Beloved Brazil...

I just returned from a fast trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil with Teena Evans & Jodi Englehart of Brazilian Children’s Outreach. It’s been nearly 5 years since my last visit and I was so blessed to see the fruit that remains still! I’m always amazed how deeply the bonds formed with brothers and sisters on the field goes despite the sometimes long separations. It was a beautiful reunion.

In one week’s time we accomplished so much! We did training with the staff at the ARCA that hosted our Child Sponsorship Program, spent time with the leaders and preached at Pastor Paulo & Martha’s church, Novidade de Vida in the city. What a great time that was!!! Due to my schedule I wasn’t able to visit the flavella’s as I hoped but we made plans for translating new materials and doing work in several when I return. A flavella is a shanty town of homes put together with whatever the people can find. The need is great and they are doing a wonderful job through Pastor Martha’s ministry, The Institute NDV - with BCO’s help - to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the impoverished families living there. What a joy to be even a small part in what they are doing!

One of my new favorite places was Pastor Jose’s church in Cipo, the drug-infested area I mentioned before my trip. He and his wife are under constant warfare for their ministry. Example - a voodoo witch was recently saved through their church and now their lives are being threatened. Still they persist with joy in the work God has called them to do. They laugh and love the people, preach and pray with passion. Their church felt like home. I was there almost every day and enjoyed sharing in a variety of ways - I ministered in word and prophetic ministry to their leaders, spent one-on-one time with the pastor’s family, did a service for the children and walked through their flavella meeting the precious children there. I preached at the Sunday night service and did a marriage seminar with about 20 couples. It was a POWERFUL time! I even sang with their choir! :) I left information about the Word Club and will be following up to see the program hopefully starting there in the coming year.

It was incredible to see Teena and Jodi on the mission field once again. BCO is doing a great work! We visited several homes in the flavellas that they will help to become safe and livable. Hungry children are fed because of their efforts. It’s so amazing to see! We make a wonderful team - they do the physical work and I get to do my “thing” of discipleship! :)

We visited a Creche (daycare/after-school program) in Vargem Grande, a very poor area that reminded me so much of Haiti. BCO plans to help with some much-needed repairs. A Creche is so important in a community like this. Children attend school in shifts and therefore have many hours each day that are free with nothing to do. The Creche tutors and provides a safe place to play. The staff shares the love of Jesus and provides relational ties the children don’t always have at home. I was able to share a lesson with the children and was delighted when the staff picked up on the message and poured ministry into their hearts at the end. BCO brought gifts and another ministry led by a young man that BCO ministered to years ago provided food and supplies as well. I LOVED this stop on our trip and plan to visit again when I return.

Now I have a few days at home before flying off to Nigeria! One thing I know - I was born to do this work. Every place I go feels like “home” and I experience God’s grace in a unique way each time. There’s a part of me that only comes alive on the mission field. I can’t explain it so I won’t even try. I love my life here in the USA with my husband and family and friends….love the ministry and those I get to pour into here in the states….but there is still a piece of this aging girl’s heart that beats only when on foreign soil. THANK YOU to all who pray and give to send me to the nations! My heart is filled with joy…

Carla Ives