Thursday, March 13, 2008

We're Going to Brazil!

We had tickets to Brazil reserved for March 31st. Our deadline to confirm those tickets was March 10th. We prayed and prayed all weekend for enough support to come in so we could purchase those tickets, but March 10th came and went with only one extra percent of support added to our monthly need. Since our travel agent didn't call to get an answer from us, we decided to wait and see if God would bring in more support before we called her. As we lay in bed that night, both David and I were restless as we wondered what the next step would be. Lining up more meetings didn't sound too appealing, but we realized that was a possibility. My heart was discouraged and I didn't understand why God had not met the deadline we imposed on Him.

The next day we went on with our routine of doing things to get ready to leave. David got a call that afternoon from our pastor telling us that someone had just called him to tell him they would like to support us anonymously. The amount bumped us to 96% and within minutes, David was on the phone with our travel agent, confirming those tickets for March 31st. Isn't God great? That was a lesson for me and a reminder that my faith is not nearly as strong as I wish it were. We had asked God to provide for us by a certain date, and when that didn't happen, I was discouraged, wondering, "now what?" But obviously God had other plans and one of the many things deputation has taught me is that God does things in His own time and very often, in unexpected ways. Why did I think this time would be any different?

I went for a walk after we got the news of our increase in support, and I had mixed feelings. Of course I am thrilled to finally be going to Brazil to start our ministry there, but a part of me resists change, especially change that will affect just about every area of my comfortable little life. I know that the life God has planned for us in Brazil will be rewarding and challenging and fulfilling, but my heart is saddened by the sacrifices that will be involved, especially when it comes to family. Since I'm already tearing up as I write this, I won't keep writing about it for fear of becoming too emotional, but know that we need your prayers more than ever. Raising support was the easy part, I'm sure, compared to what lies ahead for us.

Here are some specific prayer needs to keep in mind:

1) The remaining 4% of our support, which in dollar amount is $150
2) Wisdom and strength to:
-- continue to sort through and pack our stuff
-- wrap up final details (like closing accounts)
-- step into the pastorate at Valentina Baptist Church (yes, we will be busy from the start)
3) The sale of our second car (we just sold one on Monday!)
4) Safety on our way to Brazil
5) Satisfaction in Christ and in who He is as we enter a new phase in life

Monday, March 3, 2008

Answers to Prayer

Answers to Prayer

Thank you for praying for our ministry! God has been gracious to grant some of our requests!

I will update in order of our previous update:

1. Our departure date is set tentatively for March 31st. We must have the remaining 12% of our support by March 10th in order to confirm March 31st.

2. We will be working with Jonathan and Jennifer Reiner - missionaries with Baptist Mid-Missions in Joao Pessoa - Northeast Brazil. We will assist Jonathan with the camping ministry and looks as though we will be assuming the interim pastor position at a local church near Jonathan's ministry.

3. We have found a shipping company thanks to some missionary friends, that will ship all of our things for half the cost we had budgeted! This will free up some funds for other needs.

4. We have found some excellent insurance which will cover our needs in Brazil but also when we are on furlough and the best part - it is inexpensive - half of what we had budgeted.

5. On Wednesday we shipped out 6 boxes anywhere from 100-160 lbs. each! This past Saturday we had a yard sale and sold a good chunk! We hope to have another yard sale soon.

Things are coming together and God has been graciously working things out according to the good pleasure of His will! It is hard to believe that this is really happening! I have longed for the day we would return to Brazil and I don't deserve this privilege - but God has chosen to save us, equip us, and send us for His glory. My next post will be a chronological testimony of my life so that you might be encouraged and begin to understand Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."