BZM report: sponsorship, marriage encounter, special visits, driving.

BIG NEWS. The Somers Avenue elders informed me yesterday by email that the congregation will become our new sponsor. We’re excited by this decision, and pray our new relationship may bring many to the kingdom and give glory to God.

They also indicated a raise is coming in the amount of support, though the exact amount will be defined yet, so that’s a first definite for our fund-raising trip.

In so many ways this congregation in North Little Rock has already served to provide emotional and spiritual support, as well as financial help and in special projects, so it seems a natural thing for them to assume oversight of the financial aspect of our ministry as well.

MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER. Our trip to Belo Horizonte was a tremendous blessing for us and, we hope, for those who heard our classes and sermon and who shared time with us.

Saturday afternoon we attended the wedding of Marlinda Fowler and Lucas Tiago da Silva. Marlinda is the daughter of Eddison and LaJuana, our former teammates. Lucas is the son of Mauricio and Marlene, with whom we worked a good deal when we lived in Belo Horizonte. We saw many old friends, so it was a special moment for us.

Then, from the youth camp where the outdoor wedding was held, we zipped over to the Contagem church building for the marriage encounter. The wedding hurt the attendance somewhat, so there were about 30 couples present and several individuals. People came from a number of area congregations.

Vicki taught the ladies and I the men for about 30 minutes. Then I addressed the combined group for another 20 minutes. Our assigned theme was on the topic of tolerance.

Afterwards, the participants enjoyed a marvelous supper prepared by the host congregation.

Sunday morning, I preached at the Contagem church, using the “Quality of Life” theme, based on John 17:1-5, that I had shared the previous Sunday in SJCampos.

VISITS. From there we went for lunch to the house of Baltazar and Ieda, of the Alipio de Melo congregation, within the Belo Horizonte city limits. Alexandre and Delta, from the Contagem church, joined us. (Picture links are from an earlier trip.) It was from them we received the invitation to speak. They’re a pillar for the church in Contagem. Baltazar and Ieda’s son, Abner, and our daughter are developing an interest in each other. We enjoyed a good visit with them until about 7 p.m.

From there we went to the central area of Belo Horizonte, to the home of Otavio and Paula Resende. I helped convert Otavio and studied with him for a year after his baptism. I also performed their marriage ceremony, so they are special friends.

Our hosts were Gustavo and Eliza, more old friends with whom we stayed on our last trip to Belo Horizonte. They were gracious hosts who showed us warm hospitality and a full table — when we were there to share a meal with them.

DRIVING. We stopped little on the highway to Belo Horizonte, so we made it in about 7 hours. On the way back, we dawdled a bit, so it was an 8-hour trip.

The car that the Somers Avenue church helped us to purchase last year hummed along nicely, with the power steering and, when we needed it, the air conditioning making it a pleasant and less stressful trip.

MEANWHILE. In my place this past Sunday, Jose Roberto preached at SJCampos, and Jorge at Taubate.

What do you think?

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