Christmas in Northeast Brazil is usually quite hot! On Christmas Eve we celebrate the birth of Christ with a special musical program at church, everyone participating, sweat running down our faces; distribute bags of candy to all the children. We rejoice that Jesus Christ came to earth to show His love for us, to die on the cross to pay for our sins, to rise again victorious!
Christmas Day is quiet. We had dinner with several colleagues. .
We chose Monday February 1st, to do our Christmas shopping and spend the Christmas monies sent by several of our churches and friends. When we added it up we realized we had enough to buy a much-needed mattress for our bed:) So, we went from store to store, tried lots of mattresses and found some bargains in washing machines.
Thanking the Lord for His love shown through our friends and churches, we went out to lunch to a self-serve restaurant. While we ate, we decided on the mattress and a washing machine… the first in 35 years. The lady who washed our clothes by hand had begun using her machine, but then she moved away.
Tuesday we picked up our mail. There were lots of Christmas cards (they always come in February) and a box from the Horwath family, members of a supporting church in Alaska!
That evening we sat under our mango tree to enjoy our cards and letters; and then opened the box! Such fun:) It was full of Alaskan goodies. Darrel donned the baseball cap, we ate the smoked salmon on the spot, seven-year-old Kloey’s picture went up on the refrigerator, the pen went into Darrel’s pocket as did the pocket knife:) and, the next day I bought a glass jar with a lid and made the Alaskan sourdough starter. We were blessed!
The irony of all of this is that by the end of January, I (Jean) was becoming depressed over some problems in our church plant. Perhaps we were not doing enough? Satan’s fiery darts were wearing me down. But God knew and sent me a very special week to remind me of His love. All the gifts, cards and letters had been sent months before but they arrived just when I needed them.
Next week we start our Enrichment program for 1st through 6th graders. December through February was summer vacation and we spent the time finding sponsors for the children.
Construction at União Baptist Church will begin March 1st, to erect the gym/auditorium.
Spiritually, our men are growing. The women’s group has an Euodia/Syntyche (see Philippians 4) problem. One does not think she has done anything wrong and the other says she has forgiven, but will not speak unless forgiveness is asked of her. A third lady told her that her bitter spirit is destroying the ladies’ group. Please pray that when this is resolved, everyone will have grown spiritually.
Darrel and Jean Haworth