Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pouring Cement!

It is 11 pm here in Rio and we just got back to the hotel. We are totally exhausted but so very happy. Words cannot express how incredible today was for all of us.
We arrived at the Colony about 8 am and about 8:30 the loads of fillin dirt and the good soil arrived. We hauled over 200 hundred wheel barrels of dirt!!
Then we were able to plant all the grass. Everyone pitched in to get the forms prepared for the cement truck which was scheduled to arrive at 2pm.
Well at 3pm I called the cement company and they said they could only send the cement truck but the pumping truck would not be able to come.
I almost sat down and cried. There was no way we could haul wheel barrels of cement for 8 cubic metros. We all began to pray and Jadson, our van driver, said,"Sharon, can I help you?"
He took my phone and began to call places that rent pumping trucks.
There was none available, so at 5pm we got in the van to return to the hotel. About 10 minutes into the ride back Jadson received a call from a man called Marcos. He said if we would return they would bring their pumping truck.
Everyone said "Praise the Lord turn the van around". At 8 pm the cement truck and the pumping truck arrived.Was a joyous 2 hours we had as we praised the Lord for His provisions.
The men on the trucks even help us set the benches and concrete chairs and cemented them down so noone could move them.
We prayed for no rain and the sun was out all day, we prayed for the dirt and it came, and finally the miracle God preformed through Jadson. Remember, he is not a believer but Sunday morning he came into the worship service with us and went forward to dedicate himself and his family.
while we waited for the trucks Brenda and Mildred brought the devotional. They talked about the importance of the family of God and how we all fit together into a beautiful picture being painted by our Heavenly Father. How very important each of us are in our Fathers eyes and how important we are to each other.
The work was hard today and we are very tired but so very aware the all we needed today, God provided.

Leia Mais…

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Day of Worship

What a glorious day. We worshiped with our Brasilian brothers and
sisters at FBC Recreio. The service lasted 2 1/2 hours.

I listened as Barbara Swanson talked with her husband and she said
that even though she could not understand alot of what went on during
the service, she could see and feel the moving of the Holy Spirit.

The music was amazing and the guest preacher preached for over and
hour. The message was on the resposibilities of a godly father and

At the end of the service the preacher asked all the men to come
forward and dedicate their homes, families and themselves to God.

There were over five hundred men that went forward to sing and pray.
As we looked up we saw Jadson, our van driver, go forward. We were so
excited because he is not a believer.

Pray as we share with him about the transforming power of Jesus Christ.

We got back to the hotel and counted vitamins for the Amazon Medical
trip and had such a great time laughing and working together.

Cindy brought our devotional and she really ministered to all of us as
she encouraged us to delight ourselves in our Father.

God has asnswered our prayers for no rain today and please continue to
pray for clear skies tomorrow and Tuesday.

The days are flying by and we cannot believe that we only have 3 more
days in this beautiful country.

The longer we serve Him the sweeter He grows.

Leia Mais…

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Just a little mud....

Today was a good day. We are still facing problems with rain but a little mud never hurt anyone!!

Our dirt did not arrive but we were able to level the ground clean out the rock and prepare the garden for the top soil and grass.

What fun we had at the nurseries. We bought 2 benches, two concrete chairs pots and plants.

I had no idea the gardening world was so complex!! The names of some of these plants have no translation. So I just rely on Ray's old phrase, "planta verde" which sounds good but it means green plant!

Cindy got to visit with Terezinha, the lady who makes the pots and God gave us the opportunity to talk with a group of medical students.

They wanted to know why we were here and we were able to tell them that Gd had sent us to plant and let people know that the One who created the plants has a plan for our lives.

We find ourselves praying and expecting. There have been so many answers to prayer and we know it is because you are praying and covering us in prayer.

Pray for sunny days on Monday and Tuesday and that the concrete truck arrives on time Tuesday morning.

He is good all the time.

Leia Mais…

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Brazil Gardening Day 1

This is the day that the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in

That is what we said as we left the hotel this morning. It was raining
and the traffic was slow.

We finally made it to the colony and prayed that all the dirt and
grass would arrive. You cannot begin to know how happy we were when
the trucks started to roll in.

The first load of dirt and all the grass arrived. Praise the Lord. The
experienced gardeners had a blast at the nursery discussing where to
plant and what to plant!

Most of us just stood back and let "professionals" decide.

We also got to visit some of the ladies in the colony had the joy of
listenng to Mrs Dalva sing to us.

The Director of the colony assigned 3 men to work with us and it took
awhile for them to realize that women can work and haul brick and dirt!

We climbed on the van tonight muddy, tired, hungry but really happy
with what was done today.

Tomorrow another truck load of dirt will arrive and we will start
planting grass.

Barbara Swanson did the devoitional tonight and talked about praying
and speaking with boldness. Please pray for us to be bold as our days
here are few.


Leia Mais…

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ITALY Team arrives home!

Yesterday morning, which actually would have been really late Tuesday night for Nashville, the left for the airport with David and began our journey back home. There is always a mixed bag of emotions at the end of any journey. We are all very grateful to have had the opportunity to go to Bologna, pray over the streets, cafes, university and people there as well as minister to and encourage David and Nicole. We left with a lot of memories, but what is more important is that we left with a burden for the students of the university, the city and Italy.
God was certainly with us as we went, while we were there and on our return. We all felt the prayers of friends and family while we were there. Altogether it was a smooth trip going and coming without any hiccups along the way. We all stayed healthy and had the energy to do the tasks set before us. No conflicts arose and we all developed community. All of these things are a testament to the posture of our hearts toward God and the power of prayer.
Each one of us answered the call to go, but our responsibility to Bologna and the ministries taking place there did not end when we departed. The people there are in desperate need of the light of Christ, and we must pray for God to soften their hearts and open their eyes. We must also not forget David and Nicole and continue to pray for them and the relationships that they develop. God can and will do, and is indeed doing, great things there. But, as he is faithful always to his work through us, we must remain faithful to doing his work. The trip is over, but the journey continues!

Leia Mais…

Monday, May 9, 2011

Last day in ITALY!

Our last day in Italy was a bit of a treat. We traveled with David and Nicole to Florence along with Mark Brucato who is the Son of Andy and Linda Brucato who have been long time missionaries here. He is very knowledgeable about church history and reformation history. So he gave us a very unique tour of Florence. We focused on four words, Bible, Witness, Faith and Trial stopping at the Duomo and other significant sites around Florence. He highlighted for us the big differences between Catholic theology and the theology of the reformation movement, to which we owe our religious lineage to, and how people have died for the truth of the Gospel here. It was an excellent capstone to our time here and really magnified both the need that is here for God and the Hope of the work he has done and is continuing to do here.

After we returned from Florence we had an opportunity to get together with David and do a debriefing on the trip, our observations and so on. David had two main goals for us here. One was that we would bathe the people, streets, cafes, markets and university here with prayer. The other was that our hearts would be burdened for the people of Bologna and Italy. Both objectives were met. All of us will return changed. There are so many people here who never have God cross there mind on a day to day basis. We have prayed and will continue to pray that that reality changes significantly for many many people here. We also had the privilege to minister to, encourage and love on David, Nicole and Ruby. It has strengthened them, and they are deeply grateful for us and for Brentwood Baptist Church.

As we are all packing up and getting ready for our early flight out tomorrow morning we leave with deep sense of gratitude, gratitude for God allowing us to come on this journey and see the amazing beauty of Bologna, gratitude also that the people here and their need for Christ has deeply touched us. We cannot, and we must not leave unchanged by what we have seen and heard here. Truly, miracles are needed here to open doors, soften hearts, cross bridges and so on. Thankfully for us, our God is in the business of such miracles, and our God is a God who saves.

Thank you all for your love and support for us and your continued love and support for the Hannah's

Leia Mais…

Day 4: Prayers for ITALY!

Saturday morning we all met at our central location and split up into groups of two to walk the streets and pray for the people, shops and churches we encountered. One that Nicole mentioned to us is how heartbreaking it is to think about the tens of thousands of students that fill the lecture and libraries and that most of them has never had a parent pray for them. That is what we came to do. Prayer is powerful, and there is no telling what seeds have been sown along these ancient streets.

Sunday was quite amazing. We had the opportunity to go to Nuova Vita (New Life), which is a thriving church planted by TEAM missionaries 25 years ago. The music was, of course, in Italian, but it was familiar. The sermon was from Philippians chapter 2, and though it also was in Italian, we had a young man, Paul, translate for us. It was quite a unique experience to worship with believers here in Bologna. Even though there was a language barrier it was still the Church getting together to worship an dig into God's word.

Afterwords we found a small Piazza (square or plaza) and took the opportunity to pray for and with David on some specifics. As we sat in the shadow of a church that is hundreds of years old we shared our impressions and what had touched us. We prayed for Davids ministry, for the relationships he is developing, for the language struggles and for opportunities. We prayed for encouragement for him and Nicole an that God would use them to spark a revival here in Bologna. God is still in the business of miracles, and that is what we are praying for here, something that goes beyond what we could expect or imagine and that brings glory and honor to the name of Jesus.

Thank you all for your continued prayers, they have sustained us through the many miles we have walked.

Leia Mais…

Day 3: ITALY Team Prayer Walks!

Today we had our first prayer walk in Bologna. We all met at the Fountain of Neptune, after making our way through a rather large protest that took over the streets in central Bologna, and split off into groups of two. Each of us were given a quadrant of Central Bologna to go prayer walking in. It is safe to say that all of us, and those of you reading this, know that people have been on their knees interceding for us at one point or another. Yet, in Bologna, most every one you meet has never had someone pray, really pray for them. So this was one of our focuses this morning. As we past by people and places, mothers with young children, students, elderly couples, shop keepers and so on we said a prayer for them as the spirit directed us. We also, on my team anyway, stopped into a church or two and near the entrances of shops to pray over those locations and the people who would be entering them. Who knows what Godly forces are being stirred into action for the sake of our prayers.

Each one of us who believes in Christ, believes because He took pity on us. It is an idea we may be uncomfortable with. We like terms like merciful and gracious and both of those are true. But the reality is that we are hopeless without God, and He, in His love, took pity on us and showed us mercy and grace. This was certainly part of my prayer as I walked around the University district. That is, that God would take pity on the people, and particularly the students, of Bologna and use our prayers along with the ministry of David and Nicole and the other missionaries here to bring these people to Christ.

After our prayer walk, still being somewhat jet-lagged and foot-sore some of our group took some time to recoup. David, Kathy, Carrie and I took a walk, about thirty minutes up the stairs, to San Luca. The crazy thing was that, for centuries, pious pilgrims would make the ascent to San Luca on their knees in an effort to, by suffering, please God and draw closer to him. When we reached the top there was a priest giving a prayer, which turned out to be around fifteen minutes long, to Mary. The thing that struck me is that there was no joy, I mean no joy, in the priest reading of the prayer or the response of those who were gathered there. That is to say nothing of the theological issues of the prayer to Mary in the first place. This is the place, though, that God has called David and Nicole to, and it is a place that He wants to reach. Matthew 23:27 has been on my heart allot as I have walked these streets and seen these people. The LIFE that Jesus brings is missing. So pray for the softening of hearts and also that God would put a spirit of spiritual discontentment in the people of Bologna so that they would not be satisfied and want more and begin to seek. For whoever seeks will find and whoever knocks will find a door opened.

We ended our day treating David and Nicole to a fine meal at one of the most famous restaurants in Bologna, Restorante Pappagallo, which was a delight to them and a blessing for us. We came here to help them minister to the people of Bologna, but God has also called us here to minster to and encourage them. We are all unified in our gratefulness for the opportunity on both accounts.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for us and especially for David and Nicole. We feel them and so do they.

Leia Mais…

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 2: Team in ITALY!!!

This morning we all met up with David and took a train to Molinella. We met up with the Andy And Linda Brucato, who are doing a church plant their and went on a prayer walk around the city. Shay and Marsha had a great experience when they met a lady from Kenya and her baby. After briefly speaking with her she learned of our purpose for being their and said that she had been praying to meet some Christians and find a church. It was truly a divine appointment. It turns out that she is a gospel singer on top of everything else. David was with them and was able to inform her where the church was meeting. It is amazing that while we were praying for God to bring people to us this woman was praying for God to send people to her. He is a great and mighty God!

After our prayer walk we met with Amilliano and Maria, two Italian Christians. Amilliano gave his testimony, which was an amazing story, as Linda translated for us.. He is a security guard at a prison and raised Catholic. But his life had been going down hill for some time. There was trouble in his marriage and at work, and he was feeling deeply unfulfilled in life. As is often the case, he looked for fulfillment in the things of this world, in a nightlife and also political pursuits. All this time, however, he had been talking with and developing a relationship with Maria on his way to work as they traveled on the same train each morning. She, being a born again Christian, baffled Amilliano with the way she spoke of God and her faith. Amilliano, who considered himself quite learned in history, religion and even the Bible was left speechless. It was at this time that he was really feeling the vanity of his pursuits that he began to ask her questions and seek. She directed him to Andy and Linda and tearfully he came to saving faith. Since that time a change has been noticed at the prison where he works and he has help lead seven inmates to Christ. It is amazing to see God at work and changing lives.

After returning to Bologna, David took us for gelato (Italian Ice cream), which is worth all the fuss. We then met up with Jesse, Linda Ambrus and Cody, who are here with Campus Crusade. They told us about their ministry and the work they were doing at the University of Bologna. It is a relatively new ministry area. What they are doing is using a survey that utilizes pictures and a survey to open doors into spiritual conversations. But, though students are generally open to the survey, it is still hard work. And evangelism occurs on a very relational basis and takes a great deal of time and effort, but, even today, David attended a Birthday party of a student named Zach, who invited him. He is an Atheist, but it appears that cracks are forming in the door to his heart.

It was a great first full day for us, we woke up refreshed, but are going to bed quite tired. Tomorrow we will have our first prayer walk in Bologna in the morning, and we hope to meet up with Suora Idana, who is a nun who was saved after serving the Catholic Church for 40 years. Thank you all for your continued prayers! God is hear with us and we are seeing him at work!

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Brentwood Team Arrives in ITALY!!!

Our prayer as we prepared to go through security at Nashville international airport was for safe travels and seamless connections. Go went before us and we had a great trip. David Hannah and Jesse (a missionary with Campus Crusade) met us at the airport and got us to our homes for the next week. After a short rest and refreshment we spent the rest of the afternoon walking through the winding and often cobble stoned streets of Bologna getting to know some of the areas we will be prayer walking.

David and Nicole opened their home and hosted a supper for us and some other missionaries. The meal, prepared by Chef Nicole, was delicious and the fellowship was refreshing and encouraging. They are all very glad that we are here and we are excited to be a part of what God is doing in this part of the world.

Tomorrow we will be heading to Molinella, a small town on the outskirts of Bologna, where we will meet up with a couple who is planting a church in the area and some Italian Christians to prayer walk at an open market they have their. We will be spending time at the University tomorrow evening to pass out tracts and other materials advertising the church plant here in Bologna and hopefully have some God ordained conversations.
Pray for us as we begin our work here in earnest and for those we will meet.

Leia Mais…