We pray this finds you, your family, and the good brethren there doing well during this trying time. Thankfully, we are all fine on this end, enjoying the presence of our caring Shepherd.
Brazil is about a month behind the US on the pandemic’s trajectory. On the latest posting, I noticed that the US had a slight leveling of its upward curve, while Brazil’s has not peaked yet. I am thankful that, for the most part, church members are being spared the worse of it.
Even though the number of those getting sick hasn’t peaked yet, the government announced last week a plan to gradually reopen the economy over the next several weeks. They allowed for church assemblies under specific safety guidelines (only for those 11 to 59 years of age, no more than 50 present, all wearing surgical masks, seated six feet apart, etc.).
The elders met and decided to wait another two weeks to allow the peak to pass. Most of the sister congregations in the area are following our lead, but some of the smaller churches will meet. In the meantime, we’ll continue with our daily Bible classes, Sunday assemblies, and Wednesday prayer meetings virtually by the internet.
On a brighter note, one of the little girls at Lar Mana was adopted this week. Most children are apprehensive about leaving. Many have found a loving atmosphere there for the first time in their short lives. We pray this works well for her. Aureni is helping Ana Valeria (director) with remodeling to improve their comfort.
On top of our prayer list is a prominent member, Dona Dê (93). She is hospitalized with an AVC. She had been in church every service until the pandemic. She is the first church member, baptized in 1977 by Glover Shipp. At the time, he was a missionary in a distant city on a short visit to Recife. This happened three years before we arrived to start the church. We hope that in the next few days, she’ll be transferred to home care.
The Venezuelans refugees are doing well. However, one of the older ladies has been hospitalized for three weeks. It is not COVID-19. The doctors have stabilized her situation, and the family hopes they be able to take her home this week. Aureni and I met two of the Venezuelan men at the downtown church building last week, where they were able to pick up food that members had donated over the previous several days.
Josh and I continue to work on the School of the Bible courses for when classes resume. The government is yet to establish a return date for schools, and the School of the Bible falls into that category. We have been working on new online classes in the mean time.
Our youngest grandson Theo turned 2 in June. We had a small celebration with Josh and Lívia at their home with a fun “smash the cake” as you can see from the photo.
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” – Romans 11:33-36