Prayer Letter – January 2023

Dear Praying Friends,

This year started off at full throttle as the Paraíba camp hosted the Revive teen camp. The Revive leadership (made up of former campers who want to serve the Lord by giving back into camp ministries) worked side by side with Jeff in the planning and execution of a tiring, but rewarding, teen camp. Jeff was in charge of making sure the camp property functioned as it should and the Revive team labored on the various aspects of the camp program. There were about 120 campers studying God’s Word, playing sports, and running wild with various activities and competitions. Praise the Lord the campers and staff headed home filed with good food, equipped with God’s Word, and with very few physical injuries.

We ask for your prayers as we are working with the leadership of the Bessa church in the search for a Brazilian national pastor. We have a solid candidate that we are working with. We ask that you pray that God’s will will be made clear throughout this important process. While working with the deacons on this transition, they made it clear to Jeff that due to the fact that much of the Bessa church is now made up of new believers and members, it would be healthy for the church to know that our family plans on returning to the Bessa church after our upcoming furlough and working with the new pastor and the church for just a little while longer. This entire revitalization process has been challenging and rewarding. God has blessed in amazing ways. God has set a tone of growth and hope in a church that was struggling just two years ago. So, we want to ensure that the transition back to national leadership is one that is as smooth and stable as possible for both the new and the not so new church members.

Once Bessa is completely nationalized, we believe that God is going to use this church as a hub for further church plants in this area. The potential is there. It’s exciting!

I’m going to stop this letter right here because in just a few days we are heading into the interior of the state of Paraíba with roughly 20 members of the Bessa church for a missions trip. I want to tell you about it once we get back… Be right back! 

Well, we are back… sorry for the wait. Our team joined the Monte Santo church and headed out to minister with works in two interior towns: Queimadas and Livramento. We ministered with adults, teens and kids. It was a wonderful experience as we were able to help instill in the Bessa church a deeper desire to reach out in missions. We returned back to the Bessa church on Sunday night while the evening service was in progress and though we were all bushed, the Lord gave us the joy in seeing a man come to Christ in the Bessa service. God is at work. 

Thank you all for being such an important part of what He is doing here.

Jeff and Ivana Reiner… for the girls.

João Pessoa, Brazil

Prayer Letter November 2022…

Dear Praying Friends,

On November 15th the long line of men stretched all the way around the large dining hall of camp as about 130 men were served lunch during a special men’s event. Ivana once again handled the huge task of prepping the camp kitchen and organizing the cooks and the menu. The Paraíba church association brought the programing and the special speaker. We praise the Lord for a day of learning and fellowship with men coming in from all over the state.

Over the past months we have continued to see the Lord bless the Bessa church. Nearly every Sunday service we see new visitors and Jeff is beginning a new discipleship class this month for those believers, both new and seasoned, who seek growth and church membership. This will be the fourth or fifth discipleship class (Jeff can’t remember) since our arrival at Bessa two years ago.

We rejoice in the salvation of Zélia who is a lady who has been visiting for some time. She trusted Christ in tears at the end or our annual missions conference in October. Pray for Zélia. She is learning the truths of our faith for the very first time and it is exciting to see her thirst to know more.

But where God is at work we can be certain that the old devil is as well. As we see the Lord shower the Bessa church with exciting growth and progress we know… we have always known… that we would face challenges.

So what are we to do? As pastors, God many times places us between the wolves and the sheep. We are here to take the claws and face the teeth of those who wish to consume the flock God has placed under our care. And so we must stand as examples. We continue to equip the flock with the Word of God so that the flock will be able to stand with us. We make it known that we will not give asylum to wolves. But most importantly we pray. We pray that the over-Shepherd… the Head of the church… will provide His ultimate protection and care. Please pray with us for the protection and continued blessing here at the Bessa church.

One final bit of information. We hope to be home to begin our furlough in the Summer of 2023. Jeff is working on a plan to place an experienced Brazilian pastor in Bessa to care for the flock during our absence. In our next letter we hope to share our plans for how we believe the final nationalization of the Bessa church should take place. Having mentioned furlough, we are open to make plans to travel to our supporting churches and fellowship with you all. If your church can plan this far out, please reach out to us.

We thank each one of you for your faithfulness in prayer and in support. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Jeff and Ivana Reiner (for the girls)

Prayer Letter July 2022…

Dear Praying Friends,

Assis and Gustavo are faithful men in our church services. They are sitting in the pews weekly. They bring their wonderful families. They have dear Christian wives and children. They participate in ministries with the men and couples. They bless my heart every time I have the opportunity to talk with them. They are kind and generous and loved by all in the church. However, as of the date that I am writing these words neither one has yet received Christ as his Savior. I am asking each one of you to pray for the salvation of Assis and Gustavo. Applying what Paul said to Agrippa… I would to God that not only they, but also all who hear the Gospel at the Bessa church, might become both almost and altogether such as I am!

The Jacaré Children’s Bible Club is officially the newest ministry of the Bessa church. We now hold weekly Bible Club meetings in one of the roughest and most needy neighborhoods in our area. The Jacaré kids come from some of the most desperate situations imaginable with smiles on their faces ready to sing, learn Bible verses, hear a Gospel presentation, and leave with Scripture on their minds and a snack in their bellies. It has been a joy to see this new ministry come to life and see the members of the Bessa church come together to minister to these kids. We have seen several kids receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. Please pray with us that God will protect our Bible Club team and bring many kids and parents to Christ.

Praise the Lord with us for the salvation of Thiago. Thiago is a young man that has been coming to the youth meetings and to the regular church services as well. A week ago he came to church and let me know that he had accepted Jesus as his Savior at home. Last night he stood during the service acknowledging to all that he is now a believer. Pray for his growth. We are excited to see what the Lord is doing with the few teens that He is sending our way.

We are also excited about the Bessa Gospel team. Our second round of personalized tracks have been produced and we are looking forward to our next outing into the city parks to share the Gospel and invite hundreds of people to attend a service at Bessa. We also have a goal to fill up a bus and take our brothers and sisters out into the interior of our state to help with meetings and evangelism in several churches and congregations. 

God is at work and we are excited because we continue to see the amazing potential here in Bessa. Our prayer has been that God would bring healthy growth to this church that has been through so much in recent years. Our desire is to see Bessa at a place where it came be a powerhouse for the Gospel here in the state of Paraíba and around the world. Thank you for partnering with us in this important ministry.

Jeff and Ivana Reiner (for the girls)

João Pessoa, Brazil

Prayer Letter March 2022

Dear Praying Friends,

We are constantly amazed at what God can do in His Church in spite of who we are. So much is happening in the Bessa church and it is so wonderful to see God’s blessing. We would like to mention some of those ways the Lord is working.

In our last letter we mentioned our desire to begin a couples ministry at the church. We believe that strong Christ-centered couples and families are essential for a strong church. The couples ministry is already a reality. Couples from the church and visiting couples are now meeting once a month to be equipped with God’s Word and to spend time in fellowship over a meal. These meetings have been a wonderful opportunity to reach unsaved spouses with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you pray that this group will grow and that unsaved husbands and wives will come to know the Lord through this important ministry?

When we arrived at the Bessa church we realized the need for strong men who could help lead the church. There were some godly men who were active in ministries, but the need was great to see more guys step up. Right away Jeff began a men’s prayer breakfast once a month (see picture to the right). The group of guys is growing and we can see God at work. Where there was once only one deacon now God has provided three quality Christian men to serve in this important office.

After the last men’s prayer breakfast, one of our unsaved guys came up to Jeff asking for a moment. That moment turned into nearly two hours of meaningful conversation where the Gospel was once again shared with Assis.Please pray for Assis. He told Jeff that he was close to making a decision for Christ!

Then there are the ministries that Ivana has with the ladies of the church. This is the fastest growing group in the church. The ladies are on fire and excited to serve in various ministries in the church. (pictured left)

As I write this, the church is planning on starting a Bible club for needy children in a nearby neighborhood. God continues to bless us and we must continue to reach out and be a blessing to others. Please pray for this children’s project ithe district of Jacaré.

And so I begin to run out of space on this page. Please pray for our upcoming eschatological conference with missionary Tim Franklin. Perhaps in our next letter we can talk a little about the teens ministry and the Gospel Team. So much to say… so little space. To sum it all up… GOD IS AT WORK in spite of who we are. Thank you once again for being a part of it all!

Jeff and Ivana Reiner (for the girls)