Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”  Ephesians 3:20

new homeWe are so thankful that our search for a home is finally over - we just moved into a new home! After living out of suitcases during a great part of our 1 year furlough,  returning to Brazil in May, we continued to do so as we stayed in rooms at the Bible School in Campo Mourão. It feels so good to retire our suitcases and ‘hang our hats’ for a while!

While in Campo Mourão, we got to know the students quite well and were able to have some positive influence on their lives as well as other families living around there. Michelle got close to the girls in the Miriam Infant Home and also able to be a Christian influence since they come from very messed up homes. She enjoyed the free roam of a spacious campus and friendships everywhere. However, we now need to get back to a normal routine.

Here in Maringa, where we have our church family, we want to focus on seeing some new action take place here.  Please pray that we will make the right decisions concerning how to take the church to the next level: whether to rent a small hall temporarily or to begin building a church on the property we already have for that.  Jonathan will continue to teach a class each week at the Bible School and oversee the Bible Camp ministry in Campo Mourão.

Please pray also for the many new changes that will be taking place in Campo Mourão:

1) for the students that just graduated from Bible School (Jonathan preached at their graduation this week)

2) the installing of a new Academic Director for the Bible School,

3) for future students preparing to join our Bible School next school year (March),

4) for the replacing of our faithful caretaker (Sr. Antonio) at the Bible Camp grounds with a capable couple,

5) for safe travels back and forth from Maringa to Campo Mourão (for Jonathan),

In the US: 6) Also pray for our two oldest – April & Thomas who are studying in the Twin Cities (for safety, health, provision & spiritual growth).

Jonathan in VitoriaJonathan traveled to Vitoria to help celebrate the church’s Anniversary and completion of their remodeling efforts, Nov. 22nd – 26th.  It was a fruitful weekend for the church there.

November was indeed a month for Thanksgiving for all that the Lord has done! The main blessing being finding and moving into a house! But many other prayers have also been answered! God is so good!!! Now we focus on CHRISTmas and all that goes on during this season! We will have a Christmas Program in our home for our church family!

Once again we want to thank our Lord for you who uphold us in your prayers and in your financial gifts, to enable His work to go on in this part of the world!  Thank you!!!

Jonathan and Tamba Abel

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Brazilian Coworker Killed

Dear Friends,

IMG_3641I have VERY SAD news to announce to you this morning.  Last night in Campo Mourão our dear Silvana, daughter of Terezinha, was assassinated by two drive-away criminals on a motorcycle. 

Silvana and her boyfriend, Leno, were delivering pop to the Miriam Infant Home for a Christmas party that was supposed to be today. It happened  at 9:00 p.m. on the street corner by the Lar Paraná church.  It was still light out and there were people on the streets yet.  The police believe that the criminals shot at a mistaken target. Leno is in critical condition in the hospital after undergoing surgery.  Please pray for him and his recuperation. 

Of course, we are all overwhelmed with sadness and we are asking you to pray for this very dear family as they walk through this valley.  Dona Tereza has been a main stay at our Bible School “forever” and Silvio is a key person in all that happens in the AFLC in Brazil. They need our love and prayers at this time. 

Sorry to be a bearer of “sad news” at this time of year when we like to announce the “good news.”

Our love to you, Paul and Becky

Note: Photo is of Silvana cooking at the AFLC Brazil Bible School.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


I don’t know that you would call it a tsunami, but we have definitely seen some major waves landing on the shores of the Miriam Home! They began three weeks ago, just days after Larissa and Paola returned to their homes; the familiar white car from the juvenile authorities arrived with Joao (8 years old) his sister Heloisa (6) and the baby of the family Mateus (3). They came to us from a nearby town when their mother was arrested (their father is already in jail). The first days here were difficult, the abrupt separation from their mom was traumatic, but in a few days they began to settle in and feel more at home.

The second wave hit just while Joao and company were adapting. This time it was a family of four: William (9) his sisters Talita (8) and Tainara (3) and their smallest  brother (though not youngest) Maicon (5). The children arrived because they had been left locked in a room in aboarding house while their mother was out with friends. Their father works as a laborer on a farm and is only able to come home every two weeks. The first days in the Miriam Home were challenging for this gang too, but for different reasons. Maicon spent his first night, not in the home, but with Pr. Silvio in the emergency room because of severe stomach pains. After hours the doctors decided he had a severe case of intestinal parasites, and because he had been eating very little for a long time, the good meal he had at night brought on a crises.

The same day William’s group joined we received a much smaller wave, just two precious little girls. Ana Louisa (4) and Ana Laura (four months) from a near by town. These two girls nearly broke our hearts. They are lovely children, but they are being raised by a single mother who had just been arrested. Ana Louisa was with us for less 24 hours. Her father was contacted and came to claim her. Baby Ana Laura has a different father. We don’t know if he knows about his little girl, because we don’t know his name. At four months of age Ana Laura had not even been registered yet. Something that a mother normally does in the first week was done by our social assistant soon after Ana arrived in the Miriam Home. During her first week Ana stayed with Aunty Odette (one of our house moms who is just finishing up her maternity leave. Ana Laura is almost exactly the same size as her baby boy, Daniel), getting a little more focused attention, but she is now in her crib in the Miriam Home, the youngest reining princess.

Editor’s note:  To read about yet another WAVE, as Jonni describes it, click here.  You can read more news as well!

Missions Devotional

by Paul Handsaker

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29:11

As one reads this verse we are reminded that God has plans for every person’s life and He knows the path we will take. For the believer God further tells us that His plans are for our welfare, to give us a future and a hope. What a wonderful promise this is to know that God is in control. I believe this promise is for our personal lives as well as any ministry endeavors that are a part of our lives. This may include our local congregation and beyond into mission work in the greater church at large. Yet knowing that God has plans for our lives sometimes we struggle to discern the path we should take. We are faced with decisions: does God want me to be a Sunday School teacher this year, should I serve on this ministry board, should I change jobs that may require a move for my family, if I move what will my new church family be. Ministries also struggle with decisions as well, what is the best way to accomplish our mission, should we expand our ministry, do we engage in a building project, do we engage more workers, how will our financial needs be met.

I remember a time when my family was struggling with vocation issues, should we stay farming or should we move on, we even considered moving to Atlanta. It was hard to know what to do. It is at times of uncertainty that it would be wonderful to wake to find a note that said this is what you should do, signed God. But it is never this easy We have to seek the Lord in prayer, search the scriptures and he will give us peace about an issue we are considering, For me when I experience a sense of peace I know that I am living in God’s plan for my life.

The other side of our path in life is the danger of complacency in our personal lives or within established ministries. The routine of our everyday lives, the established path we have taken, the projects we have been doing, can lead us to lose sight of new opportunities, a turn in the road, and we began to function on autopilot. Some time ago two pilots were cruising on auto pilot and suddenly found themselves over Wisconsin when they were to have landed in Minneapolis. Oops, although nothing serious came of this lapse, the plane was late and the pilots were disciplined. So it is with our spiritual lives, even though God has plans for us, we need to be alert, listening and ready for action, not just moving forward on autopilot. Granted in the routine of our lives, the busyness of every day, the routine of established ministries there is a danger that we will begin to travel on autopilot. God has been challenging me to be more alert, to listen as God prompts, to ponder the Word to make sure that God is not calling me to change directions, to reevaluate what I have been doing. Have I been living on auto pilot, have I missed an opportunity, is God wanting me to change directions, am I walking in the plan He has for me?

Monday, December 03, 2012

Jores–We Made It!

It’s good to be back at our home in Jinja. Thanks for praying for our trip!

To read more about the transition for our family, click on this link to our blog:

Nate, Rhoda and family