Monday, April 11, 2011


I want everyone who prays and supports us to know how much we appreciate you. I grew up in and around missions. I believe most missionaries are worth more support than they get. It is a hard job and you give up a lot of relationships and security to do it. I am not asking for more support, God blesses and takes care of us. Our faith is in Him.

What I want to say is I have also spent 10 years of marriage living the “normal” life. I know that financially speaking it is much more difficult. Month after month going to a job you often don’t love to pay the bills so you can do it again is stressful. Marriage is hard, life leaves you little time for it. Kids are busy with sports and their school always has an event or a conference. We may have to give up some comforts but God gives us an awareness of being secure in Him. I believe it is an extra grace in the midst of giving up a lot.

As a missionary you can get the idea that money comes easy and people at “home” should just step up and help you. You can think of how much easier life would be if you just had a job. Maybe other missionaries won’t relate but I find these to be untrue mental battles I face. I remember being in Ywam before living the normal and struggling more with this. I have met missionaries over the years that don’t understand this. We need to be thankful that we get to live the life we do, to have the pleasure of knowing each day we are working with the Lord.

I think going out as a missionary you have already abandoned yourself to the sovereignty of God. It helps you deal with the insecurity each month wondering if the money you need will come in. I find it is harder to accept I am worth the money then it is to trust God to bring it in.

The truth is we are all missionaries but Melissa and I have the privilege to live on a foreign field. We want to tell all the missionaries in Albany, Kansas City, Boston, Corvallis we love and appreciate you. We know you go every day to jobs in a non Christian environment, you deal with co-workers who live by a different spirit. You deal with the mundane, you sacrifice as much as we do. Thanks for your dedication, your love, your commitment to your community that needs Jesus. Thanks for your witness. Keep going, keep fighting the fight. God is worthy.

You and I both live to the Glory of God. We exist to bring Him pleasure and to have relationship with Him. As we abandon ourselves to Him together I look forward to growing in partnership, growing in communication, growing as a missionary.

I know your money is hard earned and time is precious. We want to be faithful to invest your money in our education. Learning culture, learning language, growing together as a family spiritually so we can be ready for the step that is quickly approaching.

The time is at hand, we are seeking God and I know we are stepping into His purpose and His plans. God is going to use us together to impact the poor and hurting of Brazil one kid, one elderly person, one prisoner at a time. Whatever good we have done is as much a ministry of yours as ours.


Thanks, God bless

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hard day an early blog

Yesterday was the first truly hard day we have had. I honestly felt like quitting. Maybe that’s a good thing, now maybe God can start using me. We have all been off a bit since returning from Campo Mourao and yesterday seemed to be the culmination of some feelings mixed with some bad experiences. One thing, we almost lost Juliah, Melissa and Daniel would have been seriously hurt. A motorcyclist who wasn’t looking when he pulled out was heading straight for them. My brain froze and I only managed to scream in English, if you know me well you know I never get excited enough to scream.

I think we are nearing the end of our first season and honestly if you look at life finishing well is one thing very few people do. We as people rarely end things on a high note. Most missions boards have you go out for a 3 year term, 1 year language learning (normally a school, but we have learned the term for my style is “barefoot” and it is used) and 2 years of service somewhere. We are about to start the 2 year portion.
We know God is putting it on our heart to engage on a more daily basis the poor and simple people.

Yesterday our heart especially Melissa’s was highlighted once again. A family of Guarani came by asking for food and stuff. It was a lady with 3 kids, one a baby. They were as dirty as could be and without shoes. Melissa couldn’t sleep last night thinking about them. It was a reminder at the end of a hard day, that is why we came, where we are going, why we are learning a new language, why we are going through more paper work, why we ask people for support and how incredibly blessed we are.

My parents are going to be here in just over a week. They have offered to match money for a car up to $2,500. We are content and thankful where we are at but believe it is time to ask for help. In July we will be transitioning from language and culture learners to more full time missionaries. Not having a car has helped us get to know neighbors, been good for health and increased our practice of Portuguese but we are going to need one for more consistent ministry. Walking eats up a lot of time and energy, so does riding the bus.

If you can help with a car please let us know. If you are going to donate through shepherd’s staff tell us how much please. In this case getting cash here with my parents would go a lot further. If we know what donations are going through the shepherd’s staff process we can borrow it or something so my parents can bring it. If you are in the Albany Corvallis area and can give a cash donation in the next week let us know and we will put you in touch with them.

I don’t like asking for money, I much prefer to simply let God do what he will do but He led us to ask before we came and I believe He is asking me to ask now. Please consider this in prayer.

Love you all, we are very blessed and in lack of nothing. This would simply be a freeing step into entering more fruitful ministry and keep our children a bit safer.

Pray as I go to the prison today and tomorrow we have our free lunch at the church again. Pray as in the next couple of months we are looking at a couple opportunities. We think we know where God is leading us but need to wait and see if it comes together over the next month or two. Pray as we think in the 5-10 year range God will lead us to the very far, Tribal South America, Africa who knows.

Ben and Family

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wow 2 weeks can go fast

Much of out time is still spent learning and surviving a new culture. It can be pretty boring in the day to day. Get up, eat breakfast, start cooking lunch, eat, get kids to school, go buy more food, pay bills, repeat. Without a car little things take a long time and way too much energy. All of the sudden we got a little break, thanks Calvary Corvallis, and went on a family outreach to Campo Mourao. It spurred about 1.5 weeks of busyness.

It was great to get a taste of our future ministry. We went to Campo Mourao to help with Caminho Melhor a children’s ministry in a poor neighborhood. It is a great opportunity to touch kids through a Sunday morning program that includes Bible trivia, memory and of course a lesson. 50-80 kids come weekly, they are broke up into 2 teams made up of about 4 groups each. It is a growing ministry and certainly the type of ministry we want to do in the future. It really doesn’t end with the kids or the Sunday morning program but is an inroad to the families.

Saturday a group was at the Calvary property participating in Patmos Desperta(wake up). A weekend program similar to YWAMs Nikko. It is intended to help Christians understand the times we are living in and the importance of taking our faith seriously. I (Ben) helped them do work projects in the community with people the Caminho Melhor ministry had us connected too. Earlier in the Day I remodeled an entry door to a much smaller size. When the Patmos students were painting and cleaning houses I put the newish door on Tereza’s house, more about her in a minute.

Sunday we helped with CM, we got to meet, play and talk with many different kids. They were really attentive during the program, a very amazing feet in poor communities anywhere. They learned about Joseph and how God redeemed evil for good. Then we played dodge ball with them. There were close to 50 kids there, a low number according to the workers, and yet discipline wasn’t a problem. Very exciting.

That night we got to go to a circus with Junior, Delinda, their kids and Briza. Circuses are always better in areas with loose litigation laws and kids in need. People will do crazy things for money. Even had a pregnant lady swinging 40 feet in the air by her neck from a rope. Spiderman swung even higher standing on a small rope. Then we had 5 guys including a young teenager in the ball of death.

Monday I did some repair work on the Caminho Melhor Building. Melissa and I took the opportunity to go visit Tireza the lady who’s house needed the door. It was really exciting. She was around 65 or 70, didn’t read and hadn’t been a Christian long. She told me she had been given a bible many years ago. About 10 years ago her son became a Christian and eventually she followed. Now she is learning to read so she can read her bible. It was so cool as she showed us her notebook and the words she is learning.

After spending time with some friends Tuesday, Pastor Diego and his wife Aline we returned home Wed. They took us to an awesome little restaurant. The city of Campo Mourao is like someone dropped Corvallis in Brazil and mixed it with the Midwest.

Friday I was back to the boys prison. We have been able to start a group in the prisons halfway house. Only a few boys go there, I think there are 9 living there. It is really nice to sit on couches and visit with them in a more free environment as compared to the sterile rooms inside. We also had a great time with a group inside we started with a couple weeks ago. The original group seems to be closed to us. We are experiencing new resistance there from the psychologist, she seems to prefer people who say all religions are the same. Apparently 3 exceptionally bold Christians say some stuff they don’t like. Pray God will use whatever time we have left or keep the door open, we want His will.

Saturday was lunch again at the church. When I walked through the favela there were a lot of people out. I invited a large group of kids while one grouchy lady glared at me and told me to go away. I finished inviting them anyways. Towards the end of lunch a couple of those kids came. They ate but were very guarded, quiet and left without much interaction. A couple minutes later another boy came. A bit later a little girl came and asked for 4 to go. A few minutes later she came back and asked for 6 more. Melissa followed her out to the street and called me over. Apparently the whole gang of kids had came down together but were afraid to come eat. The boys had tested the water while the rest hid around the corner. Then the girl got brave and grabbed the 4 then returned for more. We didn’t get a good count of the kids but there was a bunch. Very cute, very dirty, very sad. It amazes me in the midst of a country that has had such an economic revolution and the emergence of a middle class that there can be such hurting and poverty.

Thanks for praying, we love and miss you all. It was great to have a couple weeks with a taste of normal missions to keep us pressing on, learning language and to live as a family here. We sense God opening doors for us to minister a couple years with something like Caminho Melhor, pray for us. We still want to one day go where the gospel is less preached and may yet do a school of frontier missions with YWAM, but after what amounts to 4 years of training and transition we see a couple year season of serving on our horizon.

Lyon Family