Thursday, March 26, 2020

Prayer & Photos ~ March 2020

Hello dear friends,

Many people have reached out to us asking how we are in the midst of this crazy COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

So, how are we?
Thankfully we are well.  We are savoring this extra time together as a family while quarantined at home and diligently helping our girls adjust to doing schoolwork online. Jessie is in 1st grade and Sophia is in 3rd grade at an American school here, and they have lots of assignments to do in order to keep up-to-speed with their studies.

Since we have 4 kiddos, things are always quite busy in our home anyway- especially with our active son Josiah (3 years old) and sweet baby Annabelle (9 months old).

We are deeply saddened and intently praying concerning the COVID-19 global crisis.  We are also extremely thankful for the HOPE and PEACE we have in Christ at all times, no matter the circumstance.

How is it in Brazil?
We live in São Paulo, which is the epicenter of the outbreak in Brazil.  The highest number of cases and deaths are being reported right here in our city. At this exact moment in Brazil there are 2,915 active cases of COVID-19, 77 deaths, and 6 recovered.

So far the coronavirus is growing at an exponential rate as predicted.  Many precautions are being taken to prevent a huge spike in outbreaks. Just as in the USA, there are school/business closures, mandates to prevent large gatherings and only stores providing essentials for life remain open.  Everyone is strongly encouraged to stay home.

Our family is currently on week number two of quarantine and grateful to be able to stay at home, safe and sound.

How can you pray for us?

Please pray for protection over our family (especially Josiah as he has asthma) and Felipe's mother -who is 64 and has other health issues.

The Poor in Brazil
Please also pray for the lower income population in Brazil.  Our ministry here is to the poor, specifically to children and their families living in the slums.  As businesses are closing, people are unable to work, and many are even losing their jobs - to many in the slums that means there is no food on the table or finances to pay for the most basic necessities in life.

We know many are facing the same harsh realities in the USA as well.  Please also keep these poor communities in Brazil in your prayers. There are literally millions of people living in slums all over the nation of Brazil who will be drastically affected by this pandemic.

Casa Semear
Casa Semear is currently closed, per guidelines from the Brazilian government.  We are praying about how we can reach out and be a blessing to the families and children we serve in the slum community.

We are considering providing a food basket for each family who has a child participating at Casa Semear, to help bring hope and meet a practical need in this time of uncertainty. Will you pray with us concerning this and also the logistics on how to make this possible?

Sharing the Gospel 
Please pray for God to use this moment in history. May this global crisis cause people to seek to know the Lord, hear the good news of Christ and come to faith in Him - here in Brazil and all over the world.  Pray for God to use us to share the gospel message here, and it is our prayer that God will use you to share about Christ and bring hope in your corner of the world.

Send us a message! 
Please let us know how you are doing.  Please write us an email ( or reach out on social media, and let us know how we can also be praying for you.

May we all find comfort, peace and hope in Christ and His Word, now and always.

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid."  John 14:27

With lots of love from Brazil,
Laura, Felipe, Sophia, Jessie, Josiah & Annabelle

P.S. Enjoy seeing a few recent photos of our daily life and a fun video below!

Taking photos here in Brazil with Flat Stanley for a friend in the USA!

Morning worship before starting school in our homeschool space.

A Zoom call during this quarantine with my precious discipleship group from our local church.

These sweet friends (Daniel, Jessica and Colton Doss) came from the USA to visit us for one day! This was just before the crazy COVID-19 outbreak.

Camping out in our backyard! 

And check out this fun video Sophia worked on (together with Felipe) for a school book report!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Prayer & Photos ~February 2020

Last week Casa Semear officially began!
January is summer vacation in the schools here, and in February life starts getting back to normal. Last week Casa Semear's program was open and operating in full-swing again with fun activities, catching up with the kids, singing, prayer and Bible study!

We want to share a few photos from the end of 2019 here too!  
The annual Christmas party was a blessing to the children, teens and families who are a part of the Casa Semear community. 

Donation of Bibles!
My mom and dad's church, Bethesda Presbyterian in York, SC, blessed the kids at Casa Semear in a special way last Christmas.  An offering, from the Fellowship Sunday school class together with another donation from someone from the church, helped to purchase beautiful Bibles for the children. Now even more kids have the Word of God in their homes.

The kids really enjoyed opening the big Christmas present (a box full of Bibles).  This is truly one of the best gifts they could ever receive - the Word of God!

ABBA Retreat
The local organization we are a part of, ABBA, holds an annual retreat for the missionaries and staff who are working to impact children at risk through the organization's programs.  We participated in this three day retreat at the end of January.  Our kids had a especially fun time playing outside in nature and swimming at the retreat center. 

Family Time During the Christmas Break
During Christmas and January the girls had six weeks off from school. We celebrated Jesus' birth and we enjoyed the following weeks of vacation time. 

Since it is summer here we went swimming at the school's pool several times and enjoyed long summer days as a family, taking everything at a slower pace. This was a welcome blessing as the previous months were quite intense between ministry commitments and battling sickness in our family. 

Prayer Points

We praise God for rest and quality time as a family over the Christmas break. 

We also praise God for health! At the end of 2019 we faced one health challenge after another, with Josiah and Annabelle getting quite sick, and Felipe struggling with kidney stones. The kiddos improved in health, and Felipe is still being monitored for his kidney stones situation. 

Pray for us, for wisdom as we need to make some important decisions concerning our family.  Soon we hope to share more about our next visit to the USA!

Pray for the new 2020 work year at Casa Semear. Pray for God to use the missionaries as they serve the Lord at the ministry center, sharing the truth and message of the gospel. Pray for the hearts of the kids to learn and grow in the Lord. Please also pray for their families, who are often facing difficult situations and are in need of Christ.

Pray for us as we serve in our local church. In addition to leading our community group, we are also facilitating a small group each Sunday as a part of the current Sunday school class. We are doing a church wide study called Seeking Him by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Tim Grissom.

THANK YOU for your PARTNERSHIP in prayer and support.  
We are thankful!!!