Naomi lives in Olinda in Northeast Brazil. Since the start of 2012, Naomi has been working alongside the Peixinhos congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPB) who are reaching out to the poor communities around them sharing the Good News of Jesus.
Naomi is training various groups within the congregation including Sunday School teachers, outreach volunteers, the Pastor and elders on strategies to reach out to the surrounding favelas. She has also been helping to develop protection policies / strategies for the congregation to use within their activities.
Naomi is also training the members to be effective witnesses for Jesus both individually and collectively within the poor neighbourhood of Peixinhos, encouraging and facilitating their involvement in community development and evangelism.
From 2005 to 2011, Naomi worked alongside Casa Caiada congregation of the IPB, and local churches within the neighbourhood of Aguazinha, seeking to help these poor and marginalised people by sharing the Good News of Jesus with them.
Before going to Brazil, Naomi was a Biology teacher at Hunterhouse College in Belfast. She spent two years (2000-02) as a volunteer in mission in the Vale of the Lord Orphanage in Recife. She also has a Masters’ degree in Theology (with specific emphasis on working with Children at Risk in Brazil) from Union Theological College (UTC) in Belfast.
Do you think it snowed in Peixinhos this Christmas?
Children playing in the snow, lying down on the ground making star shapes with their arms, throwing snow at each other and making snowmen is not something you would expect in the north east of Brazil, but in Peixinhos in the local congregation carpark this was the scene. The footballers and their families had come to the Christmas meal the congregation had put on for them and the snow could be seen clearly falling from the sky. The cries of joy of “It's snowing!” from the children as they looked up to see the tiny polystyrene balls landing on the ground during the explanation of Isaiah 1:18 and Psalm 51:7 was something to be remembered.
The Christmas evangelistic events with the families of the footballers and the street outreach were very encouraging. Over the Christmas and New Year period of holidays, the Reading Room moved across the street in the favela to rent premises that are a lot cheaper, so lots of time and energy was spent in cleaning and renovating the new space. Many of the fathers of children from the Good News Club helped in the moving and renovation process of painting and decorating, rewiring, etc and everyone is pleased at the new space.
At the end of January we had a meeting with the mothers of the children to introduce them to a new event which we hope to have once a month called ‘Coffee with God’. This will be a time when the parents of the children who come to the Good News Club, the footballers and any others who want to know a little more about studying the Bible and the good news of Jesus, can come for a short time (maximum 15 - 20 minutes) to have coffee and go through a short devotional cartoon book.
It was really encouraging to hear the parents already asking when the next meeting was going to be, and they were all excited that they were now able to tell their children who had been reading books in the Reading Room that they had now started to read also. The plan is to hold this once a month, but already they are wanting to read more of the book. Give thanks for this and pray that God would use these short devotional times to speak to these parents.
- Give thanks for time spent over Christmas and New Year with family in Ireland and Scotland and for my dad coming out to visit in January/early February.
- Give thanks for the new Reading Room space and pray that God would mightly use this space for his glory.
- Pray for the ‘Coffee with God’ meetings and for a family away day for the Good News Club planned for 3 March.
- Continue to pray for myself as I train the Kirk Session and Sunday School teachers on using Pilgrims Progress as a visual tool, and for the preparation of all the material.
General Prayer Points:
- For wisdom and guidance for Naomi as she continues to live amongst the poor favela community of Aguazinha and for her health and safety.
- Give praise God for the hunger and enthusiasm to learn that is evident in the congregation of Peixinhos.
- For patience, guidance and direction from God for Naomi in all the training sessions she is taking within the congregation of Peixinhos.
- That the actions and life of the congregation of Peixinhos would truly be based firmly on God's Word.
||Caixa Postal 73
AC Central Recife
Avenida Guararapes 250
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