Brenda’s Bulletin

September 1, 2020 Summer Report

September 1, 2020 - 10:28 am - Posted by Brenda Matthews

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”  (Psalm 32:8)

What an encouraging verse.  Amid all the difficulties the world is facing, we can regain perspective remembering that God’s loving eye is on us and that He will instruct/teach/counsel us.

Not a lot has changed from my last report.  I’ve now prepared 22 Sunday service videos Movie April Services, but only one additional aquatic video from previous footage (click on the icons).  Golden TrevallyI’ve kept up the exercising on the roof with the additional benefit of some birdwatching.  Two awesome experiences were having an American Kestrel fly right in front of me at eye level and two hawks (it happened too fast to ID them) pass by just below me over the wall.  The birds that have landed and watched me do a few laps are the Cactus Wrens, Gila Woodpeckers and White-winged Doves.  Hooded Orioles, House Finches, and English Sparrows all take flight as soon as they see me.  I’ve been startled a few times as they’ve come up and over the wall right in front of me, and I’ve had Costa’s Hummingbirds whizz past me.  A variety of large birds have flown overhead, but the ones that seemed to taunt me were the Lesser Nighthawks.  They come out as the sun is setting, so with the poor lighting and their agility, I’ve never been able to get a good photo of them flying and thought I’d never see them still because they blend in with their surroundings.  Lesser Nighthawk male Aug 9 vsHowever, a few weeks ago I went birdwatching from my air-conditioned car (it’s really hot and humid here) and at dusk I was thrilled to see a spectacle of low-flying Lesser Nighthawks and a male actually landed on the road.  I was able to get off a couple of shots before a car came along — probably a once-in-a-life-time experience.

I continue to meet with the church leadership team and participate with them calling those who have attended El Faro.  It’s been a great opportunity to get to know these brothers and sisters better, to recruit for the church videos, and to encourage them to participate in the on-line events.  There has been fruit.  We also collect prayer requests and that has invigorated the church prayer meetings. Damas oración 18 de agosto, 2020 35 I run the Zoom part of those prayer meetings and our ladies’ prayer meetings.  I also organized a trauma therapy group with a trained counselor for a group of our church ladies who have lost loved ones during the pandemic, and I started a new ladies’ group based on another study dealing with overcoming trauma.  That meant also reactivating the group of teachers as well so we could break into small groups to discuss the material taught in the large group.  We still have a lady who doesn’t have Zoom or WhatsApp, but I helped another get on Zoom (who joined in after the above photo) and I was able to include another lady who doesn’t have Zoom by using my cell and a WhatsApp video call.  All of this has generated a lot of enthusiasm and has helped to make people feel connected even though we can’t meet in person.  It’s also exciting as we pray for each other and for the shared requests and then we get to see God’s answers, especially when praying for the sick.

Due to some of the changes TEAM is undergoing, I need to share an important business matter or two.  TEAM has a new address for US$ contributions.  Please replace the TX address with this new one:

TEAM
PO Box 1683
Carol Stream, IL 60132-1683

I may not get the update done in the footer of this letter, so please do note the new address for US contributions.  Another change at TEAM DOES NOT affect me or other Canadian missionaries, but should be clarified.  Canadian missionaries CANNOT receive personal gifts through TEAM.  That would need to be set up directly with me.  In the past it was possible to send personal gifts through TEAM, but that is no longer the case.

Here are some prayer requests:

Praying Hands 10Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all my responsibilities.  Please pray that I can be organized and use my time well and also guard some periods of rest.  Along with that, that I could see “interruptions” as ministry opportunities.

Praying Hands 10I called a large portion of the church to get them to participate in the Sunday service videos with a greeting when we first started.  Now I’m trying to encourage people to participate sharing a favourite Scripture verse or passage (and I have a plan for a new idea when we’re closer to opening the church again).  Please pray that the Lord would inspire people to take the initiative to participate and that it would be an encouragement to them and to those who see the video.

Praying Hands 10As in other countries, the pandemic is putting additional strain on marriages.  El Faro has several couples who are struggling in their marriages and some have separated.  Please pray for the Lord to intervene and for the pandemic to strengthen relationships instead of causing strife.

Praying Hands 10About 3 months ago, I woke up with a very stiff arm.  I figured it was the result of the thorough cleaning I had given the apartment the day before.  Since it kept seeming to get better (have more movement), I put off going to a doctor hoping it would heal on its own.  I still have to restrict the movements of my right arm to avoid pain.  It might be a torn rotator cuff.  When I finally decided to see the doctor, I found out that he has COVID19.  I received another recommendation, so please pray that I’ll be able to see a doctor soon and to receive a correct diagnosis and treatment.  Please also pray for the healing and salvation of Dr. Vargas.

Praying Hands 10The ladies have been opening up about traumas in their lives.  Please pray for the Lord to protect them and to bring healing to their lives and to deepen their relationships with Him.

Praying Hands 10Pray for wisdom for the church leaders… to know how to continue to minister to the church and to know how to prepare for when the church could gather again.  Also, for issues they are dealing with in their personal lives.

Praying Hands 10We had a close call with a passing hurricane and a tropical storm.  Both produced high winds, but extremely little rain.  September is usually the worst month for hurricanes, so please pray for our safety.

Grateful for each of you and your encouragement,

Brenda

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