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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas in Brazil

For some Christmas is a time when we remember the happy times of our childhood, family and friends gathered, gifts to unwrap, the unbridled excitement and anticipation of what awaits.

For many, many children and youth in Brazil Christmas is a time of dread, it is an excuse for parents and relatives to drink to excess, get into fights and possibly take it out on them.

One Christmas Rick Bergen, the Xingu mission director sat with a group of young boys during one of their meetings.  He asked them each to share their favourite Christmas memory.  He was faced with a circle of blank faces.  Trying to start the discussion, Rick shared one of his favourite Christmas memories when his father hid a new watch in some oranges.

He started with the boy next to him, 'What is your favourite memory of this time of year?'
"I don't have one" and as he went around the circle the reply of 'Me neither' was echoed again and again.

Then one boy said, 'oh wait, remember that time we all played bottle caps in the street?' and they said, 'oh ya! that was a good time!'  That was their best Christmas memory.

Since then, as Xingu celebrates Christmas with a big feast and special Christmas Eve service every year, they are creating new, happy memories about this joyous holiday.

We hope that you and your family make some amazing memories this Christmas too.

From the Snells to you and yours, Merry Christmas!


Support and Departure Update

A rock and hard place doesn't sound like a very comfortable place to be does it?  Sounds closterphobic and painful.  The truth is anywhere, after a long enough period of time can become comfortable-even in the rocks.

Phil and I have been in that spot since we moved into our new place.  We are ready to launch into the ministry we feel God has called us into yet we are lacking the funds to go-somewhere along the line, we lost momentum, nestled down between our rocks and fell asleep.  We stopped taking steps forward in Faith.

Spelling faith R-I-S-K doesn't equal comfort, it equals heart thumping fear, stepping off the edge of the cliff and trusting the water will be there when you make impact.

The water is the funds we need to survive and do the work in Brazil, the cliff is taking the steps forward.

We had been aiming for a January departure, this was in part because the mission director Rick Bergen is going to be in Maraba for 6 weeks from the 8th of January.  We are not leaving in January.

We have $1600 in monthly commitments and $11,500 in start up funds.  We need a minimum of $3,000 to go and $5,000 for full support. This is the rock and the hard place we are in, we need to have the commitments to go but sometimes God doesn't start supplying the water until you jump.

We are praying about what this looks like for us, what our next faith steps are.  We also ask that you would pray about how you might play a part in it.  We need prayer and financial partners in this journey.  I know at this time of year budgets look scary, but maybe, just maybe, if God is asking you to join us, the provision comes after the commitment?  Will you take a leap off the cliff with us?