whether it just be lifting people up in prayer, providing a monthly contribution or traveling their yourself to see what God is doing! I will be going again.

We thank our God for you and we Praise our God for our journey. We know he will continue our work. We will be honestly searching our souls over what we saw and what we did and what we can do about it; so pray for God's thoughts to infiltrate our spirits and show us the way.

In Christ,

2010 Women's Brazil Team!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The final day

Well let me first apologize to you about not posting anything yesterday. I was overtaken with exhaustion and was unable to make myself go back down to the computer. So, we do really want to share with you about our truly emotional and spiritual day at Kids Place.

We started our day with an in depth prayer for the hearts of the women to be opened, their eyes to see, their ears to hear and that we could love them and share Christ effectively. We also prayed for security and strength as we headed into more homes.

The morning was so amazing. Sonya and Emilys small group took them upstairs so that they could focus closer attention on Brenda, who is a 16 year old girl who has a baby. They moved her because she said she couldnt talk with them because she didnt want others to hear. They spent 3 hours with her. She said that she doesnt know how to pray. Emily shared her personal testimony with her and that softened her spirit. She admitted she had been abused, that she didnt think she deserved to be loved. They promised her God loved her and shared with her that prayers can be anywhere and then gave her ideas about how to focus on God.

Sonya,Emily and Pams trip to their womens homes was tough. The environment was extreme poverty that they had never seen. People are living in 100 sq foot partical board homes built on sticks over the river. You cant walk in the home because of its instability. The conditions were devestating. They prayed deeply for this woman and everyone living as they were. Sharing the story and the pictures is difficult, but, it truly gives us a picture of why we are here.

Mariannas group also went into a home in the hardest part of the Fovela. They prayed for a womans uncle who was literally dying in the home. His body had deteriorated and they prayed with the family about how to prepare for his death. The smell was unexplainable: not being taken care of by modern medicine it was another tough thing for the team to witness.

In my small group, including Barbara, Jenni and Megan, had Valaria as our interpreter. Megan shared the Evangecube with the ladies and then we asked them to do it. DJanine took the cube and shared the gospel. The three women present said they knew Christ already. However, 2 girls came and joined the group at this moment. We asked DJanine to stand and share the Evangecube with them and she did. Then DJanine asked if she could share another story and she told them about the Prodigal Son. Valaria was amazed, she knew it word for word. The other ladies said they did not want to receive Christ. But, Valaria chose to continue teaching them from the Bible. The two homes God chose for us to visit were these two women. We prayed over their homes. One woman was 9 mos pregnant, and it was a high risk pregnancy. She has diabetes and high blood pressure: both without medication. The other woman asked us ot pray for her family, but, her mother came and we went to her house to, where we found out her daughters husband was a violent alcoholic. We prayed for both families. She was very closed to Christ, but, we are praying for her eyes to be opened and her heart to be softened. Roberta, however, spoke with Valaria about praying the prayer and speaking with the Pastors. She made the necklace and put a pure white heart in the middle(coincidence you think) and then during worship Kieria said she felt God tell her to bless the baby so I witnessed her place her hand on the womens belly and pray. She had never spoken to us. Is God good!!!

Djanine prayed with the Pastors and they consecrated her baby to God, she had a black witchcraft bracelet on the babies arm and they shared with her she cant be in both worlds, serve God or the world. She threw the bracelet away. Valarie, Megan and I gave her the Evangecube and told her she was a light in a very dark place and she needed to share her stories and the story of Christ with everyone.

Pastor Lesu spoke with the people, we sang and laughed together. Sonya gave her testimony again and we ended in a big prayer with Molly sharing humble and loving last words to the women.

God never ceases to amaze us. What a beautiful time with these women. We cried and hugged and kissed and did it again. Leave is tough but we know God was there and the seeds are being cultivated.

The evening ended with Pizza that doesnt match any pizza we have ever tasted: completely yummy!!! An ice cream bar by the ocean and the 2nd chapter of Valarias testimony. A beautiful reminder of our redemption and transformation in Christ.

Day of rememberance and sharing time with each other. Telling and sharing stories while we walked through the Cultural district. Lesu shared his testimony over dinner and empowered us to give and become a part of the ministry in Brazil and Volunteers for Christ. He walked us through an very, very old Catholic Church and then we walked the shops. We also visited an old prison that is now a big shopping market. It was great fun and we found lots of goodies to take home to our family!!!! Arent you happy. We ended our evening at a dinner very similar to Texas De Brazil and everyone is upstairs packing and preparing our hearts for our return to you. Please pray for safe travels, good health and yes, our bags. We would really like them to arrive on time!

We love you so very much and could not have done this without any of you! Keep praying for Gods love is on the move and those seeds need to be cultivated, watered and taught how to continue to grow!

Blessing fellow brothers and sisters in Christ,

Womens Brazil Team 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

2nd Day at Kids Place

We woke this morning ready to go. Our morning devotional was phenominal. We had decided that the devil was trying to get us down, and we were not having it. Megan and Julie were feeling fantastic and refreshed from a good nights rest. We talked and prayed over the team, our friends and family at home, our missing comrades still in Texas, Kelly and Kathy, Jennis mother in law, the women of the Favela and the Kids Place. It was such a time of empowerment and strengthening. We boarded the bus truly excited.

When we arrived the women had already begun to arrive. We started out with our first small group, with a shortage of interpreters we combined groups and began to get to know the ladies. We had about 25. We learned about home and their lives and what scares. Jenni told of us of a woman who feared the dark. When they went to pray for her home she gave her a flashlight with a scripture about Christ being her light. I love that, she will never forget that.

We set up our activities and the ladies did manicures and pedicures while Molly and Marianna helped them with the necklaces. It went smoother being the 2nd time doing the activities. The women were pampered and you could really see on their faces the joy of being loved. I did a pedicure on a woman and she has asked only me to do her feet tomorrow. They never have the opportunity to feel like a princess and believe me every woman wants that! How awesome that through the gifting of some of you out their reading this that you could make all of these women feel so cherished. They were ecstatic that they could keep the nail files, especially the orange ones because it is a color they do not have it here. The women washing their feet praised whomever donated the knee pads. YOu have saved their knees from hard ground, thank you thank you thank you.

I gave my testimony this afternoon and sang the song again. I am amazed how God has lifted my nervousness and truly given me a vision of what to share. He is so good.

We help the mothers serve their children lunch and then shared a lunch with the Brazilians. The food here is delicious. Lecu gave us a taste of the mango from his mango tree, it was juicy and slighty sweeter than Texas Mangos!

Finally we brokeup in groups and visited the homes of some of the women. We will visit more tomorrow. Emily shared a story after they had visited the home of one woman her grandmother came and asked them to come and bless her home. So they went and were so blessed. She said that she had visited the worship service the night before and felt so happy. She said "when that lady Molly hugged her it felt so good!" The homes were small but they were so happy to be allowed to share them with us and allow us to pray for them. God is moving here!

We headed back to hear Valerias testimony. She spoke only in Brazilian this time, and it is such a beautiful language. Her story is so important for the ladies to hear and her gentle passion for Christ is so awesome! So glad God led her here with us.

Finally the band came back, sang some get up and move for Jesus songs and we made ice cream. It was a huge hit among everyone: women, children; interpreters and the band. We even made some for ourselves and enjoyed it with them.

Pray tomorrow for their hearts to be open to accepting Christ, for our safety, our strength through the final stretch and for our children who miss us and fear for us. We are all doing amazing and lives are being changed! Thank you for giving us up for a week to bless others.

In Christ,

Susanne and the 2010 Womens Brazil Team

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ok Back again!

I am at the new hotel in Recife. The city is much different than the village:busy and crazy with activity. The Carnival is still going on and it is a little dangerous. We must keep our purses in front of us at all times and stay together just to void the drunks(like Mardi Gras). We arrived her this afternoon. Settled into the hotel and were blessed with a visit to Kids place for their service. About 24 women and many, many children from the Fovella(slums) attended and praised God. Julie shared graciously about the Samaritan women and then we shared refreshments and asked them to return tomorrow from 9 am to 5 pm. We are nervous and anxious to love on them and have the opportunity to pray and walk through the Fovella. We must not take anything with us and wear no outer jewelry. Please be praying all day long for God to move, for a dome of protection fully encompassing us and reassure our young loved ones who read this we are find and God is sovereign! We have 2 days to share. We found out many of our interrpreters are coming to help us tomorrow and we are excited to see them again!

Thank you so much for praying for us. Megan has a cold and stayed at the hotel today and feels rested. Julie was sickly this evening, pray for rest. Jennis mother in law in the states is in the hospital. Satan will not get us down, just pray for preseverence.

We love you much, God is with us and you!

Susanne and Womens Brazil Team 2010

Greetings from Recife

We have left the village with much joy in our hearts. We apologize for the late blogging: flexibility, flexibility, flexibility. Our new term.

Yesterday we felt and watched God show His Amazing face and Amazing grace! Since we received our bags we were able to bless the people of the village with much fun, examples of Christ`s love for them. Each woman was able to decorate a journal with decopage, the place a heart at the center, Hands and Feet, and then cut outs for each of their children. They were encouraged to use the journal to pray for their families:husbands, children and others specifically and their homes and life in the village. We saw women actually begin to journal after they had finised all of their activities.

Many of the volunteers sat on bended knee washing and rubbing the feet of these beautiful people.

Marianna and Molly led them in creating their own necklace, that was specifically designed to reflect their beautiful tranformed heart with the cross in the middle. They proudly wore them at the final service that evening. Pastor Josue and the mission provided lunch for all the women, their children and of course all the volunteers. Then Waka and Kiera shared their truly amazing testimonies. Waska is the music leader with a beautiful spirit for Christ and the people. Kiera led all the womens services and has a passion that truly gave me what I call "spirit chills". The children came and shared a song that put joy in our hearts and then the children and leaders of the mission shared a drama. The heart they put into these dramas is moving.

We held our small groups and shared the Evangecube with the women. They talked about how they are loved or not loved and if they knew God or not. Many did not know him and many did not feel love. Jenni`s group and a few others had women make decisions for Christ. We also had many on the fence, afraid because of the abuse of their husbands. Megan shared of a womans home she went to and later we had her in our group, she had bruise all down her arm, scratches on her back, black eyes and her earrings had all been ripped form her hears. Her husband was a crazy man when he was drunk. Pray heavily for these people.

Finally, we rushed back to the hotel for literally a 30 minutes freshen up and eat and then we returned for their normal church service and our final goodbye. When we arrived the chairs were filled and they were still coming. It was a beautiful sight. They had to go find more chairs to fit them in. The music rocked the house and the village I imagine, as we praised God.

Sonya spoke of her journey to Christ and the amazing transformation of Gods love upon her. Her tender spirit and sweet voice carried with the wind to the ears of the people. The house was moving folks, the Spirit was truly encompassing the mission. Prior to our testimonies I had 5 different women come and personally pray for me. I had prayed for the nervousness to go away and for me to truly share the love of Christ and the importance of being new. I can only say that God spoke the words form my mouth and the song in portuguese from my lips and it was amazing. I was not nervous and according to my translators the pronunciation was perfect too. God is truly an Awesome God. Pastor Josue gave an altar call and we had many, many make decisions for Christ.

Saying goodbye was difficult. Our love for each woman and their families was heart felt. must get off more later.


Susanne and team.