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DOUBLE the Good News…

Do you remember this picture of our Promise Flower that bloomed the day Anna died? If you don’t remember, here’s a refresher of what I originally wrote in my post entitled First Fruits & Ruth Update posted on September 28, 3 days after Anna died:

Ruth’s mom Becky found a single stem plant that split and bloomed into two beautiful flowers. It was the very first flower that that plant had every had- it’s first fruit – and it was perfect and beautiful. Did I mention it bloomed the morning Anna passed away? It has become a symbol of hope in Ruth’s hospital room, a promise flower, and we believe it says something about our future. Twins? I don’t know – I hope so! Does it signify the first fruits of Marlison & Luana that received the Gospel after hearing Anna’s story? I believe so. Does it mean even more things? Probably. But most of all it means hope.

Well, it turns out that it meant exactly that – TWINS!!! We found out at Ruth’s ultrasound this morning that we are indeed having twins – identical twins! They are almost 7 weeks along an measure .85 cm and .75 cm with healthy little heartbeats!

When I saw that it was twins I was so thrilled that tears started to well up in my eyes. Ruth’s mom Becky started jumping up and down and later confessed that she nearly kissed the doctor, even though he had nothing to do with it except to share the good news. It has been a huge thrill to tell people that Ruth’s pregnant with twins. It was very good to tell my dad, mom and Ruth’s dad and see the tears in their eyes again- but this time from joy! God be praised – He deserves all the glory!

Twins also means much more bed rest for Ruth. There was a small section of her placenta that is detached from the uterus, which is of some concern. So be praying that that heals up quickly and the bed rest does the trick. Ruth will be going to the doctor this afternoon and learning more of what we should be doing. It may also mean that I would cut my trip to the States shorter to be able to get back to care for my pregnant wife! Thank you for your prayers – God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!

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There and Back Again: The Reutter’s Tale about Rio Branco

Let's Fly Away!
Let's Fly Away!

We have a great update for you – the youth retreat in Rio Branco went wonderful! Thank you for all your prayers, for a great retreat, safe travels, and a good time: they were sure answered powerfully. Now come with us and see what our trip was like!

Don’t forget, you can click any one of these photos to see them in a larger slideshow window.

Traveling Through the Amazon



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Our Trip through the Amazon

We left super early Thursday, Feb 19 – a 2 am flight from here to Manaus, a large city of several million people situated another 500 miles up the Amazon River. This is our preferred entrance point when coming from the States, as it cuts several thousand miles and many hours off of a trip that otherwise goes way far south to São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.

The amazon river near Manaus is just enormous - planting churches in remote villages like these is expensive and challenging
The amazon river near Manaus is just enormous - planting churches in remote villages like these is expensive and challenging

We arrived in Manaus around 3:30 AM and were graciously picked up by fellow missionaries Grant & Regina Cail and Jim & Julie Benson (actually just Grant and Jim came to the airport!). We crashed at their house and got a few hours of sleep before getting up and touring the new houses they’re building. It’s a beautiful plot of land in a good area of town. The Cails and Benson just recently moved to Manaus from Santarém to help the base develop their medical and church planting program.

The beautiful piece of land where the Cails and Bensons are building
The beautiful piece of land where the Cails and Bensons are building

They live very close to the PAZ campground in Manaus, so we also went there to visit and see around as well. The campground is a nice piece of property in the middle of Manaus, although you wouldn’t be able to tell because the grounds are surrounded by jungle. They also were preparing for their big youth camp. There were lots of great plants and flowers to photograph, so I had a particularly good time!

PAZ's jungle campgrounds in the middle of Manaus
PAZ's jungle campgrounds in the middle of Manaus
Folks, this is how a pinapple grows.
Folks, this is how a pinapple grows.
Jungle foliage is quite festive
Jungle foliage is quite festive
Bees and flowers have got to be one of the oldest love affairs
Bees and flowers have got to be one of the oldest love affairs

That afternoon we left to go to Porto Velho (“Old Port”), where we had a one day layover! Porto Velho is one home to one of our PAZ bases; a city of over a half a million people. It is also capital of the small Brazilian state of Rodônia. We stayed with Pastor Jango and his family. There, we were thrilled to go to a real shopping mall and have real mall food! That may not sound great, but when you’re away from it for over a year, it tastes great! 🙂 We staked out the deals so that when we came back through Porto Velho, we could take advantage and do some necessary shopping.

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A Great Kick Forward

We just got done with a marathon of conferences, and we have come out more challenged then ever in the great task of reaching the Amazon Basin, Brazil and South America. Ruth came out of it exhausted and a little sick, as she was very involved in the planning and implementation of the two conferences.

Welcome to Camp Shalom and home of the 2009 PAZ Leadership Conference
Welcome to Camp Shalom, home of the 2009 PAZ Leadership Conference

Our speaker for our last 2 conferences was Pastor Harold Weitsz of Little Falls Christian Center in South Africa. He and his wife Maude blessed and wowed us with their presence. Over the last 2 weeks we have learned so much about how to be a victorious Christian. Pastor Harold and Maude have plenty of room to talk about that area, being some of the largest, modern-day spiritual giants I know.

Pastor Harold Weitsz
Pastor Harold Weitsz

Pastor Harold told us about how, when he got serious about God, he thoroughly studied the Bible – going through New Testament 6 times in the first month of his studies – not just reading, but studying!

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Here Come the Conferences!

Here they come, 3 Conferences in 2 weeks! Ruth has been heavily involved in planning, organizing and coordinating the details of these 3 conferences that will set the tone of the coming 5 years with Project AmaZon. Here’s how they break down:

  1. Base Leaders Meetings
  2. This is a meeting of the base leaders of Project AmaZon. It starts today (Monday) and goes until Thursday. (Ruth and I are not involved with this conference- only some of the planning)

  3. PAZ Leadership Conference
  4. This is our huge, bi-annual, church-leadership conference for many pastors of PAZ and missionaries. It will be a key time of vision casting, leadership training, fellowship and spiritual refreshing. This year we are launching the project 1000 by 2014 – our great goal to plant a total of 1,000 churches by 2014 (we currently have 500)! The keynote speaker this year is Harold Weitsz from South Africa. He has had tremendous success in church planting and developing Bible Schools in Africa. Look for the exciting details of this conference in the weeks to come on www.projectamazon.org.

    A sneak peak at the logo I developed for our brand new initiative, 1000 by 2014.  Be looking for it in English, shortly!
    A sneak peak at the logo I developed for our brand new initiative, 1000 by 2014. Be looking for it in English, shortly!
  5. PAZ Missionary Conference
  6. Last, but not least, our annual PAZ Missionary Conference, specifically for the English speaking missionaries with PAZ. This is always a special time of fellowship and spiritual renewal.

Please pray for these conferences: that everyone would remain safe, that all the details would work out, that we would be filled with faith and for a special visitation of God that would energize us for the tremendous work ahead. Please pray also for our car! Yes, our car seemingly knows exactly when it would be most inconvenient to break down. It broke down right before our last big conference that we were involved in (the MDA Conference last October) and the other day, while running around preparing this conference, it broke down again! We thank you for your prayers and support – now let’s go plant some churches!!

Men are always impressed with big water tanks.  These two, new, 20,000 liter tanks replace the old, unreliable system at camp.  They're a part of a large new project to improve our facilities.
Men are always impressed with big water tanks. These two, new, 20,000 liter tanks replace the old, unreliable system at camp. They're a part of a large new project to improve our facilities.
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A Reutter’s Year in Review

The Hrubik family girls

Happy New Year! It feels like it’s been a year since our last update (heh heh – some jokes never get old). We took some time off to get away from work and the town (and the internet) and spend some precious time with family. All of Ruth’s family are in town this holiday season, and it has been wonderful to be together. Get ready to enjoy lots of pictures from this Holiday season – you’ll see it was more than just a fun family time.

Before getting to the pictures, Ruth and I just want to once again emphasize our thankfulness to you – your love, support, Christmas cards & notes (which we receive each day!) and willingness to partner in Kingdom work. We feel so blessed and are trusting the Lord for a wonderful 2009! We also pray each day for you, that you would be blessed as you continue to be a blessing in God’s Kingdom.

Ruth Update

We have good news and bad news. Against the norm, we’ll share the good news first: the doctor said Ruth is nearly fully recovered, doing exceptionally well. He is ordering tons of tests for Ruth, just to go over everything very well to see if there is anything to watch out for in Ruth’s next pregnancy. He believes Ruth’s next pregnancy will be a healthy one, and our next baby as well! Praise God – that’s what we’re praying for!

The bad news: the doctor said that given the outcome of her last pregnancy, she should play the next one super safe and not do any air travel at all while she is pregnant. That means if we get pregnant when we hope to (some time this Spring), Ruth will not be able to travel to the US (or anywhere via airplane, for that matter). I was super bummed to hear that, because our life and plans, once again, were thrown in the air and left hanging. Among many other things, we’re learning to be more flexible! Ha! So now we’re in a “wait and see” pattern. If anything, I (Nate) will probably come to the States alone in August and have an abbreviated stay – visiting family, friends and our 4 supporting churches. Of course, this is all subject to when Ruth gets pregnant. If she doesn’t get pregnant before our trip to the States, she’ll be able to come, but we are praying that she gets pregnant as soon as she is healthy, which, pending these tests, would seem to be very soon. Keep our us and our plans before the Lord and we will trust together that the Lord will work everything out for the best! OK, enough talk, lets see some pictures!

The Picture Portion of a Phabulous Update

One of my Christmas presents this year was a new Nikon DSLR camera. Wow! What a wonderful gift- I’m loving it! About the only way to top that would be if someone wanted to give us a house. Any takers? Ha! Just look at some of the great photos we took: