A very merry and joyful Christmas to you as we celebrate JESUS together!
THANK YOU so much for being partners with us here in Brazil!
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the world twice this year, God is still THE SPECIALIST, turning into good what the enemy meant for evil.
For example, the new PAZ KIDS video outreach! Due to COVID-19, suddenly, children were no longer allowed to come to church anymore. We were faced with a huge challenge. Our church asked us to start an online weekly video production for kids. The church did not have the finances for such a project, but God miraculously provided through generous supporters!
We used what we had:
1. Our four children and ourselves as actors, actresses, and teachers
2. Our own apartment living room
3. Some Christian children’s videos which we translated to Portuguese (with permission)
4. Our own character-building stories that we wrote
5. Our own songs to teach Bible verses that we sang
6. Our own cartoon characters and voices to illustrate biblical truths
7. All the technical skills we could muster up
After nine months of producing kids-videos every single week, we have improved our productions, and God is allowing us to reach children across Brazil!
To see some of our work, you can visit https://paz.church/kids/aventura-biblica/
Through Bible stories, Bible verses, kids’ praise, and life-lessons, the children learn about God’s love, how to read the Bible, pray, worship, and have strong faith in Jesus. Thank you so much for your prayers that these videos will impact the kids' lives and that God would raise up an army of strong witnesses for Jesus all over Brazil and everywhere God takes them!
Another miracle we experienced was the growth of our Life Group that met in our home. Before the pandemic, our Life Group had multiplied into four new Life Groups. During the pandemic, we could meet only through ZOOM, but it was amazing how peoples’ interest in God actually increased, and the groups grew so much!
We supervise several other Life Groups around the Sao Paulo area that are also growing. We pray for each leader to be encouraged as they spread the gospel and shepherd their flock.
We also disciple several pastoral couples here in Sao Paulo and also in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Please pray for these couples as they care for their churches and Life groups and train new leaders.
On a PERSONAL note, we are truly proud of our oldest son, Joshua! He has been attending a private high school, thanks to generous donors, and has completed his senior year with very high grades. That's not all; he has passed the entrance exams to three different medical schools here in Sao Paulo! He has worked hard, and we thank God for these extremely high grades!
His goal is to eventually do medical missionary work in the isolated Amazon villages. When a doctor arrives at a village on one of our PAZ mission boats, many people flock to get free medical help. He can then share Jesus with them. Many times, a new church is planted as a result of these medical trips.
The cheapest of the three medical schools that have accepted Joshua will cost about US$1,500 per month for six years, or 12 semesters. His only other option is to try to get into the Federal Medical School. But because it is free, only 150 students are accepted out of 30,000 applicants. It would probably take another year or two of prep school to possibly get a high enough grade to be one of those 150 applicants who get in. However, he's going to try! So this next year (in Brazil, the calendar year and the school year are the same, starting in January and ending in December), he is planning to enroll in a prep school to try to avoid the expensive private medical school tuition. Please pray with us that God's will be done!
The prep school, however, is also expensive at $600 per month, but Joshua took a test and, because of high grades, received a 50 percent scholarship! If God puts it on your heart to donate toward his prep school or his dream to enroll in medical school, please let us know. We believe God to make his dream come true and help him bring the gospel to thousands of river villages in the Amazon that are yet without a church.
Thank you for your love, your prayers, and your financial support as we work hard together to reach the families of Brazil for Jesus! You are a very important part of the ministry here, as we can only be here because of your generous support! We simply could never thank God enough for you! Thank you for your partnership in the gospel.
Aaron, Esther, Joshua, Christina, Gracie & Abraaozinho Helland