Tuesday, April 20, 2010
From Short Term to Long Term
It has been six week since we arrived in Camboriú, and four and half months since we arrived in Brazil. As many of you know, when leaving the States, the only thing we had for certain was a call, a clear call to "GO" to Brazil. We had no idea what we would do here, where in Brazil we would end up, etc. As Fabio's sister is a missionary with YWAM in Recife (the Northeastern part of Brazil), we thought we might spend some time there.
We talked through the decision making process with our church leaders and sought their counsel in each step. As some of you know, our church has for years had a close relationship with a Bible school in Argentina (Iscami), sending teams there each year to serve in various capacities. Our pastors have developed close friendships with the pastors in Argentina as well. Five years ago, Fabio also went with a team from our church to serve in Argentina. While he was there he met an older couple named "Chicho and Chicha". Since Fabio was from Brazil, they told him of their son, Facundo, who had been called to Brazil as a missionary! Some of our church members who had been to Argentina in earlier years had also developed friendships with Facundo while he was still in the Bible school. And Pastor Gustavo, the head pastor over many churches in Argentina and a close friend of one of our pastors, John Leitzel, had also expanded his ministry in recent years to include frequent visits to Brazil - including to Facundo's church! And, there is an Iscami school that recently opened here in Brazil through the brothers in Argentina.
So.... when we started talking about a calling to Brazil, our church leaders encouraged us to get in touch with Facundo. Even though our church did not have any exact ministry in Brazil, relationally our pastors felt connected somewhat to what was going on down here.
That is how we ended up in Camboriú, at Pastor Facundo's church, which is called MANG. "MANG" stands for "Ministerio Apostolico Nova Geração", or "New Generation Apostolic Ministry". When we came here, we really had no idea what this place was about. We had had very limited communication with Facundo and Carol, so we didn't know anything about the church, how big it was, what kinds of ministries they was involved in, what the needs in the city were, etc. We agreed to go to Camboriú for a month, to check it out and get to know the people and the ministry. Here is Pastor Facundo, his wife Carol, and Apostle Gustavo, who was here visiting from Argentina last week:Guess what? God has filled us to bursting with love for the people of this city. We spent much time in prayer for direction the first weeks we were here, and the Lord confirmed to us that he had been preparing us for such a time as this, and that HE had led us to this place. It is amazing to us how much the Lord has turned our hearts toward this place - it is something that can only come from him. In spite of spending three months in Santos, among family members, etc ... we never felt in the least bit that we were to settle down there.
So... we are still in conversations with our pastors and leaders in the States, as well as the leadership here, about exactly how this will all look, but we are in the process of shifting gears from short term to long term.
Please pray for us as we continue to pray this through, that we would have wisdom in knowing God's will as we make plans for the future!!