These trips always seem to start off with something that keeps us anxious. Our flight from Indianapolis was delayed by an hour and 20 minutes. We had a 2 hour layover in Miami. So instead of having time to grab a quick dinner in Miami, we walked off our plane and right on to our plane to Brazil. I guess God thought we didn’t need dinner since they feed us so well in Brazil!
We arrived safely on Saturday morning in Brasilia after a 7 hour flight from Miami. We met our driver for the 3 hour van ride to Goiania. We attended worship on Sunday evening, and the pastor had a great sermon on 2 Chronicles 20-1:20. He talked about facing struggles and not trying to overcome them on your own but turning it over to God. He gave some great examples and challenged people to look at things in their own lives they are trying to overcome.
Originally, our work in Goiania was going to be adding a stage, a play area for the kids, and provide furniture for the classrooms in a local church. About 8 weeks before we were to arrive, the pastor told us their landlord was raising the rent and it was too expensive. They had to move. God’s timing was perfect (as always), and the move date was set for the week we were set to be in town. Our new mission is to prepare the new facility, a former restaurant, for use as a church.
We are breaking down walls, filling in doors and windows, painting the classrooms, building a small kitchen, building a stage, and re-painting the front so it will stand out in the neighborhood.
The project has turned into more complicated construction, but everyone is working hard. Amazingly, we are ahead of schedule after three days of work. The team is tired (and often dirty), but we are all grateful to be a part of the community in Goiania and excited for what God has in store. It has been a time of reconnecting with familiar faces and building friendships with new ones. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip will bring.
The Morris Fork team arrived Saturday afternoon with the community welcoming us back with a cookout. This was a time of fellowship with the community, and we were able to relax after a long bus ride. Of course we played 9-square, practiced our basketball skills, or played other games.
The team consists of 13 adults, 14 high school students, and 5 kids. We led the church service on Sunday morning. Immediately following church, we were able to gather at the river to witness two baptisms! In the afternoon, we set up for Bible School.
Monday morning came bright and early, with breakfast starting at 6:30am – so maybe not that bright, but definitely early! After we ate and fellowshipped, we picked the kids up for Bible School. This week, the kids are studying two different themes. The younger crowd are at the Faith Factory learning about how God creates us and has a purpose for us. The 13 and over group is visiting the “Magic Kingdom.” Monday’s theme was how God made us. We had 67 kids show up for Bible School. We even had three kids from Ohio, Chicago, and PA come to Morris Fork Bible School. It’s just that great!
It’s now Tuesday. The theme for this morning was, “God is for You”. Tonight, we are having a community movie night. This is a great opportunity for our team to connect with community. We see old friends and always make new ones.
We have been abundantly blessed with great attendance for Bible School so far, but it is an even bigger blessing to see this community filled with the Spirit. Praise God for His work in Morris Fork, and our continued friendships in the community.
*Pictures will come once they return*
Our first teams have returned from their camp adventures. Both Camp PYOCA and Kids Camp returned with awesome stories of how the Holy Spirit moved and worked throughout the week. Each camp enjoyed beautiful weather, meaningful conversations, and a deepened understanding of God’s incredible plan for His people. If you’d like to hear more about these trips and their work for the kingdom, you can contact the ministry directors or ask any of the team members.
This week, we will be sending off two teams. Our Brazil mission team leaves on Friday and our Morris Fork mission team leaves on Saturday. Each of these ministries have been a part of our summer missions for many years. Their impact can be felt across many generations and communities. As these teams depart, please keep them in your prayers for travels and health, but also that their respective ministries continue to bring these communities to Christ.
The Brazil team is preparing to work in a local church in Goiania. Their work will include painting a new space, building a stage, and purchasing a freezer for a local halfway house. The team is looking forward to worshiping with old friends, and serving with new faces.
The Morris Fork team has been hard at work planning their annual VBS for the surrounding community. Team members are excited to return to the small church in Kentucky and put on a week-long VBS. SPC’s visit to Morris Fork is a highlight of summer for many residents, and both team members and residents see God working throughout the trip.
There are many more missions ahead of us. As the summer continues, please keep our teams in your prayers. Your involvement and dedication to putting the Gospel in motion is what allows SPC to continue to change the world.
What do the Magic Kingdom, Nine Square and canoeing all have in common? Well, they are all part of Camp PYOCA 2017!
Campers are enjoying morning and afternoon competitions to earn points for their cabins. They also memorize Bible verses. Campers especially enjoy getting to know one another over delicious family style meals and during their free recreation time.
The whole camp went on a five mile canoe trip today. Campers worked together to navigate the river and enjoyed God’s beautiful creation! Everyone survived and had a great time, too!
Our Magic Kingdom experience started out in Frontierland where we learned we are all searching for meaning and frequently we think it is all about “me”. There is a big difference between what God tells us is important and what the world tells us! From there, we went to Fantasyland where we learned Satan wants us to believe we can be like God. The world continually draws us in directions which don’t point toward God. Liberty Square is our next destination and it will show us Jesus is the only way that we can be cleansed of our sin and truly be free. We cannot cleanse ourselves by doing good deeds, and we cannot keep ourselves from sin. Only Jesus’ grace can do that. We were made to glorify God, and we have to make a conscious decision to follow him and to accept his gift of salvation.
Please pray for campers and staff to have a safe rest of the week, to get enough rest and most importantly to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord!