Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”
Hello to familiar and unfamiliar readers! At the end of our previous blog, Samantha and I were still in Virginia, awaiting the birth of our nephew and preparing to give a seminar at our church on the “inductive study method.” Thank you for your prayers! My sister Erin gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Isaac Richard Nogueira, right before Samantha and I had to leave to head back to Florida. What timing! As for the inductive study method class, Samantha and I were fully expecting to have about 10 people show up, but God threw us a curve ball and we had around 34 people come to study the book of Philemon using the inductive method, how cool is that!
Along with this class, Samantha and I were able to help out with a couple projects around the church, like helping my Mom renovate her new office:
All that to say, we left Virginia feeling very encouraged by all of our friends, family, and church family. Thank you for your incredible support!
We headed back to Oviedo, FL to begin our 2 week planning period, where we were focusing on how to make Emmaus Ministries more effective. For those unfamiliar with our organization, we are a Bible training ministry whose main goal is to combat Bible illiteracy within the Church body. We believe that encountering God through His Word is a life transforming experience that everyone is capable of having! Our typical school of Biblical studies was focused more towards individuals who would come and live as residential students, taking our intensive course that required 40+ hours a week. While this plan was effective for those certain individuals, we realized that the time and financial requirements just weren’t practical for reaching the local body of Christ. This was a problem to us, since our mission as a ministry is: “To equip the body of Christ with the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ through: the inductive Bible study, authentic relationships, and community life.” So we brainstormed for hours and days, formulating a plan that will still allow individuals to come and study through the whole Bible using the inductive method AND that will allow us to extend our ministry to the general population of local churches.
We are SO excited for the plans that are in place! Unfortunately, we’re not at the stage where we can make these plans fully public, but we will be, very soon! Stay tuned! We do ask that you would continue to pray for us as we iron out the details and set these plans in motion over the next few weeks. And as we spent the last two weeks talking about our goal as a ministry, I thought it would be good to share this statement, as I believe it really does exemplify what we strive to be:
“We seek to share with our students not only God’s Word, but also our lives, endeavoring to communicate and exemplify Biblical truth and it’s relevance to all aspects and domains of life. We strive to better enable Christians to flourish in the many spheres of life, making no distinction between sacred and secular callings. It is our goal that students leave our classes with a thriving relationship with God rooted firmly in the gospel of grace and equipped with a big picture understanding of the Bible; herein lies the source of healthy relationships and a life led by the Holy Spirit that impacts the world for Christ.”
For the moment, Samantha and I are working full time in this ministry raising support and receiving staff training. Part of this staff training will include learning how to become more effective at discipling others, helping to deliver seminars at local churches, and becoming more familiar with teaching through the books of the Bible using the inductive study method.
As for support, Samantha and I are little over third of the way to our full monthly support goal. Right now, we are just making enough to pay for our rent and car insurance. Over the course of the next month or so, Samantha and I need to find $1,900 in additional monthly support in order to reach our full potential in this ministry and meet our full financial obligations. In this, we humbly ask that if you have not already done so, please consider us and pray about whether you can become part of our financial support team. If you feel ready to do so, please follow the instructions on our “donate” page here, and thank you! Additionally, if you know anyone who you think might be interested in supporting us in this mission, we would love to set up a meeting with them as well! If you’re curious about anything we’ve said, would like to know more about our ministry, or have any questions about donating, please don’t hesitate to contact us through one of the methods listed here. We would love to hear from you!
-Setting our plans for the ministry in place as soon as possible
-Samantha and I reaching our fully funded goal. (On that note, Samantha and I are both overdue for some basic health and wellness needs like: a dentist check-up, eye exams and renewed prescriptions, etc.)
Thank you to our good friend Joy Carter at Joy Elizabeth Photography for these great photos!