In America, when a new president is elected and takes office a plan is put forward as prepartions are made in anticipation of big changes at the White House. Consequently, normal practice is for the president-elect to announce a plan of what his (or her) first 100 days in office will look like. What is the plan for action? In the same token, we are less than 2 weeks from our family arriving in Porto Alegre and would like to give our action plan as well.
1. On November 26th -> We left Phoenix on a big airplane (as Levi called it), and arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil - the Saturday after Thanksgiving. (The trip went extremely well. You can read more about it in the post below.)
2. We have spent 5 weeks with Carol's family, and will conclude our time spending the Christmas and New Years holidays here. During this time Carol and I have visited Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, in southern Brazil. This is the city we will move to permanently. We looked for an house (and found one), a school for the kids, and we visited with those we know there to share our vision for future ministry. I have also used this time to brush up on my portuguese. I can definitely get by, but it needs to be refined.
3. This Thursday (December 29th), I will drive down to Porto Alegre from Santos. It is approximately a 12 hour drive. I will buy appliances for our rental home and get all the utilites turned on and in order before Carol and the kids fly down on Friday, January 6th. The school year starts mid-February and runs through December with a winter break in July. We are super excited to start life in Porto Alegre.
4. Feb/March 2017 -> We look to start informal weekly Bible studies in the city and will start to gauge interest in where exactly we will look to re-plant a church in the city specifically. Our plan is for John to teach a single bible study several times a week in homes in and around Porto Alegre for throughout 2017 - in addition to special times of devtionals, prayer and worship.
5. Late 2017 -> We look for seeds to start to grow and develop with a growing church body and to rent a meeting place to have church services. (Our hope is that as we pray and study the bible in various points of the city - we will be able to consildate various bible studies into a larger group by years end in 2017) and formally launch the church by the end of 2017.
6. 2018 and beyond -> The vision grows. We look to have a healthy church body seeking to mature in Christ. Serving the community at large by focusing on the work of Christ. Including, serving the city through a host of outreach minsitries. Some of which we have done before (orphanges and street evangelism) and others (a school of ministry, etc.).
We are excited to announce we arrived in Brazil! It has been 10 days since our arrival and we have already accomplished much so we would like to fill you in on our happenings.
We were extremely busy in the days before our departure as we spent much time packing all our personal belongings into thirteen suitcases and saying our goodbyes to those we became close to in Arizona. We had a garage sale the Saturday before, sold our 2 vehicles, and we were blessed with some amazing ladies that voluntered to help clean our rental home after we left. John worked until the day before Thanksgiving and we were invited to eat Thanksgiving dinner at the house of a family from our church in Phoenix - it was a great time of food and fellowship. And on Black Friday, we were off to Sao Paulo via Houston. The kids did great the whole way there and Levi (4) slept most of the way. All the flights were on time and all the bags made it as well. In other words, the trip could have gone better. We really appreciate all of your prayers!
Upon our arrival at the Sao Paulo airport, we were blessed to have Carol's brother meet us at the airport. I got to drive his car through Sao Paulo as he drove a truck full of our luggage to Santos which will be our home base for the next 4 to 6 weeks before we transition to Porto Alegre. Santos is a city with a historic downtown center and beautiful coastline. It is also home to the largest port in Latin America. Being now the first of December, summer is arriving and the temperatures are rising including humidity, which we have not seen in years after living in the desert in Arizona. We will spend time here visiting with Carol's family and going back and forth to Porto Alegre before to look for a place to live, school for the kids, etc before our move in January.
We invite you to visit this site frequently as we will post updates from Brazil including; family updates, ministry updates, devotionals, and more. May God bless you. J/D.