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! 

Prayer

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!!!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Photos & Prayer - March & April

Be prepared...Here are LOTS of photos from the last two months.
Enjoy seeing a bit of our lives through these pics, and read our prayer requests at the bottom of this post.  

Thank you for walking together with us in our journey as we serve the Lord in São Paulo, Brazil! 


MARCH
Here are some portraits of a few of the beautiful children who participate at Casa Semear.
 
 
 

Engaging in activities at the ministry center.


A snapshot showing a bit of a home of a family we work with.  This is a very typical example of the conditions the kids live in, living life in a slum.

 A new development at Casa Semear is this baby/toddler play room and a weekly playdate gathering for young mothers (every Thursday morning).
I have participated a few mornings already, and I hope to continue.  It is a wonderful opportunity to invest in relationships with moms (often still teenage girls) from the slum community, share truth and encouragement, and pray together.

Felipe taught a 6 week long class at our local church on the book of Esther.

Driving through the mega-city of Sao Paulo!

My American-Brazilian girls at the International Festival at their wonderful school, PACA!

I helped serve American treats at the USA booth, while Felipe was the official photographer of the event. He often photographs school events and sports.

Bring your pet show-and-tell day! Jessie took our sweet guard dog, Princesa Leia.

Our reality... Our superhero life! Just a sample of some of the laundry hanging to dry on our line.

A school project for Sophia's Portuguese class!

Felipe's mom and sister moved down the street from us, and it has been such a BLESSING!  On this day we had some remodeling work being done in our kitchen so we did homework at "Vovo's house."

And here below is a picture of the finished kitchen remodel!  The owners of the house we rent put in all new tiling in the kitchen (on the walls and floor).  It was quite the lengthly, and time consuming ordeal for this home project to be completed, but thankfully it is done, and before baby's arrival.
Yay for a fresh kitchen!


 APRIL
The first weekend in April, Casa Semear held a Bazaar to bless the families in the community.

 Our annual Easter season tradition is to open up these Ressurection eggs during the week leading up to Easter Sunday and explaining the gospel of Christ in detail.

Felipe spent a week away from home at his seminary campus doing a week of intense seminary classes.
Felipe's class!

We sent Felipe lots of photos of us while he was gone!

We also decorated and made cookies to welcome Felipe back home from his seminary week!

Felipe took a few kids from his group at Casa Semear on a special field trip to McDonald's to get icecream! 

Celebrating our Risen Lord at Casa Semear!




A few photos from our local church (Calvary International) here in Sao Paulo.  Felipe and I helped with the Good Friday and Easter flowers and decorations this year!

Our after-church, Easter Sunday photos.  Josiah was unfortunately napping.

A recent photo of the community group we are now leading at our local church! We are so enjoying to get to know everyone in this group. I am so thankful for the body and family of Christ!

A few pics from the Science Fair and Art Show at our girls' school.

Josiah taking our dog on a walk in our neighborhood!

Our March and April were intense and busy months, but full of much joy and God's sustaining grace too!

PRAYER REQUESTS
Please pray for:
The camp with the children from Casa Semear (ages 9-12) that was scheduled for April got unexpectedly postponed.  We will soon be going on this camp during the weekend of May 17th-19th. Please pray that lives would be impacted by the message and love of Christ in transformational ways during this special weekend.

There is a new mom’s morning/play date time at Casa Semear every Thursday morning for mom’s from the slum community. Pray we will get the word out about this new program and that God will bring the moms He wants to attend.

Continue to pray for the community group we just began leading at our local church in Sao Paulo.  We meet the 4th Sunday of each month!

Pray for Josiah’s health.  Overall he has been doing MUCH better, but unfortunately last week he caught a virus and a cough and is now struggling to fully recover. Pray for Josiah’s immunity to strengthen. He is very suspeptible to sickness and seems to easliy catch anything.  

Pray for our girls as they finish the school year, and for the Lord to help all our children in the coming transition of having a new baby sister..

Continue to pray for Felipe as he juggles serving at Casa Semear, his seminary course load which is quite heavy this semester (he has begun Greek), and other various responsibilities.

Pray for our family - to find moments to connect, have fun, and be refreshed together in the midst of life.

Pray for our develping baby girl, for Laura's overall health during the last trimester of pregnancy, and for good rest as she prepares for the coming newborn season. 

A HUGE PRAISE!

Felipe's mother and sister recently moved to a home just down the street from us. This has been a huge help and support to us, and we are thankful to have family so close - especially in this season of life and with Laura's family living so far away.  Felipe's family has especially blessed us recently (while our home has been undergoing a kitchen construction update) with meals, helping with childcare, and letting us crash at their home to get away from the dust and noise. We are thankful for family!

Stay tuned for more photos and prayer requests in the months to come...