Our church folks have continued to meet faithfully at church as well in the homes of members this past month. Even though the winter has set in and temps have dropped, our young group of believers have remained steadfast.
For the past several years we have been praying for a little boy in our church named Miguel. He was born with abnormally large adenoids and tonsils. This has caused him to have terrible breathing problems as well as speech delay. Because Brazil has socialized medicine, the doctors put Miguel on a waiting list. He is now 3 years old and has struggled continuously, BUT this past week God opened the doors for him to have surgery. His mom was so happy that God provided this miracle and we were able to pray with her by phone as her son recovered. Praise the LORD for His goodness!
We have several families with young children in our church who are seeking alternative education for their little ones. Because of this and her years of teaching, Sheri has been asked to participate in the organization of a private school in Lages. Please be in prayer as we seek direction about this matter and for God's will concerning these families and any future ministry opportunities we may have.
This past month we traveled to the GPA National Campmeeting in Georgia and were able to give an update on our ministry as well as catch up with old friends. Then we traveled up to our home church in WV. I had the privilege of filling the pulpit for my pastor, Dr. John Smith, at Teays Valley Baptist. It was a real joy to see so many dear folks who are such a huge part in sending us to Brazil. We also were able to get our information packets and prayer cards designed for our upcoming meetings. (Thank you Allison McKay for all your hard work!) We will have a BRAND NEW family website up and running soon, so keep your eyes and ears open for updates about that in our next report!
Pray for us as we try and minister here and in Brazil during these coming months. It is hard to be away from our church in Lages but God has really encouraged us that the work is His and He is in control.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers!
Mark and Sheri Edwards
Our family has been back on US soil for just over one month now. A lot has transpired during this time and we want to start this update by giving God the praise, honor, and glory! He has continually provided a way for us to have transportation, a place to live near our children and begin preparing our presentation material for our upcoming meetings. He is FAITHFUL!
Recently our city has experienced heavy rainfall. While it is normal to receive rain this time of year, it has been heavier than usual. Because of these rains, Lages has been flooded in many of the neighborhoods, including the one where IBBI is located (see pic above). Last week the church was completely underwater and services were suspended. After the water receded, one of the ladies took it upon herself to clean and scrub out the entire building. Our chairs are plastic, so there was no loss to seating, but we did lose our entire nursery and Children's Church along with much of our kitchen. While this is a minor setback, it did NOT stop our people from wanting to know what they could do to help so they could attend church services. I praise the LORD for their desire to continue in the things they have learned! It has encouraged me to see their commitment to the LORD and His work. Keep praying for IBBI! They have seen high days since we traveled and the work continues to grow and prosper. Praise God
May was a FULL month. We attended our oldest daughter's graduation from PCC, moved our youngest daughter into the dorms at PCC, and then turned around and moved the oldest to Arizona where she will be teaching Kindergarten at a Christian School in Flagstaff. Wyatt is living in the dorms and working in the print shop as well as the Summer Camp at PCC. Sam will begin his senior year of high school in just a few weeks while on the road with us for meetings. We have been on a fast, non-stop pace since we arrived, but God has been good and we are blessed to have this time with our children.
This coming Monday, June 12th, we will travel to Atlanta Georgia for the GPA National Campmeeting. We are looking forward to this week of preaching and teaching at our Mission Agency. Following these meetings we will trek north to West Virginia to visit our home church among other supporting churches, family and friends. During this time we will be giving reports, creating a new prayer card and video presentation, as well as scheduling more meetings for the fall and spring. Please pray for our travels and for productivity!
I would like to thank those of you who have made it your personal mission to help us during the past few weeks. Pastors have called me to check on our family, pray with me and help us along our way. This has truly meant a great deal to me. One man from Orlando decided he would reserve and pay for every hotel Sheri and Katie had to stay in on their trip to Arizona and the trip back. Another lady has provided us with a gas card. Friends and family have sent funds to pay for the added expenses, others have messaged us daily to tell us they are praying. All of this has proven to us what we already know to be true, GOD pays attention and He keeps ALL His promises. We are humbled by the generosity we have seen and we are thankful.
Please keep praying for Lages and our ministry because we have much to do and accomplish in His Name there. We are currently at 70% of our needed support and need time to replace support we have lost over the last 7 years. We are thankful for this time of furlough and would love to come by and present our work in your churches. You can reach me at (352) 895-5334 and Sheri at (352) 895-7107 or by email at email@example.com to schedule a time for us to come by this year. We want to be as much of a blessing to you as you have been to us over the years!
In the Service of the Saviour,
Mark and Sheri Edwards
From the Edwards Family in Lages-SC, Brazil