Usually on Sunday nights we are with the Flores do Campo congregation, but we attended Satelite church for 2 special events: Baptism and Baby dedication. No, the two events were not for the same person. We praise the Lord for three young people that were baptized at Satelite church Sunday evening, one being our Hannah(12 years old). The other two were Pierre (Ariel’s brother), and Jonatan, both 11 years old. Even though these young people had gotten saved several years ago, the church prefers to not baptize children right away, but prefers to give some time to make sure the decision is certain. Sunday morning in the all church business meeting the three each clearly gave their testimony of trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and desire to be obedient to the Lord in Baptism. Hearing the testimonies was a blessing to us all. Pastor Rubens gave Ariel the opportunity to baptize his brother Pierre. Pray for these young people to continue to grow in their love for the Lord.
The other special event of the evening was baby dedication of our grandson Ben Hesed. Pray for Ariel and Natalie as they bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We praise the Lord for the blessing little Ben has been in our lives already in these two short months we have before saying “goodby.” We enjoy seeing getting more social and interactive. It’s so sweet to watch the adoring looks he receives from his doting aunties as well.
Martia, Rachel, and Hannah will be flying out of Natal, Brazil on 4pm this Friday June 7th. We value your prayers for us in this time of preparation for travels, transition, and separation as a family for a few weeks. Tim and Rebecca will be leaving Brazil on June 26th. We look forward to the opportunities to meet up with you during this time in the States.
We praise the Lord that construction has started at the Flores do Campo property. I was surprised yesterday when Pastor Davi said that the bricklayer Brother John who has just been working on it for 2 weeks said it can be ready for meetings in 20 days or less. At first it will be somewhat rustic, but it will be slightly larger than where we are renting, and the rent money can go towards building materials. Continue praying for the building up of the building and most importantly, the spiritual growth of the handful of believers there, and the spread of the pure Gospel in that neighborhood.
- Furlough preparations
- Hannah, Pierre, and Jonatan in their spiritual growth
- Seminary classes (semester ends June 21st)
- Flores do Campo church building construction
- Ariel, Natalie & Ben
The new school year will begin with a Monday evening service on Feb.18th open to the Baptist churches in the area.. Tim has a double schedule of teaching this semester to work in the classes that are needed while we are gone on furlough, so he is getting things geared up for that. Last ministry update we asked prayer for Luana who had to stop in the middle of last semester to help her mom with health issues of an eye accident. We praise the Lord that her mom is doing much better, and Luana is free to return to seminary. We know of about 8 new students. Pray for them as they make this transition to seminary. Tim has especially wanted to be careful not to overcommit to extra conferences and speaking engagements this semester to make sure to do a good job of teaching at seminary, but after several persistent requests of a certain pastor, he prayerfully decided that he should take the opportunity to speak at the conference in Mossoro Feb.16-17. He plans to take the bus so he can avoid the stress of driving and use those hours to study. We appreciate your prayers for these ministry opportunities and for wisdom in organizing our schedule.
Please continue to pray for Davi and Sara and us as we wait on the LORD for open doors for building at the Flores do Campo church plant.
They were able to spend the month of January in Sao Paulo, Davi’s hometown, with family. They returned this weekend on the midnight flight and will be moving their earthly posessions from the seminary to their newly rented house in Flores do Campo. We pray that having them right there in the neighborhood will give opportunities for more close contact, and will help the work to grow. Last week we heard the happy news that they are expecting a baby so pray for Sara in her health and for preparations to be parents.
The salt has taken its toll on our pickup (GM D-20), that God provided in 2002 when we first arrived to Brazil. It been at the mechanic since the beginning of December. It has taken longer than we planned. The mechanic doesn’t seem to be in much of a hurry even though Tim has frequently kept checking up on things and done a lot of running around for parts. We praise the Lord for God’s provision for all the work that has been done and have been praying the whole time for the mechanic to be skillful, honest, attentive, and diligent. It is an important tool for ministry, and we thank you for your faithful support which is providing for these necessary repairs so this tool can be used for many more years.
We enjoyed being a part of a youth retreat at Bom Fim Jan. 16-19 at which Tim gave 6 messages from Revelation. A couple young families were there also. One of the moms told Martia later that her 5 yr. old Estevao was so interested in the messages and the graphics from Revelation, even though she had brought other activities for him to do during the service.
Rachel spent a week in Fortaleza participating in “Louvor em Harmonia.” We praise the Lord for the blessing of friendship, good Bible teaching, and edifying music for the young people.
Vacation Bible School
We will help in VBS at the Heights Baptist church (right next to the seminary and where we help with AWANA) this week Feb. 6-8. The following week we plan to repeat this VBS at Flores do Campo. Pray for these opportunities for the church to invest in the lives of these children in their respective neighborhoods showing the love of Christ and teaching them His Word. Attached are a couple AWANA pictures from the awards ceremony in November.
Special visitors coming
We’ve been looking forward to Martia’s sister Charity and her children coming to visit in January, but there were some visa issues. Those issues got straightened out, and we are now counting the days until Feb.20th for her arrival. Pray for a safe trip and that the time together would be a blessing to each one.
Dear loved ones,
We miss you and think of you often, feeling the distance not only in many miles but also in infrequent communication. We lovingly pray for you, in spite of not knowing what’s been going on in each of your lives. We hope through this letter you can catch the highlights of our 2018.
The year began with anticipation for Grandmama, Roxi, Ben, and Crystana’s arrival. Packed around this excitement was the final preparations for Natalie and Ariel’s wedding: baking countless cupcakes, finishing table decorations, and cooking pots of barbecued-pork for the reception. The wedding day opened with rain, making us apprehensive that the out-door reception would need a plan B, but by early afternoon (when the wedding started), the sun had reappeared and added its sunny touch to the joyous occasion. Natalie was a clear headed bride, and our church family, for whom we are very grateful, helped in countless ways. Jan. 20th will continue to shine in our memories for years to come. We happily welcomed Ariel into our family. I (Martia) told Ariel the other day that I haven’t even had a chance to miss Natalie. They frequently come over for a swim or a meal – which includes theological sounding-board-discussions between Ariel and Dad. Natalie, being the frugal woman she is, comes to pick mangoes or coconuts (“the natural gatorade” as Aunt Roxi informed us). Having Natalie on grocery shopping trips has also been special. No, we don’t saunter through the store side by side; we usually split up to get the job done fast enough to avoid lines. Still, knowing she’s in the store (and occasionally bumping into her) is fun. Heading home, we exchange info about the great deals we saw. Seeing Natalie develop her culinary arts, trying things I hadn’t taught her, has also been fun. Rebecca, however, has remained decidedly uninterested in cooking experiments and grocery prices. At one of the seminary potlucks, seeking new conversation, she joined the table of newlyweds only to discover they were obsessing over food and diaper prices.
Speaking of which . . . Ariel and Natalie, announced in early autumn that Tim and I and the girls are grandparents and aunts, respectively. We were let in on the secret early and had to remain nonchalant several weeks until the news was officially released (which gave Hannah some freezing moments when people would ask when she was going to be an aunt). We look forward to meeting Baby Lima (nicknamed John-John or Peola - after Natalie’s childhood imaginary friends - Leopoldina, Bonefacio – two historical figures in Brazil that Natalie and Ariel watched a documentary on). The due date is March, and the gender guess is evenly divided. The arrival of the first grandchild will make leaving for furlough in June doubly difficult.
Natalie and Ariel capped the year with another milestone. In November, Ariel graduated from the seminary with a Bachelor degree in Theology. He was officially called to be on staff at Satelite. He was already teaching Sunday school, and Natalie, planning the music for services. Along with another gifted lady at church, she leads the choir, developing it considerably. She also taught piano and English this year.
Grandpa and Grandma Franklin visited in March which, of course, meant lots of pool time and poolside chats with Grandma.
April 1st, Resurrection Sunday, marked the day we started regular meetings at the new church meeting location in Flores do Campo. Progress seems to be slow, but we thank the Lord for the many opportunities for evangelizing in the neighborhood “park” and giving in-home Bible studies. The girl have also been quiet involved: participating in visits and helping with music (Rachel on the violin; Rebecca or Hannah on the keyboard). Starting meetings at Flores do Campo meant the somewhat emotionally-difficult parting from the Satelite church family (no longer being able to participate in the choir and being there only for the Sunday morning services). However, the girls were able to participate and help plan Satelite’s music conference held in July. This annual event is a highlight—musically, spiritually, and socially. We are very thankful for the friendships that they have developed with the young people from the area churches.
Rebecca finished high-school after basking and absorbing British Lit. She was also (profitably) delayed by an online BJU Music Appreciation class in the middle of the first semester. We’re thankful that God provided for her to commemorate her graduation by spending November in the States. She enjoyed the “American adult-life experience,” traveling overseas by herself, buying out Goodwill for early Christmas presents, and making blessed memories with family and friends. She continues progressing in classical piano and “vainly wishes for the day when the knowledge of hymn accompaniment, chords, and theory can simply be injected into ones brain”. At the end of the year she found herself without a piano teacher as well. She’s the one who frequently turns on the music for us and encourages us to listen or watch some great orchestra. She was pleased to have gotten Hannah hooked on one of Rachel’s favorites-Smetana’s “The Moldau”. Her “favoritest songest everest” (as she persists in calling it) remains Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto, rivaled by his third, and Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony still breaking her heart. Rebecca, as well as Rachel, love the challenge of chasing kids and sharing the gospel with them through Awana ministries. Together they took the Romans class (Rachel taking it for credit, Rebecca auditing) taught by their favorite teacher--“Pr. Dad”.
We were able to find a violin teacher for Rachel, and she was able to restart. She began her senior year in the fall. She likes writing stories; she will be a famous author one day, says Rebecca, if she ever finishes one (of her many) ideas. Rachel also enjoys critiquing and reviewing books. Last week highlighted itself as she got an admission letter from Bob Jones University. At the beginning of the year, she was debating between attending Bible college here or BJU, but her passing the ACT (thus earning a significant scholarship) provided a signal of guidance towards BJU. Pray that God will continue to guide us through financial obstacles and timing. The fall semester starts in September, giving us two short months together in the states. Starting in the second semester isn’t advantageous, and we need wisdom to decide between these two. We are excited for the opportunities ahead of her but don’t like dwelling on the necessary separation. We tasted this in October when Rachel spent several weeks in Curitiba with Uncle Barry, Auntie Ellen, and her five boy cousins. She was eager to help a bit and even more eager to reconnect with the relatives she hadn’t seen for a while.
Hannah is in 6th grade this year. She’s as sweet as ever: always giving hugs and back scratches, after meals saying “thank you for the ‘feastage’ (word coined by Dad). It was really good.” She is usually willing to help from anything to foot massages, holding a flashlight, mixing sausage spices, letting the chickens out, or watering the flowers. She’s always willing to go on evangelistic visits in Flores do Campo, and is a great moral support sometimes with encouraging words like “that was a good study, Mom.” She’s very easy going but has such a hard time deciding on things, that the girls say they’ll have to choose her wedding dress and flowers when she gets married.
Tim works hard with his teaching schedule on campus and at four extension classes (some weekly and some monthly). He also has spoken in several conferences during the year and kept up with the Books and Bibles orders, making Christian resources affordable to regular Baptist churches throughout the nearby states. For a rest from mental work he’s always making improvements or repairs around the house and cultivating the yard by watering, weeding, cutting, and raking. We finally got sixteen chickens and twenty quail after so many years of saying, “It’d be nice to have some in the yard.” To Rebecca’s disappointment, however, we currently have zero dogs which leaves us without a warning of intruders and consequently even more dependence on God’s protection.
My (Martia’s) days consist of the normal stuff entailed in holding down the home front: cooking meals, washing clothes, cleaning house, and correcting home school papers. Other ministries include teaching Sunday school at Satelite, helping with Cubbies, doing visitation at Flores do Campo, and a weekly evangelistic visit to a neighbor. We look to the Lord for His grace to help us love, communicate, and understand one another like we ought, following the example of Christ. We pray that this new year we will grow in faith, trusting the Lord in the big and little issues of life. Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.
This letter was started by Martia and then enhanced and edited (i.e. dorky comments inserted) by Rebecca and Rachel making this letter much more complete and interesting.
Some of the best books we read in 2018:
To The Golden Shore (life of Adoniram Judson) by Courtney Anderson (read aloud together)
The Most High God by Renald Showers
Escape From Reason by Francis Schaefer
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Worship in Song by Scott Aniol
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stuart
Fawkes by Nandine Brandes
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
BJU’s production of Hamlet
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton
The Young Underground series by Robert Elmer
Ariel (read in Portuguese but they are also available in English):
The Knowledge of God by J. I. Packer
Um Judeu Errante no Brasil by Samuel Ginsburg (an autobiography)
1808 by Laurentino Gomes (on brazilian history)
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin