Dear Family and Friends,
We recently told you about our contracting the services of a lawyer firm to help us get our Hope House ministry legalized with the Brazilian government. We shared how these men are strong Christians and have been such a blessing to us. How they, like us, are going into new territory as our city has no registered Christian halfway houses. It’s exciting to work with these Godly men as we become pioneers for Jesus in our city doing something that has never been done before.
The lawyers have made amazing progress and on Monday we received the government approved paperwork that now allows us to apply for our business social security number. It’s a big deal and a really cool first step, of many to come, in dealing with all the bureaucratic red tape of our city and country.
Once we have the social security number we can open up a Brazilian bank account in the name of Hope House, transfer the funds raised so far in the United States, and buy the first ever Hope House.
On Wednesday we met with an engineer about what needs to be done after we buy the house and before we can begin repairs/upgrades. And on Thursday of last week we had a meeting at the house we want to buy. We met with that same engineer, a construction guy, our realtor and the owner of the house.
We all met together to share our ideas for the plans for the house as we try to get more specific about the costs of the repairs that need to be done as well as other costs such as accounting, engineering, etc.
We’ve shared before but here is a reminder of what the house looks like.
It really is an amazing house for us. It’s in a good neighborhood and it’s very close to our house and our church. It’s only about a block away from one of the major streets in our city.
And it has a great park right in front of the house.
Notice the shoes tied over the power lines.
We’ve been told, by ex addicts, that those are thrown over lines to let people know you can buy drugs in that area, and you will see them all over the city. God has already given us a mission field to share Jesus in this neighborhood and in Jesus’ strong name very soon those shoes will not be seen around that park.
We left the meeting encouraged by the fact that things are moving forward but a little shaken at everything that needs to be done and the expense of the repairs to get us ready to open. We immediately left that meeting and went to our church building as we had a meeting with our pastor and his wife. Their names are Olavo and Antonella. I can’t tell you how much we love these guys. They are a blessing to us, our church and this city.
Our meeting was about the Compassion ministry. It’s the ministry to a rehab center that our church ministers to and one that Olavo asked us to be the leaders of last year. So we meet with them regularly to talk about things specific to that ministry. Last Thursday we went into that meeting excited from our Hope House meeting while thinking of everything that needed to be done.
After meeting about things related to the Compassion ministry Olavo and Antonella wanted to know how things are going with the Hope House. They are part of the leadership group for Hope House and they are very excited about the ministry. We shared with them about the amount of work that needs to be done to get the house fixed, updated and ready for men to live there. That’s when God used Olavo to give us a shot of encouragement. He began to tell us that there are many men in our church who are in construction. Many men who have big hearts for all things Jesus. Olavo invited us to share with all the church family about Hope House after the purchase of the house is completed. Olavo feels we will have many people who will want to donate labor and material to help with the remodeling and updating that needs to be done. We definitely left more encouraged about what is ahead than when we entered.
I love how involved Olavo is in this ministry. Last year he was getting into his father’s truck which was parked in front of their house. Some young guys came by with a gun and kidnapped Olavo in order to steal the truck. God was watching over him, and the criminals let Olavo out and he was able to run home, but his father’s nice truck was never recovered. Not long after this happened they invited us to their house for a lunch. As we talked about what happened to him I told him that that is why Hope House is so important because it’s the men we work with that do the violent crimes in our city. Once we reach them with the love of Christ our city will become a much safer place to live in. I barely remember that conversation with Olavo but, praise God, those words impacted him. He said he never really saw the connection between the crime and our ministry and how our city will be blessed by it until we talked. Now he is fully committed to see this ministry not only start, but thrive. We are blessed to walk with this couple and our church is blessed to have them as spiritual leaders.
God put this dream of Hope House on our hearts years ago. We had no money, no help and no idea of what this might look like. We are no experts in doing something like this but when God calls you to do something He will provide and you have to do it. So off we went and look what He has done. He has provided us with a good bit of money through various, amazing ways to buy the house. He’s blessed us with Lyndsay, a new sponsoring/home church in the states that is excited about this ministry and are helping greatly. He has also blessed us with a new home church here in Porto Alegre that is fully committed to walking and working with us in our lives and ministry.
I won’t lie, there have been plenty of times when we felt like we were stuck in “stand by” mode and it still feels like things are going much slower than we would like but at least we are finally moving forward and we can see things beginning to happen. And we are learning to be okay with God’s pace. Like Olavo told us the other day, God has given us this “stand by” time to receive these new things, these blessings from God, and to be able to vision cast and seed plant for this new ministry as well as see how perfectly the Compassion ministry and our church fit into the Hope House plan. It’s happening and we praise God.
Pray for us, for Lyndsay, for our church, for this ministry and for the men who will be blessed and will bless us.
We could not be here doing what the Holy Spirit has put on our hearts if it weren’t for you. We thank God for you and pray for you often.
Peace in Jesus,
Kevin, Benay and all the Blumes