Our family started being a part of our current church family in 2015. We can’t express how much God has used this group to bless us, encourage us, cry with us and celebrate with us. God knew exactly what we were needing and led us to this family at just the time we were needing them.
With joining any new, big church family it takes time to get to know everyone. Our church is really growing so we are still constantly getting to know new brothers and sisters in Christ.
Not long after we became members we got to know these girls.
This is Sibeli and her daughter Betina. We can’t tell you how much they mean to us. They are definitely the salt and light of Jesus. We LOVE them deeply.
Last year our family spent about four months in the states. While we were there Sibeli started dating a great guy named Daniel.
When we came back home in December we started having opportunities to get to know Daniel and his son Davi. We loved them.
This year we decided to invite more people to join our bible study with Alexandre, Dani and their girls. Sibeli, Daniel and their kids were some of those people God put on our hearts and, thankfully, they accepted the invitation.
Our study group actually got to meet a couple of times in person before coronavirus. This picture was our last time together the day before everything was stopped in our city. It’s us, them and our Brazilian son Lucas.
Before things shut down, Sibeli and Daniel told us they wanted to talk to us. They came over to tell us that they were getting married and they asked us to be in their wedding, as witnesses. It’s a huge honor in Brasil to be asked to do this and Benay and I were humbled and thrilled. The wedding was scheduled for April but is now postponed until next year because of coronavirus.
With everything shut down in the city we began having our studies online. We had homework every week and it was obvious that Daniel and Davi were studying during the week as they always had really good, thoughtful answers as we discussed our homework. We loved getting to know this family better.
About the same time Alexandre told us he and his daughter wanted to get baptized we found out that Daniel also wanted to give his life to Jesus. So they all celebrated their spiritual birthdays on the same day. It was awesome and we were, once again, humbled to be a part of this celebration day.
I love that smile on Daniel’s face.
And I love the picture our church took of Sibeli celebrating. Above her it says, “He lives!”
This year has been a real stinker for lots of reasons. It’s been hard and it’s been tragic for lots of people. Lots of losses and sadness and depression and heartache. I’m reading a book right now about a surgeon who drowned, went to heaven and came back to life. It’s an amazing book.
I read this today from her book, “In the traditional process of making a Persian rug in Persia, the rug is put up vertically on a frame and little boys, sitting on planks at various levels, work on the wrong side of it. The artist stands on the right side of the rug-the beautiful side that will be seen and used by all. The artist shouts his instructions to the boys on the other side, but sometimes a boy will make a mistake in the rug. Quite often, the artist does not make the little boy take out the wrong color; if he is a great enough artist, he weaves the mistake into the pattern and the mistake enriches and becomes integral to the finished rug.” She goes on to say, “To me, the little scene of a weaver and a boy at work beautifully captures God’s ability to transform mistakes and tragedies into a work of great art.”
Exactly! God can use, and is using, the crud of the coronavirus year and all its heartaches and troubles and tragedies to weave a great work of art. We believe that and we have been so blessed to see some of that great work of art happen right before our eyes in the lives of these people we love so much as they have given their lives to Jesus.
I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us. Romans 8:18