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

Advertisements

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

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