Our girls belong to the group of people who did not choose to move to a foreign country, or to travel around excessively with their parents, or to move to another foreign country (Canada) to go to University. Along with all the good memories comes the necessity of saying good-bye and starting over. The better your life was, the harder this is. Twenty-two young adults in this same situation met in Seattle for 12 days with some mentors and trained councillors who could help them understand what they were going through. The days were filled with small group discussions about everything, learning to put language to their feelings, eating all the good food they wanted, splitting into small groups and doing photo scavenger hunts in down-town Seattle,…”Those were the funnest days of my life.”
At the MK Transition course the girls watched a secular description of the five stages of a forced transition (included below). It is helpful for them to understand their feelings. It was encouraging to make friends with others who are also engaging in the process of “finding their place” again.
Click here to see Giraffe in Quicksand
We appreciate your prayers. While we are greatly blessed on every side,we are also all struggling in our own ways.
Many years ago, while I was out learning how to be a “missionary”, Deanna was kind of sad some days to have to stay home and look after our small children. One day a stranger knocked on our door. “Hi. My name is Elba. I wonder if you need help? I am 16 years old. I just moved to this big city of Santarem and want to work my way through high school.” A year later Elba moved with us and the Campos family to pioneer the beginnings of this church-planting movement in Altamira and to work her way through Grade 12. After Bible School in Southern Brazil Elba moved back to Altamira to open a training center, marry Steve and become a senior church pastor. She is now, along with Clenildo Campos, among the five national co-ordinators for the Vineyard Brasil. Elba and Clenildo are responsible for all the churches in Northern Brazil, including us in Marabá. This week-end Elba is speaking at the Vineyard National Women’s Conference in Chicago. So…the result of Deanna’s faithfulness with our family and with Elba is bearing tremendous rewards in God’s economy.
Please pray for Elba this week-end in Chicago, and for Steve, Camily and Alyssa who remained home in Altamira.
Here is a clip from the online advertisements for the conference in Chicago.
Part of our church planting strategy includes training faithful people, who will train others. Small discipleship bible study groups are one of the practical ways we train leaders. Cesar’s dad left abandoned his family about two years ago. In spite of this personal difficulty Cesar and his brothers are becoming leaders in the church, helping others find a better way.
Cesar (the guy with the green t-shirt in this photo) tells what he learned on the Altamira Trip.
- I needed to understand this teaching about how to become a spiritual father to my disciples, because this is the future of our church.
- I learned how to grow by helping others become followers of Jesus.
- I learned that I need to act as a follower of Jesus in every place, at all times.
June 20, 2011
We have probably distributed about 70 or more bibles this past year. These bibles are really getting used day and night. Something to consider is the reality of a maintenance factor on these bibles. Just like the water filters, there will be a percentage that will come back every year due to wear and tear.
The larger Proclaimer bibles given out about 2 years ago are starting to act
up and not holding their charge. We would really like to get more audio bibles soon. One lady lost her audio bible in a fire when her house burnt to the ground. She was the only one with an audio bible in her village of about 60 people.
Another bible was lost when a boat turned over in the rapids. The bible was found, but didn’t work anymore as it had water damaged.
Clyde and Kelsie Bergquist
Here are some testimonies Clyde and Kelsie sent me this past year.
Jeorge Rodrigues da Silva
Jeorge listens to the Audio bible 2 times a day for up to 15 mins each time and all
day on Sunday’s.
“I didn’t know the word of God before I obtained an audio bible. I have had a
big change in my life. I learned many things. For someone who doesn’t know
how to read the audio bible is really helpful. For those of us who resisted the
word of God or the gospel message, we can now listen and learn to like it.
If people continue to receive these bibles, there will be more spiritual
development and they will benefit.”
Osebio da Costa Silva
Osebio comments that those who don’t know how to read need an audio bible.
“This is a great invention. I listen to it once a day for 20 minutes. ”
Katia Rejane da Costa Silva
“I listen to my audio bible two times a day and have learned so much about
God and His Word.
About 17 years ago Ross and his dad and his father-in-law built this airplane. For many years it served faithfully in the Xingu Region. From Altamira we could fly to Una in an hour. To travel here by boat takes 24 hours. As Ross flew in and out of these remote communities the airplane was always a welcome site.
Things change. Ross is back in Canada. We donated the airplane to Jim Benson of Salt and Light Ministries. Jim and Julie first moved to Brazil as missionaries just five months before we did, and we have been friends ever since. Jim came to Altamira in June of this year, dismantled the airplane, put it on a barge, and floated it to Santarem. After rebuilding the engine Jim plans to get this airplane going, to become once again a useful tool for planting churches and training leaders.
Thank you to everyone to helped with the aviation ministry.
I am sending this email from the Lummi Island corner store. This is a little different than the corner stores in our neighborhood in Marabá. Here there are no bars on the doors. You can walk right in. They even have free wireless internet, which clocks at 3 Mb/s, several times faster than what we considered “very good”. I have been given the gift of a week of solitude on this Island in the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Washington. The first two days I was completely exhausted. Yesterday I walked around the Island, about 7 miles or so. Almost everyone that drove past me waved and smiled. I think rural communities are the friendliest place on earth. I saw two seals, some deer and a bald eagle. My favorite time is sitting by the fireplace looking out the window at the drizzling rain.
I am completely impressed with how beautiful and well organized Canada and the United States are. There are very many sincere, godly people praying and doing their best to live right before God, and there have been many people like this since the foundation of these countries.
Part of our farewell church service included this skit emphasizing how Jesus encourages His followers to carry their crosses, and to not take shortcuts. At the time I thought this was funny and well done, but a rather random topic in an eclectic and unique Sunday service. Now I think this was a message from God for all of us. We are experiencing a hard adjustment all around. While our girls grieve the loss of their friends, it is always more difficult for those who stay behind. Through all this difficulty God is creating something beautiful. We pray for patience, stamina and courage for the Marabá team and for our family.
We were in a Thrift Store in Northern Ohio. I walked over to see if I could find a good ball cap to replace my old, bleached one. A fellow with a grey scraggely beard reached for a nice cap just ahead of me. “Is this the Arizona something-or-others?”
“I’m sorry. I’m not from this country either.” As he sharply swung his head around to look closer at me I realized that my words came out wrong.
I backtracked. “I mean, I have been living overseas for a number of years. I am a Canadian. I am visiting here. I don’t know these teams.”
“What do you do?”
“We are missionaries, in the Amazon.”
“Oh…pause…I know about God. My parents used to take us kids to church. They must have known how to pray. Not one of us 15 kids ever went to the hospital a day in our lives until after we left home.”
“What happened? How did you fall away from God?”
“I joined the military and quit going to church. Once I returned to the US I could not get into the habit again. I tried going to the church up the road here but that didn’t work out. I wish I had brought my kids up in church. I raised them by myself while they were ages 12-14. If I had only brought them to church I think they would have had a community of good friends.”
“This is exactly what we are trying to do in the Amazon! We are trying to create places where families can get back together, a safer place to young people to find friends, and a place where people can get peace with God.”
Grey Scraggly Beard sounded so wistful and full of regret. I could only imagine where his kids were at. Then another old fellow came pulled my new friend away and the conversation was over. May the Lord bring other people across his path who will nudge him toward Jesus and help him remember “the good old days” when he was part of God’s family, as a child.
The Ohio Buckeyes ball cap I found lower down on that same rack is now my favorite hat.