Monday, April 25, 2005
Saturday, April 23, 2005
It was interesting for me (Ben) to find that out of the 17 teenage boys I've started a short Bible commentary/study for (in Proverbs), that only 4 or so called themselves "Christians". Wow. Here we are at a "Christian orphanage", and only 4 out of 17 teen boys are Christians. Makes you realize what an impact you can have on these kids. On the other hand, it makes you realize that you can't do this on your own. God's the one Who blesses the work, not men.
Becky's been helping more regularly now with the newborns and infants, as well as staying busy with Portuguese. The teen girls at the orphanage are really getting into crochêting and it has been a great way for Becky to feel like she can make a difference even without knowing the language very well. One girl in particular, Jaqueline (she is 14 years old and has a 2 year old son by her step-father) crochêts all the time now and when she finishes with her yarn (enough to make 2 small carpets) she takes her carpets apart and starts all over again just to have something to pass the time. Becky has found some crochêt patterns in Portuguese and the girls are making some beautiful things.
I've been (Ben) weeding in the garden, spending time with the boys, hangin' out and playing with them, as well as doing a Wednesday night Bible Study with them. There is not a single person doing any kind of spiritual formation with these kids on a regular basis. The lady that used to be here (for 9 years or so) just left in January. There's a lot of help that's needed in "manpower", if you know what I mean. They need more people willing to teach Scripture to these kids, not necessarily $$$.
It's been neat to see how relationships are developing between us and the kids as time goes by. I have a feeling we're gonna miss all these kids when we leave here!
Well, we'll stop here for now. Keep in touch with us!
Ben & Becky.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
This week hopefully we'll have something figured out regarding how to spend some more time with the older kids: the teenagers. The boys especially at the orphanage have few if any male role models they can look up to. I wonder if I might have a part in helping fill that emptiness in their lives. Only time will tell.
An unexpected blessing has surprised us since we got to Brazil! A new Brazilian missionary sending agency has been founded recently on the outskirts of the city we live in, and they have just recently bought some land with a large house, pool, and fruit tree orchard. This has been called the "Oasis Center". It is going to serve as a place for missionary couples and their families to come to for some R&R, along with some counseling and debriefing if needed. I'm excited about this because for the last couple of weeks I have been able to take charge of cleaning the orchard up along with a Brazilian pastor (Eliezér is his name). Furthermore, because of extra funds you've sent for our trip here to Brazil, we have been able to buy the necessary tools for the maintenance and care of the land, which we have donated to the Brazilian mission agency.
It brings great joy in knowing that we are really helping those in need here in Brazil, but even more joy in knowing that you all are the backbone of our work here. Because of you, lives are being touched, and we thank you for that! When you think of us, here are some prayer requests we send to you:
-How to reach out to the teens at the orphanage,
-Ben as a role model/friend to the guys;
-Becky's Portuguese to continue improving;
-Praise that we can help this Brazilian mission agency getting started;
-Pray that we'll continue to develop friendships with Brazilians here;
-Pray for continued guidance in discerning long-term possibilities here in Brazil for us;
We look forward to hearing from all or any of you at some point or another. Also, if you'd prefer not receive this regular email update from us, you can email us back and let us know, we won't mind at all taking you off our list. Our phone # (an in-country call for those in the U.S., is 630.614.4554 Give us a buzz sometime! We're one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Serving the Poor in Brazil, Ben & Becky Bacheller.