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Testimony from the Red Light District

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This week we went into the night club were we usually evangelize. We were with a team of 5 volunteers. For some of them, it was the first time in this type of evangelism. Soon, one of the volunteers called me (Isabela) over to talk with 4 girls. So there were 9 of us on the night club sofas praying. While we were praying hand in hand, one of them began to pray and cry out to God. I had never felt such a strong presence of God inside the club. My body started shaking and I started crying. While this was happening, other girls started to join us holding hands or just gathering around. This is revival guys!

The Samuel Project

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The Samuel Project

This project aims to bring children and adolescents from the remote interior/bush villages to hear and recognize the voice of God, thus a milestone in his generation, taking the gospel with the fire of the Holy Spirit, not only to their homes, but also in their schools, friends, neighbors, and villages wherever
God sends them. We hope that as it was with Samuel, they will be prophets of the Lord… committed to the truth of God’s Word. We have about 25 children and teenagers enrolled, which are already being discipled. Some of them have already been baptized, and already study the Bible. It’s been amazing to see what God has done through these children. They have been used to share Jesus with their families, and have been firm in their decision for Christ. A new generation is being raised up! Glory to God!

– Iris Sertão Team

Our Second Worship Service in the Night Club

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The evening of July 4th saw our second late night worship session at a strip club at the heart of Fortaleza’s red light district. At midnight around seventy young people descended into the beach front streets in preparation. The rain began to fall as we raised our voices in prayer and adoration – interceding for the night ahead.

Before we had even reached the bar, God’s presence was moving. The heavy rain fall drove us to take shelter in a nearby abandoned building, amid the drinking and drugs He broke in and changed the atmosphere as we worshipped together!

When 2.30am came around, feeling energised (…and a little damp) we made our way to the night club. The purpose of these evenings is to welcome God’s presence into the darkest areas of our city, inviting him in where he is needed the most. Only He can bring change in this place.

‘ For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.’ Matthew 18:20

We worshipped together through sunrise and into the morning, people from churches across the city leading powerful encounters with God. His presence lowered as the atmosphere lifted – one church united for His glory.

‘This was undoubtedly one day marked in my life. It really is very beautiful to see the church being truly church!!! Every moment of prayer, testimony and ministry of praise was simply unique and full of power. One thing I had certainty in this Saturday, is that when the church joins in one purpose and one voice Heaven really kisses the Earth and the glory of the LORD fills the city.’ – Hamilton, Fortaleza.

Time of Freedom (Liberdade)

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The manifest presence of God is too good, too wonderful to resist. People want to draw close to Love. This is something I am discovering even more for myself as I watch the movement of God on the streets and in our ministry. There are many beautiful and exciting testimonies from these last two months with the Liberdade event we had  here during the World Cup together with Exodus Cry.  But one night definitely stands out as one of the top highlights of life since we arrived in Brazil almost 4 years ago.

It was outreach night, Friday night, and as I had prayed in preparation earlier I wishfully prayed for a big group, because I felt such a desire to dance and celebrate worshiping in the middle of the red light district over the salvations and victories we had been already seeing the past weeks.  I felt like dancing in victory over that very ground was a key to seeing more freedom opening up over prostitution in Fortaleza.    Our normal group would be around 12 people. Well, a few minutes before outreach started, several church groups just decided to stop in and get to know the Iris base and ended up staying for the outreach! 

As we began making a joyful noise and celebrating at the plaza in the middle of the red light district with two guitars,a jimbe and ukulele, there was so much freedom.  EVERYONE (around 35 people) was dancing, worshiping, and the heavens opened.  We called 3 prostitutes walking by to join us, and after about 8 seconds of debating, they quickly joined us in the dancing!  Two of those girls prayed to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior that night, (after one of them manifested demons that were then cast out).  As some on the team were ministering deliverance and leading the girls to The Lord, people began to come… families stopped and begged for prayer, a homeless man burst into the circle and started repenting on his knees, and encountered the mercy and love through the presence of Holy Spirit coming over him powerfully! Others just stopped and joined us for worship for the rest of the night, forgetting about their ‘night out’ plans.  Another team member sat with a man who works at the most renown bar/ brothel in Fortlaeza who then  wanted to become a believer!  How did he come to join us? He was working in that very bar, located several blocks away and heard our worship, left his work to come see what it was, and got saved! We had no sound amplifiers, so we were shocked that he heard the noise from so far away!

Some of us went out to talk to the girls that were working on the corners, and on that night, almost every girl we spoke to said something along the lines of, “my greatest prayer is that I will be able to leave and never come back here again,” or even, “I need a light to highlight a new path for my life.” 

THE HARVEST IS TRULY RIPE!

This night was  a great joy and breakthrough after 2 1/2 years of on and off outreach in the same area.  We are seeing victory, we are gaining ground in a place of battle with witchcraft and sodomy and well…. We  are diving deeper and deeper in his glorious presence and transformational love.

As the season of Liberdade has wound down and we quickly shift into a new season with our Nepal team back, my overwhelming sentiment is thankfulness.  I am so thankful for the outpouring of Holy Spirit who has lately been pouring out His wonderful presence in our house and all over our whole community in ways that leave us literally staggering.  I am so thankful for salvations in the red light district and many more in Nepal and here at our Iris base! I am so thankful for my husband who is highly favored by The Lord (and smokingly handsome to boot) and for the two amazing little men who are my sons. And most of all I am thankful for Him who has saved us and set us free in His love.

Thank you all for partnering with us all the way out here in Brazil. It’s an exciting time for all of us here and we know that many of you have been an important part of this story that God’s writing in this nation. Please keep praying for us as we restructure this week to  be able to accommodate all the amazing new missionaries and ministries God’s sending us!

Blessings to you all!

FIFA World Cup Time!

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Yes, we are fully into the swing of this month we have anticipated for over a year.  We are coupling with a close-hearted ministry, Exodus Cry during this time to see the gates of heaven opened over Fortaleza and Brazil through night and day prayer and worship, as well as intensive outreaches to red light zones throughout the week.

 

In April Herb and the boys and I headed over to the good ol’ U.S.A. to rest for 3 weeks in the midst of a very busy season.  It was WONDERFUL. The boys got to experience snow for the first time, and we had precious time together with family.  It was my first time home in 2 years, and I soaked up every minute of it!  The transition back into things here at the base were quite rough emotionally, but we now feel like we have come so far from that time in growth and maturity and love on the base.  Thank You Jesus!

I am writing this listening to the explosions of fireworks every 2 minutes as Brazil anticipates their own game against Mexico today taking place IN Fortaleza!  It is a defining time for the country of Brazil, spiritually, and for how the world will see her.  We can feel it in the air, and in our hearts.  It is time for Brazil to turn back to her first love.  Come Lord Jesus!

Our house is bulging at the seams.  Our own team of Brazillians living in the house (plus Charlie, the only American currently) has grown to 10, plus our family of four. On top of that we have the Exodus Cry team of 8 this month living with us, and another team of 3 stopping in for 10 days, give or take a few people.  There is much to be done, and much fun to be had.  It is awesome to have this many people to go for it together as we do 12 hours a day of prayer and worship during this month. The presence of Jesus is sweet and only coming more strongly up in our prayer room on the 3rd floor.

We pray to see real breakthrough and freedom in the atmosphere and mind sets of the people, who commonly think that prostitution is a valid and normal way to make quick money, whether you are 14 or 40.  Pray that Jesus will lead us to those who are being exploited and are ready for their Savior to rescue them!

Nepal is soon to lose 6 of the best missionaries, and we are about to receive 6 of our best friends back as they return from 5 months of intense outreaches into totally unreached mountains.  We are eagerly awaiting the day, about 4 weeks from now.

 

So, please pray for us all for supernatural grace to run after Jesus’ heart with everything in this special time, for supernatural strength, and for a real shift to begin in the heart of Brazil towards the heart of Jesus and His holiness and intimacy.

Nepal and Other Adventures

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Well guys, we’ve successfully sent off our core team of six to the unreached peoples in the mountains of Nepal. After 10 months of prayer and preparation and Herb pouring everything he has about missional community and church planting into them, they headed out, ready to give their lives for the gospel. It will certainly be an adventure with Jesus, and it will be very challenging, as it is physically very hard to get to the remote villages and the team has many other obstacles to overcome. Please pray for Jason Dueck, Jenn Dueck, Paula Guedes, Lauren Lierly, Nedyson Garcia, and Bruno Teixera as they pour out their lives for the Gospel!

Now its like we are starting fresh with 6 new missionaries in the house: 2 Brazillian guys, 2 Brazillian girls, an English couple, and our family of four. Then there is a Brazillian/ American couple with a baby that just arrived from the US that is living off base. There will be more filtering in over the next weeks and months. We have had several months to get to know each individual in different scenarios, but now we are really starting to live together and love and minister together as the dust settles from 17+ missionaries packed into the house for a month of overlap. And there was a lot of dust.

It has honestly been a very hard season for us, with so many significant things happening at the very same time- preparing and sending the Nepal team in love and honor, welcoming all the new missionaries streaming in, and loving our two little boys who are each at a challenging phase (8 months and 2 1/2 years old). We have often felt tired and overwhelmed. But, often I can sense the Lord’s grace and his hand carrying us. There have been sweet moments of joy as well, like watching our boys grow and laugh together and play together, and the fancy goodbye dinner we planned for the Nepal team.

I am learning more and more about discipling and leading with my lifestyle. It is constantly stretching, but such great joy and fulfillment as His strength is continuously made perfect in my constant weakness. We are pressing into the Lord’s heart to see heaven break open and cause a glorious transformation in the packed-out prostitution district 4 blocks from our house. There are so many needy and broken people, and so much I have to learn, but I want to bless Jesus’ heart in all that we do. I feel that this is a time to press in in the spirit and intercede intercede intercede, as well as equip those on my team that God has given me to minister to the oppressed women and men all around us in the sex industry.

Be blessed,

Lorelei

Adventures with God: Brothel Update & Dragao do Mar

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Hey everyone! I wanted to update you guys on some of the things that The Lord is doing here in Fortaleza. Every Saturday afternoon/evening, we have “Adventures with God.” This is a time where we spend a couple of hours in worship and listening prayer to see what the Holy Spirit wants us to do. Sometimes we just spend this time in worship and intercession. Other times we hear the Holy Spirit telling us to go and minister in various ways and places. If you haven’t already read my post “A Night at the Brothel”, then you should go back and read that one first. So, before I tell you about Dragao do Mar, I want to give you an update on what The Lord has been doing with the brothel.

Last Saturday, we went back to the brothel to spend time interceding and asking God to come and encounter the prostitutes and bring freedom and salvation. During our time of listening prayer before we went out, Ariana received a word from the Lord about the brothel being like Jericho. The Lord was saying that, just like God gave Jericho into the hands of the Israelites, He was giving the brothel to us. He also said that He wanted us to walk around the brothel seven times praying for the walls to come down. We had a fairly large group, so we split into three teams. One team walked around the brothel seven times while praying for the walls to come down. Another team walked up and down the street in front of the brothel while praying. My team sat in front of the wall near the gate of the brothel as we prayed. As Lorelei, Nadyla, Bruno, and I sat there at the wall praying, a car full of guys pulled up right in front of us. When they got out of the car, Lorelei asked Bruno if he wanted to pray for them. As we were praying for them, the Holy Spirit gave Bruno a word about one of the guys not being able to sleep well at night. After we finished praying, the guy asked how we saw that he couldn’t sleep at night. When we told him that God had revealed that to us, you could tell that it really impacted him. I could tell that he was going to be thinking about that for a while. Please pray with us that the Lord will continue to encounter him and draw him in! After they went inside, we continued praying. After a few minutes, I saw a vision of water forming on the sidewalk at our feet and flowing down the sidewalk toward the gate of the brothel. I wasn’t sure what it meant at first, so I continued praying and asking the Lord what the vision meant. As I was sitting there, I looked down and saw two pieces of chalk on the ground at my feet! The Holy Spirit told me that He wanted us to write prophetic words and scripture on the sidewalk in front of the brothel. So we began writing words that we felt the Holy Spirit speaking over the brothel and the people inside. We wrote words like Liberdade (Freedom), Reconciliacao (Reconciliation), and many others! We also wrote some verses of scripture. As I prayed about what to write, the Holy Spirit led me to Colossians 1:13-14.

13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:13-14

The Lord gave me a vision showing me that those prophetic words and scriptures were seeds that He was planting. He showed me that the water that I had seen was to water those seeds. I saw the seeds going into the ground and being watered. Then I saw them sprouting and vines growing along the sidewalk up the wall and into the gate. I saw that they would produce fruit and eventually overtake the brothel! After a while, we regrouped across the street to share what we all were feeling. As I shared my vision with the team, Bruno felt the Holy Spirit was leading him to pour out his bottle of water in front of the wall. This was a prophetic act showing that God was going to water those seeds that were being planted. As Bruno and I went back across the street and began pouring the water on the ground along the wall, the guard saw and recognized what we were doing, He asked us to put some on him as well as the chair he was sitting in! This really blew our minds! It was amazing how The Lord was already working and giving us favor with them! The Lord spoke to us and said that He wanted us to pray there for at least thirty minutes every night for a week. We have been there every night this week interceding for the stronghold to be broken down. Last night was the seventh day, so we were excited to see what the Lord was going to do! We had a time of worship and listening prayer to see what adventures the Lord had for us. We felt that the Lord was leading us to go to Dragao do Mar, which is a very dark place in the city that we haven’t focused on very often. I will share what happened there later. We also knew that the Lord wanted us to go and pray at the brothel. So after we finished our time at Dragao do Mar, we went to the brothel. When we arrived, we greeted the guards and began praying. After a few minutes of praying, one of the guards came over to talk to us. He shared how he had already been drinking a lot that night and that was not very happy. He said that He lived in the countryside outside of the city. He spent several days a week working at the brothel and only stayed at home the days that he didn’t work. He told us that his wife was eight months pregnant with a baby boy. He said he drinks so that he doesn’t have to feel sad about being away from his family. He told us how he had a very dark past and used to be a drug dealer. He had come close to death many times and felt that God must have a purpose for him since he was still alive. He said that he really believed in god and had faith in Jesus. There is so much religion here in Brazil, especially with Catholicism. Almost everyone believes in God and many say that they are Christians. The guard shared with us how his heart was very hard and even as we prayed for him he couldn’t feel anything. Please join us and pray for The Lord to encounter him, soften his heart, and save him! While we were talking to him, the other guard came and said that the manager invited us in to pray for the girls. There were only a few girls in the front room and we got to pray for them and prophesy over them. There were still men coming in and out as we were praying for them. It was really sad knowing that they had no idea how much they are worth to their Heavenly Father. They told us how they didn’t want to be there, but they felt like it was all they could do. It was great to be able to share with them what God thought about them and how they were precious to Him! They were very open and wanted us to pray for them. We also invited them to come to church and to our missions service. Please join us in praying that the Lord will continue to encounter them and bring them into relationship with Him! It is amazing to see how God is giving us favor to be able to go into this brothel and bring His Kingdom! God is continuing to open doors and we are seeing more and more cracks in the spiritual walls of darkness around this stronghold. Please pray that just like He made the walls of Jericho crumble to the ground, He will bring down the walls of this stronghold. We are really excited to see what God is going to do next! Now, remember how I told you we went to Dragao do Mar before going to the brothel? That’s where things got really crazy…

Dragao do Mar is a place that we haven’t really focused on very much. Spiritually, it is a very dark place. Many of the teenagers hang out there at night, and many of them are involved in the occult. When we got off the bus, we prayed and split into small groups to go out and minister and see what the Lord wanted to do. My group had just walked across the square when we saw a guy running toward the street with a bunch of his friends chasing him and yelling for him to stop. He was really upset and wanted to kill himself. His friends said that he had problems with his girlfriend or something. He was fighting them and they were trying to subdue him. We saw that this was clearly demonic and as we began to pray for him, the demons began to manifest. He started screaming and growling at us as we prayed over him. He continued to fight as his friends held him down. They asked us to continue praying for him. As I prayed for him he was cursing us and threatening to kill me. He said he was going to “knife” me, and I later found out that one of his friends had taken his knife off of him. We continued praying over him in tongues and commanding the demon to come out of him. This went on for quite a while, but the demon wouldn’t come out. His friends were also all around him speaking things over him, but I couldn’t understand what they were saying and doing. It was clear that they knew what was going on, but something was off about it. Then I noticed that they had upside down crosses carved on their arms. Then it all made sense…. they were Satanists. They didn’t want to let him kill himself, but they didn’t mind that he was possessed by the demon. They began mocking us because the demon wasn’t coming out. They were laughing and saying that what we were doing wasn’t helping. We continued praying over him as he kept cursing, making obscene gestures, and laughing at us. This went on for about an hour and it felt like we weren’t getting anywhere. We began to see that the demon was welcome, and that he wanted it to be there. This was very frustrating for us. I know that God can do whatever He wants, and that he has given us all authority to cast out demons.

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20

 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers,[c] cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. – Matthew 10:7

I also know that we have free will, and that God does not force himself on us. I know that God can easily cast out the demon, but He may not choose to do so if the person wants to keep it. I know that unless the Holy Spirit comes and fills the empty space left by the demon, there is no point in casting it out. It will only come back with more like itself. So this is something that I want the Lord to teach me more about. I am asking God for more authority and more wisdom on what to do in situations like this. I know that God wants freedom for these people, but what do you do when they want and invite these unclean spirits into their lives? There is also the possibility that this was more of a distraction tactic of the enemy to keep us from doing anything else. It was making a huge scene and there were many people gathered around watching. It was very hard because it was not at all a controlled environment with all the other Satanists around opposing what we were doing. Join us in praying that God will increase our discernment in dealing with these types of situations, and that He will give us more authority. That was by far the most intense situation I have seen with demons manifesting that much. I know that my God is Lord of All and is going to crush the enemy under His feet! The enemy works much differently here than he does in places like the US. The darkness here is very blatant. Pray for us as we continue to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth and push back the kingdom of darkness! Our God is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and everything on earth and in the heavenly realms will bow at his feet!  Join us in praying Ephesians 1:15-23

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love[f] toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! Your prayers are more powerful than you may think, and we appreciate them greatly!

A Night at the Brothel

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A few weeks ago, all of us here at the base were feeling like we needed to take a week off from all of our normal work and programs in the community to focus more on the Lord. We were getting more and more desperate to see the power of the Holy Spirit really working through us to change the lives of the people that we minister to every week. We know that we can’t do anything to really change someone… God has to encounter them and change them. I know that many people are just one powerful encounter with Jesus away from having their lives completely changed for eternity! After praying and seeking the Lord, we decided to suspend all of our normal activities for the week and spend all week in prayer and fasting. We really had some amazing times of worship and intercession together! It was great to spend the whole week going after the presence of the Holy Spirit and growing in intimacy with Jesus! During the week, we felt like the Lord wanted us to go and pray outside a brothel that is just down the street from our house. So Friday night, we had a time of intercession and worship before heading to the brothel. During that time, God showed me a vision of many angels right outside in our courtyard. They were all dressed in armor and ready for battle! Some were carrying swords and shields, and many were on horses. I was seeing this as we were praying for the Lord to come with us and open doors so that we would be able to minister at this brothel. As we left the house and walked down the street toward the brothel, I could see the angels following behind us. By this time I was filled with expectancy to see what God was going to do when we got there! As we were getting closer, we decided to split into three groups so that we wouldn’t draw as much attention just standing outside the gates of the brothel. So we took our positions and began praying for the presence of God to fall on the place and bring freedom to the girls in prostitution. As we were praying, I saw a fairly large demonic spirit rise up from the top of the building. They were alerted to our presence and very angry. This always makes me laugh, because I know that my God has already won the victory and defeated the powers of darkness. As we continued praying, one of the groups walked up to the front gate of the brothel right as the guard was coming out. As they began talking to the guard, I noticed a large angel standing behind them. I knew the Lord was about to do something cool! After talking to the guard for a minute, he took them inside. I was amazed! God literally just opened the front door and let us walk right in! After the first group went in, we continued praying that the God’s presence would invade the place. My group decided to walk up to the wall and pray there. As we put our hands on the wall and prayed for God to break down this stronghold of prostitution, I could feel the resistance from the enemy. I could feel them trying to push us back. After a few minutes, the guard noticed us and called us over. He asked if we were with the others who had already gone inside. To my surprise, he asked if we would go in also and pray for the girls! He told us that a Macumba practitioner had come a few days ago and one of the girls had been possessed by a demon! Macumba is a form of witchcraft that is widely practiced in Brazil. God had granted us favor with the guard who just opened the door and invited us inside to pray for the prostitutes! As my group and I walked inside, I could feel that the atmosphere was very heavy and dark. It was heartbreaking to see the girls who were hopeless and lost in darkness. They have no idea how much they are worth, or how much they are loved by God. It was so cool to get to pray for them and talk to them about how much Jesus loved them and valued them! A few of them gave their contact information to the girls on our team, so pray that the Lord will give us more opportunities to minister to them. As we were leaving, we stopped to talk to the guard for a while longer. He told us about how he didn’t like working there, but it was the only job he could get. We told him we were praying that this place would be shut down, but that the Lord would send him a good job! As we were talking to him, I felt a strange sensation in my neck around the top of my back. When I asked if he had any pain in his neck or upper back, he told me that he had been having neck/back problems. After we all prayed for him to be healed, all the pain left his back and neck! I feel like this was the kind of breakthrough that we had been praying for. We were desperate to see more of the supernatural power of God come and break down the strongholds of the enemy.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4

 Please continue praying that we will have more opportunities like this one, and that we will be able to go into this brothel again. Pray that God will bring down the stronghold of prostitution in this city and all of Brazil! Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support!

Rooted&Grounded

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For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV) #Rooted&Grounded