Dear Friends & Family,
Each year in December we write, expressing gratitude for our faithful supporters, giving a recap of the year in statistics for EE-Brazil and telling you how we are doing in terms of financial support at year’s end and for the coming winter months. This year we want to do those things in fewer words and focus more on an update from the two of us, letting you sense a little of our busy, but blessed lives.
It certainly will come as no surprise to you that we would write that the plandemic continues to affect all of our lives/perspectives both in Brazil and the US, at times limiting our movements, triggering hardship and grief for families, resulting in church services at half the seating capacity and causing lower statistical results for ministries like ours. However, progress IS being made, and we praise the Lord for it!
- 2021 has been another year dominated by virtual training events, meetings, etc. Travel has in most cases been determined to be ill-advised and inefficient. Although healthy, we have not been any further than Greenville, SC, about three hours away, for the last 21 months. Frankly, it has seemed a little monotonous at times. But the work from Brazil has been challenging…sometimes overwhelming, not allowing us to dwell too much on the monotony of our routine.
- Our church, First Baptist Atlanta (FBA), resumed services after nearly a year of only live streaming. In the third quarter of 2020, there had also been a change of senior pastors from Dr. Charles Stanley to Dr. Anthony George. Attendance still needs to improve to be back to 2019 levels, but there is nevertheless an excitement in the air about new opportunities. We are feeling more plugged-in at FBA than before! Our “life group,” Crossroads, continues both in-person and via Zoom. This year we were recruited to be Decision Room counselors and to help in what is called “First Class” for those wanting to become members of FBA. We really do the same thing in both settings: 1) help people to be certain that they have eternal life, and if not, share the Good News and pray with them; and 2) if previously baptized, confirm that their baptism happened after they accepted Christ. After a year of only live streaming and then several more months of restrictions, each of the last two Sundays a First Class was held with about 60 people in each. Baptism services will be held this coming Sunday, and it will be nice to see some that we counseled take this step of obedience!
- Earlier this month, Mary Jo hosted a dinner in our home for the officers of our county GOP. She has gotten to know many of them through different events and volunteering. She presented a Founders’ Bible to each one. The feedback has been very exciting, with some already reading the Bible and wanting to know more about salvation. Please keep them in your prayers.
- We finish 2021 encouraged by everything accomplished this year both here and in Brazil, facilitated by a support team that makes ministry viable through their prayers and finances! Join us in prayer for a return of in-person training for our workshops/clinics. We are so grateful when we hear of local church training! Just this past weekend, a church along one of the tributaries of the Amazon River posted pictures of 35 children equipped through our Hope for Kids training! Praise the Lord for this welcome news!
Please join with others who invest in our family/ministry each December in preparation for the coming year’s opportunities. While 2021 was challenging, we feel ready for 2022! Historically, about 20% of our annual support is given at years’ end. Each December, we pray for about $10,000 in support gifts to finish the current year and begin the next one. Everyone participating in some way, with the Lord multiplying the results, will provide what is needed for our family and ministry! Remember two things, please: 1) We receive 100% of your gift; and 2) The 2020 CARES Act Charitable Giving Tax Incentives (i.e., special provisions to help non-itemizers reduce their taxable income were extended for 2021 and even enhanced. More info about this is available here: https://tinyurl.com/45nbyhee). To contribute to our support, please go to our secure online giving portal by clicking here or on the Online Giving image below. You may also mail a check to the address shown next to the image below. Thank YOU so much for your love, prayers and financial support!
Gratefully…joyfully wishing you a very Blessed…Merry Christmas!
Robert & Mary Jo
Prayerfully and with sincere gratitude,
Robert & Mary Jo Foster,
Serving Evangelism Explosion-Brazil
* Atualidadesis a Portuguese word that means news or up to date information. We want you to have the latest information in order to support us in prayer, as well as financially when the Lord leads/enables. Thank you!