August 2018 Prayer Letter…

Dear praying friends, 

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” – 3 John 1:4

Greetings from North Carolina. Yes, we are home on furlough and we are adjusting to life here in the States. Ever heard of reverse culture shock? Well, it is real and we are just now getting over it after being home for a few weeks.

So many of you have been so encouraging to us with regards to Ivana’s miscarriage. For those who have not heard, three days before our departure from Brazil we went in for a routine ultrasound and, to our surprise, we found that the baby had no heartbeat. The baby had died in the womb three weeks prior and we had no idea. It was a very long day in the hospital as Ivana underwent doctors’ visits and procedures.

We know that all things work together for the good to them that love God and to them that are called according to His purpose. We lost the baby, but Ivana is in good health. You see, we could have traveled home not knowing that Ivana had had a miscarriage and Ivana could have become very ill here in the States. The Lord made sure we found out about the miscarriage at the right time while we were still near Ivana’s gynecologist in Brazil.

We were choosing names. We had plans, but God’s ways are perfect. Thank you all for your prayers and kind words of comfort to both Ivana and myself.

We rejoice as we continue to hear good things from the Jacumã Congregation. Pastor Maxwell is doing the work of a faithful pastor. He cares for the flock and the church can see that care in him. Soraya is a faithful pastor’s wife and is working so well with the ladies and the children. The church is growing in its love for this couple and we feel only joy as we see that the Lord is meeting the needs of that church plant we love so much. Our time in Jacumã may be coming to a close.

We left the field feeling that the Lord is bringing our 15 years of ministry in that church plant to a close. It is a wonderful feeling. Please pray that God will continue to bless that church with spiritual and numerical growth. Pray that we will return to the field to find that we are no longer needed in any capacity in the Jacumã church.

Where do we go from here? Pray with us for His perfect leading!

Well, we look forward to hearing from churches that have not yet scheduled with us. If you have not contacted us yet, please do so. We would love to come and give a report!

God bless each one of you.

Jeff and Ivana Reiner (for the girls)

Winston Salem, NC.

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April 2018 Prayer Letter…

Dear praying friends,

This may be the last prayer letter we send out before our upcoming furlough. We are in the middle of prepping the ministries here for our absence and it is no small task. After all, how do you wrap up four years of ministry and projects? How do you prepare yourself and the ones you have ministered to for four years for a lengthy, but needed separation? This is the third time we are preparing for a furlough and I still am not sure exactly how best to do it.

One thing is for certain… we pray. And the Lord has answered those prayers. This by far has been the smoothest transition for furlough we have had. God has supplied all the pieces needed so that the Brazilian leadership can step into place and take over in our absence. And this is what it is all about! We see God bringing the growth and maturity needed in the Jacumã congregation to the extent that we now have an interim pastor who has already been plugged into the ministries here and is being prepared for our departure.

Pastor Maxwell and Soraya are an answer to those prayers. They are a humble hard working couple that love the people and above all love the Lord. Maxwell has already begun preaching and teaching and Soraya won the hearts of the ladies, teens and children. They will be stepping up full throttle when we pull out on June the 12th. Please continue to pray for this dear couple and for the church during this transition.

We see the church growing and there is an excitement in the air, as this time around the church has a national pastor to care for them in our absence. Pray with us that the church will continue to grow and become everyday more independent from missionary input and support. Nothing would make us happier than to return from furlough and find that we are no longer needed here in Jacumã.

This just in… We have some very big news for all of you who have made it this far. Lord willing, we will be hearing the “pitter-patter” of tiny brand new little “missionary kid” feet around our home. Yes, you heard it correctly, much to your surprise (and ours!) we will be welcoming our third child in December of this year. This is a huge gift from God and our excitement grows every day. So, as we are preparing for furlough we are now also running around getting some preliminary tests and exams that Ivana’s doctor here is requesting before we leave. Needless to say, things here are hectic, but also exciting!

Finally, in our last letter we asked our supporting churches to get in touch with us so that we can schedule a time to come and give you a report on the ministries here in Brazil. Thank you to those of you who have contacted us. For those who have not yet gotten in touch, please know that there is still time for us to set something up with you. We look forward to being with you all very soon.

We close by thanking each church and each individual that remembers us in prayer and in giving. You are used by God to keep us going here on the mission field.

In Him!

Jeff and Ivana Reiner (for the girls and the tiny bump!)

January 2018 Prayer Letter…

Dear praying friends,

We ended last year thinking that if we could just make it through the year-end activities at church we would be in the clear. Yet, we started this year thinking that if we can just make it through January we will be able to slow down a bit. And so it goes! It has been full speed ahead here as we are on the final lap of our four year term. We have been working with the church and with the camp trying to make sure that both will be turned over to Brazilian leadership that will care for these two very important ministries while we are on furlough.

And on that note, I am so pleased to report that after much time in prayer the Lord has given us much piece about inviting brother Maxwell to take over pastoral responsibilities in our absence. Maxwell is a layman in a sister church that has some bible training, excellent Christian maturity, wonderful organizational skills and a deep love for the Lord and His Church. Both he and his wife Soraia are dear servants of Christ who have shown over the years their willingness to minister in the churches in our area. This is a very humble couple that loves the Lord and is looking for greater opportunities to expand in ministry.

IMG-20180103-WA0017The Jacumã congregation will be a great experience for this couple and may well be what the Lord uses to encourage this young couple to step out of the secular work force into full-time Christian ministry. Maxwell and Soraia may well be what the Jacumã congregation needs to encourage the church toward the ultimate goal of nationalization.

Our goal is to have Maxwell and Soraia already working beside us three months prior to our departure for furlough. We leave the field on the 12th of June. Will you pray with us during this time of transition both for Maxwell and Soraia and for the church?

We are also happy to report that the Paraíba camp has two major events in late January. The first is a teen camp that will begin on the 18th of January and end on the 21st. There are already some 90 teens signed up. We will be working beside my brother Jonathan and his family during this exciting week. A group of young people from various churches will be handling all of the programming for the week.

 

The second event will be the association meetings for the churches in the State of Paraíba. This will be held from the 26th to the 28th of January. Please pray for these events. May lives be changed for eternity in this wonderful place the Lord has given us.

As mentioned above, our furlough will begin mid-June 2018. We will be home for a year (Lord willing) and we look forward to giving a report to each one of our supporting churches and getting together with as many of our individual supporters as we can. Dear supporting church, it is not too early to begin scheduling a field report. Our contact information is below.

 

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family and for our safety. We are well, by the grace of God.

Thank you also for your continued support.

In Him!

Jeff and Ivana Reiner (Nicole and Emilie too)

Jacumã, Brazil

Prayer Letter September 2017…

Dear praying friends,

In July the Jacumã congregation held its annual conference inviting Pastor Elton as our keynote speaker. Elton is a young Brazilian national who is mature beyond his years. Our church was challenged and the Gospel was clearly presented during Elton’s time with us. It is our desire to see a Brazilian pastor like Elton eventually take over the pastorate here in Jacumã. Please pray that the believers here will step up to the challenge and learn to give to their local church. We have seen God increase our numbers here. We have seen spiritual growth within the church. Leadership has developed among the men of the church. Our teens are stepping up to serve in the services. We have taught them stewardship time and time again. Now, our prayer is that the Lord will move his people here to give so that they can call a Brazilian pastor. Will you continue to pray with us as our time in Jacumã comes to a close?

Our teen ministries on Saturdays just get sweeter and sweeter. Recently, two young men have come to know the Lord. Pray for Renato and Rodrigo. They are natural leaders and can be greatly used along with the other teens here in Jacumã. Our guitar player, Gabriel, is dedicating himself to the music ministry at church and a young lady by the name of Israeli is learning to play the keyboard. Israeli may be instrumental (no pun intended) in taking over Ivana’s place as our main keyboard player. Other teens are involved with many other ministries such as vocals and audio-visuals. As you can see the teen ministry is becoming a blessing to the entire church.

In June Ivana worked hard along with the Jacumã ladies’ fellowship to host a large state-wide annual ladies’ “get together” at the Jacumã Congregation. There were about 120 ladies from surrounding churches in attendance. The keynote speaker was Jenny Reiner… Jon and Jenny work 45 minutes to the north of us.

Prayer meetings on Wednesdays have seen growth as well. Jeff is bringing a weekly series called “Minha Igreja Local” (My Local Church) which is designed to further prepare the Jacumã congregation to become organized and independent.

Recently Jeff and his brother Jon took a trip into the bush to a place called Quixeramobim to visit a church that their father planted in the 1980s. What a blessing it was for Jeff to preach behind the same pulpit his father used decades ago. That church in the bush is still going strong! To God be the glory. Some of you will be reading this letter to your churches or to your Sunday school classes. We are here smiling as we imagine how you will pronounce the word “QUIXERAMOBIM”.

Finally, we are in a mad dash as we prepare the Camp for a large couples’ event that will be held on the 30th of September. We spent the day Saturday shopping for pots, pans, spoons, forks, serving platters, chairs, water filters and the list goes on. The new camp is stocking up on items it needs to host large events.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! We pray for you as well.

In Him!

Jeff and Ivana Reiner… for the girls

Prayer Letter May 2017…

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58.

God has a way of showing His servants that their labor in the Lord is not futile. Many times as ministers we look out over the flock that the Lord has entrusted to us and wonder what impact are we having in these lives. God opened my eyes this past week and showed me indeed that what He has called us to do is not in vain.

Sunday afternoon I was siting in the church as people were preparing the building for the upcoming services. I was siting next to dear brother Alberto. He and his family have come to know the Lord in the last year and a half. They are faithful in our services. They are hungry for the Word. They are growing in the Lord. In short, this family is a blessing in the Jacumã congregation.

I mentioned to him how he was first invited to church by another brother in Christ and how we are so thankful that his family is with us. Alberto corrected me by saying:

You are incorrect, Pastor. Adriano was not the first to invite me to church. You were. You just don’t remember. You were handing out tracks and inviting people to church. I was drunk inside a bar on Main Street and you came up to me and gave me a track and invited me to church. When you invited me to church I told you I would come.”

I had completely forgotten, but Alberto never forgot the promise he made to visit the church. Eventually, Alberto did come and, if I am not mistaken, it was on a Wednesday night. Alberto heard the Gospel and came to Christ. The Lord called him from a life of alcoholism by His marvelous grace. Alberto’s family as well has come to Christ.

Please pray for the continued spiritual growth of Alberto and Cibelli his wife. Pray for their children: João, José, and baby Maria. These kids are adorable. They listen well in their Sunday School class and in Kids Church. This dear family has reminded me in the last few days that our “labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

Last prayer letter we talked about the youth program in the Jacumã Congregation. We have since done a complete makeover to that ministry adding Thiago and his wife Camila as youth counselors. This couple has already added so much to the program. We have an hour long service at the beginning of the evening which consists of music, Bible skill training and a message on the series “The Armor of God”.

In rewiring our youth program we have placed a greater emphasis on the teaching of the Word, though sports are also a large part of the program. Pray for the salvation of many unsaved youth that faithfully come.

Since I began the writing of this letter my dear cousin Doug Reiner has been promoted to be forever with his Savior. Doug and Renate Reiner were faithful missionaries in Brazil for nearly 30 years. This past year Doug has been battling cancer, a battle he lost last night with his family by his side. The family feels this incredible loss, but the family rejoices knowing that Doug is finally and forever cured. Please pray for God’s peace in the lives of his wife Renate and his children Alex and Candice.

In Him!

Jeff and Ivana Reiner… for the girls

Jacumã, Brazil

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