And so we reach the end of the year! The seventh day of Christmas is upon us, and the promise of Epiphany is near.
The year of our Lord 2012 has been filled with new life in the Brito household. But it began near death. After attending a Pastor’s Conference in Louisiana and visiting family in Mississippi in January, our family upon returning to Florida was met by an unobservant elderly couple from Oregon who crossed the road without considering the incoming traffic. Fearful—after finally glancing at the gigantic Black Dodge Ram—they stopped in the middle of the road. Melinda did a masterful job at remaining controlled throughout the ordeal. We hit the vehicle head-on, but our titanic truck– though damaged–slowly stopped on the side of the road after hitting the tiny iceberg. In God’s good grace, though our vehicle was totaled, there were no fatalities, and just a few aches and pains which were dealt with in ensuing months at the chiropractic clinic.
Uri is now in his fifth year of his pastorate at Providence Church. He continues to take great pleasure in serving the saints and ministering weekly in Word and Sacrament. The congregation has grown both in numbers and in unity. We are averaging about 100 attendants per Sunday. God has richly filled our once small congregation, and has provided a healthy, godly, and vibrant body of covenant members.
On September 26th, Uri’s first labor in the publishing business was made public. He was the editor and contributor to a book entitled The Church-Friendly Family, which speaks of the centrality of the Church and the role of the individual family in the mission of the Church. 500 copies were printed, and over 350 have been sold in three months.
Uri was also invited to be one of three speakers (together with Gregg Strawbridge and Rich Lusk) at the 22nd Family Advance Conference in Sandestin, Fl. His two talks The Trinitarian Father and The Church as the Apologetic of God were very well received.
In late December, Uri had the unique opportunity to visit his family in Brazil for two weeks. Though filled with several problems regarding his passport, he managed to make the trip. His fourteen days were filled with excitement as he was able to see his large family of 39 cousins and 13 aunts and uncles, and his grandmother. His mother was delighted by his presence, and he and his brother formed quite a musical dual.
Melinda continues to labor in the home. She cherishes her responsibilities as wife and mother. She continues to beautify the home with her joy and love. And speaking of beautifying, on August 30th we welcomed our third child, Ephraim Augustine. Instead of driving 45 minutes to a well-known hospital, we chose a local one (only three minutes away) for this delivery. The experience was terrific! The nurses were outstanding and we found a great pediatrician also only minutes away. She couldn’t be happier.
We were graced with some wonderful friends who helped us to adjust caring for three little ones while daddy is at the office. We could not have done it without the help of our wonderful friend, Misty Heifner. She has been more than a friend, and more like a second mother to our little ones.
Melinda continues to take good care of our budget, updating it often, and saving us hundreds of dollars whenever possible through couponing.
She has also begun to home-school Abigail (who is now four) through the local Classical School community. She continues to instruct Abigail during the week, and then join the other CC moms on Tuesdays where Abigail has an opportunity to make a presentation. And as expected, our first child, never the timid one, excels in them.
Melinda has also begun preparing to run a half-marathon at Disney in February, 2013. She has been faithful in her preparation and has shown remarkable perseverance.
Our children, Abigail (4), Ezekiel (2), and Ephraim (4 months) continue to fill our house with laughter, noise, and more laughter and noise. They are joyful and love to sing new songs. God has filled our dinner table with sharp arrows.
We are extremely blessed to have our Church family who has helped us in so many ways, to our friends and neighbors, who have been more than we ever expected, and to our Triune God who has spared us from death and who has given us life abundantly in the year 2012.
Thanks be to God, and a continual Merry Christmas!
Uri, Melinda, Abigail, Ezekiel, and Ephraim
December 31st, 2012