Friday, October 24, 2008

Hi, all. We haven’t been avoiding our communication with you for the past few months but there’s been a lot taking place in our ministry and at times it has seemed difficult to know exactly what and when to communicate. In the past year, three of the American couples who were working with us here in Brazil have moved back to the States to pursue a new call of God on their lives. Their departures were difficult because of our friendships with them (and our children’s friendships with their children!) but we’ve known all along that God might not keep the original team here forever. And we were confident as we watched them struggling through their desires to stay here that they were definitely hearing from God.

Then about a month ago, three of our Brazilian staff informed us of their decision to leave staff also. Their reasons boiled down to some theological and philosophical differences with our ministry, as well as some misguided perspectives about ministry that were consuming their time and their hearts. In the same way as before, though we love them and feel God is leading them to something new, we feel a loss of our relationships with them. Their departure has also been complicated because, as they left the ministry, they also left the church and it left many students in our ministry confused as to whom they should “follow”. Our unequivocal answer has been that they should follow God and where they feel He is leading them. But we have been grieving personally in many ways because of how this has affected our relationships with the three who left staff and how it continues as some students struggle in how to relate to us, or to the three.

Pray for us, for our staff, for the students involved in our ministry. Pray for all the families that left staff, that God will direct each of them to the place He wants them to serve. Pray that each of the staff will look to God for significance instead of finding it in the “success” of their ministries. We have never been more grateful than we are now to have the support –emotional, prayer, financial, any way you can describe it – from each of you. We need your prayers. We need to know what is going on in your lives too! We see God working in deep ways here in Brazil. Please keep praying!