We are committed to partnership ministry; that is to say, we believe the Biblical model for ministry is the team ministry model. The Lord has provided for us like-minded teammates in Rubens and Sofia da Silva, a Brazilian family with four children of their own.
Rubens graduated from the Seminário Batista Regular do Norte (SEBREN) in 1992 and served as a missionary along the Amazon for a number of years. In 2009 his sending church in Brasília asked if he would return home and pastor the church. He agreed and returned to Brasília.
In late 2015 the state fellowship of Baptist churches in the state of Pará asked Rubens to come back to Belém – the capital city of Pará – and re-open the Bible college. After receiving approval from his church he began to make plans to return to Belém and lead the seminary as a missionary – in other words, supported by other local churches.
Rubens had made our acquaintance in 2015 and invited us in 2016 to join him in the effort to re-open the seminary. After conferring with our sending church and our partner churches, we were convinced that this leading was from the Lord and committed to joining the ministry in Belém.
Local Church Focused
The means by which God is working in the world today is through the local church. Therefore ministry must be local-church focused. We are serving in Belém as church planters and leadership trainers. We believe the Bible college is the servant of the church, and not the other way around.
Our first local-church ministry in Belém is a church restoration work. We are working together with Rubens and his family to restore Igreja Batista Boas Novas (Good News Baptist Church), a church which was begun about 35 years ago. This church has dwindled to about 15 regular attenders. The church reached out to Rubens requesting our help.
This church is located in a large neighborhood, on the corner of a busy street. There is a lot of potential for this local church. Their great need is faithful, patient leadership. We are excited to see what the Lord will do in this ministry.
We are also in Belém to serve at Seminário Batista Regular do Norte (SEBREN). This Bible college was begun in about 1986, but has gone through some rough times which led to its closing about 10 years ago. Sensing the need for solid leadership training, the pastors of the State Association of Baptist Churches in Pará asked our teammate Rubens to re-open the seminary. We began classes again on February 20, 2017. We began with 6 students, and we saw 6 more students join us before the third week of classes. We were thrilled to have this number of students in our very first semester. Our numbers have continued to grow since then. God has been directing this ministry every step of the way, and it is neat to be able to be a part of this Bible college.
Brandon is responsible for the Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology classes at the seminary, and Emily is the seminary librarian – not a small job!