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Newsletter: New Challenges, New Rewards

Dear friends,

As the first months of 2024 have passed in a whirlwind, we are constantly reminded of the words of our Lord, spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

At no time in our ministry here in Brazil have those words been more real to us than right now.

The Return to Ebenezer

You may remember from our last prayer letter that at the end of 2023 we were surprised by the sudden call to return to Ebenezer Baptist Church. At that time I was preparing to meet with the church board to discuss our return. Shortly thereafter I was voted in unanimously as pastor, and our second ministry at Ebenezer began.

Since then we have seen God begin to bless in a number of ways. People whose participation had dropped off have returned. Our services (especially our Wednesday prayer meetings!) have taken on a new life. Under Itacyara’s leadership the church rebooted it’s children’s ministry, which had languished for about a year.

One of the most exciting blessings God has sent our way has to do with the project to purchase a new piece of property on which to build a new church building. We are thrilled to announce that God has graciously provided all the funds necessary for this purchase!

As of this writing we are in the process of transferring the funds that came from the US in order to finalize the purchase. Be sure to stay tuned to our website for updates as they happen.

With all of these positive things going on, it is important to remember that the road before us at Ebenezer is still a long one. We are in desperate need of qualified people to teach Sunday School classes and to serve in various other church functions. There are several opportunities for ministry that we have not been able to tap due to a lack of personnel.

A SPECIFIC PRAYER REQUEST: One of our men has a group of boys in the community that he mentors through soccer training. He has invited me to give devotionals to them on a weekly basis. I see this as a very important community outreach. Over the past couple weeks events have conspired to make the meetings impossible. Please pray that the way would be made clear for me to work with these kids.

A Tale of Two Carnaval Retreats

In 2023, before we had any idea we would be at Ebenezer, Itacyara and I accepted an invitation to speak at church retreat in the city of Barreiras, Bahia. After taking on our new responsibilities at Ebenezer we were reluctant to step away, but it actually turned out to be a tremendous blessing. Besides the opportunity to bring messages on the subject of evangelism, the fellowship with believers from another region helped to clarify my thinking as to my own pastoral ministry, and give me some fresh ideas as we began our work.

Meanwhile, the churches here in São Luís organized and held their own retreat at Mount Zion Baptist Camp. It is very gratifying to see the camp being used in this way, and to see our churches carrying out this kind of even seamlessly without our participation.

Speaking of camp…

The only way we have been able to carry out both the camp ministry and the church ministry is because we have taken on a caretaker who does a lot of the work we used to do on our almost weekly trips out there. This has freed up a lot of our time to be able to focus on the church.

But that does not mean that nothing is happening at camp. We have several activities scheduled for this year, and several projects in the works to make the camp all the more attractive. We’ll be sharing these on our website as time progresses.

A SPECIAL RELATED PRAYER REQUEST: As was the case in our last prayer letter, the maintenance of our truck takes a sizeable monthly chunk out of our budget. Pray that God would provide for these regular (and irregular!) trips to the mechanic.

The 2024 Baptist Mid Missions Brazil Conference

As is the case every year, in March we got together with the other BMM missionaries here in Brazil for a time of fellowship, renewal, and planning. This year was particularly eventful as we made significant organizational changes due to our rapidly dwindling number of workers on the field.

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray that God would raise up another generation of missionaries to take the place of those who have fought the good fight here in Brazil.

Maranhão Bible Institute

We have begun a new semester at the Bible Institute. I am teaching Old Testament Survey, and having a blast! We are looking for ways to make the classes more accessible to our students, including online classes and classes administered in each of the local churches. Pray with us that more of our students will take advantage of this resource and invest in their theological and spiritual training.

On the Web

We have wrapped up our studies in James, and have begun a series on the life of David. The latest installment: Hey Judah! (Part 1)
Best of Brazil: Ouro Preto, the incredible Brazilian city that time (almost) forgot.
The latest snapshots of missionary life.
Opinion: The Irreplaceable Loss of the One-Room School

As I look back over this now almost-finished letter, God’s sovereignty, goodness and faithfulness comes shining through. We are truly blessed to be able to serve you by serving Him in Brazil.

In Christ,

Andrew, Itacyara, Michael, and Nathanael


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And be sure to read the action-packed adventures of Missionary Max: Missionary Max and the Jungle Princess and Missionary Max and the Lost City.

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