We returned yesterday from our trip to Anapu, Brazil. It was a long trip home (leaving Altamira early Thursday morning and arriving home late afternoon Friday), but overall, the travels were smooth and uneventful.
This was an extremely profitable trip. It appears that relationships are being developed and strengthened, well beyond what takes place in the classroom.
The teaching was once again very well received. My friend Larry Meers taught on the spiritual discipline of worship, while I covered a study in basic Christian doctrine. The feedback from the teaching was extremely positive.
Let me share a few examples of highlights from the week:
One of the men has been taking seminary-level classes in a modular format (doing a lot of reading and writing as well as attending classes in Belem once every two months). After the first evening, he said he felt he learned more in one night than he has in many of his classes.
The highlight of the week was when we discovered one of the village pastors has begun a church plant 17 kilometers farther away from the location of his current church. He said this was a direct result of the learning and encouragement he has already received from the first couple modules.
Also, Pastor Elson (from the host church in Anapu) is wanting to reach more people with the training. We discussed the possibility of having pastor and leaders from farther away come to Anapu for the training. Since our teaching is primarily in the evenings and nights, we discussed “re-doing” the first modules during the mornings for those who haven’t been attending. There are still details to be worked out; however, we are extremely encouraged by the excitement for seeing more leaders raised.
Having interpreters has always been a concern at this site. We had a young man (Rona) recommended to us. He came and served the first three or four days. However, his wife (who is in her second month of pregnancy) began having some major health concerns. We told Rona he needed to be home with his wife, even though this would leave us without an interpreter. He was able to recommend a substitute (Nayara), who arrived the next day. We did not miss any sessions in our training program.
The trip did, once again, generate some prayer requests I would like to share:
Monica and Antonio Carlos. Monica’s condition is very bad. She is pretty much paralyzed and has lost the ability to speak. We were told that the doctors have given up hope. However, as long as she is still alive, we have hope. Please pray for Monica — either that God would provide miraculous healing or that she would be enabled to finish well. Please pray for Antonio Carlos as well.
Pastor Elson’s Wife (Adriene). Adriene has battled some significant health issues over the years. A week or so ago, she had to be taken to the hospital in Belem. They have run a number of tests, and the results should be back any day. I will let you know of any new information that I learn.
Rona’s Wife (Allison). Allison, who went to Brazil as a missionary from the United States, has been having extreme sickness from the pregnancy. She has had to be taken to the hospital on a couple of occasions. The doctors have been encouraging, saying the baby’s heart rate is strong and stable. Please pray for Allison, Rona, and the baby.
During our time there, we visited with people suffering from various significant health issues (a man with heart problems, a woman who has been bedridden for a couple weeks now — just to mention a few).
We are eager for the next module, which will be in early February 2017. Larry and I will again be making the trip, hopefully accompanied by Jean (Larry’s wife) and Kathy.