Is it even worth it? That’s a question we ask ourselves all the time. The amount of pressure that we live under on a daily basis, here in Brazil, is sometimes overwhelming. And even so much so that we've seriously considered coming home and calling it quits because of the constant stress.
I don’t tell you that so that you feel sorry for us, no. I tell you that because I think it’s important that you know that just because someone follows Jesus’ plan for their lives doesn't mean that it’s gonna be easy. Actually Jesus said the opposite would be true (Matthew 7:14), right?
But even though following Jesus is suppose to be hard that doesn't mean that we keep doing things just because they’re hard. So we’ve been really contemplating our future and praying that God would speak to us on what our next steps look like. Our main desire in life is to fulfil what He’s called us to do and to be obedient to Him.
So, having said that, we just finished hosting a mission team comprised of 21 people from Graystone Church, 2 of our supporters from Connecticut and 1 from Hope and Life (25 people total).
|The Team at dinner Friday night with Negaõ at "the meat stick place"|
We ministered in 3 different orphanages, at Patrick’s Place, at a drug rehab for men and also to the battered women at ECD. It was another great week of ministry. Here are some pics from the week: )
But even though ministry was great- it still didn't take away the fact that we’re tired, overwhelmed and that we were considering coming home. So, on the second-to-last-day of the trip MJ and I sat down with Jonathan and Jennifer Howes (the lead pastors of Graystone) to get some much needed advice. We needed someone else's perspective and we value their opinion. Jonathan and Jennifer asked us a series of questions and gave us some great advice. But the one thing that Jonathan said that rung the loudest to me was this; He said, “If you guys aren't in Brazil- Graystone won’t be coming to Brazil.”
When he said that all the kids faces that we minister to flashed through my mind in a moments time. And that sealed the deal. We’re not leaving. We can’t. There’s no possible way we’re walking away and leaving all those kids behind. We have within us their only hope- The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sure there’s other groups here in Brazil who come and visit them and do stuff with them. But how many of them are intentional about getting The Gospel to them? How many of the other groups make it their main focus to share the love of Jesus with them? So, no matter the amount of stress we’re under or how much we want to go home- we’re going to stay. It’s worth it!
|One of the highlights of the week was when, on wednesday Night, 3 of the boys that we ministered to for years|
(and who graduated back in 2015') returned to the orphanage to see us and the Team. So proud of these guys!
Jonathan and Jennifer gave us some "next steps” that'll enable us to be able to sustain ministry here in Brazil. And as things progress we’ll share everything with you in more detail and more specifically in the near future. But, for now, just pray that God would continue to speak to us as we’re trying to follow His plan for our family.
And if you're one of the people who support us here in Brazil, please know that without you none of the things that have taken place over the last 6 years would be possible without you. Thank You! And, if you’d like to start supporting us so that we can keep doing what we're doing, it’s easy- just click HERE to make a tax deductible donation.
Love You Guys!
Jim and MJ
PS- Thank you to everyone who came and ministered alongside of us last week. You were a HUGE encouragement to Me, MJ and all the kids!