Michael and Ruth Ann Davis

Prayer Letter/Ministry Update

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July 2015

Dear Friends and Family,

Some of you are so kind to ask about our family and the ministries with which we’re involved. I suppose you could assume with international workers that “no news is good news”, meaning we are busy and involved. However, it’s inconsiderate to not communicate with the people we love so dearly. Plus if you don’t know what’s happening you’re unable to pray. It is like we’re cutting off our feet when we really want to run. So, here goes…

ELATION – We are elated to report that our newest granddaughter, Stella Joy Davis Garcia, was born in São Paulo, Brazil on May 6, 2015. We were privileged to arrive after the birth and spend three weeks with Stella’s parents, Elisa & Otávio, and also our son and daughter-in-law, Jeremy & Meli who live in the same city. Our first priority in Brazil was to minister to our family as best we could. Even a diaper change was treasured. The time as family was precious, around the table eating and around the Word of God as we worshipped together in the churches.
The second honor was to visit and preach in the churches in São Paulo where we had ministered, which included the anniversary of the Alphaville Alliance Church. We also got to see Youth Encounter in action, visit with pastors, and dear friends. We hugged and cried a lot. We had to give rain checks to some invitations as time and energy ran out. Part of visiting our children was to visit Pan American Christian Academy, celebrate their 55th anniversary, and see our children as teachers in the classroom. Our hearts were full.

Sacrifice or Blessing? – Several times during our visit I said in reference to having to leave and be separated from our children, “I think the sacrifice is too great.” However, my thoughts and words were checked through the “Kairos” course, a streamlined Portuguese version of “Perspectives”, which we did immediately upon our return to Portugal. The key principle of this missions study is that “we are blessed so that we can bless.” We asked ourselves would we have such a wonderful family or good relationships with our children if we selfishly clenched our fists to hold on to them?

EXALTATION – We still have difficulty believing this miracle took place. Exaltation Crew, the Gospel choir from South Africa, who was with us in 2013, returned this June to make a seven city tour of Portugal in historic and prestigious places, one of them being the Casa da Música in Porto. Incredible. Although there were no sell-out crowds the choir was professional, musically excellent, energetic and most of all unabashedly worshipped Jesus. There were approximately 1,200 people total who came to the concerts. When they toured Portugal in 2013 Mike and I worked on the committee that helped with their logistics. Because it was low budget or rather a no-budget affair the committee did a lot of the feeding and hauling of the group. Actually what seemed to stick out most in their memory was that we washed their clothes. This time, by God’s grace, a manager was found who did everything with more finesse and less stress. We only prayed. If there is an “only” something you or I do we hope it is prayer. It is enough. Thank you too for praying. Many people who would have never entered churches, which were the previous venues, were hearing praise to God in auditoriums. Note: Our Brazilian colleague in 2010 announced to the Alliance church in Alphaville that he was praying that someday we would be on stage at the Casa da Música. We might not have been physically on stage but as the body of Christ we were.

EDUCATION – Sometimes it is a small conversation or just one class that has impact in the public school but you have to be there all year for it to take place. My sweet eighth grader ducked into the classroom to ask if her friend who had a free period could come to class today? Visitors are always welcome to come once but that day I gulped when I said, “yes”. The chapter I had prepared for the day’s lesson was from the manual “Decisions” and was entitled “Is sex synonymous with dating?” Despite any discomfort we all may have felt it turned out to be a good class. Last week I had a conversation with my eight grader’s pastor who said she was bringing this same friend to church. She had prayed to receive Christ and expressed a desire to be baptized. We all have a part in bringing one person to Jesus.
Another episode began during my first year of teaching. Every week when I came to school I had conversations with the same hall monitor who was helpful and sympathetic to evangelicals because of her daughter. I still remember many of our conversations concerning her health, her questions about why God allows children to get cancer, and her sense of loss in conjunction to this quote “I feel most at home at the cemetery.” At appropriate times I gave her a New Testament and other literature. At the end of that school year she quit working but her name continued on my heart and in my prayers. Since then I’ve met her daughter who lives in another city. We never connected the dots concerning her mother and my teaching until this week. Please continue to remember this monitor and mother in prayer.

DEVOTION – It would be difficult to write this letter and not include something about the Lumberjacks American Football Club since it seems that it is what attracts the most interest in the US about what we do in Portugal. In March the Lumberjacks hosted three coaches from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes who helped pare back the playbook, shared their coaching skills, their testimony and their lives. The LJs ended their season with 4 wins and 4 losses and entered into the playoffs. It was a difficult season with a lack of players and many injuries. This past Saturday ended the season with an awards banquet. Pray that on the off season relationships will grow that already have been established on the field. Pray for Mike who will be attending a football camp for players and coaches July 15-19 with two of his players. May our devotion to Christ be far beyond anything we invest in football.

APPRECIATION – I would like to express our appreciation to all those who have a part in making and mailing our printed newsletter , Ann, Bob, Nancy, Elaine, Crestmont Alliance Church, Precious Life, and Altoona Alliance Church. The way all these parts function together is a beautiful example of the body of Christ. (Note: The E-mail version of this letter includes pictures.) We would also like to say thank you to those who faithfully give to our monthly support and to our work of funds. May you be blessed, pressed down and running over so you may bless again.

Living the call together,
Michael and Ruth Ann Davis

Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer

Praises -
1. We praise God in anticipation for what He will do in this country. We see churches opening in the north and new available ministries, such as Precepts, Peace with God from the Billy Graham Association, Crown Financial Concepts, Kairos (a form of Perspectives) and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Requests -
1. Pray for the online ministries of Peace with God evangelism and Know Jesus discipleship course. Pray for the necessary funding for the ministry of Peace with God. And pray for the staff of the Know Jesus as they upgrade their site. Ruth is grateful that two people have completed all lessons. Pray that the percentage of registered people who complete this course would increase and that lives would be transformed. Presently, of Ruth’s students, it is 1%.

2.Pray for those our team has had contact with during these past four years. Pray that each person who heard the Gospel, would be spiritually touched in some way, and that the Holy Spirit would open the hearts of these people to receive the Good News.

3. Pray for our team as we all will be going on Home Assignment this year - to the USA and to Brazil. Pray that God will raise up an army to pray for spiritual breakthroughs in Portugal.

Portugal

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Updated: August 18, 2015

Children's Names
Michael
Elisa
Jeremy
Status
Field Assignment
Country of Service
Portugal
Address
Rua Rainha Santa Isabel, nr 355
Apto 6-AK
Valongo, 4440-569
PORTUGAL

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