Building Dedication Service

Dedication

Outside of Church Building

Last Saturday evening we had a building dedication service.  It was a great event that is the culmination of lots of work but the beginning of lots more.  The building is awesome.  When I visited South Brazil in 2015 the church was in the process of purchasing the land for this building.  I can remember talking with the missionary about his dream for the building.  I think that this building is different than his dream but it is still awesome.

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Pre Service Conversations

The dedication really showed off how large the church building is.  There was plenty of room to have 200+ seats for a service and then to also have enough room to have an after service hang out area.  It was very encouraging to see people from 5+ churches attend the 8 pm Saturday night service.  I was so encouraged to see all of excitement that the church body had at this dedication.

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Packed House – Church members brought their own chairs

I am looking forward to all of the different ways that this building is going to be used.  It is my prayer that the LORD would use this building for his glory and many opportunities for ministry would be facilitated through this building.

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Someone Wanted a Picture with Me

Culture Shock: Battle for Control

I still battling culture shock on many different fronts.  One of the fronts which I have seen the war rage is that of control.  When I first arrived in Brazil I was warned by other missionaries that control would be one of the areas that I struggled.  I have strived in my life to be under control in many ways.  It actually scares me to not be in control.  In Brazil I am not in control in many ways.

food 1

Cheese Stuffed Bacon Avocado Burger

The lack of control has been difficult to deal with.  I find myself complaining when I am not able to control the situation.

food 2

Grilled Chicken and Pad Thai

I am able to control what I eat when I cook the food.  It is good to be able to cook different kinds of food that feel like eating.  I really enjoy using all of the fresh ingredients and great meat which are available around here.  The only draw back for all of this cooking is that I have to do all of the cleanup after cooking.

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Steak with Bell Peppers and Onions

As I battle culture shock by exerting control I am continually reminded that I need to trust that the LORD is in control even when I am not.  I have found myself thinking of Proverbs 3:5-6 continually and trusting in the LORD to work everything out.  I am also thinking lots about Romans 8:28 where simple truths are presented that are a great comfort to me.  The truths which bring me comfort are “God is actively at work,” “God is working these events together for good,” and “God has made a plan.”

food

Chicken Fritters and Rice

Church Building Dedication Service

Lots of work has gone into completing the church building for Ministerio Biblico Ivoti.  I have had the joy of helping with many different parts of this construction.  I am looking forward to the dedication service which will take place on July 8th.  However before the dedication service the church will be hosting a missions conference on June 30-July 2.

 

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Dedication Service Poster

 

Church Building Construction Continues

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to work on different parts of the church building.  I have enjoyed constructing some of the cabinets.  I am so thankful for having the tools that I brought with me from the United States they have been very helpful.

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Constructing Cabinets

The second floor is a great place for ministry.  There is a huge room which is great for ministry.  The picture below also shows the two offices on the second floor.

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Second floor Ministry Room

One of the most beautiful parts of the new building construction is a mural which was painted by a short term missionary.  I know that the little kids and especially the teachers/parents are going to love viewing it.

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Mural in Kid’s Room

There are two beautiful bathrooms in the building.  It is great to see the church coming together.

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Beautiful Bathrooms

New and Old Buildings

The new building was not completed in time for the dedication service last Sunday.  Instead we had a time of prayer and gratitude before the church service.  It was great to see the looks on some of the people who attended the time of prayer and gratitude.

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Entrance into New Building

Everyone enjoyed the progress that has been made on the building.  The main area will be a great place for church services, soccer, basketball and other activities.

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Gratitude for New Building

After seeing the new building we came back for the church service in the current building.  It was great to see all of the people worshiping.

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Packed Service

This church service also was a send off for the missionary who helped start this church.  The Richner’s are going on furlough and last Sunday was their last service in Brasil.

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Expression of Gratitude to Missionaries

 

Construction Continues on the Church

The construction has continued on the church building.  It is so cool to see it going up.  We are hoping to have the dedication service this Sunday.  At this point the outside is looking very good.

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The outside is painted and really coming together.

Looking forward to the floor being painted in the sports area.  This will be where lots of activities happen and the church meetings are held.

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The inside is painted and the sports court/sanctuary looks great.

The rear of the church had to have fire resistant drywall and a small wall by the stairs needed to be constructed due to fire safety regulations.  The building code required the redesign of the building to include the fire resistant drywall and wall blocking off the stairs.  I am glad that this issue was found before the building construction was completed.

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The rear area and second story are progressing very well.

The room’s on the second floor consist of two offices and a large multipurpose room.  This room will have games and activities for all ages.

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The main room on the second floor will be huge.

A surprise for me when I last walked through the building was a mural that a short term missionary was painting.  It looks very good.  I can’t wait to see the completed mural.  I know that the kids and their parents will enjoy seeing this mural when they have church on Sunday mornings.

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The mural in the children’s room.

 

Baptism

On last Saturday I was able to attend a Baptism.  I was so excited to come to this baptism because I remember sharing the gospel with Carlos when I last visited in November/December 2015.

Baptism

Pre Baptism Fellowship

Carlos was one of the stories that I shared about my visit to Brazil while I was raising support to come back.  Carlos was one who attended the Hangout but didn’t want to talk about spiritual things.  While I was visiting the Hangout one night he asked a question that lead to a conversation where I was able to present the gospel to him.   He did not repent at that time but eventually he did repent.

Baptism 1

The Immersion

Over the last year and a half Carlos has repented and been discipled by one of the missionaries.  The missionary who has been discipling is going on furlough and he wanted to be baptized before the missionary left.  It is great to see answered prayers.

Baptism 2

Post Immersion

 

Church Work Day

This past Saturday we had a church work day in Ivoti.  It was great to see all of the people from the church who came to help.  I think that we made lots of progress during that one day.

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Preparing to Work

One of the things which really helped the painting during the church work day was using a paint sprayer.  It seems like Brazilians do not prefer to use a sprayer but using one really helped speed up the process.

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Spraying the wall with paint

We divided the work that needed to be done on Saturday.  There was the guys painting the rear wall, the bottom floor interior group, the second floor interior group and the front interior group.

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Painting the outside of the building

The second floor group did a great job painting the wall.  I helped up here and enjoyed painting with all of the ladies.

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Working on the second floor

The second floor looks great now that the painting has been done, the floor has been poured, and the water tanks have been installed.

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Progress on the second floor

The back wall looks great from all the work that the back wall crew did.

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Progress completed on the back of the building

We got lots of painting done on the front of the building and lots of gravel placed.

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Progress completed on the front of the building

 

Church Construction

The construction has continued in the church and lots of progress has been made.  I am so excited to see how the new church building is progressing.  It took a long time but the concrete floor has been poured.

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The floor has been poured.

After the concrete was poured it was time to start the block wall construction of the rear rooms.  The first floor rooms are walled in with blocks.  It was great to see the walls going up in the rear of the building.

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Walls are going up.

Not only did the rear walls go up pretty fast but the installation of the stairwell meant that we could finally access the second floor without a ladder.

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Rear walls are almost completed

Not only has the interior been worked on but the exterior has been coming along as well.  It is great to see the after effects of the blasting that was previously done.  The church is built on bedrock and the bedrock had to be blasted to open up a space for the septic system.

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Septic tanks have been installed.

The area around the septic tanks is being backfilled with soil to eventually provide some parking places for the church.

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Septic tanks have been almost covered

The view from the second floor shows how large the church actually is.  There is a huge concrete area where soccer, basketball, and sports can be played.

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The interior of the church is huge

 

Explosions Rock the Church

It was very interesting to watch the blasting of the bedrock so that the church could put in a septic system in their new building.  When we drove up I noticed that there was only one small sign along the street across from where the blasting was about to occur.  As we walked up to the area where the explosions were to occur I began to notice the lack of safety measures.  I will mention just a few of the things which would have been present if this were done in the US: no hardhats were worn by the blasting crew, the area was not roped off, and there were no high visibility vests warn by the crew.  The lack of safety measures meant that this little boy in the picture below and the rest of us could walk right up to where they were blasting to watch them get set up and then we walked about 100 feet away and were able to watch the explosions take place.  It was great to be able to feel the pressure wave that some of the blasts created.

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The only warning sign.

One of the church members is actually in charge of the dynamite and the blasting which is about to take place.  It was very interesting to see how he had already drilled and filled all of the holes he was to blast with dynamite even though he was going to blow them in sections.  I think that it would be fun to have his job.  FYI look at the picture below and see the box of dynamite which is 10-15 feet away from the first section he was going to blast that day.

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The Master Blaster

One of the safety measures was the use of old tires and what appears to be an overturned truck bed to stop the rock from flying everywhere after the explosion.  They dropped off all of the tires and then proceeded to move them over each section that was going to be exploded using a back hoe.

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Preparation for the explosion

One of the video’s that I took you could actually see the church building lift up a little because of the power released during that explosion.  It was also interesting to see the “Master Blaster” light the fuse and run away until he felt he was at a safe distance and then he would walk away until the explosion happened.  It was fascinating to watch this process happen and I also appreciate the results of the work.

Dynomite

After the blasting was completed