Christmas Greetings

“But you, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2

Insignificance: not worth considering, unimportant; lacking weight, position, or influence.

Bethlehem certainly seemed to fit the definition, as did the poor, unknown couple that desperately sought refuge that night for the birth of our Savior. And what could be of less significance than a stable for the birthplace of the Ruler of Israel? That’s often how God works---through the insignificant.

There are times that as missionaries, we get a bit discouraged, feeling that our work is just that, insignificant. But the work isn’t about what we are doing or how we are feeling regarding the results. It has everything to do with what or who God chooses to use to accomplish His purpose.

We are in the process of buying a 10 meter by 20 meter lot (2100 sq. ft.) in the neighborhood of the congregation, next to the local dump. We hope to use this little lot to be more involved with the people in their day to day lives. They are the poor, the manual laborers, the down and outers of this small, interior town. What God will do with this small lot is up to Him. Our prayer and desire for the coming 2013 year is that as we share the message of the Savior with the people of the New Horizon neighborhood, they will not consider the message as unimportant.

You may feel that your part in the ministry here in Brazil is insignificant. But God uses your prayers, support, and interest as He chooses and through it we are greatly blessed and cared for to continue the work.

The Christmas season provides opportunity to reflect on the significance of Christ’s birth. How we rejoice that we can call the everlasting Savior our own! How we desire that many more will be able to do the same.

May the Lord bless you and your loved ones, your gatherings, your church programs, and your moments of meditation on our Savior.

Gratefully yours,

Bruce and Carol Dennis
Baptist Mid-Missions, Northeast Brazil
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Ocean reflection

Recently, we returned from ten days in Fortaleza where we participated in two church retreats and did further work on our home while the renters are traveling. The second retreat was for the youth group from Casa Nova, where we presently live. Most of them were seeing the beautiful Atlantic Ocean for the first time.

For more than an hour, the junior high boys were having a great time getting knocked around by the waves. I marveled at their stamina to keep getting up after the waves would send them tumbling head over heels. They laughed and jumped right back in. A couple of verses came to mind. James 1:2-3 states: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” When difficulties come into my life, like waves that knock me down, I don’t know that my response is that of the boys to jump up and get right back in there to be knocked down again, nor to get up with such joy. But that is the command. I was convicted and grateful for the Lord to remind me of that through those boys.

As the school year and church activities wind down here in Brazil and people prepare for their two months of summer vacation, attendance at the remaining church programs drops off considerably. We have been making extra visits in the New Horizons neighborhood, reminding children and adults that the Sunday afternoon Bible class will continue. Pray that they will desire to come hear God’s Word.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

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