Praise the Lord, thanks to your generosity, we are now driving a car that fits our needs and makes us legal — all without going into any debt! Yes — we were able to buy the Zafira after selling our old car to fellow Brazilian missionaries. They have been walking and riding the bus everywhere, so they are just as thrilled (if not more so) than we! We love the new car and it serves our needs juts perfectly. I can’t say THANK YOU enough to each and every one of you who donated and prayed for our car situation. God has once again proved faithful!
In one week begins our Congresso da Paz 2010, and I am heavily involved in leading praise and worship and launching our new CD during this huge evangelistic event. We have been fasting and praying for months in preparation for this event. We are praying for 2,000 people to come to know the Lord, so pray right along with us for a huge outpouring of God’s grace and salvation! The harvest in Brazil is great, and this is our biggest single evangelistic event all year long. Be praying also for the friends that we’re inviting — that they would feel compelled to come and for the Gospel to find fertil “heart” soil.
We are so very thankful to God for you and the impact you’re having in our lives and through our lives. May God continue to bless you and your family richly.
UPDATE: Since posting this blog post yesterday, we have reached our goal! Praise God! Now pray with us that our car sells quickly and for a fair price so that we can buy our new car.
Do they still run these Visa commercials in the States?
New Basic Ford Fusion in Brazil: $47,167
New Basic Ford Fusion in the U.S.: $19,695
New Basic Toyota Corolla in Brazil: $33,939
New Basic Toyota Corolla in the U.S.: $15,450
New Chevy Zafira Elite (full-size car that taxi drivers prefer) in Brazil: $38,328
Used 2005 Zafira Elite in Brazil: $16,667
Legal and safe transportation for the Reutter family in Brazil: priceless.
And I’m not making up these prices. Welcome to Brazil, where most things run at least twice as expensive as they do in the States. But thanks to your generosity, as of June 9 we have raised $6,100 towards our car and are much closer to being able to purchase a vehicle that we need. The owner of the car we would like to buy has lowered his price from R$35,000 to R$30,000 (or $16,667 at the current exchange rate of R$1.8 per dollar)! He is giving us to Monday before sending it to a used car lot, where the price will once again go back up. If we are able to sell our current car for $8,300, it leaves us just $2,300 more we need to raise by Monday! There are already some buyers interested. Praise the Lord!
A quick recap for those tuning in now: Brazil recently announced that starting June 9, they would enforce the child-seat safety laws that says each child under 7 years old needs to be in a car seat. This would make us illegal, because we drive a compact car around that only one car seat fits into (Ruth holds the other girl in her lap behind me, the driver). We immediately sent out an email to begin raising money — something we had planned on doing over our furlough, but due to the new law we had to start right away.
So many have already given, but if you haven’t yet, there’s still time to bless us and help us reach our goa by Mondayl! The success of our mission depends on our ability to get to the different places we minister.
Now, for some other interesting cost of living in Brazil facts:
Energy in Brazil: $.27 per kWh (kilowatt hour)
U.S. (2009 yearly Illinois average LINK): $.03 per kWh
This one is tough! We Americans are used to air conditioning everything, but when you’re paying so much per kilowatt hour, it makes you think more than twice about turning on the air, even when it’s just a window unit.
$5.91 per gallon
Whoa! Next time you see $3.00 at the pump, thank the Lord that you don’t have to pay Brazil prices!
Two months of intense work have paid off as I just sent off our worship team’s first praise & worship CD entitled Por Ti (For You) for duplication. Ten thousand copies are being made for the launch of the new CD as our worship team leads the worship for the annual Congresso da Paz, the huge 3-night evangelistic event featuring impressive dramas, sets, dances, skits, praise and worship, preaching and — most importantly —salvation! Thousands upon thousands pack out our local soccer stadium to be impacted by the phenomenal event. It is always a highlight in our year.
We covet your prayers as we ask the Lord for a powerful manifestation of His Presence that inspires worship and praise and opens the doors for the salvation of hundreds — even thousands of people! The event will happen Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 2-4. The whole worship team has been fasting and praying since we started preparing for the event two months ago and we continue to fast until the event happens. Check out this short video of highlights from last years’ Congresso.
Another exciting aspect of this years’ Congresso is that all of the proceeds from the CD are going to help the church build its new building that will hold over 10,000 people. Our church right now has an estimated 42,000 people that meet in 45 services all over the city, so this project, we pray, will greatly help the church build it’s new, badly needed building. We don’t want growth to be stagnated because of logistics like building size!
The Girls Grow and Cheer
The girls continue to grow, grow, grow and are a huge success wherever we go. They have both learned how to shake their heads “no.” Needless to say, we are trying to teach them “yes.” They grab for everything, so going into certain stores has now become scary. They talk and talk and talk, even though no one understands them, but we pretend that we do. 🙂 They love car rides and Anna has a new-found love for dogs.
This month is their first true introduction to soccer in Brazil as they compete in the World Cup. The girls wear their green and yellow colors proudly as we cheer Brazil on to what will be their 6th World Cup win!
Since my last post I (Nate) have been super busy working on the new praise & worship CD for the PAZ Central Church in Santarém. We have reached the last week of recording and while we are close to finishing, there is still a lot to record (or re-record in some cases). Recording a CD is a lot of work — for example, for the last couple of months I’ve been working on all the arrangements for the songs, recording them as the arrangements were finished. Just to get an idea of how much time it takes, we spent over an hour just recording the base guitar part for a song on Saturday. That’s just one of the instruments on one of eleven songs! It’s a lot of work, but we are getting excited because we can start to hear the final product and are encouraged!
All the team members have been fasting and praying since the beginning of recording so that we — full of God’s Spirt — can make a CD that honors His Name! I really covet your prayers in these last couple of weeks of the CD production. Next Monday, we will begin the post-production process of mixing and then finally mastering. The CD needs to be ready by the end of May so that we can send it off to be mass-duplicated and have it ready in time for the Congresso in early July!
For God’s blessing and direction on how we prioritize our time and organize these last couple of weeks
That the recordings would be full of God’s Spirit
God’s blessing on our health, our families and our other responsibilities
For the Congresso — that many would come to know and worship Him!
We can’t thank God enough for you — your support, love and prayers that make a difference in all that we do. We look forward to soon announcing the new CD! Also stay tuned to our upcoming announcement on our late summer/early fall furlough schedule, which is near completion! We’d love to see you while we’re back visiting the States in August and September.
The girls just get cuter and cuter as each day passes. They have started eating a little cereal and have learned how to spit (a sputtery spit that sends food everywhere)! Ruth has learned the hard way that they need to be in their diapers when they eat otherwise their clothes are a mess (even with a bib). We have gotten into a good routine during the day and the girls are taking great naps – now we need to work on our night-time sleep. At their 5-month appointment, Rebecca weighed in at 5.82 kilos and Anna at 5.00 kilos! (Math majors: multiply by 2.2 to figure out what that is in pounds) Praise the Lord, our little ones are growing!
Plans for our late-summer trip to the States are coming together, and soon we will be posting our schedule. We’re really looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible and bringing what some missionaries refer to as “the twins show” to the States.
New PAZ Website
After several months of work, we just recently launched the new PAZ website. The new site is full of great stories and pictures and tells the PAZ story in a whole new way. If you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out and be encouraged by all that God is doing through your partnership with us here in the Amazon!
Some of you saw the photo-book “In the Amazon” I made when I was back in the States last summer. Well, now it’s been adapted into a photo book we’re using for a great PAZ brochure which you can download as a part of the PAZ Pack on the website. For those of you who enjoy beautiful pictures and a good story, this is not to miss! Click here to download.
Singing of God’s Glory
Last October was the first year that the worship team at the PAZ Central church (of which I participate) was asked to lead the worship for the National MDA Conference (read about that conference here). Weeks before the conference, our team prayed, fasted and rehearsed together. God honored our requests and the worship was very anointed. Our pastors and leadership received so much positive feedback from that conference that it set in motion plans to write and produce new songs, record a CD and launch it regionally at this years’ Congresso da Paz in early July (a huge 3-night evangelistic event — click here to read about it) and nationally at the MDA Conference in mid-October (which we will be leading again).
Last December I was asked to produce the CD. Now that the new website has been launched, work on the CD has begun with fervor. We have already begun praying, fasting and rehearsing our new songs. Several song-writers from the PAZ church have been chosen to have music on the CD, and I will arrange and orchestrate the music. Afterwards, I pass it along to our musicians and singers to learn. A number of songs are well on their way, but with 2 months to get all of the work done, there’s still a lot to do. I really covet your prayers for continued blessing in this effort!
Kingdom of God in 1st Place
At God’s heart is people and His will that none should perish but all have eternal life. He has called each and everyone of us to be disciple-makers. If we’re not making disciples, it doesn’t matter if we have great websites or great worship ministries, we’re missing the very heart of God for mankind. Here at PAZ, we have the amazing vehicle of cell groups and one-on-one discipleship that prioritizes this church-wide. Ruth and I continue to work with our cell group and disciples. We want to see our group grow through winning new people for Christ and then integrate them into our group. This is the cry of our hearts: that we could be fruitful followers of Christ, impacting and loving the people God has put under our care. Please pray with us that we would win the people we’re going after for Christ and integrate them into our group. Pray that our current helpers would respond to God’s calling in their lives to make disciples and commit to leading future cell groups. Pray that we can multiply our group in July!
And as always, we continually thank God for you and your ministry to us with your faithful prayers and support, without which we could not be here having an eternal impact. May God richly bless you and your family!