March 2013 Update
Maicol & Mandy Venter (2008)
We are 6 weeks into the journey as parents! Hopefully Stella won't remember all our "first time parent" mistakes. We all three are happy and healthy and enjoying a gradual return to more than 2 hours of sleep :)
Thank you for your prayers for us through this season of pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Mandy's delivery had some complications but we are happy that in the end everyone was safe and our recovery went smoothly. The miracle of life. This is a consistent topic of meditation as we see our daughter growing so rapidly, and only by the grace of God. It's astonishing the work He does, really. We are enjoying every moment of this heaven sent gift and praying for wisdom to raise her in a God honoring way.
You have previously seen some prayer requests for a couple Maicol has been discipling through a new believer bible study. UPDATE: This couple accepted Christ and they are making many changes in their lives in an effort to glorify Him. We are so delighted to see their growth and fresh excitement about their faith in Christ. Along with them, we have many individuals and families in our church eager to study the Word, accept leadership roles in the church, and be discipled. Please pray for the pastoral team as we seek to meet these needs and at the same time complete the process of organizing the church officially before the government and community. This month we have started interviews for membership, it's a big step and very exciting to see those making commitments and taking it seriously! We are also in the hunt for a building for our church to meet. Since last year, we have been meeting in a movie theatre given to us to use on Sunday mornings.
Since we left the U.S. Maicol has had a desire to reach out to the community through sports. He has been involved in pick-up games, teaching clinics, small camps but last summer he and our co-worker Nate Logan were able to teach a basketball clinic weekly in Nate's apartment complex. It was a huge success and when we searched for our home, we specifically sought out an apartment that had a sports court. It's just this month that Maicol has been able to start a basketball clinic weekly with Nate here in our apartment and while it was discouraging to have taken so long, the results have been awesome! The first week 13 kids came and the second week doubled to 26. Maicol and Nate may need to find another adult to help! There were 6-7 parents who stayed the whole time. We are so excited for this opportunity to finally reach out to our neighbors. Please pray for this ministry!
We are gearing up for what we hope to be a furlough trip of four months this summer in the U.S. That means we need to seek continued financial support during furlough so we can return here to Brazil! There is still so much to be done with our church officially organizing this year, we really hope we can help in the process.
We will be travelling this summer so write us if you have a place for all three of us to stay! We would love to visit! And Stella would be happy to wake you up with her beautiful smile at 3am just so you can hold her :)
With full hearts and glory to God,
Maicol, Mandy, and Stella Venter
Stella, 1 Month Old
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