Good afternoon, friends and family. We have had a couple of busy weeks which we are eager to tell you about. We begin with the events of two weeks ago, when I (Brandon) travelled to another state with a student of the Bible College. A fellow Baptist-Mid Missions missionary works in the next state to the east, and his church was celebrating its church anniversary. I was asked to be the speaker, and one of my students, Geovane, wanted to come along. He had never been outside of our state of Pará, so it seemed like an excellent opportunity. He ended up being our trip photographer, recording the many moments of our short trip.
The theme of the conference was “The Doctrine of the Church of the Living God, The Pillar and Ground of the Truth.” On the first night of the conference there were several churches from the city of São Luís represented. Many of the churches participated in the service through special contributions such as special music. Andrew Comings, the missionary, has been a good friend to our family, and it was good to spend time with him, however brief it was.
The week after the conference we got a surprise in the mail: Grace’s US Passport and US Birth Certificate arrived! She is now a recognized US citizen!
We spent much of that week preparing for the visit of a young man from the United States. Many years ago when we were raising support to come to Brazil we visited the First Baptist Church of Corry, PA. That church became one of our very first financial partners.
We’ve been able to watch from a distance as Pastor Alger’s family has grown up, and now the little boy who is standing next to Emily in the picture, Peter, is a young man. He has moved to another town and is a member of the sending church of another missionary family here in Brazil, in the city of Rio de Janeiro. His church sent him on a short trip to visit that family in Rio, and since he was coming all the way to Brazil he wanted to come see us as well! Of course we were thrilled to host him for a week and show him the ministry on the Amazon.
We had a great time with Peter. We took him to an interior city to spend the night, just to get a taste of ministry far away from the big city. He sat in on Bible classes. He participated in our Saturday children’s ministry by making balloon animals (which the kids loved!). He shared his testimony of salvation at our church on the Sunday he visited. And of course he tried all the local foods such as açaí, maniçoba, vatapá and tacacá. He was quite brave. And he enjoyed a lot of it!
On a family note, a few days before I was supposed to leave for the conference in São Luís Emily broke her toe when she stubbed it against a piece of furniture. She’s been a real trooper through it!
We thank you all for your prayers for us.