Prayer Letter January 2017…

Dear praying friends,

Young people are a tough group to work with in the church. The temptations of this world and the desire to fit in at school constantly bombard the youth here in the Jacumã congregation. These truths are universal at home and on the mission field. Out of the 45 or so teens that come faithfully to our teen program every Saturday night, only about 15 know the Lord as their Savior and about a third of this latter group are on fire for the Lord.

That is what makes the youth program so important here in Jacumã. “A great door and effectual is opened” to us as every week we have the opportunity to share Christ with so many young people. It is not, however, without its times of discouragement as weekly we preach Christ and see that the world holds incredible sway over many of these lives. However, we are not here to break hearts, only to share the Gospel and pray that the Holy Spirit will do the convicting.

Yet, our hearts rejoice with the handful of teens that are on fire and serving in the church. Anatoly leads services. Gabriel, his brother, plays the guitar. Jessica and Israeli sing backup for our song leaders and watch over toddlers in the nursery. Carol and Clara are two sisters that run audio and video for the services. David helps out around the church wherever needed and soon Juliana will join Gabriel playing a second guitar. She can also play the keyboard which will free up my Ivana to serve in other areas during services. But wait, there’s more… Ryan, Herbert, Rafael, Julio, Luiza, Jaine and Brenda sing in the choir. I may be forgetting some.

So these bring joy and remind us that the Lord is blessing the youth here and the Lord is bringing up a new generation of servants in His church. We remain, however, burdened for the larger part that still does not know the Lord. Pray that we will see more teens coming to the Lord.

Pastoring the Jacumã church has been a blessing for me (Jeff). I have seen growth in so many lives and I am praying that the church will be able to soon stand on it’s own. This would mean that the church can support it’s own Brazilian pastor and handle all of it’s ministry expenses. This also would mean that the church has doctrinal maturity to withstand “every wind” of false doctrine.

Out at camp the crew continues to put the final touches on our three big buildings (see the pictures on our blog reiners2brazil.wordpress.com). We have had some limited events out there and we see the potential of the new camp. Soon we will be ready to house and feed roughly 100 campers. It is an intimidating project, but God continues to provide and He will see us through. After the three buildings are complete we will take a breather from large projects at the camp and wait for the camp investments to yield funds for our next big project… the swimming pool!

As for our family, we are well. Thank you so much for your prayers for us. Thank you for giving in order to keep us out in the field. God bless each one of you.

Jeff and Ivana Reiner (Nicole and Emilie too)

Jacumã, very hot Northeast Brazil

October 2016 Prayer Letter…

Dear praying friends,

I must confess that the past few months have gone by so quickly that I have only recently realized that I missed our last prayer letter that was to be sent out in July of this year. July, August and September flew past us at a pace that has left us spinning and wondering where these months have gone. So let me say that I am sorry that July came and went without a report… it was not that there was nothing to report.

Let me try to bring you up to speed.

COUPLES… We have begun a new and much needed ministry among the couples at the Jacumã Congregation. We have felt for a long time that our couples needed a time to be immersed in Biblical teachings regarding marriage and family life. Strong Christ-centered couples result in strong families which will result in a strong and Christ-centered church.

The couples’ course meets two times a month and it has been a learning experience preparing and delivering Biblical studies that are real to life and, at times, hard-hitting. There are between eight to ten couples that come to each session and we have seen enthusiasm from the group. Pray that God will use this course to challenge husbands and wives to live out their marriages in the light of Biblical truth.

CAMP… We are completing the first two of four projected housing blocks at the camp. The camp is also being prepared for a large men’s event that will be held on the 15th of November. There is still so much to build at the camp, but God has brought us so far and we see that very soon we will be able to host large overnight activities.

We thank God for Jared Malcolm who continues to be the right hand man to the camp director. Jared is a huge part of the camp construction and his presence frees Jeff up to concentrate on caring for the camp finances and pastoring the Jacumã church plant.

Please pray for the safety of the camp workers as they daily build that which will be so useful for the churches in our region. Pray also that God will use this new facility to bring countless boys and girls, young men and young women to the Savior. If only one comes to Christ at the new camp, all the sweat and blood going into this project will be worth it.

CONGREGATION… As the church continues to be blessed and continues to grow, so do the attacks from the enemy. We have seen very promising teens with so much potential to serve in the church fall into sin. We have seen apathy from many who come through the doors every week, but never come to Christ or never feel the need to grow in the Lord. It‘s not easy. It’s discouraging at times. There have been moments that we have wondered why we continue on, but then the Lord reminds us of all He is doing in the lives of many others who are growing in the Lord. “… let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galations 6:9

Thank you so much for praying. We need it! Thank you so much for giving. God bless each one of you.

Jeff and Ivana Reiner

April 2016 Prayer Letter…

Dear Ones in Christ,

What a month April has already been. Earlier this month we received a ministry group from our home church; Grace Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The group came to serve in the area of music, preaching and evangelism during the celebration of the Jacumã Congregation’s 11th anniversary.

Now, we knew this group was going to be a blessing and was going to be used of the Lord, but I confess that I underestimated the impact God was going to allow them to have on our family, on the church, and in the community. To God be the glory.

Within hours or their arrival they were already in church bringing the worship both in English and in Portuguese. Jeff Wylde delivered the message to a full church. All were blessed, but things were only getting warmed up.

On Monday night we held an open air meeting on the community’s sports court. The church had been inviting and praying for weeks and God blessed that service with many visitors. The wind that made it hard to read from our Bibles also drove the sound from the large speakers well beyond the many who were there under the lights taking the Gospel into the dark corners of the city where many others listened from their homes.

I have never seen the Jacumã congregation come together and work harder for the glory of God. Once again, the Grace Baptist Church team sang praises and gave testimonies on what God had done in their lives. Jeff once again brought the Word and we saw Christians come forward to pray for God to use them in a greater way. Once again… to God be the glory!

Through the week the ministry team was involved with kids activities and was able to share the Gospel with well over 150 kids. They worked out at the camp on Tuesday. They worshiped with the congregation during our prayer meeting on Wednesday night. The team also played sports with the teens on the court behind our church building. Those teens heard the Gospel again and one young girl made a decision to accept the Lord. Pray for Teresa.

It was a very busy week and one that God used to impact those of us here and those on the team. We walked away tired, but so grateful to the Lord for the things He taught us. Thank you Jeff, Joey, Jessica, Tommy, Tracie, Steve, Wanda, Jared and Kathleen for coming and giving your all! Thank you church and families for letting them come. Thank you, Lord, above all.

Thank you all for continually praying for us. God answers prayer. The work out at camp continues and the workers have been kept safe. The Jacumã congregation continues to grow both in size and in the Lord. We continue to carry on by His grace. Thank you for being a part of it!

Jeff and Ivana Reiner (for the girls)

Jacumã, Brazil

The Jacumã Teen Ministry…

Saturday night is teen night at church.  We have a small court behind the church where the teens meet for 3 hours of sports, games, snacks and of course the Word of God.  We have seen God bless this ministry with several teens coming to Christ.  The impact is huge on these lives as most of them are not church kids.  Many come from broken homes.  Many have alcoholic fathers.
This past Saturday we had 37 teens inside the church building for a movie night where we showed a Christian film and applied it to their lives at the end.
Pray for these teens.  They are a growing group inside the church as well.  Those who have been saved and have joined the church are helping in various ministries.
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January 2016 Prayer Letter…

Dear praying friends,

Ivana had invited Luciana to church for months and Luciana was always grateful for the invitation, but it took a while before she finally made her first visit. That night during the message Luciana listened carefully to the Gospel and came to know the Lord. Her life has been changed.

Recently in a prayer meeting service Luciana gave her testimony. She said, “People would always ask me if I had Jesus as my Savior. My answer was always “yes”, but it was never true. Tonight I know that I am truly saved!”

This is the power of God’s word on an individual. It’s the power of Christ’s work on the cross transforming one more life. It is our privilege and joy to see lives transformed one at a time.

God continues to work in Jacumã with several decisions for Christ since our last letter. Pray for Luciana, Alberto, Rondinelly and others who have come to Christ. Pray that they will continue to mature in God’s Word. Pray that God will continue to send visitors to church. Pray for continued growth. Our prayers are being answered… let’s not stop now!

For some time now we have been seeing the need for the Jacumã congregation to have it’s own parsonage. The church is growing and we see that we are in our final years here at this church plant. Though we do not know the timing of when we will actually step back and see the church continue under national leadership we feel like we should be preparing for that day.

We hope to be able to raise these funds from three sources. First is the church here in Jacumã which will be setting aside money every month for this project. Second, we hope to be able to raise funds from the Brazil Northeast region. Third, we pray that we will be able to challenge churches and individuals back home to give toward this need. Would you consider a gift of any amount for this project?

With that in mind we have contacted Baptist Mid-Missions and asked for a special fund to be set up for any church or individual who wishes to contribute toward the purchase of a parsonage in Jacumã. If the Lord moves you as a church or as an individual to give toward this project, you may send in a check to Baptist Mid Missions, PO Box 308011, Cleveland, OH 44130-8011. All donations to this project should be designated to the “Jeff Reiner Building” fund.

We thank you for prayerfully considering this need and we thank all of you who will give to this very important project.

We thank you also for your continued prayers and support. God bless you.

Jeff and Ivana Reiner

Jacumã, Brazil