God not only inserts people into our lives in order to bless us, but he also causes them to remain with us, for our joy. Paul thought about Epaphroditus in such terms.

In fact he became so ill that he nearly died. But God showed mercy to him—and not to him only, but also to me—so that I would not have grief on top of grief.
Php 2.27

Instead of questioning why God takes people from us — a question that we have no way of finding an answer to — let us give thanks to God for his mercy which keeps beloved people in our lives who help us and cooperate with us in the gospel.

Home work space
A bit blurry pic of my new home work space

 

We studied last week with five people, at once, about doing the will of God. Pray they continue and will become Christians. More in the GoSpeak report, out by tomorrow.

Great lunch and afternoon with two couples from Taubaté, three of the adults are Christians who meet with us in that city. Enjoyable  Christian fellowship.

As of today, using the kids’ old school desk — which they seldom used — for my home work space (above). A bit of a change up, and I think, better posture situation. Continue reading

In The Pickwick Papers, Dickens has a character say of another that he was teaching little lessons to little boys. The phrase sounds sad to my ears. I want to teach great lessons to great servants of God. I want to pass on grand truths about God and eternity. While keeping our feet on the ground, I want to explore the wonderful themes of God coming to be among us and redeem us. Continue reading

Map Vale do Paraíba, São PauloWhile The Maiden stayed in Sao Paulo this weekend, we received a visit from an old friend from the Belo Horizonte area, our brother in Christ Alexandre, who began the work in the suburb city of Contagem. We’ve known him and his wife for many years, and have taught in the Contagem church a couple of times, at least.

Alexandre arrived Saturday morning. After a late breakfast, I showed him my office, and we ran some errands with Vicki. Jorge and Paula, with son Daniel, were coming through on their way to the men’s/women’s meetings in Taubaté, so they stopped in and lunched with us.

We all went to the Taubaté meets at 4 p.m., held in a sister’s house. (About 50 minutes from our house.) Her husband is an unfaithful disciple, but he and their youngest son sat in on the meeting. Alexandre spoke on Psalm 32, then several brothers encouraged the man of the house to return to Christ. We wrapped up with a few administrative items which Ricardo had noted. Continue reading

Brenda Brooks tells me husband Mike returned from Asia this week with back problems and will be doing tests and doctor routine next week. She didn’t say if the problems were a result of something that happened on the field, during the return trip or back at home. He’s confined to bed rest for now, it seems. We pray he improves soon.

Congrats to Richard Mansel for losing pound #41. He’s working hard at it, and we’re proud to accompany his progress. I found a few of those he lost.

Vicki and Leila are doing well at home. We talk almost every day on skype. Continue reading