Latest newsletter – BIG NEWS

•September 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Click the below link to see our last newsletter in pdf form. I am also posting both pages as images here.

newsletter jul 2014

newsletter jul 2014 pg1 newsletter jul 2014 pg2

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Merry Christmas!!!

•December 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Merry Christmas to you!!!!  Our family, except Micah, who traveled to the states earlier in the year, have been on furlough for almost 4 months.  We have been extremely busy but have have had LOTS of fun and wonderful fellowship with our family and friends.  We loved arriving in the states late summer after most of the hot weather had passed. We immensely enjoyed the fabulous fall weather and the absolutely beautiful fall tress.  The leaves were vibrant with a range of colors.The pumpkin orange was the favorite of mine, but Brent loved the  fiery red, and we both were amazed at how brightly the yellow leaves shone up against the black tree trunks.  It was amazing to see, and enjoy.  We experienced once again, bonfires, starry nights, s’mores, camping, and the smell of the fallen leaves on our many long walks in the woods.

We also loved spending Thanksgiving with Brent’s family in O’Fallon.  Brent and I cooked the turkey, fixings, and I made some pies. We were blessed to host our family in a house that our friends let us stay in.  They actually went to visit their family in TX so we could have the house to ourselves.  How thoughtful is that!!!   We thank you Mike and Carol!  It was so much fun to host Thanksgiving again just like we used to do when we lived in the states.

                                             

Thanksgiving Dinner

I posted alot more pictures of our adventures on Facebook if you want to check them all out.

We also have the privilege this year to spend Christmas with my family in IL.  This is the first time in 7 years that we will be “home” for Christmas.  We have enjoyed seeing houses and lawns decorated with beautiful Christmas lights,   the awesome Christmas music everyday on the radio, the wonderful cookies, candy and hot drinks by the fireplace! Another perk about being home this time of year is being able to wear long sleeved cotton shirts, down coats with a hood, and those warm fussy thick socks and slippers….I know,  it doesn’t take long to make us smile, does it..

Even though we love all the Christmas activities, sights and sounds; we know that those things are not the reason we celebrate Christmas.  Jesus Is the Reason for it all.  We rejoice that Jesus was born in that lowly manage so long ago, and HIS name is Immanuel!

Celebrate CHRISTmas!!!!

Some of my family on my dad's side in December.

Jesus us the Reason for this Season!!!!

With  love,

The Gregorys!!

What’s up with us: a new ministry, new friends, a graduate and a new daughter.

•May 27, 2011 • 3 Comments

About 7 months ago the leadership of our mission asked Brent and I to be the new member care coordinators. Humm you may ask. What is a member care coordinator? Well, we asked the same question.  After much prayer we decided that this was God’s will for our lives; however, we admitted we knew nothing about member care and would need some training.  So a organization that PAZ is partnering with for member care suggested we go to a 2 week training in PA with a non profit organization called Heartstream Resources.  We were really excited to learn what God had to teach us. SO in April we arrived in Liverpool, PA at the peak of spring. It was so beautiful. Now, understand neither Brent nor I had seen God’s glorious springtime for 7 years!!!  We were in awe of the beauty.  Every tree that blossoms was in  full bloom with pink, white, purple, lilac, and red flowers. Then on top of that,  all the spring flowers were arraying the world with their beautiful colors.  Liverpool also sits on the Susquehanna River with hills all around so besides learning so much about member care those two weeks we enjoyed the beauty of Liverpool, PA.

The view from our bedroom window.

The Member care course is taught by founder Dr.Lois Dobbs who with her husband served as missionaries with Wycliffe Translators for 23 years.  They have 30 years in the care and training of missionaries.  She has a doctorate in counseling and her late husband was a medical doctor.  After returning to the United States from Peru the Dodds began Heartstream Resources in 1992.  Lois is a very insightful, wise woman with much experience in cross cultural missions. Her knowledge about member care comes from decades of experience.  We learned the practical side of member care, the foundations of member care and then how to implement member care in our situations.  There we learned SOOO much and realized this is only the tip of the iceberg, and there is so much more to learn, and we are very excited to learn more.

Our group was made of 11 with much diversity.  We had 3 Korean women, a couple from Thailand, one young woman who was Cambodian Kiwi now living in Canada, one from England, one from Scotland. Then the last two were stationed in the US but do missions literally all over the world.  We  quickly became good friends with everyone.

Our group including the staff who diligently served us each day.

our group with the staff                               Our precious friends. SaRangHae!

Laughter is good medicine for the soul!

When we had sessions of prayer it was so beautiful to hear each one pray in their various languages. It brought me to tears to think, “This is what heaven will be like!  Every tribe and tongue crying out before the throne, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty…”..I can only imagine…..

This past Sunday my son Micah, who is now 23, and Lidiane Castro, 22, made their engagement official in front of our congregation.  It was truly a joyous moment.  Many of their friends gathered for their declaration of commitment and love.  I asked Lidi if I could begin calling her my daughter (a minha filha) she smiled  big and said, “Yes.”  So now I have a daughter!  She is a godly young woman who truly loves Jesus. It is so beautiful how God has put their lives together.  She is the fruit of literally 23 years of prayer for Micah’s wife. God is so faithful and has heard our prayers.   I know God has wonderful plans for their lives as they serve Jesus together.

Micah and Lidiane

Beginning their lives together with prayer.

David graduates from high school in June.  Way to go David!

Wow. Is that really possible!?  Where did the time go?  Do you find yourself asking that same question about your life? When David graduates, my role as teacher will end.  It’s been apart of who I am for 16 years.  This will be a BIG change in my life, but I know God has plans for that time I spent teaching already ordained.

I am so thankful God is in control of ALL things, He already knows what is ahead and He has ordained my days so I know I can trust Him.  Recently a friend blessed me with this scripture from Psalm 37:5 .

Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him. 

Well, that’s what is new with us.  Let me know what’s going on in your life, ok.  Love ya!!

2 John:4 – Walking in the Truth

•May 3, 2010 • 6 Comments

When I read 2 John: 4, I can relate to the Apostle John’s feeling for his spiritual children.  It gives me as a mom no greater JOY than to see my children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded.

When we moved to Brazil our children were older.  Micah had just turned 16 and David was 11 1/2 years old.  It is not the most ideal time to move your kids to another country!  They had to pack up everything they owned, leave all their family and friends, and make a major adjustment.  Brent and I could not have asked them to do this if it hadn’t been  a family decision and if we hadn’t been sure that it was God’s timing for us to make such a drastic change.  Even knowing these two things we prayed that our children would be feel a part of the mission and know that they too are missionaries.  God has been so faithful and has answered our prayers.  We are thrilled that our children have indeed been missionaries these past  5 years  and continue to walk in the truth as the Father has commanded.  Over the years I have posted pictures of Micah and David busy in ministry in Castanhal, but I haven’t posted anything since we have moved to Santarém.

Today, I wanted to share the ministry opportunities David has had this past year in Santarem.  David absolutely loves it here.  The town is much safer than where we lived before so he has more freedom to walk or ride his bike around town.  He not only makes river ministry trips, but there are countless beaches for swimming and camping.  He has lots of opportunities to  play soccer and there’s a river front in town to stroll.  He has lots of friends his age that love the Lord and they do ministry together.

a group of David's friends

friends at the beach

Last year him and about 20 of his friends went 5 hours by boat to a community on the river to minister to one of our churches that was in need of encouragement. They had a worship service, a youth service, they performed a couple dramas, and just hung out.  Below is a picture of David in a skit called “The Everything Skit”. The drama focuses on the spiritual warfare being fought for our souls.  At the beginning of the skit, a woman indulges in the pure joy and innocence of finding her first love in Jesus, as He shows her all the wonderful things He has done and has in store for her. But this blissful moment becomes tarnished by seemingly harmless distractions, which turn into temptations and ultimately into deadly sins. Then the battle begins with the forces of darkness, as she and others battle with their own personal sins. Then one by one each are set free! Jesus fends off and defeats the demonic attackers who are after their very souls!!!  At the end of this skit 24 people received Christ as their savior in this river community. It brought such joy to David and the others.

David and his part in the skit

Jesus has the Victory over sin!!!

David also is part of a cell group of about 10 young guys  that meets weekly for a time in the word, worship, and fellowship.  Then on another night of the week, that group and some others meet for prayer.  The cell groups are divided into areas depending on where you live in the city. We live in the green area, so the picture to the right below is some of the youth dressed in green.  Their shirts say, “The roar of the Lion” (each area chooses a slogan).  They were going to a huge cell group celebration at church.

The Roar of the Lion

David's prayer group

David has also had the privilege of helping build a church on the Amazon River at the village Correio do Tapará.

the church before they started working

the church at the end of 4 days of work

digging a trench

One of David’s favorite ministries is teaching English to Brazilians.  Because of his schedule he only has two students at this time.  His students names are Márcia and Gerley.

teaching Marcia

teaching English to Brazilians

Even though David is very busy he still finds time to play soccer with his friends, and he wanted to make sure those  pics were included here.  He loves to play sports and does miss hockey and bowling from the states, but as long as he plays plenty of soccer he doesn’t miss those American sports too much.

Going to steal the ball!

goalie!

Blocking the goal!

a few guys he plays soccer with

We praise God that David and Micah both have adapted so well to life in Brazil. It is truly the grace of God.  We as their parents do not take this for granted.  We give God all the glory and praise.  Thank you for taking the time to get better acquainted with David’s life.

Best friends

love for one another

surprise pizza party for his 17th b-day

Alligator for dinner

Anyone for alligator?  The teams that go out on the rivers to do ministry get to go alligator hunting one night.  This poor fellow was the next meal for the team.

We would love for you to come down and see our lives personally.  Our doors are always open

A Very Special Visitor

•April 5, 2010 • 1 Comment

We were so happy to have Brent’s mom Shirley come to Santarém! She had visited us in Castanhal two years ago, and now that we have moved she came again to see where we live, meet our friends, see our new ministries and visit the beautiful beaches.  We had a great time.

We had some great adventures with her. We went on a boat trip to a community named  Uquena.  It is about 5 hours by boat up the Tapajós River.  We stayed three nights. There is a cell group and strong leader in Uquena.  We went with a group of people from town to do evangelistic outreach, leadership training, and just to encourage this small group of believers.  Through the outreach during those 3 days several people accepted Christ and good connections were made with the community. A local man, not yet a believer, signed the document donating land for us to build a church (he has since come to Christ). It was truly a fruitful trip!

Cell leader Josué shared his testimony for us.

Here's Shirley enjoying herself on a amall boat!

Praying over the land that was donated for the new PAZ church!

We all loved this little monkey and she posed for every picture!

Besides the boat trip , Shirley got to spend a lot of time with the boys, meeting their friends and sitting and catching up on their lives. We went to many beaches, swam, walked down at the river front at night, had long talks, laughed a lot, and took some side trips with friends.

A group of friends we spent the day with!

Having lots of fun in the cold and clear stream.

Mom and Tia (aunt) Rita strolling along the beach!

Family picture

It was a very special time.  Thanks Shirley for coming!!  We are waiting for your next visit!

Be sure to check out the newly designed PAZ website, it’s beautiful!  http://www.projectamazon.org

We’ve Moved!

•October 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Late last year we were invited by PAZ leadership to work at the mission headquarters.  After much prayer we decided it was the Lord’s will so once more we packed up everything we own and moved to Santarém.  Only an hour by plane but 3 days by boat on the Amazon River or 3 days by car on the very rough Transamazon “Highway”.  Santarém is a city of about 250,00 people and it sits between the Amazon River and the Tapajos River.  It is called the “Pearl of the Tapajos”.  There are beautiful white sand beaches everywhere, and plenty of jungle to explore!

River front of Santarem

River front of Santarem

We are thrilled to join this team of about 20 North Americans and 7 Brazilian missionaries. It is truly wonderful to see first hand how PAZ has grown to such a huge presence in this city since the beginning 30 years ago! To see first hand the churches that have been built through a passion to win the lost, and the MDA model of cell groups and one to one discipleship. It is so fun to meet some of the very first Brazilians that were won to the Lord , over 25 years ago, who  are now pastors and church planters!

PAZ has 13 churches in the city with a total of 32 services every Sunday! There are over 4,400 cell groups that meet every week, and 400 river churches. Our family attends the Central Church which has over 15,00 members. I have two pictures posted.  So there is a huge ministry in Santarém and it is a joy to be a part of this!  There are many other ministries within PAZ that I have not listed. If you want to read more then click on the link I have posted.

Central Church

Central Church

Worshippers at Central Church

Worshipers at Central Church

Our family has quickly adjusted and we are very busy. Brent is overseeing the new missionaries and language program, working with major partners, and quite a variety of other duties in the mission. Connie is  teaching David his junior year of high school and building friendships, assisting Brent in overseeing the new missionaries,  and we are a part of a strong and growing cell group.

David is having a blast with all of his friends. He is very active in cell group, and he is also ministering in drama and dance. Recently his cell group performed the skit “Everything” several times over one weekend to different groups and 25 people received Christ!! They were all excited! He also finds time to play lots of soccer and go swimming.

Micah is studying nursing in college and is about to finish his first year. He is also teaching English and is very active in cell group and discipleship.

Much to come and I promise to be more faithful with the blog.

Our Friends from Dardenne!

•January 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In April, we were blessed to have a great team from Dardenne Presbytrian Church in O’Fallon, MO. come to minister . 

One of their team projects was to stop the mosquitos from snacking on all human visitors at the bible school in Maruda.  How were they to do that?  their project was to make screens and install them in every bedroom.  What a great team they were.  The worked very organized and a conscenious, hard working team.  They also ministered to many children in Maruda and a near by island.  The children were truly blessed by the bibile stories, games and crafts.
 

The Dardenne Team

The Dardenne Team