Good morning, friends and family. It’s been a few weeks since our last update, and we wanted to let you all know some of the things that have been going on here in Brazil. Perhaps the biggest news of the day is that the rainforest is not burning down. 🤣 We were surprised and a bit amused when we saw the “news” reports coming out of Brazil in recent weeks concerning the “historic” fires threatening the rainforest. I remember as a young child watching Bambi and being saddened by the “fire” scene which threatened Bambi’s habitat. But after the movie my Mom explained to me that forest fires are a normal and healthy part of the lifecycle of the forest, and in fact forests grow back stronger and healthier after fires. I confess that ever since those young days, I have never worried too much about rain forests.
Including this one. In fact, it was news to me that, as the “news” outlets are reporting, this has been a dry year, making these fires much more of a threat. To be honest, the rainforest is called the “rainforest” because it always rains here. Always. Every single day of the year, there’s at least a 50/50 chance of rain. In the wet season, it will rain. And this year has been a particularly wet year, in fact. This is our third year on the Amazon, and of the three (I know, not a huge sample), this year has by far been the wettest, rainiest year. The fires that are burning will certainly not take over the rain forest. So the moral of the story is, don’t worry about the rain forest. Everything’s ok down here. 😀
Over the last few months we have been working hard with our church to get our constitution finished. Last Sunday we were able to work through the final article, and the last important decision. It is an exciting time for our little church. It has been neat to see their attitutes and commitment as they work to come to unified decisions as a church family.
Our young people have been leading the children’s Bible club on Saturday afternoons over the past couple months, and the ministry is going well. There have been a number of children from the roads of our neighborhood who have been coming out. Please pray with us for the continued impact of this ministry.
Our coworkers, Rubens and Sofia, are presently on furlough visiting a number of churches all over Brazil. They will be away until early December. We greatly miss their presence, but are glad for this time they have to visit the churches who have partnered with them. They sent us news a few weeks ago of at least 5 new students who will be coming to study at the Bible College in January! This was exciting news!
Speaking of the Bible College, we have been working hard at the nationalization process over the past few months, and are encouraged at the steps which are being made. This Bible college is presently a joint project between Baptist Mid Missions and the churches of the state of Pará, the state we live in. Part of the nationalization process includes the churches of Pará taking more leadership and responsibility for the care and promotion of the school. We are encouraged because as we give the churches opportunity, they seem to be stepping up and taking responsibility of the ministry. This is not a quick transition. It will likely take quite some time before the ministry is entirely nationalized. But as we work through these early steps, we see that these steps indicate genuine progress.
On a family note, the kids are growing up!! Grace has two little teeth peeking through, and is pulling herself up to stand and scoot around on her feet (not sure I’d quite call it ‘walking’ yet). Chloe is quite an active little girl, but the reading gene runs deep (for which we are thankful!). She loves books.
We have a few things coming up over the next few months that we ask you to be praying about. First, next month, Brandon will be traveling to the next state to the East to preach at a Bible conference being held by some of the churches of that state. Please pray that God would use the conference and His Word in the church there. Please also pray for safety on the roads.
We also have the opportunity to host a young man in our house for a week at the end of October. He is the son of one of the pastors we met on our Deputation a number of years ago. He is coming to Brazil to spend time with us and another missionary family in Rio de Janeiro. Please pray that the Lord will use this trip in his life as he considers whether the Lord is leading him into missions.
Finally, please be praying as we begin preparations for our next furlough. We will be spending three months in the USA in the Spring and early Summer of 2020. We look forward to seeing some of you during this time! Please be praying for all the logistics of the trip, both here in Brazil and in the States.