Andrew Fanstone Update -
I hope all is well with you! Today Iris Fortaleza is 6 years old! It has been a fun adventure so far and we want to thank you for your partnership in prayers, giving and friendship to have helped us make this possible. Here is our latest update telling you what has been happening over the last few months..........
Our 4th School of missions has now come to the end. These three month schools always require a lot of work to run but when we get to the end and see the lives changed it is always an encouragement and makes the hard work worth while. The students and staff come from around the world and from very different walks of life, but God seems always to meet them all where they are at and they leave with a deeper love for Jesus and a burning desire to make God known in the nations of the world.
One of the students from England came feeling distant from God, not even knowing if he really existed. She came feeling that this was the last chance she was going to give him to encounter her and reveal himself to her before `giving up` on Him. She came suffering from anxiety attacks and much fear but left having encountered the powerful, unconditional and personal love of God for her life. The fear and anxiety she carried for all her life driven out by God´s love and peace.
During the school the students didn´t just study about God and missions but also had lots of time to practise and put into action what the Bible teaches. They saw people saved, healed, set free and even one time during a 10 day outreach to the `outback` of Brazil saw multiplication of food to have enough to feed everyone. Another time one of the students before we went out on our weekly evangelism outreach had a picture of a lady with ducks and so as they walked through the community they looked for someone who had ducks. They found a house with a lady who had ducks in her garden and so stopped and talked to her. During the conversation, through eyes of tears, the lady said how last night she had very strong suicidal thoughts and wanted to take her life but said to God if he was real and he wanted her to live to send someone to speak to her.
Many who graduated from the school will now go into full time missions work, be it with us at Iris or other mission organisations around the world.
Please do keep praying that we will raise the funds to buy the property where we have been running these schools so we can have a permanent training centre for Brazil to raise up more workers for the harvest field.
Next month I will be going with Jessica, Keziah and Noah to England to visit my parents for 2 weeks. Claudia will stay behind in Brazil to have a bit of a breather and a well earned rest after a busy season. My father´s health continues to be poor and my mum does incredibly well to look after him but it is a strain on her and it is hard being so far away from them when you know they need more support. The children are looking forward to be with their grandparents and visit England again and it will be good to be able to spend this time with them and my sister.
Please do keep our family ad this trip in your prayers!
Thank you so much!!
Andrew, Claudia, Jessica, Ana Keziah and Noah.
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Here is a photo of Carlos. Carlos is a boy who has been participating in our clubs in the slum for many years. His father was killed when Carlos was 6 for owing £1 to the drug dealers. Over the last couple of years Carlos became involved in selling drugs and recently was accused of stealing money from the drug dealers. Just as the drug dealers caught him in the street and started beating him our team arrived. The drug dealers were going to kill him but Siane, one of our missionaries, stopped them. Siane asked them not to kill him but instead allow her to take him to live with her. After a while they agreed but said they would still shoot him in both hands to teach him never to steal from them again. Siane once again pleaded on his behalf. As we have a good level of respect in the slum they once again relented. Carlos is now living with Siane´s family. He is going to school and has just gotten his first ever ´10´ in his tests at school, is involved in the local church and is really taking hold of this new opportunity with both hands and it is amazing to see God working in his life.
Please do keep Carlos in your prayers.