Tag Archives: peniel

Graduates Banquet | 2017

Every year Peniel’s 1st year students put on a banquet for the graduates (2nd year students).

The theme, the menu, the decor– it’s all a secret until that night. I’m always SO impressed with what they’re able to pull off– with little resources and a LOTTA creativity.

This year’s theme was Pioneers of the 21st Century.
The undergrads all dressed up as famous pioneering missionaries.

They planned SUCH a thoughtful, compelling program– complete with a candlelight song about sharing our light, then at the end they passed their candle off to each of the graduates.


  
 

Look at my handsome dates!! {But please ignore the fact that my baby on the left appears to be taller than me!!}

 
Our oldest two sat at one of the “teen tables.” And our youngest took this picture of us.


Some of our lovely graduates


Greetings from some dear former students and coworkers in the tribe


Andy doing his thing– inspiring us all to “fix our eyes.”
Which I’ve been thinking about ever since, inspiring this last post.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
{Hebrews 12:1-3}

Fórum Missionário | 2017

It’s been almost a week… and I’m still not sure what to say about last weekend…
But, I know some of you were in prayer, so I have to share!!

Andy’s been planning this Missionary Forum for months— a weekend for Brazilian pastors and church leaders to come to Peniel to be exposed to the need for tribal missionaries, and to learn more about getting involved— from praying, to sending, to building a missionary care team, to perhaps…. going.
 
It was lots of work, for a lot of people. And alllllll the labor would have been nothing if the Spirit didn’t move. So, we asked God for this over and over and over.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name goes all the glory
for Your unfailing love and faithfulness. {Psalm 115:1}

It turned out to be a very teary weekend, as I kept seeing evidence of His presence, HIS work in people’s lives, HIM raising up His church, the display of HIS splendor!!
 
I was challenged by the speakers’ motivation for missions– “to love God and serve wherever He wants.” Not the lost, not the dying, but the LOVE OF GOD should be the motivation for our mission!

He also said, based on Acts 13:1-4– “We are instruments of the Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit is at work, there you will find missionary work.” (the best translation I could come up with 🙂 )

I was moved looking out over the diversity in the room– diversified, yet unified.
 

I was so encouraged by this missionary couple who has stepped out of the tribe for a year to take care of some health issues. As we are about to do the same, I asked her if it was hard for them to be away. She said it is, but that she’s committed to use this year to take every opportunity she has to share a vision for reaching the unreached.
 
She also told me, “You just keep inspiring other women to love God.”
Oh, how I needed to hear that!

I am so inspired by the faithfulness of these dear white-haired missionaries, who yeeeeears ago, put their hand to the plow and never looked back (Luke 9:62).

I love that when one couple was asked what impacted them most, they said, “the faith and the happiness of your students.” SO true. LOVE it 🙂
 
We pray that the Lord would raise up more workers, that He wouldn’t just bring more students to Peniel, but future missionaries!

I guess I didn’t think he’d be raising up our boys… After the Forum, Jack told us, “You know, God did something in my heart. I mean, I’ve thought about missions. But I’m thinking about going to those places that are really hard to get to.” Jude chimes in, “Me too! I just keep thinking about those missionary stories we’ve been reading, about those men who were killed because they went into tribes who had never heard about Jesus. I want to go there, to tell them about Jesus.”

Can’t say what all that does to my momma heart…
It made me wonder if the strong-willed children of today are growing up to be determined missionaries to take the Gospel where it is most difficult. Oh Lord, give us wisdom and endurance, grace and faith to parent our strong-willed children today to be the strengthened church of tomorrow… 

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however,
it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.
{Hebrews 12:11-12}

From the opening prayer to the last line of the last song {Marcheremos},
there is NO doubt that the Lord is at work in and among His people!!
So, Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor. 
{We march on, in the courage of the Lord.}

      // Marcharemos //
Nós queremos ouvir tua voz
Teu louvor sempre esteja entre nós
Queremos ser, Senhor, mais sábios
Na verdade e no amor
Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor

Marcharemos cheios de coragem
Seguiremos seja onde for
Embora a dor nos cerque na viagem
Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor

E quando a escuridão da noite descer
Queremos só pela graça e fé viver
Com esperança e com coragem
Na alegria ou na dor
Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor

Missão Impossível | 2016

In November, Instituto Bíblico Peniel hosted another Xtreme weekend! A mission camp for youth– packed with challenges, endurance trails and dynamic games, all illustrating some aspect of tribal missions. The theme for this year was Missão Impossivel (you can probably gather what that means). With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
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It’s a family affair, down to the very last dab. (Note Jude in the front 🙂 )
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Andy and our coworker (to his left) are in charge of events at Peniel. Together they planned and ran the whole long weekend (with the help of our amazing students!) This year was different though, as our coworker and his family are moving to a tribe to plant a church among the Kaingang (which is super fun to say: kai.in.gung’.ghee). Bittersweet for all of us, for sure! We may talk about the need for tribal missionaries, but I don’t think there’s anything so powerful as seeing someone you hold so dear leave and go do it! Needless to say, it was a weekend full of impact. Here’s a little glimpse 🙂
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No Peniel camp is complete without an endurance trail (picture a tough-mudder experience with tribal indian encounters). This is a highlight of Jack’s year (below in the yellow hat). For the one who scrubs all the mud out of his clothes (me)… not so much. 😉
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This year it rained the whole. livelong. weekend. You know the crazy thing?! I didn’t hear a single complaint! From the looks of it, they didn’t mind a bit! The brazilians are a hearty, happy bunch.
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Peniel students travel to churches sharing a sketch entitled “Each stick had a name.” It’s a true story about a short-term mission trip to some missionaries in PNG. Men from a neighboring tribe came and asked for missionaries to come live in their tribe. They knew they were lost, and wanted to learn the way. When the indians heard there was no one who could come, they were devastated. They came back with sticks, each one representing people in their village… family… friends… children… who would die without ever knowing the truth. dsc_3207 dsc_3220 dsc_3235
The real story happened in Papua New Guinea, but the map below dialed it in, closer to home. Each stick/pic represents the unreached tribal groups in Brazil. Still. In 2016.
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The main speaker for the weekend was one of our students, Zénilton (pictured below). Zé and his family are from the Gavião tribe. He shared that if it weren’t for a couple from Germany who left their country, family, language, etc. to come to his village and stay 40 years to see a church planted, his people would still be one of those pics on a stick. Now he hopes to dedicate his life to strengthen the church among his people, and reach out to unreached”sister tribes.” He and his wife graduated from Peniel a few weeks ago and will start the next phase of New Tribes in Brazil’s training to be tribal missionaries.
“We are rocks in God’s hands. He can throw us far, or he can throw us near if He wants.” 
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There’s strong challenges all weekend, but plenty of fun as well. Always a good time when a mechanical bull shows up on campus!
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We praise God for the 150+ who came! After months of work, planning and prepping, it was so encouraging to see the Lord at work in the hearts of those who particpiated– some pursuing plans to come to Peniel, some committing their lives to tribal missions, and ALL leaving with an encounter of believers impacted by God’s work in their lives.

Now that they’ve packed their bags, boarded their bus and gone back home, we keep praying that God would continue the work only He can do. That He would move in their hearts, give them a passion for His fame and call some of them to come back as missionaries in training.

Would you take a moment to join us in prayer
that the Lord of the harvest would raise up more workers?

Your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. | Isaiah 26:8

An Extreme Weekend | 2015

Last weekend Instituto Bíblico Peniel hosted a youth missions camp for the purpose of exposing young adults to the need for tribal missionaries. We planned and prepped and prayed for this weekend for a long time–Andy was in charge of it all, but we couldn’t have pulled it off without the amazing creativity and labor of our students. They rise to the occasion and blow us away every time. We wanted to share some of the fun we had with you 🙂

With Rio 2016 approaching, the students put together a pseudo-Olympic games–>complete with a mascot, torch-lighting and a medal ceremony. Seriously, look at these student-made torches from bamboo they cut down in the jungle, pop cans and kerosene!! Love it.
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Don’t have starting blocks for the sprinting events? A second person’s feet will do.
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This year, the theme was não sou fã {not a fan}. {I know, it’s been done in America–that’s one of the beauties of being in Brazil 🙂 } As believers we’re not called to just sit from a distance, but to play an active role. The sessions were geared toward focusing on our relationship with Jesus, the church and missions. SO…Not a fan of Jesus, but a follower. Not a fan of the church, but a part. Not a fan of missions, but a participant.
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DSC_0976No Peniel camp is complete without an endurance trail {picture a tough-mudder experience with tribal indian encounters}. This year, one of our teammates put together a zipline over the river. Our kids are already looking forward to the next camp. I just love to see their little faces in the crowd.
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Of course, the REAL heroes are the ones who worked hard in the 90-some degree kitchen all weekend to fuel everyone’s energy for all this!! We’re so grateful for the Lord’s provision for this kitchen to be renovated (it now has a ceiling!!!) AND just in time for this weekend.DSC_0637 DSC_0352
Lastly, I can’t post without saying how proud I am of my husband (yes, proud–in a good way:) ) A few weeks ago, there were only 3 people signed up to come. So, what’s he do? Pray!! (And had the students make calls to invite every church they know.) We ended up having over 120 young adults come!! And SUCH a good time. I just love how he pours his heart into whatever he does. I walked down the hill to take some pics of the break-out sessions and here he is. The thing is…even if only 3 came, he would *still* share the need with this much passion.DSC_0619

Why do we share this? Because this weekend was about so much more than fun and games. We can work extremely hard planning all of this and stay up way past our bedtime and drink extra cups of coffee to make up for it and go hoarse cheering and conversing to the point of exhausting all the portuguese I know. But. If God doesn’t move, our labor is in vain. 

We’re praising God for every person He brought to Peniel this weekend. Now that they’ve packed their bags and boarded their bus, we keep praying that God would continue the work only He can do. That He would move in their hearts, give them a passion for His fame and call some of them to come back as missionaries in training.

Would you take a moment to join us in prayer for this?
Your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. | Isaiah 26:8