We count on your prayers and we are encouraged and thankful that you are willing to uphold the ministry here in Rio before God in prayer. Tomorrow I will be leaving for the Annual Youth Retreat. It occurs during the famous Carnival of Rio which is like Mardi Gras on steroids. Sadly, many lives are deeply scarred from the sins committed during these days. Also, the raucous partying often turns violent. The retreat offers the youth a chance to get together in a good environment to hear the Word. Melissa and the kids will be staying at home because of space limits at the camp. I’ll be travelling back and forth between home and camp during the retreat. Please pray for safety and for the Spirit’s work among the hearts of the youth of the churches of Rio- specifically for salvation and spiritual growth.
Five of the youth of Rio have chosen to go to Bible College this year. This is a real step of faith for them because most don’t know how they will fund the tuition. Several have had to overcome some real obstacles just to get to this point. When one young lady expressed her desire to go to Bible School, her unsaved father’s first reaction was that he’d rather that she said she wanted to be a prostitute than to say that she wanted to go to Bible School. Another young lady became serious about following the Lord after her father was bitten by a mosquito carrying dengue fever and died suddenly. Each has their own incredible story of how God has brought them to where they are. Pray for the Lord’s provision for these Bible school students (Leo, Flavio, Debora, Flavia, Sueny).
On March 3, we will celebrate the first anniversary celebration at church. Last Sunday we announced that at the end of March we will be leaving the church under the direction of our colleagues the Patefields, and searching for the next place God where wants us to labor in Rio. There are some possibilities open but we are still praying about the specifics and looking to God to lead. One of the highlights of last year at church was the opportunity to baptize Debora, the first fruits of the church plant. A man named Roger has been coming regularly and has begun discipleship classes for baptism. It’s exciting to see his hunger for God. He got a new study Bible recently and has already been sharing with us some things that he’s learned. Please pray for the people of the church, the Anniversary Celebration and our future ministry plans.
About six months ago a man entered the church (under the influence of something!) and his loud and foul language was such a distraction that we had to ask him to either stop or leave. We ended up having to forcefully escort him out. At that point, he cursed us and threatened to bomb the building when we left. We wondered what would become of the situation. Well, recently a homeless woman named Tania has been attending our services. One night she came in with serious burns covering her left arm. The church provided her with food, medication and antibiotics. We discovered that apparently her boyfriend is the man who entered the church six months earlier. When he saw the care and love that the church showed to her, he approached the deacon of the church and apologized profusely for his actions. I invited him to come back. We hope that he might return to church in a sober state and that God would transform his life. Sometimes things happen and you don’t ever know why, but it is satisfying to be able to have a glimpse of how God can turn something that man or the Devil meant for evil into something good!
Love in Christ, The Holmquist Family
P.S. We were able to get tickets for the trip to the Amazon for March 12-22. Thank you to those who contributed. Please pray for a profitable time among the tribes there.
©2013 Brendan Holmquist – BMM | P.O. Box 308011 Cleveland, OH 44130-8011