[Paul Cull-News] Update 4 November ­2017

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    Ron McGatlin
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    Hi once again,

    As I mentioned in my last newsletter, I spent most of the month of September in Texas where I was based out of Corpus Christi and helped Iris Relief in their response to Hurricane Harvey. This was an amazing time as we were able to minister not only to those who had been impacted by the disaster, but also to the responders, and we had some doors opened with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). There are some photos from this trip on my blog at http://www.paulcull.org/joomla/news-and-blog/blog/185-hurricane-harvey-deployment

    Since I arrived back in Brazil in early October things haven’t stopped. The same week that I got back I travelled up to Recife in the north east of Brazil and ministered at a three-day “The Father’s Love” conference in the interior of the state of Pernambuco. It was a great time with an amazing move of the Spirit, and there are some photos of the conference on my blog at http://www.paulcull.org/joomla/news-and-blog/blog/187-father-s-love-conference-arcoverde-pe

    Since coming back I’ve also been busy with repairs around the base and working with the teens from the slum. I had to replace the two 1,000 litre water tanks on our veranda as one of them sprung a leak while I was away, as well as the drain outside our front door to try to stop rain water from the neighbour’s roof from coming inside, and I got a couple of broken windows repaired (one was broken by the neighbours by accident, the other exploded by itself while I was overseas).

    Finances have been tough with all the repairs as I also had to fix my printer and the brakes on my car, and although I received some much appreciated help from the ministry towards the cost of the two Iris Relief trips, the additional expenses of travel to and from Rio city, travel insurance, and other fees cost me more than I would normally spend in a month on living and ministry expenses. Prayers for my financial situation are always very welcome!

    Over the past month I’ve also opened the base most days for the teens in the afternoons and evenings, and have helped them with homework, given them snacks, let them play games on the Xbox and the PCs, etc. Just the other evening I had seven of them stay for dinner, fortunately a couple of the young people helped me throw something together for us all! Although it is great to see the teens here, and know that while they are at the base they are away from the influence of the drug gang which attracts so many young people, it has also been an additional drain on my own financial support to provide them with snacks and meals on a daily basis.

    I have recently started prayer meetings with the teens on Thursday nights which have gone very well and some of them have had some very cool experiences with the Lord. The two boys that I wrote about a few months ago, who were really wanting to join the group, have started participating in our activities and came to our last prayer meeting.

    On October the 12th, which was Children’s Day here in Brazil, I took seven of the teens from our group to Burger King for a special treat – it’s funny how the teenagers consider themselves to be children on that one day of the year!

    The week after I arrived back I also held a couple of first aid courses for local school teachers and teachers’ aids, and although I have been doing these courses on a voluntary basis, I believe that they are an important contribution to the well-being of the city. Before travelling to Africa I ran two other first aid courses for the city school system which were also very well received.

    Despite things being rather busy lately, I have also finally found the time to be able to move my Portuguese-language revival website, http://www.avivamentoja.com, to the new responsive software platform and most of the transitional problems seem to have been ironed out by now. I still need to get the online Bible school software updated, and am hoping to find somewhere quiet where I can record videos for the online lessons. This site has been receiving between 17,000 to 20,000 visits per month, although with the updates and new mobile-friendly software it now seems to be up to around nearly a thousand visits a day.

    Just before I travelled to Africa I received word that my request to upgrade the Associate Emergency Manager qualification that I was granted in 2013 was successful, and that I am now a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM). The upgrade process required a lot of paperwork and confirmation of a number of activities that I have performed over the last four years, and I was quite surprised to learn that I had been successful in this application. However, the qualification will be coming up for its five-year renewal in the new year, which requires another 100 hours of continuing education, which I have been working on, and yet further expense.

    I’m still praying about next year and whatever the next step may be for me. I do believe that my time here is drawing to a close, however I still don’t see any clear pathway for the work here in Cordoeira to continue. There is the possibility of my moving to Texas to help Iris Relief, although this would involve a number of challenges, including finances and the need for a US visa. I have also recently sent my resumé to two city Civil Defence organizations in New Zealand, and appear to be on the shortlist for both of these positions.

    Just yesterday I found out that Massey University has given me an offer of place for their Masters Degree in Emergency Management, which is something that I honestly didn’t expect to receive, and I wonder whether my recently granted CEM qualification helped me meet the entry requirements. This could be interesting for opening doors in the future, however it would require a miracle for the funding to come through (several years ago I was accepted by Fuller Theological Seminary to their Master of Arts in Global Leadership programme but was unable to start studying due to the cost). However, I am praying about the possibility of maybe dedicating 18 months to completing this degree, even if I need to move back to New Zealand to be able to do so.

    As always, thanks so much for your prayers and support,

    Blessings

    Paul

    Paul Cull is a Christian missionary from New Zealand who has been ministering in Brazil since 1994, primarily with at-risk young people. In 1996 Paul started working in an underprivileged community in the city of Nova Friburgo, in the State of Rio de Janeiro.

    Paul teaching a CERT courseHe founded the House of Project, which ministered to local teenagers and their families, becoming part of the Iris Global family in 2012. Paul also pastored the Partners in Harvest church in Nova Friburgo until 2009, when his itinerant ministry to the Brazilian church led him to move to the city of São Paulo.

    Following tragic flooding and landslides in the region of Nova Friburgo in early 2011, which became Brazil’s worst natural disaster, Paul returned to the city to work with recovery operations. This lead to him focussing on disaster relief missions, both with Iris Global and also with Crisis Response International.

    Currently Paul lives in the suburb of Cordoeira in Nova Friburgo, where he leads a teens’ group and continues to minister in disaster response missions, both locally and internationally.

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