May 12, 2016
We are so thankful to the Lord for you. Here is a snapshot of what has happened and our plans for the near future. Read and pray.
A few days ago Melissa (4 yrs. old) asked, “When will I get to see my friend from the church? He is funny. I want to play with him and hug him.” She was referring to Chaden (Dan & Traci Price’s son, Jim & Mary Miller’s grandson) at Thompson Road Baptist Church during the BFM conference. I was encouraged to see how quickly the two of them hit it off so well. They played, ran and laughed together. An enjoyable experience like this makes the conference even more special. Traci “Miller” Price is a long time family and college friend who travelled to Lexington from Tennessee for the BFM Conference in April. I am so glad the conference generated a meaningful friend for our little Melissa and that our families are connected because of Jesus. The conference was themed “Every disciple… A disciple-maker” and the speakers were a great encouragement to us all. I enjoyed speaking on a subject that is close to my heart, “Disciple-Makers”. I am so grateful to our friends at Thompson Road for the love demonstrated to us all during our time together.
We have a huge blessing to share. Sarah, Laura, Benjamin and Melissa have progressed well in their English language, reading & comprehension skills. When we first arrived in the States in July 2015, they spoke some English, but didn’t know how to read and write. Almost a year later, they are now fluently speaking, thinking and writing in English. The school year will be over on June 9th and they look forward to swimming, camping and hiking during the Summer (until our return to Brazil). In the meantime, we are having fun with the family, which includes Melissa having decided to cut her own hair after finding the scissors. Fun times. Raquel has the privilege of receiving Vanessa Martiny this week. Vanessa and Raquel were in the same doctoral program several years ago. She was also our neighbor for many years in Virginia Beach.
LIBERTY UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE
The school year at Liberty University is officially over. During this time I was able to influence several hundred students within the undergraduate Pastoral Leadership Program at Liberty. I enjoyed meeting and befriending several world-renowned professors and pastors, locally and from around the country. Thanks to the Lord for the many lasting memories and connections made during this time. In addition to serving as adjunct faculty, I had the privilege of coordinating the LU Pastoral Advisory Board with 51 pastors. I also joined the Pastoral Leadership capstone course panel in oral finals for graduating seniors – an ordination simulation. It has been a blessing to serve under the leadership of my dear friend, Dr. Dave Adams. I was honored to be the recipient of the Liberty University’s “Church Leadership & Church Ministries Service Award” for my time and service invested at the School of Divinity. Following graduation next week, we will hit the road to be with the churches we’ve yet to visit.
VISION FOR CHURCH PLANTING
We are excited about returning to Brazil. Our plan is to move from Manaus to São Paulo as soon as we arrive. The vision in São Paulo City is to church plant using the subway system as our framework. There are 65 terminals and we plan to start churches within vicinity of each terminal entrance/exit. We need your prayers and support as we prepare the teams for each location. A lot of training and equipping is planned. Our vision is to recruit, train, place and network local church pastors for each church plant.
- Kids’ school – When we arrive, Brazilian schools will be in the second semester and we will need to find a school to enroll our four kids.
- Automotive – The sale of our car in the US and purchase of a new one in Brazil.
- Moving – Once we arrive in Brazil we will have to move our belongings from Manaus to São Paulo, a total distance of 2,507 miles by road and river.
- Housing – Upon arrival in São Paulo city we will be looking for a home to live. We are searching for a safe, yet strategic place to call home.
- Finances – Any moving endeavor is always expensive. Pray for the Lord’s provision.