April 2, 2018
Dear Prayer Partners,
We are SO thankful for your friendship and prayers! As Paul stated in Philippians 1: 3-4, “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (HCSB) Your prayers have recently gotten us through some of the busiest days of our ministry. Please continue to pray and rejoice with us in what God is doing in NE Brazil!
Our Baptist Mid-Missions Brazil Family conference was a great time around the Word and enjoying God’s amazing creation in the Amazon rain forest with our colleagues. The anxiety of having to change venues for the event just days before it began was relieved as the hotel “rolled out the red carpet” for us, even though we were “hand-offs” from another hotel. Our work, as part of the planning committee was made easy. We were also able to visit with 3 of our former students who are serving God faithfully in that region.
We arrived back in Crato just two days before our annual Missions Conference at the Bible College. We were taxed to our human limits, as we tried to recover from red-eye flights before and after a very full week in the Amazon. But God… from the evening services to the workshops to the ladies tea to the international canteen, God directed and blessed in every way. Just hours before our final service, the whole of Northeast Brazil lost electric power. The preaching went on by flashlight on the seminary amphitheater. In spite of the dark, attendance was good, and all were blessed. The power was restored half-way through the service, just as we were whisking Dr. Vernon and Jan Rosenau to the airport so they could catch their flights back to Ohio. Our students and the area churches were challenged with the question, “Will we tell the next generation?” This is our prayer: that God will continue to call our students to the mission fields of the World!
Our church plant is no longer “Parque Grangeiro” since our new building is just up the road in the neighboring area known simply as Grangeiro. Last weekend, on Friday night, Jim challenged the couples to be united in the area of finances. Saturday evening we had the official installation of Pr. Francisco Carlos and the dedication of our new building. On Sunday morning we celebrated Christ’s Resurrection with breakfast and a special Easter program, and in the evening we had cake to celebrate the 10 years since we began Sunday services with this church plant. We are looking forward to reaching into the new community in which God has placed us. Though this is a small church, we have launched two families to the mission fields of the Gambia and Venezuela, one young woman to be a pastor’s wife, and another who followed her husband to a sister church in the area. Yet we have several believers who are struggling with obvious attacks by Satan to discourage them in their faith and service to God. We need your prayers!
We have tickets to come to the USA on April 13th. We hope to spend the rest of April and May mainly in the Iowa/Illinois area, then June and July in Minnesota. We will be visiting some of our supporters which we haven’t visited for nearly five years. We’re excited for the opportunity to be the missionaries at Bass Lake Camp, where Julie grew as a child/teen and where we both served as college students. Of course, we’re looking forward to being with Mom Hansen and Julie’s siblings, and also with Josiah, Nikki and our 5 sweet grandkids. Jennifer is planning to enter the Navy this spring; we hope to be there for her “graduation” from basic training.
Jim just returned from 2 days in Fortaleza, closing up his responsibilities as the BMM of Brazil treasurer. He is doubling up on his teaching in order to finish his mission’s class before we travel. He still has several meetings in the upcoming days to see that the Bible College “fixes” happen while we are gone. Please continue to pray for our college in the areas of leadership, faculty, finances and maintenance.
We are Your Servants for Christ in Northeast Brazil.