Thursday, June 27, 2019

Prayer & Photos - June 2019

 We had a busy June!  
Here are some photos of all the festivities and activities going on during the month. Please also see our prayer requests below.  We appreciate your prayers, love, and support of our family in missions!

Jessie's Kindergarten graduation!  She was extremely proud on this special day!
Jessie and her sweet Senior buddy!

Felipe is one of the photographers for various events at the school our daughters attend.  June was a super busy photography month for him with all the end of the school year events.  Here are a few shots he captured! 

Presenting PACA's Senior Class of 2019!

8th Grade Graduation

The Elementary Talent Show! 
We were so proud of Sophia. She sang a Jamie Grace song!   
Check out the video!

PACA's Field day!

The ladies in our church community group gave me a sweet baby shower!  This is the community group we were formerly a part of.  I felt so loved by them on this day!!!  God blessed us with diapers and beautiful baby clothes.  I am thankful for God's provision for our needs. 
I love these dear friends!

Jessie and Sophia loved this baby shower game of guessing how big my belly was!

Then 2 weeks later our new community group at church, that we recently began leading, surprised us with baby gifts too!   I am so thankful for the body of Christ God has blessed us with here in São Paulo.  Our local church is amazing and truly family for us here!

Felipe took me to have a gestational diabetes test (which came back normal).  We sat reading during the wait.

Also during June, Casa Semear received a short -term mission team from Ohio.  Teens and young adults from the team worked hard to bless the ministry and also our local mission organization (ABBA).  Here are a few photos of the team serving our Lord and being a blessing!  We are thankful for them and pray God will use this experience in their lives in BIG ways!

Felipe leads worship on Mondays and Thursdays at Casa Semear! 
The team blessed all the ABBA missionaries by making us an American breakfast!  It was yummy!

After breakfast the ABBA missionaries and the team met for the ABBA weekly meeting. 
It was a full house! 

One of the projects the Ohio team worked on at Casa Semear was installing this outdoor flooring.  Felipe helped a LOT with this project and returned home each day covered in cement.  It turned out so nice in the end though!

Felipe is still plugging away at his seminary studies.  He is constantly reading, completing assignments (late at night when the family sleeps), and attends class at least one Saturday a month in a city about 2 hours away.
Felipe's class at Martin Bucer Seminary.
Fun times as a family!
Yes! We have Pizza Hut in Brazil!
Our little Superman!!!

Please Pray...
As I (Laura) am finishing up this update, I am having some contractions. I am not sure if baby girl is coming soon or it is a false alarm, so I will make these prayer requests quick.  

Pray for Laura as she gives birth and pray for a healthy girl.  Laura is 38 weeks pregnant.
Pray for strong health for our family overall, especially Josiah. 
Pray for a good recovery physically for Laura and this transition time for our family. Felipe will take a week off from work when baby is born.

Please pray for the team from the USA that is visiting now.  May God be glorified through all they have learned here and use the seeds they have sown in the lives they impacted. 

Continue to pray for Felipe's seminary studies.  May he grow in the Word and be better equipped to serve the Lord through his studies.

THANK YOU for praying for our family!!!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Prayer & Photos - May 2019

Dear Friends,
In this month’s update we are sharing photos from two main events that happened in May: Our eldest daughter's 9th birthday and a weekend camping trip with the kids from Casa Semear (ages 9-12 years old). 

We hope you enjoy seeing these highlights and reading our prayer requests below.   

With love and gratitude for all who support us in our journey in missions,

The Matias Family    

Sophia's 9th Birthday!
May is a special month in our family because it is our firstborn's birthday month.  Sophia Grace was born on May 6th, just a few days before Mother's Day in 2010, so I always say she was the best, first Mother's Day gift. 

Here are a few photos in celebration of Sophia’s precious 9 years of life.  We are extremely thankful for who Sophia is, and we love to see how she is growing and maturing in so many ways each year.  She is a huge blessing to our family, an excellent big sister, and has a kind hearted spirit.

Sophia loves cats so she wanted her birthday to be cat themed! These are a few cat decorations she put together for the birthday table.

 Instead of throwing a big party this year, Sophia invited a friend over and we celebrated by eating out at Sophia's favorite restaurant, Casa da Pizza!

Jessie and her Tia (aunt) Renata (Felipe's sister).

I also wanted to share a photo of Sophia and her friend Rafael.
Please pray for Rafael, as he has been battling Leukemia.  Sophia and Rafael are super good friends, are in the same class at school, and his family is also a part of our local church family.  During this past Christmas break it was discovered that Rafael was once again battling Leukemia.  He had already been diagnosed and recieved treatment as a toddler and was in remission for several years.  Unfortunately it returned.

Rafael misses seeing his friends and going to school, so we try to get these two together on a regular basis to play.  Rafael and his family blessed Sophia with a special birthday trip to the mall to choose a present.  She was so happy!

Rafael is currently responding really well to treatment, and is expected to be able to return to school in August! Please pray for him and his family.

Casa Semear Kids Camp - 2019
Every year we take the kids from Casa Semear to a weekend camp. 

 Many of the kids who particiate at the ministry look forward to this outing all year.  These kids live in slum communities, so to have contact with nature in a camp like this is quite the experience  Later in the year we will take the teens on a camping trip for a few days too, but this was a special time just for the 9 to 12 year olds.

On a personal note, our girls (Sophia & Jessie) absolutely LOVED participating in this camp!  You will see their smiling faces in many of the photos too!
Games and Activities!

Devotional Times to learn from God's Word...

 More fun outside! 


Pray for Felipe and his seminary studies- for grace and for him to be able to find time to complete all his reading , papers, and assignments. His semester will end in July.

Pray for the Casa Semear ministry team.  There has been (and soon will be more) changes in the team, with several team members moving on to new opportunities.  This leaves the ministry with less staff to run the daily programs.  Felipe will continue to serve as much as he can, and is willing to step up to the challenge of working hard to help keep the ministry running together with the team leaders and remaining missionaries.   

Pray for the children who participate at Casa Semear, as the ministry undergoes changes.  May the gospel and love of Christ continue to be shared in boldness and power, and may lives be transformed as a result.

Pray for the new children who have recently started attending Casa Semear's programs (and their families).  May the Lord use their experience at Casa Semear to draw their hearts to the saving knowledge of Himself.

Pray for our daughters (Sophia & Jessie) to have a good end of the school year (only 2 weeks left of school), and for their upcoming vacation to be full of good quality time before/during when baby sister arrives. 

Please pray for Sophia's friend Rafael and his precious family as he undergoes Leukemia treatment.

Also pray for the Lord to prepare Josiah (our 2 year old) for the transition of being a big brother.  He is a true mama's boy and very jealous at times, so we know this transition may be a hard one for him.  Pray for his 2 year old emotions- which are sometimes all over the place as he deals with frustration.  We are praying God will help him in this transition time and also give us wisdom in parenting through all the changes. 

Pray for Josiah´s health as it is turning colder here in Brazil and many people are getting colds.  He has a tendency to catch sickness easy, especially in chilly weather, and this affects his breathing and lungs instantly.  He is continuing to do treatment to help his respiratory system, using inhalers daily.

Lastly, please pray for Laura's pregnancy.  Baby girl is growing and developing well (due July 11th), and we are extremely thankful.  However, in recent weeks Laura has been struggling with more pregnancy related pains and contractions.  She is trying to take it more easy and pace herself physically as she nears the end of the pregnancy. 

Thank you for your prayers!!!