International Ministries

Being God’s hands and feet and mouth in Batateiras

August 3, 2009 Journal
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From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Eph. 4:16

 Thank you for praying for our church’s short-term mission trip to Batateiras – God did some amazing work in and through the team we led. We jokingly referred to it as “The Twelve Apostles from Belo” but the Lord surprised us by adding another member “out of the blue” – the driver of our mini-bus! We challenged our team individually and as a group to make visible and audible the love of God at our host church and among the poor rural people we came to serve.

 We witnessed God’s perfect timing and provision at every step along the journey, beginning with our first contact with the pastor of the host church, Igreja Batista Paz e Vida (The Baptist Church of Peace and Life) in Montalvânia. When Pr. Henoch received a call from Pr. Marcelo (the pastor of our church) asking about mission opportunities in his less-developed rural part of our state, he exclaimed, “Your team is God’s answer to our prayers!” Thus began six months of training and preparation with our local church family.

 Our team was composed of 4 sub-teams. The Visitation and Evangelism Team was responsible for visiting each family in Batateiras, sharing the good news of Jesus, and preparing/distributing baskets of basic foodstuffs, soap, towels, and clothing for each member of the family. The Worship and VBS Team conducted a children’s program every afternoon and a worship service in the evening. Both were a novelty in this remote community!

 The Well Being Team organized dental care, haircuts, and visits by a nurse and a doctor. Adão, an agricultural extension agent from our host church planted a demonstration vegetable garden at the home of Dona Rosa and Senhor Antônio. None of these services are normally available in Batateiras.

 The Construction and Appropriate Technology Team held hands-on workshops on how to make super low-cost soil-cement blocks (we brought along a press to make them) and how to construct a solar oven. We also built a fuel efficient wood burning stove and repaired one of the mud walls of Maria and Zequinho’s house, who graciously allowed us to camp on their land during the week.

 Back at home in Belo, church members were lifting up the team in prayer each day. When we arrived back at the church after the 16-hour bus ride, we were met with warm hugs and a delicious meal of beef stew over rice. Indeed, this mission trip was successful because “each part did its work” as it says in Ephesians 4:16.

 In our next ministry update, we’ll share more about how God blessed and encouraged the community, members from the host church, and our own church through this ministry.

 Please join us as we:

* Praise God for a safe journey during 32 hours of total travel time by bus on treacherous roads.

* Thank God for ministering through our hands and feet and mouth to the people of Batateiras.

* Praise God for each one of you who support us so lovingly and faithfully.

Que você seja as mãos e pés e boca de Deus em sua comunidade

(May you be the hands and feet and mouth of God in your community),

 Ann, Bruce, and Asa

Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil