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Volume 10 Issue 1
Christ Fop Sao Luis Prayer Letter
Gary & Rosie Finley - Missionaries
Calumet Street Christianj:imrch^^Z24ai^tXaliimet Street
Phone: (618) 533-4421 &Rosie's E-mail address is: CFSL@ELO.COMjtR^.
he following is an update on the progress of our building project;
Saturday, January 18 our engineer and construction foremen met at the
building site to verify our property boundaries and lay out the location of
our support pillars and walls.
Monday, January 20 we began excavating the site manuaily. The
classroom wing requires the pouring of 21 reinforced concrete pillars,
measuring approximately 8" square. Each pillar rests on a reinforce
concrete base that measures about 42" square and sits about 4 1/2 feet
below ground level. The first task was to dig the holes for these bases
and for the footings upon which the masonry walls will rest. By weeks
end the pile of dirt that came out of these holes made it look like we were
building a mountain rather than a church building.
Wednesday, January 22 the workmen began laying in sections of the
footing.
Saturday, January 25 the first four reinforced concrete bases were poured.
Thursday, February 6after three months of waiting we finally are connected to the main water line! Up to this
point the workers had been hauling in water by hand and catching the run-off from a
the street adjacent to our property in an improvised shallow well. Of our project engineer did not have some
well placed friends within the water department, we would still be waiting).
Wednesday. February 26 we are "above ground"! All of the bases and footings are finished. We are now
raising the walls and filling in the concrete pillars between each 12 foot section of masonry.
By the end of February we have spent approximately $5,500.00 for materials and $3,100.00 for labor
We have another $2,000.00 on hand that should allow us to continue raising the walls dunng the tirst two
weeks of March. At that point will have to stop the work until more contributions are received.
We ask that your congregation consider how you might be able to participate in this project. Some of
our supporters have asked us to break down the costs of construction into individual materials so that their
members might contribute toward the purchase of a specific item. If that idea appeals to you here are some
suggestions:
Bricks 150 each
50 pound sack of cement $3.50
25 pounds of iron (rebar) $10.00
:ubic yard of limestone gravel $40.(
Load of sand $70.00
The Finlegs Bri^ton, Gan;, Ian . Roe
We are very grateful for any help that you can give. Please pray that God will be glorified and His
people edified throughout the construction and for many years to come as the building dedicated to His service
becomes a reality.
IS
Our Land Before Construction Be^
Excavating the Foundation
UPDAte dN &fANQemM..
Since our last newsletterwas sent out three more people have decided to make Jesus Lord and Savior
of their lives. In our November newsletter we told you about Katia, a young lady Rosie wasevangelizing. As
we had hoped, Katia decided to obeythe Lord's command. She was baptized the second weekof
December.
With Katia's dedsion, thetotal number ofbaptisms in SoLuis during 1996 grewtoeight. Wealways
would like to see the church growfaster than it does. But considering that we retumed from ourfuriough at the
end ofJanuary and the Navises wereonfuriough for nearly 5 months during the middle ofthe yearwe haveto
be grateful for the growth that did occur.
Thefirst "new birth" of 1997tookplaceon January 26. Almira (25, a laboratory technician), was
baptized bySylvestre. On February 7 Isabel (30, a daughter of DonaLuzia) was baptized by John. Together
with the angels in heaven, we rejoice with these three ladieswho nowenjoythe blessings of life inChrist
Jesus!
Mission Financial, Situation i . ' - ,.
During the month of October 1996 our supporting churches were informed of a deficit inour mission
general fund. The primary causes were inadequateincoming support during the first 9 months of 1996and
health care expenses forthe Finleys incurred during their 1995furiough.
Thanks tothe generosity of God's people a significant portion ofthat deficit has beenerased. By the
endofDecember 1996 all but $3,000.00 had been repaid toourspecial accounts. If you participated in the
special offerings received toward this needwewould like toextend our heartfelt gratitude for your contribution.
The remaining $3,000.00 that was borrowed from the Finleys furiough fund needsto be replaced as
soon as possible. Please pray that God will help us eliminate the remainder ofthis deficit shortly.
-^RECENT HAPPENINGS^^
^ On December 7,1996 the Christian churches/churches of Christin Belem hosted the annual retreat for
Christian womenfrom throughout Brazil's Amazon region. Thisyear four ladies from Sao Luis were able to
attend. Rosie, Ruth, Dona Luzia and Dona Terezina enjoyed the all-day gathering which this yearfocused on
thetheme "Above all else". The speakers, workshops andother activities emphasized the importance of
loving God above any other person, thing or cause.
Belem is 12 hours from So Luis by bus. The bus leavesone city around 8:00 in the evening and
arrives in the other around 8:00 inthe morning. On the returntrip the bus that carried Rosie and the other
ladies from So Luiswas hijackedabout 4:00 AM bysix armed robbers. Rosie lost her watch and about
$40.00 in cash. Ruth lost about $20.00. Dona Terezina lost a carry-on bag (the robbers used it tocarry off the
property they stole from theother passengers). The robbers were on thebus, holding the passengers at gun
point for neariy a half hour. It was a terrifying experience for all. Thankfully, no onewas injured.
Thefollowing SundayIasked all the ladies how theyfelt about the trip. Although theywere^ill a^Iittle
shaken by the assault, they all cherished good memories ofthe retreat andwere glad they had the chance to
participate.
^ Rosie is fully recovered from a bout with kidney stones thatlanded herin theemergency room twice
shortly after the new year.
^ One of our ministry emphases thisyear is Training for Service. We currently have membersfrom both
congregations involved in weekly training sessions forthe following areas: Worship leader. Scripture reading,
Preaching. In March a series of training sessions will begin to equip teachers for our Sunday School.
Volume 10 Issue 2
Christ For Sao Luis Prayer Letter
Gary & Rosie Finley - Missionaries
Calumet Street Christian Church / 2240 East Calumet Street / Centralia, IL 62801-6512
Phone: (618) 533-4421 Gary & Rosie's E-mail address is: CFSL@ELO,COM.BR
c
onstructing a church building is an
'exciting adventure for any
congregation. Even more so when it will be the
church's first. Our people are really excited
about the possibility of having our own meeting
place in just a couple of months. We are very
grateful for the help you are giving us. We ran
out of money the second week of March and
for 5 weeks were only been able to take care of
a few small items with our volunteer workers.
With the help of some brethren in
Southern Illinois we have been able to resume
construction (see Recent Happenings on the
other side of this page). We are currently
putting in a concrete ceiling over our
classrooms. !t will also serve as the floor when
we add a second story to the classroom wing.
As we began this building project we knew that the most important part of the whole structure
would be the part that is least visible, the foundation. If a building has a solid and firm foundation it
will last a long while. But, if the foundation is shaky, then everything built above it is in peril of
collapse.
Spiritually the same thing is true. Ifour lives are built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and His
revealed plan for His people, then we will live with Him for all eternity. But, if we try to build our lives
on any other foundation, disaster lies just ahead. In Matthew chapter 7 Jesus tells the story of two
builders, one wise, the other foolish. The difference between the two men was the type of foundation
they chose. Jesus tells us that both men heard His words. But, only the wise builder after hearing
Jesus words went on to put them into practice.
As supporters of this ministry we want to assure you that we have laid a solid foundation for our
church building. It will last a good long while. More importantly we are building the church (God's
people) spiritually on the solid foundation that was laid by God's own hand.
The children in our Sunday school classes at Pirapora love to sing the song about the two
builders and SHOUT the last line So build your life on the Lord! (in Portuguese of course). That is
sound advice, let's all follow it.
The Ftnleys
upvAje ON evAAfgetJSMtl00it00000t0000^
our November newsletter we mentioned that Rosie was studying with a young lady named
Ana Paula. They completed their studies early this year, but Ana Paula was still unsure if she was
ready to commit her life to the Lord. On March 11 her conviction won out over her doubts and she
was baptized into Christ by Rosie.
is a young lady in her early twenties. She is the proud mother of 5 month old
Natalia. As Sylvestre continues with his goal of winning his entire neighborhood to the Lord he
recently invited Glaciete and her husband to study the Bible with him and John. Glaciete accepted
and was soon convinced of her need to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She was
baptized on March 14.
our church building is still just wails (no ceiling, roof, windows or doors yet) we have
already had our first baptisms on the premises! On Sunday, April 6, Aldir (our guard for the property)
and his wife Celia were baptized into Christ. Here the city water does not flow every day. so all
buildings have to install their own water reservoir. We have a 250 gallon fiberglass water tank that will
eventually be hidden under our roof line. For the time being it rests on the ground beside the area
where we mix our cement. Besides providing us with plenty of water to get through the days when the
supply is cut off, it also makes a great baptistry!
Mission Financial Situation
Overall giving for 1997 has fallen well below the needs outlined in our yearly budget
HAPPENINGS^^^
^ On April 13-16 Calumet Street Christian Church in Centralia, IL {our home congregation) sponsored "A
Meeting With A Mission". It was an evangelistic meeting/revival with one difference. The preachers and
worship leaders refused any compensation for their services. Instead, all offerings were given toward our
building project. The committee that organized the meeting set a goal of $2,500.00 for the offerings collected
during the four nights. By God's grace and through the generosity of His people the total given was over
$3.6001
We would like to thank the preachers {Les Bofdt, Dallas Bear, Louis Williams and Bnice Hough), the
worship leaders (CSCC team, Bennie Johnson, Jono &Dee Ann Schnautz, and the Evangelaires), members
of the area churches who participated and CSCC staff and volunteers for all their effort on behalf of this
ministry. May God bless you even as you have blessed others!
H On Monday, March 31, Rosie and Ruth began a 5 week series of teacher recruitment/training
meetings. On Monday evenings they met with a group of three prospective teachers in Sao Francisco. On
Tuesdays they were in Vila Lobao with a group of 4 who were interested. On Wednesdays they met in
Pirapora with a group of 5.
As a result of the training meetings 5 adults have expressed an interest in becoming teachers in our
Sunday school. Three of our teenagers have volunteered to work as assistants when they are needed. Rosie
and Ruth hope to put everyone to work in the weeks ahead. In June and July they plan to offer more training
for those who follow through with their commitment and stick with the on the job phase of their preparation to
become full fledged teachers.
JOHN & Ruth Navis
Pleasant Grove C.O.C.
4713 County Road 140 SE
Stewartville, MN 55976
Gary & Rosie Finley
Calumet Street Christian Church
2240 East Calumet Street
Centralia, IL 62801 -6512
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Friday, May 02,1997
As you are aware, we are in the process of constructing a building for the Pirapora
congregation. By God's grace and through the generosity of His people we have been able to
acquire land, obtain the necessary building permits, secure the services of a professional
architect/engineer, and begin construction.
Our project involves three phases: 1) Our classroom wing is an "L" shaped building that
will sit along side the main auditorium. It will eventually have two levels. Phase one of our
constructionis the groundlevel of this building. It houses 5 classroomsmeasuring 12'xl5' each.
Men's and women's bathrooms, and a small kitchen. Initially, two of the classrooms will be
left without their dividingwall so that the larger roomcan serve as a temporaryauditoriumwhile
phase two continues.
2) The second phase of our project is the main auditorium. It will measure 30'x45' and
will comfortably seat 120 worshipers, with the ability to accommodate up to 180 on special
occasions.
3) Phase three v^ll be the completionof our classroomwing. The second floor will be a
repetition ofthe ground floor. When completed we will have a total of 10classrooms.
At the present time the rough walls for the ground floor of our classroom building are
raised to ceiling height. We are working on the electrical, water and sanitary sewer
installations. When those are finished we will cover the existing structure with a concrete
ceiling that will also serve as the floor for the second level. The money that we have on hand
($1,650.00) will probablyget us 3/4 of the way there. Once the ceiling is in place, we will need
to finish the floors with a smooth coat of cement, install windows and doors and purchase tables
and chairs. At that point we will be able to start using the building!
By the time this letter reaches you we will most likely be out of money. To keep our
construction moving along we ask that you consider making an additional gift at this time. So
that you can see how far your money goes, here are the prices for some of the materials most
used in this type of construction:
Bricks 150 each
50; pound sackof cemeHit $3.50
25 pounds of Iron (rebar) $10.00
Cubic yarxi ofJimestone gravel $40.00
Loaid ofsand $70.00
Please detach this portion and send it along with your contribution to the appropriate
address above. Otherwise, please include a note indicating that your contribution is for the
'^Building Fund". As always, checks should be made out to Christfor Sao Luis.
Amount: Name: Address:
Thank you for making this ministry possible,
John & Ruth Navis Gary & Rosie Finley
C h r i s t FoR^S^iaufs
Gary a RosiE Finley
Calumet Street Christian Church
2240 East Calumet Street
Centraua, IL 62801 -651 2
Dear Friends,
We have been weighing a difficult decision since the end of last year. In short,
we have decided to return to the US on August 12,1997.
It would take a few dozen pages to tell you all the factors pro and con that we
have weighed. There is not "a" reason for our decision. Rather, it has been a
combination of factors. Three of the concerns which have most affected our decision
are; 1) our missionfmancial situation, 2) health relatedmatters, and 3) family concerns.
Before I comment on our financial situation, allow me to express our heartfelt
appreciation for those ofyou who faithfully support this ministry financially. Many of
our individual supporters and several supporting congregations give in a way that can
only be calledsacrificial.
Mission Finances; The dilemma we face is that we have not been able to attract a
sufficient number of new supporters to this work. Thus, for much of the past three years
we have been unable to maintain the level of incoming support necessary to meet our
monthly budget. We have consistently run a negative balance at the end of the month.
All of our reserves have been depleted. We currently have a negative balance of
-$3,000.00 in our mission general fund.
Health Issues: Beyond financial considerations, we have been battling a number of
health problems related to our life in SSo Luis. Sgk) Luis is a difficult place to live, even
for Brazilians from other parts of the country. Most people from S3o Paulo (or other
cities in the industrialized south of Brazil) who are transferred here on business remain
only 2 or 3 years before requesting a new assignment.
After 7 years the climate, neglected infrastructure (especially the roads),
corruption, and lawlessness have taken their toll on us physically, emotionally and
spiritually.
Family Concerns: We carmot share with you all of the details, but we also feel a need
to be closer (geographically) to our immediate family in the US.
(Continued on back of page)
More About Finances / Please Continue Your Support Through December 1997
We have managed to meet current expenses over the past several months by
borrowing from our Furlough fund (money set aside for airfare and related expenses).
That money now needs to be replaced in order to allow us to return home. Our sending
congregation (Calumet Street Christian Church) has graciously agreed to loan us the
amount necessary to purchase our tickets. We would like to repay the loan as quickly as
possible. If you could make a special contribution toward replacing our travel funds, it
wotild be much appreciated.
Based on the experience of other missionaries who have returned to the US over
the last few years, we believe that it will take from 3-6 months to get settled in a new
ministry.
We v^ll need at least 3 months to visit all the churches/individuals who support
our work. How long it will take to find a church where we can continue to serve God's
people is harder to calculate.
We ask that you continue your financial support through the end of the year. (Of
course, if we begin a new ministry sooner, we will ask you to discontinue your support at
that time.)
Beyond the year's end, we would like you to consider continuing to support this
ministry financially in one of two ways:
1) Our building fund - we are about 3/4 finished with the shell of the bottom floor of
our classroom wing. This is phase one of our construction plans. Phase two is the
auditorium. Phase three is the second floor of the classroom wing. When finished, we
will have 10 classrooms measuring about 12 x 15 feet and an auditorium measuring about
30 X45 feet. The shell of phase one should be done by the time we retxun home. We
will need to proceed with phase two slowly, as incoming support allows. Hopefully we
can begin by August. The pace of incoming support will detemiine how long it will take
to complete. Phase three will be on hold until later notice.
2) Our Brazilian coworker Jamerson plans to study at Saint Louis Christian College in
1998. He has been awarded a scholarship that will p^ his tuition and board. He will
need some additional income to pay for books, clothing and meals on the weekends.
The work in Sao Luis will continue under the leadership of John and Ruth Navis.
Thankfully, several church members have been trained to preach, teach and evangelize.
We feel that we are leaving the work in capable hands.
Please pray for those who will carry on with the work here. Please pray that God
will give us wisdom and guidance as we seek a new place of ministry in the US. If you
are a supporter, please contact us to schedule a date for a visit so that we may bring an
update on the progress of this work since our last furlough. Initially, we will be
scheduling presentations for August 24 through October 12.
Thank you for the way that you have made this ministry possible by your
sacrificial giving and your constant prayers on our behalf
With much love and gratitude,
Gary & Rosie