Monday, July 28, 2014

August in São Paulo

We, the Matias Family, will spend strategic time in the city of São Paulo, Brazil during the whole month of August!
A photo taken in the south zone of São Paulo, the side of the city where we plan to work and live. 

Volunteering and Preparing
While in São Paulo we will be volunteering at an awesome ministry called the Sower House, a community center attending kids from the slums.  We also took a DTS outreach team there last year. Check out the Sower House site here.

I, Laura, have already agreed to work the whole month with a small group of girls (ages 11 to 14). I plan to do a program (using some material a missionary friend created) centered around raising awareness about human trafficking, as girls living in slums are often targets for this.
A photo of the girls group praying, taken during our trip to São Paulo in February.

While in São Paulo, we also will focus on preparing for our future move and ministry. If you don't know about our São Paulo plans, read more details here.

We are basically planning to start a ministry from ground zero, so we have many questions and an endless list of practical logistics we need to sort out. In order to plan and prepare well, we need to have some time in the city and in the specific area where we will live and work.

We are very excited about this opportunity to further explore São Paulo, seek for answers to our many questions, and to work nearby the community where we plan to establish a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) ministry to children at risk.  May God speak to our hearts and lead us every step of the way.  Our continual prayer during this preparatory stage is that we seek to acknowledge God in all of our ways, and that He will direct our paths (Prov. 3:6).

Very Special Visitors!
Another really cool thing that will be happening during our time in São Paulo is that four YWAM missionaries from our base, YWAM Belo Horizonte, are going to visit us there!  Three of the missionaries have already prayed and confirmed they will join our São Paulo team in the future, and the forth person is praying and considering joining our team as well.
Josie, a YWAM missionary and beloved friend of ours, who is joining our São Paulo team and will visit us for a week in São Paulo during August.  She is even coming during my birthday - so special!

Prayer Requests
Please pray for us as we travel.  São Paulo is about an 8 hour drive from our current city, Belo Horizonte.  Pray for protection, safety, and grace as we drive this coming Thursday.

Pray for our girls to adapt well, for strong health, and that we will have a wonderful time as a family.

Pray for the children and teens we will be working with at the Sower House. The kids live in slums near to the ministry location.

Pray for us as we begin to tackle logistical questions and research prices of possible housing/locations to rent (or buy) for our future ministry in São Paulo.  May God order our steps!

Pray for the four missionaries coming to visit us in São Paulo.  Two of them are single ladies and the other two missionaries are a married couple with a sweet baby boy.  May God bless their trips and speak to them about their future!

Pray for us personally.  We have been going through a challenging season lately, so we are excited about this time in São Paulo.  We have been looking forward to this trip for many months!  We know we are stepping into the purposes and plans God has for us as a family.
Sophia and Daddy in their São Paulo soccer jerseys.

Thanks for your support and prayers!  Blessings from Brazil!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Songs about the Ocean

Lately it seems that God has been using songs about the ocean to minister deeply to my heart.

 The words of these ocean songs have spoken directly to where I am at, calling me to have child-like faith, to let go and trust, and to step out radically in Him knowing He cares and will take care of me.  I have been facing a more challenging season lately, so the truths in these songs have spoken peace and strengthened me greatly. 

Today I just want to share a few of these songs here and wherever you find yourself today, I hope you will be encouraged and blessed by these songs too!

OCEANS by Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour

IT IS WELL by Bethel Music

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea
So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

YOU MAKE ME BRAVE by Bethel Music

You make me brave, You make me brave

You call me out beyond the shore into the waves

Friday, July 18, 2014

YWAM World Cup Events in Rio!

Last weekend Felipe went to Rio de Janeiro, where the World Cup final game was held, to photograph various YWAM events.  He had an intense and rewarding weekend, taking literally thousands of photos!  Here are just a few of the many photos he snapped.

The Fan Fest Venue at Copacabana Beach during the Holland and Argentina match.

Unfortunately, it is quite common to see kids selling candy or snacks on the streets, buses or beaches to try to earn a little money.  Often times they work instead of going to school or enjoying their childhood.  Kids are sent by an adult or parent to work.  It is sad to see this as something so common here in Brazil.

Argentina fans celebrating!

A special YWAM service celebrating all the great things God did during the World Cup season.

A YWAM team from Madagascar sang and danced during the service.  They had a great band!

Everyone was invited to dance and there was much joyful celebration in the Lord!

YWAM missionaries organized a soccer tournament in a slum called Borel in Rio de Janeiro.

A King's Kids team presented between games.

The soccer tournament continued into the night.

There were YWAM teams from many different nations present in Rio de Janeiro to share the love of Jesus to the many fans gathered in the city - teams from Mexico, Argentina, USA, and Madagascar to name a few.  Here, YWAM missionaries were evangelizing before the final World Cup game of Germany versus Argentina.

The teams even had the opportunity to share the good news with several Muslims. 

As Felipe was leaving the city he captured this shot outside of the Maracana stadium.  Bye bye Rio de Janeiro!

Overall, Felipe had a great weekend, meeting many different YWAM volunteers and missionaries and documenting various ministry events surrounding a very special and historic sporting event for the nation of Brazil.  We felt very blessed that he could participate in this event, documenting some of the awesome things God is doing today!

We could not afford to pay for this trip to Rio de Janeiro, but missionary friends blessed Felipe with a special offering so he could go and take photos.  We are more than thankful for God's provision and for this opportunity to be a part of extending God's kingdom!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

YWAM World Cup Events - Week #4

Here are photos from week #4 of YWAM events
surrounding the World Cup games in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

YWAM missionaries, together with local churches, evangelized on the streets of Belo Horizonte after a soccer match.

Moments at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) room here in Belo Horizonte...YWAM and local churches united to pray for Brazil and for freedom for those involved in Human Trafficking.

Photos captured outside the soccer stadium before the Brazil versus Germany game.  This sadly historic game for Brazil actually took place here in the city of Belo Horizonte.

Flash Mob style for Jesus!

During the World Cup season the Rescue team, along with other YWAM missionaries, reached out to a slum community called Vila Uniao.  They held Bible studies, ran children's activities with songs and games, and watched many soccer matches together with the community.  Here are some shots from during the Brazil verses Germany game.

The shock from the score!  It truly was unbelievable how many points Germany scored on Brazil.

A photo taken at a little bar, where several gathered to watch the game.  This game was a very sad and disappointing moment for Brazil, a nation that is known for their love and passion of soccer.

The theme during this YWAM World Cup outreach time has been this,
 "Our passion goes beyond soccer." 
As followers of Jesus, our passion is so much more than just soccer. The heart behind all of the sharing on the streets has been to share this message. Whether winning or losing a soccer game, there is One worth knowing, loving and following.  He gives amazing love, joy, peace, freedom and life abundantly!

Even as the World Cup is coming to an end, we can continue to pray for the many lives who were blessed and encouraged by the various ministry outreaches.  It is our prayer that many would turn their hearts and lives towards Jesus, following Him daily and experiencing His love and grace.  His arms are always wide open to all of us!