Happy Fourth of July USA!

Even though Brazil doesn’t celebrate anything on the fourth of July, we still took the opportunity to celebrate with other American missionaries. We had Barbecue, desserts, sang the national anthem together and prayed for our country. This month we had our men’s meeting, ladies’ meeting, teen church, and a Friend Day dinner (another Brazilian holiday). This month was full of exciting moments. First, I was able to give my first devotional fully in Portuguese! Next, our Friend Day dinner had over fifty people in attendance! Third, our house now has ALL of its walls, and the roof is going on this week! There has been a lot of progress this month both in our church and on our property.

It is a blessing that we have other missionaries in our state. Two hours south of us is the capital of our state: Porto Alegre. We were invited for a small fourth of July party to honor our home country. I made a Brazilian dessert and decorated it with strawberries, blueberries, and white chocolate in the shape of the American flag (red, white, and blue). To me, it was very unique praying for the United States knowing that I will probably never live there again. I couldn’t say “this country” or “our country” when I prayed. I had to say, “The United States”. It was a new realization that still hasn’t quite hit me.

Joneia and I have fully recovered from being sick, and it feels like we are making up for some lost time. Our winter has been very mild and beautiful, and so we have been working diligently on preparing the property. We’ve downed trees, pulled weeds, and have kept ourselves available for our contractor for our house if he needed anything. We are now at the point of finishing many of the details like the plumbing and electricity and have been needed on hand many times per day. My father-in-law taught me the basics of installing drainage for our house, so I spent a few days installing all the plumbing and drainage! We hired someone to do the water lines though since that requires a lot more experience and expertise. We anticipate being able to move into our renovated house within the next couple of months!

My Portuguese is developing well, though a little slower than I hoped. I hoped that I could speak the language in six months, which was an ambitious goal. Now that we’ve been here for six months, I am able to speak and understand a lot, but only just enough to get by. As I am immersed in the Portuguese language, I realize just how big this mountain known as “the Portuguese language” really is. It has its peaks, plateaus, and valleys. Fortunately, I feel like I’ve come to the point where the peaks are more common than the valleys. As I’ve already mentioned, I gave my first ten-minute devotional this month! I wrote it in English, attempted to translate it, Joneia corrected it, and I read the entire thing for the church. It is very helpful for me to try to write out my own sentences. I think our members were encouraged. They all came up to me with smiles on their faces saying things that I think were compliments? They at least sounded like compliments….regardless, it was a blessing for me to be able to speak to people again.

On another note, Brazil has so many holidays! I think there are at least two holidays each month. Our ministry here tries to use those holidays as opportunities! This months big holiday was Dia dos Amigos (Friend Day). Like Valentines Day, no one got off of work, but everyone acknowledges and celebrates it. We use it as a Friend Day Outreach, like many churches in the United States do. Our members invited their friends to a soup dinner. I made some American Chili (mild and spicy), Joneia made her vegetable soup, and other members brought soups as well. A missionary, and close friend of the Yelles, came up from Porto Alegre to speak for the event. Many guests got to hear the gospel preached clearly that night. It was a very successful event.

Six months into our lives in Brazil, and everything is becoming more familiar. I know many familiar routes without needing a GPS. I’m slowly understanding what people are saying more and more. We know our brands and favorite things at our local grocery store. Now we just need our house, and I think it will fully settle in that we have moved to another country. Continue to pray for my language learning as I still have a long way to go. Pray for continued health, and for wisdom as we develop our house and the property. Pray for more opportunities to give the gospel. We are also happy to report that the Yelles were able to lead two people to the Lord this month! Please pray for Fernanda and Caio as they are at the start of the Christian lives. (On that note, please pray that in my language learning I will learn how to present the gospel in Portuguese quickly so that I can lead people to the Lord as well.) This month has been very productive and encouraging, and we thank you for your prayers. God bless you.


Contact Us:

+1 (206) 849-3874

BRT (UTC/GMT -3 hours) Time Zone



Sending Church:

Worth Baptist Church
Pastor Tyler Gillit

4900 Campus Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76119

+1 (817) 534-0787


Mission Agency:

Independent Baptist Fellowship International (IBFI)

PO Box 151259
Fort Worth, TX 76108

+1 (817) 367-3422