As Melissa and the kids left last night it was a strange feeling. If you have moved as much as us you know there is always a book left on a shelf or clothes on the floor, things that aren’t going, have lived out there purpose and are just waiting to be cleaned up. I feel a bit that way, got left on the floor as we packed the bags. I wish I was traveling with them to lead my family as they start the next chapter of our lives. At the same time I sensed we had conquered something, finished a great task and now I am free to get to tasks and move on.
I am sad to leave, we love Brazil. Alannah was born here, is a citizen and will always be. Moriah went from little girl to teenager, Daniel gained independence going out with friends in the neighborhood. Juliah is more Brazilian than American. The people and culture of this nation are a part of us, we no longer feel American, we know we aren’t Brazilian but still it has changed us and for the better.
I am joyful to look to the tasks ahead. It is interesting that I always knew Brazil would be a season, that God would call us on to another more spiritually needy country one day. I never realized though that a significant season would be calling to the US. Our hearts for our home nation have grown as we worked in Brazil. Reading about the challenges the body of Christ faces in the US, the persecution from media, education and social pressures. I thought we would have moved into Paraguay, Argentina or Bolivia, perhaps Guinea Bissau or another unreached Portuguese speaking nation. I knew there was a possibility of finances or other hardship leading us to take a step back.
The thing that has surprised me in the end is the strong sense of being called forward and yet we are US bound. Feeling called to impact a college campus, an apartment complex, immigrants who are going through what we have went through here. We have been further equipped to greater works, we have been strengthened deepened and developed now we move on to our original nation to have an impact there. We believe after more equipping there we will move on again but without doubt we have excitement to see what we can accomplish there
I also am excited to travel down south in Brazil, sell our car, meet with friends and the chance to visit Foz, where it began. To take some time to just enjoy Brazil, it saddens me Melissa isn’t with me but I will just have to enjoy it twice as much. Pray for us as we both tackle different tasks. Pray for the kids as they are less prepared for re-entry than Melissa and I. The process of “going back” is very difficult for missionaries. You often feel you have lost purpose, people aren’t that interested in what you did. You can fear they think you are a failure….. The kids, especially Moriah show signs of concern and we pray for a smooth transition. Melissa and I have both been through these kinds of transitions and are prepared for the mental battle but the kids are on their first. Pray for them.
I do thank you all, we hope to share more with all of you face to face. For those who financially have supported us or would like to contribute to our return costs. Shepherd’s Staff will continue to process funds for us through June, we ask if you are able to continue with us through that season. After that we will be entering a self supported season as I study and we prepare for the future. If you desire to help with that we aren’t closed but it likely would have to be a gift not a tax deductable contribution. The next 3 months are still fully tax deductable but after that it will change. This is a little scary as we desire to spend a time in Oregon and then move to Kansas for a season, we know though that God holds all this in His hands and a good God doesn’t abandon those who serve Him.
God bless you, if you see my family especially the little or big cutie give them hugs for me.