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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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Update

Summer Plans*

*Plans subject to change

Whenever you see a * it’s always worth seeing what it means, isn’t it? Many times it means that the statement made is not exactly as stated – it is a disclaimer or what was claimed!

Take our rivers for example. There really should be an asterisk used with our rivers: the Amazon River* (*flooding subject to change). Cities and towns all over the Amazon plan on it flooding every year, but there are still years when it sure goes outside “the norm” and rises further and faster than other years. This year is a great example. The river typically crests in June, but already it has reached as far if not further than it’s crest height! It will be interesting to see just how high it will come.

Yes- this is a street in Alter do Chão completely submerged by the early flood waters
Yes- this is a street in Alter do Chão completely submerged by the early flood waters

Take our summer plans as another example. Ever since coming down here to Brazil, Ruth and I had planned to have our first furlough this summer- the summer of ’09. It fit great into our family plans, ministry plans, and all of our other “plans.” But God has an interesting way to get us out of our little plans so that we rely on Him. Due to the God’s goodness and Ruth’s pregnancy, we will not be taking our furlough this summer. The doctor said “no way!” that Ruth should travel to the States! Even though we were quite bummed because we were so looking forward to seeing you and visiting again, we know God’s ways are above ours and it will make our reunion next summer (summer of ’10 – Lord willing*) all the better!

I (Nate) am still planning to come to the States for a short visit in August and early September. Both my mom and dad’s side of the family are having reunions in early August and then I will have around 4 weeks to get as much visiting in as I can! I will keep you posted with my travel plans as they firm up more and more, and I really look forward to seeing you.

Ruth and I up on the serra (ridge overlooking the city)
Ruth and I up on the serra (ridge overlooking the city)

In reality, our lives come with a great asterisk on them – we make our plans, but the Lord is in control of it all and we ultimately rely on Him not just for the big things, but for everything. As Ruth and I are learning, it’s not an easy or fun process to learn to trust in the Lord and his timing, but the fruit it bears is a life of hope, patience and peace – and there’s nothing better!

Categories
Music

Two Easter Hymns for You

The "Sing the Power" Cover Art from 2001This morning as I was working on an update for the Project AmaZon website (it’s a great update- go check it out!), I was listening to my music in iTunes. Set to “Random,” the song When I Survey came on – a piano solo/arrangement I did several years ago while I was worship pastor at First Free in Moline. It and another Easter Hymn I love called Were You There? made their way onto the 1st CD I ever produced, Sing the Power: A Collection of Hymns As the lyrics of the wonderful hymn went through my head, I was filled with praise and wonder at the love of God all over again! Hallelujah! I wanted to share these two songs with you today, on Good Friday, the day we especially remember what God did for us. May your Easter be filled with powerful worship to the Risen King! Enjoy these arrangements. (You may want to right-click these links and choose to save the files.)

When I Survey | 4:49 | 6.8MB | Arranged and played by Nate
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Were You There? | 7:18 | 10.4MB | Arranged and played by Nate
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Categories
Update

Great News!

Well friends, I have some great news to share with you. Nate and I are expecting! Yippee! Needless to say, we are very excited and so are our parents. I haven’t been to the doctor’s yet, but have an appointment marked for this week. At my last appointment, the doctor stated that it would probably take me a while to conceive, and that I didn’t need to come back until I was pregnant. My mom just looked at him and said, “OK, we’ll be back next month!”

Well, God is so faithful and we are so thankful for his care and provision during this time. I am feeling wonderful – except for a little nausea here and there. I’m a little over 4 weeks along and the due date is the end of November. Nate and I are hoping to go to the US this summer, but we need to wait and talk it all over with the doctor since I’m considered high risk. So, we are praying that God’s perfect will be done.

Categories
Update

Abundant Rain

Cell group had ended at their house, and Renato and Claudete were standing out front, enjoying chit chat with fellow cell group members when a woman and her adolescent daughter came quickly up to them in a panic. Through her wheezing she said “Would you take me to the health post?!” Claudete sensed in her spirit that she should pray for her to be healed. Out loud, she began praying for the lady and her wheezing went away! Then Renato began preaching the gospel and invited her to pray with him. Her daughter was so amazed that she prayed the prayer as well!

Claudete welcomes a new member into the family of God
Claudete welcomes a new member into the family of God

Renato and Claudete are two of our disciples and are a part of the cell group that multiplied from our cell group last October. This cell group, led by fellow missionaries and disciples of ours Edson and Kelly Lee, has been winning people left and right through the amazing work of several of the cell group members, including Renato and Claudete. Now it is ready to multiply- into three different cell groups! You see, they just keep winning people. Last Saturday, when we visited the cell group to supervise (Ruth and I are over this cell group that multiplied from ours), another woman accepted Christ as her savior.

Abundant rain is falling in the Amazon, soaking the hearts of people with God’s love and opening the way for his Word. The week before at cell group, Leo, another one of our disciples, shared the Word. People were so touched by the Word being preached, that they were crying, and even before he could give the invitation, someone said that they wanted to accept Christ as their savior! He then invited other people to do the same, and 4 more people raised their hands!

Marlison, Me and Juarez
Marlison, Me and Juarez

God is moving in our cell group as well. Although we haven’t grown the same amount as the cell group that multiplied from ours, just the other day, as I was leading worship at church, I looked down at the end of the service and saw Juarez, a man who started attending our cell group, had gone forward to accept the Lord! Hallelujah! God is doing an amazing work!

Click on Page 2 to see what happens to a road when it gets too much rain and hear about the largest PAZ church construction project ever!