Bauru Byline

Spring, 2004

If you seek Him, you will find him. 1 Chronicles 28:9

We are getting ready for the third anniversary of Alfa Center ministries in Bauru.  On Sunday, May 16, a special service will celebrate Godís blessings on the ministry here as we commitment our church to His leading for the year ahead. Everyone is enjoying our new building, and it is being used for many different types of programs and out reach ministries that we were unable to do where we were located before. It is exciting to see progress in church growth as well as some new programs being initiated. There is so much more that could be done, but itís necessary to set boundaries based on time and energy these days (more so than weíve ever noticed in the past Ė but it couldnít be an age thing Iím sure).  The new facility has allowed us to have bigger programs, church dinners, lots of youth activities Ė especially just a place for them to hang out!  Our youth leader Ben lives there now, in a side apartment, with his buddy Pepita, the dashund.

The Cornerstone University menís soccer team had an exciting ten days while serving here.  After months of planning and some last minute ďsituationsĒ, God blessed in a tremendous way both in our community and in the young menís lives. They became honorary citizens for the day in one of the towns they played in and were also written up in the newspaper. They played at a sports club where soccer legend Pelê used to play, at one of the universities nearby, and with the guys from the drug rehab clinic. With each of their games, the guys shared testimonies of a personal relationship with Christ.  Along with helping with activities and events sponsored by our ABWE congregations, they also took a day to go whitewater rafting. They loved their adopted Brazilian families from our churches, and couldnít get enough of Brazilian food.  Every one of the guys had a great attitude with whatever was going on, and found it hard to leave the friends they had made here.  Many said it was the greatest experience in their lives. It was a great help having colleagues Tim and Andrea Blazer in Grand Rapids to prep the team before coming down, and then chaperoning while here.  Special thanks to Mike Miller and Coach Mark Bell who worked with me stateside to make this event happen.

Some of the young people that were saved as a result of the soccer team ministry have started discipleship with us.  They are already becoming involved in our youth activities. Even our adults comment on the spiritual maturity our young people are showing and the example they are for the whole church. On the months that have five Sundays, they are leading the service. This month is special as Ben is going to be preaching for the service.  I pray for a commitment on the part of our adults to serve like that of our young people. The youth verse for the year is 1 Timothy 4:12, and they are putting it into action.

Two of the young men from our congregation have been invited to come up for a year of studies at the university and play for the CU soccer team. The only requirement is to learn English beforehand. Pray for Guilherme and Guga as they consider this opportunity.

The Bauru Botanical Gardens made a lovely setting for our Easter Sunrise service again this year. It was an unusual program as different Bible characters gave testimonies of meeting Jesus after the resurrection.  Then, being Baptists, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast after the service.

Lots of plans are still in the making for the months ahead.  A ladiesí tea is planned for Motherís Day weekend.  Valentinesí dinner in June (when Valentineís Day is celebrated here) and harvest party the end of that month.  Fatherís Day barbecue is set for August after a trip to a mission leadership conference in Chile.  We want to take every opportunity to share the good news of salvation in our community.

Missions has changed so much over our years of service, although the goal of reaching the lost continues the same.  We are in much closer contact through electronic communication.  We have a personal website, a church website, a Bauru field council website and a mission website most of which are linked.  We also send out monthly prayer requests to prayer supporters and put weekly journal entries and pictures on our site. If you would like to keep in touch with our ministry, please check out our website  or write us at  [email protected]

Praise God with us:
1. The impact Cornerstone University menís soccer team ministry in so many lives.
2. On going discipleships and small group studies.
3. For three years of Godís blessing in our Bauru ministry.
Pray with us:
1. For Godís leading in Benís life, whether to continue serving here another year or return for graduate studies.
2. For wisdom regarding the future ministry in Bauru.
3. For teammates for our ministry.
Thank you for your part as we serve God here. We are grateful for each one of you who faithfully prays for us and gives to support our ministry.  The God of love and peace be with you.

In Christís exciting service,

Bill and Sue Spoelhof

Serving with Association of Baptists for World Evangelism

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