Monday, March 20, 2017

Felipe's Nepal Trip!

If you did not see our most recent newsletter, you may not have heard the news...
 Felipe is going to Nepal! 

This past October, Felipe had the privilege of traveling around Brazil to film various ACTION ministries. This Wednesday, on March 22nd, Felipe will be traveling once again, but this time to visit ACTION International ministries in Nepal.  

Felipe is going on this mission trip with the specific purpose of using his photography/filming skills and equipment to capture images and video footage of what God is doing through ACTION in Nepal. Felipe will also have the opportunity to preach at a church while there. 

We are super excited about this opportunity, and we are expectant of what God has in store during this trip. Felipe is also very eager to serve and be a blessing using the gifts God has given him.  

Please pray for Felipe and the small team he will be traveling with for two weeks.  This will be Felipe's first time traveling to Asia.  

Also pray for me (Laura) while I will be home caring for our three kids.  My sweet sister-in-law will be staying with me for part of the time Felipe is traveling to help me.  I am super thankful for her.

Thank you for your prayers, and may the Lord use this trip for His glory and purposes!

Friday, March 10, 2017

New Leg Braces

Today on the blog I am featuring a recent story that was included in our last newsletter. Enjoy reading about this precious boy and his new leg braces.
Almost four years ago, Kevin* was born into the world with brain paralysis.  This health issue caused significant delays in his development. Kevin recently began walking and talking at three years of age. 

Kevin’s older sister attends the programs at Casa Semear, and last year Kevin’s mother shared with us about the family’s ongoing struggle to pay for Kevin’s healthcare costs.

Kevin was in desperate need of leg braces to help him walk.  The use of leg braces would aid in the proper growth and development of Kevin’s feet and legs, therefore helping to prevent bone deformity and leg surgery in the future. Although Kevin’s family was trying to save for this need, it seemed impossible. The father’s small store located on the edges of the slum had not been doing the best financially, and the family had no extra funds to purchase the leg braces.

Could we at Casa Semear do something to help?

The Casa Semear team prayed for the family and shared about Kevin’s need.  In time, someone responded and donated funds to purchase Kevin’s leg braces.  Actually, one of you, our dear supporters!  This person listened to the still, small voice of God, obeyed, and gave.   We rejoiced to see how God met this need and how this family was impacted.  God provided through the body of Christ, and Kevin’s life and health was blessed and cared for!  God’s love was expressed to Kevin and his family.

This is just one of the many stories we have of God’s provision and care.  Your partnership, love, prayers and support as we serve in missions profoundly impacts our family and the lives of the children and families we work with.  Thank you!

*The child's name was changed.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Camping Weekend!

Last weekend our team held a campout for the kids at Casa Semear. 
Checkout the fun we had during our camping weekend! 

Sophia, Jessie, Josiah and I shared our tent with six of the girls at the camp! 
I must say I was very proud of all the kids. They were on their best behavior and slept great the whole night long. 

The biblical theme of the camp was the story of Elijah.  As a spin off from this story, the Casa Semear team decided to talk about various religions that do not worship the true One and only God.  One of the religions presented was Mormonism. 

 These kids did a cute drama about Mormonism, and then one of the ministry leaders (Silvana) taught about how Mormanism is not true Christianity. 

The kids from Casa Semear greatly value these special weekend outings!  We praise God for the opportunity to be able to have fun with the kids, invest in relationship with them, and teach them truth from the precious Word of God.  
Our camping weekend was awesome! 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Reminder of Reality

Yesterday I went to Casa Semear together with Felipe for the first time in quite a while.  I took both Jessie (our 4 year old) and Josiah (our 4 month old) along to play and enjoy some time there.

It was a relaxed morning at the ministry, as Fridays are the free-play days where the children can choose what they would like to do, whether it be playing on the playground, doing an art activity or playing a game like ping-pong or fooseball.  

Often on Fridays, quality time spent with the children and teens lead to spontaneous conversations. These conversations are valuable, and also a window into what is really going on in their lives.  Often kids will chat and open up, revealing problems or difficult situations they are facing.  In response, the missionaries at Casa Semear can encourage and know how to better pray and help the kids and their families.

Yesterday I was reminded of one reality that many of the kids face.  
A teenage girl was sharing about how her mom had lost her job and was not able to find a new one yet.  Her mother was hoping to find a job in January at the beginning of the new year, but she still has not found one.  The family is struggling to pay bills and to have enough food to eat.  They have been able to get some food donations from a church in the slum, but still it has been extremely hard for them.

This is the reality of many of the families in the slum - who are often led by single moms raising their kids without a father present or helping financially.

Yesterday I was shocked by the reality of a child not having enough food to eat at home. I never had to worry about this as a child.   Did you?

 I was reminded once again of the reality of children we know personally and see on a regular basis. A basic need these kids have is not always being met, and that is a part of their normal life.  It should not be so, but it is. They as children are effected by this and worry about these needs too.

Please pray for the mom who urgently needs a job, and also pray for the many children in the slums of Brazil (and all over the world) who are need of food.  

Every once in a while it is good to be confronted with some of these realities happening in the world. 
It reminds us to pray, 
to remember
to care, 
to give, 
to help those in need,
to be generous, 
and to be thankful for the way our own personal needs are being met.  We have MUCH to be thankful for!

May this be a reminder of reality to us all today...