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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Way Forward, Christmas in Canada, University Alpha, Educating Luke and Faith

Thank you!
To all of you who read, pray, support and love us thank you! We love you all!

Home for The Holidays

What Were We Thinking? Winter in Canada is COLD!

Although we are questioning our sanity going back (as are many others) for apparently the coldest winter in 36 YEARS we thoroughly enjoyed being with friends and family and making some new connections during our time in Canada.  

Christmas with my big beautiful family!
Our very wintery drive to Ohio

Our time in Canada was short, and we apologize if we were unable to connect with you on this visit, please know there is an open invitation to visit us in Brazil or we will have to make sure we see you on our next visit!
Winter's beauty at our home church

Thank you to all of you who loved us, kept us fed and warm and reaffirmed to us how much we love our Canadian family!

Making winter memories!

This wonderful family puts up with us and lets us call their home our home when we are back in Canada, we love you Fellmans!! or as we like to call ourselves 'Snellmans'!
The Way Forward

As we have shared our stories of what God has been doing through us during our first year in João Pessoa and our ideas and hopes for the future, we have been so encouraged, things have evolved and we have vision and so much excitement for the future.
We are beginning to see the girls in their homes, this gives us the opportunity to meet and begin to build relationships with their families neighbours and friends, and we know that that will only increase as we get to know them more. As we prayerfully move forward we can see where God is giving us  more and more opportunities to expand our relationships and the Kingdom through these growing relationships!

We are continually surprised at how God has connected us in such a short time.  A year ago we arrived in a city of almost a million people and the only people we knew left the city.  We now have a large circle of friends and a ministry we love!  Blessed beyond measure!
Join the Team-Donate to the Snells
University Alpha

Last August Phil began running Alpha in a state University English class. The opportunity came about when one of the people who had been taking Alpha in our home suggested it might be a possibility. 

The professor gave one stipulation, ‘If even one student complains, we have to shut it down’.  At the time any kind of religious based study was prohibited in the University.  

Not only were there no complaints, there were passionate discussions that often flipped from english into Portuguese as they asked the hard questions and wrestled with what they believed. It went so well and the students enjoyed it so much that we have been invited to do TWO classes this year!  This is great news as it introduces us to new people.

When we return we will be starting a new small group and inviting the people in the class to come.
Educating Luke and Faith

As most of you know we made the decision last year to put Luke and Faith into a Brazilian school.  After four and a half years of homeschooling (which is a calling….and I don’t have it!) and going from living somewhere where they were surrounded by other kids to a big city where we live behind walls, we felt that the healthiest decision for them and our family was that they start going to traditional school.
Ready Set Go! The school year just started!

It has been the best decision we could have made!  They love being surrounded by people, even though it has meant a lot of blood sweat and tears as they learn to read and write in their second language.  They both passed their first year which is a small miracle in itself and as a mother, I see it as fruit of the strong willed personalities they have, they persevered and it paid off!

The school they attend is private and fully Portuguese. The public school system in Brazil is not equipped to handle the kind of accommodations immigrant students need and unfortunately the system is broken in many other ways.  There are frequent strikes and students suffer because of it.

The cost of schooling privately is high, but the benefits for our children and us as a family are immeasurable.  They finally feel as normal as they possibly can as missionaries in a foreign field.  Not to mention they are getting an education and becoming fully bilingual.  When they reach high school age (only a year away for Luke!) they have the option of entering a dual diploma english program that will give them a Brazilian diploma and an American one.  Both Luke and Faith want to pursue their post-secondary education in Canada, so this dual diploma will ease the transition.
Homework time

The downside is that the cost is something very difficult to carry on our limited budget. We have started a go fund me to help with the cost of this crucial need for our kids. 

We are asking friends, family and supporters to consider giving towards this campaign or investing in them by sponsoring them on a monthly basis.  Investing in a kids education is priceless and you are indirectly helping our ministry by helping us keep them in school.  

Here’s the link to give to the campaign. If you would like to help monthly with their expenses, just reply to this email and we can discuss how you can go about doing that.
Prayer Requests
As we settle in to our other home it stirs all kinds of emotions, although we love where we are living and what we get to do, having your heart in two places can make transitioning difficult, especially for our kids.

  • Please pray that they have a great transition back to Brazil and back to school and routine 

  • Please pray that we are able to pick up where we left off. Leaving so early into the ministry was hard, the girls asked often, ‘you’ll be back right?’.  We have tried to keep in touch as much as possible but we know it’s also possible that we may have some ground to make up.
  • Please pray for wisdom as we move forward, our greatest desire is to always be in step with our Father and what His plans are.
  • Please keep our friends and co-labourers Allison and Ronã and their son Oliver in your prayers, they are about to start the process to fundraise and move to João Pessoa to join our team!  We are so excited to have our team grow!
  • Finally, please pray for the girls we are ministering to, that they would increasingly feel the Father’s love so deeply, that they would have the courage to take the necessary steps forward to see their lives changed!

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