Sunday, April 27, 2014

Another Letter from Embrace Brasil



We arrived in LamarĂ£o as usual with kids waiting to open the gate for us. There were 16 kids already present when we arrived. We were excited to see them, but soon discouraged when we got out to greet them and hear that majority of them are arguing and yelling. Vitor and I both thought to ourselves, "Wow! This is going to be one of those days."

We decided to wait, stand back and observe to see what the "faithful few" were doing. We expect the kids that come only ever so often to continue their "normal" disrespectful ways...but we hope to see some change in the kids that come 3 times a week. It is with great joy that I share with you that 4 of them came to us and began explaining, not complaining, simply explaining (without yelling) what was going on. We were happy to see that they were not in the middle of the ruckus.

The day only got better and better! They played soccer for 45 minutes with minimal arguing (this is a miracle!!!) We then completed an activity where they had to get caked in mud half way up their arms. Only 1 boy began to sling the mud and the others stopped him, again without yelling at him!!
These may seem to be minor issues, but they show major improvement. We are thankful and excited about what God is doing! :)

Today, one of the ladies from the LamarĂ£o congregation helped in the kitchen. It was the first time we have had help from their congregation. We thank God for continuously providing!

There are 2 boys who have come off and on since the beginning... not very faithful and barely involved when they are with us. About 1 month ago one of them began studying the verses that he had missed. He has learned 20 of them now and he encouraged the other boy to come back. A couple of weeks ago, he too, wanted to study the past verses. They are helping each other learn them and excited to learn the new ones each week.

A third boy has been coming somewhat faithfully for approx. 3 months, but he never wants to participate in much other than soccer. He is seldom rude, just not interested. He showed up today with such excitement and couldn't wait to tell us all the verses he had learned. He quoted 17 verses today that he has learned from Wednesday until today. We praise God that the kids came to us wanting to study, wanting to learn the verses. We praise God for giving them a desire to study and excitement when they achieve! These kids do not know how to study. Their school system is lacking so much that they are not use to being challenged and taught how to achieve. We are excited that they are recognizing that they are capable! We are excited that they are taking interest in God's Word!

The best part... he and one other boy were sharing with us that they were studying at home. One said he asked his mom to help him study and check if he was right. The other mentioned that his mom made a comment, "what are you so interested in? That is all you do lately is study that paper." God is taking His Word into these families' homes through these kids !!!!!!!!!!  That is a major praise! God is so good! His goodness is overwhelming! We have tried so many times and so many ways to reach out to the families, to get them to come meet us, or allow us into their homes, so far with minimal success. But God doesn't need us to reach their homes... His Word is going into these homes and we pray into the hearts of the kids and eventually their families !!

One other activity we did today was a "Verse Faceoff". One of the kids requested this review game they saw at church camp. So we set up all the rules for the contestants and the rules for those waiting their turn. It was such a blessing to see these kids quoting scripture. 16 kids in attendance and 7 of them quoted over 10 verses before being eliminated! It is great to see a kids learning God's Word! We praise God for giving them the desire and planting His Word in them. We claim His promise that His Word will achieve what He sends it to accomplish!!!

Oh, and by the way... the boy that quoted 17 today was in the championship round against a girl that quoted 32 today. We crowned them both champions because of a disadvantage due to a distraction from other kids.

One extra blessing is Lilia quoted 13 verses today... a few in English and a few in Portuguese. ;)  She is just a blessing !!!!!!!

Within the next week, we will add the new verse each week to our website so you can keep up with what verse they are learning and pray specifically for them.

 We are thankful for your support and prayers! We praise God for the chance to get to know these kids and be a part of their lives. They are so special to us and we pray that God's Word will be special to them!! These kids are worth all we can do !!