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Praying for your Missionaries

Lynda Neuman on September 6, 2020

Praying for your Missionaries August 2020 Ephesians 6.18 enjoins believers to be "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. . ." and for your missionaries! But, you may ask, how do I know what to pray for?? Here's a link to a great list of 20 ways to pray for missionaries. https://lifeloveandjesus.com/20-ways-pray-missionaries/ You can read the list at this link or click on another link to download a free printable of this list and several other lists of how to pray for various others. May we share some events from the past 10 days that give just a glimpse into some of the things we deal with in the middle of our ministries in this culture? This should shed some light on how to pray for us! We are very grateful to any who were praying for us in this last week. We definitely needed it!! Mondays and Wednesdays are Jerry's day to teach Hebrew class in the evenings, so his day is usually chock full of reading and prepping for those classes. Normally, Lydia and I have a discipleship meetings at 4 in the afternoon with a mom and her daughter, so we're prepping and organizing our week. That was on hold last week due to the mom's recent surgery. Then we have to eat, there's dishes and normal household tasks. Besides these ministries, last week we were also tackling some household repairs as our worker was finally available. As well as a couple days of smaller tasks, we had a large undertaking for him: repairing water damage to the back wall of our bedroom. Though our bedroom had been totally redone in January of 2019, we hadn't sealed the wall all the way up. Water infiltration usually starts at ground level and works it's way up a foot or so up the wall, so we thought that taking the sealant half-way up the wall was good enough. A portion of the side wall already had a hole in the paint and sealant and was dropping sand on the flloor. As we began to examine the wall, it looked like water damage had gone much further than we at first thought. Much of the clothing and items out or our wardrobe needed to come out so we could move it away from the wall and check behind. Yes, indeed, there was a problem along the full extent of the wall -- with mold on it and the backside of the wardrobe! Repairing our stucco type walls is quite the process involving many steps. First, we must move out to another room and anything staying in the room must be encased in plastic because there is lots of dust! We got that done on Thursday. The wall must be broken with hammer and chisel where it needs to be repaired making a huge pile of broken pieces and lots of dust. Then sealant must be applied and let dry for 48 hrs. Cement of just the right consistency to stick on the wall must be applied and left to dry for a day. The next step is a type of plaster that is applied over the cement, left to dry a day or two and then sanded smooth. (This produces a soft powdery dust that covers everything.) Finally, two coats of paint must go on and wait for that to dry and the room to air out a bit before moving back in. The whole process can take a week and a half to two. Just as we were ready to have our worker start breaking the wall last Friday, we discovered a terrible problem: we had termite trails coming out from some holes in the kitchen wall and from under our new kitchen cupboards!! This struck fear as we had one other house where we dealt with termites behind kitchen cupboards that belonged to the house. We were so unsuccessful getting rid of them, we finally moved out of that house! But these were OUR cupboards this time, just installed in March just before lockdown! We strategized with both our workers. It helps that often Brazilians have had more experience dealing with these pests than we. Saturday morning we unloaded the majority of the kitchen cupboards on the affected wall trying to put them with some type of organization in the dining and living rooms. A wedding shower of one of Lydia's good friends would take her and I away - Lydia who was organizing it for the whole day and myself for all the afternoon. Jerry and Leila, our helper were left to take down the cupboards on their own as our other worker had another commitment that day. What they found was absolutely astounding!! (See pictures here.) Termites had invaded through an electrical housing and holes left in the ceramic wall from previous cupboards hung there. They were completely covering the backs of the counters and had eaten holes enough to get them inside. Thousands of termites!! After spraying insecticide there were piles on the floor. The problem is insecticide will kill those it comes in contact with, but where are they coming from? After debugging and cleaning the bottom counters, they took off the top cupboards after lunch, finding those in pretty much the same shape. Then we remembered a poison that some friends had which the termites would take back to the nest and hopefully kill off the rest and the queen. But we had already killed all that were visible in the kitchen. By Monday morning, there were new trails coming in through the holes in the kitchen ceramic, so we started fighting with new gusto and some of the poison borrowed from our friend, even taking it out to put on trails our worker found outside. In a tree out front, which the city had cut way back two or three weeks before, there was a nest about the size of a basketball -- and termite trails leading from the tree along our neighbor's wall and entering between our wall and theirs. He even poked a hole in the nest and put some poison on the termites that swarmed out. Yet we continued to see termite action Wednesday morning. Here's where the Brazilian solution came in handy. Our neighbor had offered some used motor oil, so we took him up on his offer and our worker went up a ladder and poured the motor oil on the termite nest. The house crumbled and melted into pieces and termites died. We waited one more day to see if there were any others. Finally, by late Thursday evening, nearly a week after finding them, our kitchen was back in place and functioning! All this termite business had slowed progress on our room however. Not until Thursday morning of the next week was the cement covering fully up waiting to dry. The first coat of plaster may go up Saturday. Maybe we can paint by Thursday or Friday of the following week. All the while life and mnistry has had to go forward. We are very grateful -- for an extra bedroom and that Lidiane, the girl that normally lives with us has spent most of the pandemic with her family interior -- so we have moved into her bedroom. that we live just a few blocks from one of the big malls that has already re-opened, so while the kitchen was inoperable we could go over there to eat our big meal of the day. for our workers, Leila and Mairton, both are believers, great workers as well as friends. for prayer partners like you who faithfully pray for us. for the Holy Spirit who interprets your prayers when you don't even know what is happening with us! WE ARE ALSO SUPER GRATEFUL THAT WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET AWAY TO A HOTEL OVER THIS WEEKEND (MONDAY'S A HOLIDAY) WHILE WE WAIT FOR THE WORK TO PROGRESS. REJOICE WITH US AND THANK GOD FOR HIS PROVISION OF THESE FEW DAYS OF VACATION REST!! Thanks for partnering with us in the challenges of living in another culture! Jerry, Lynda, and Lydia Neuman