Dear friends and family:
As we prepare to start missionary service in Brazil next month, we're starting to feel a bit like Abraham and Sarah.A "well seasoned" couple, God called them out of their comfort zone and sent them on a journey to bless others.Having just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary, we are feeling quite "seasoned" ourselves.Nevertheless, visas and plane tickets in hand (PTL!), we are on our way to Brazil at the end of June.
We thank God for this new journey and for giving us partners and friends like you to be with us.At this writing (May 2004), our home is on the market, we are busy studying Portuguese, and the bittersweet process of saying good-by to the friends and places God has given us these last eight years in Pennsylvania has begun.We appreciate your prayer support for stamina and peace as we tie up all the loose ends.
Like Abraham and Sarah's journey with God, ours is a journey of faith.We are certain that the Lord has prepared us for an exciting ministry as we help to train Brazilian missionaries to serve in countries around the world.We have a general idea of how God will use us; the details will unfold at just the right time.In the meantime, we look forward with great anticipation to see what God has in store.No wonder missionaries are frequently admonished to be flexible—especially in their first several years!
The dimensions of our new ministry journey look something like this:
God moved the hearts of Brazilian Baptists to send and support their own cross-cultural missionaries.This led to the creation of JAMI seven years ago.JAMI is the mission board of the National Baptist Convention of Brazil. God blessed this new mission movement with rapid growth. JAMI and the National Baptists now support 60+ missionaries who serve in 27 countries—all with the administrative and logistical support of only four people and a small group of part-time instructors.
Through our missionary service in the Philippines (1987-1996), God equipped us in such diverse ministries as mission/missionary training, Christian community development, and small-scale economic development.
To our surprise, God called us to return to the US in 1996 to serve in the head offices of American Baptist International Ministries. Bruce was able to learn first-hand the inner workings of a complex mission support organization as its Treasurer during this last eight years.During that same time, Ann finished her Master of Divinity of degree, was ordained to Christian ministry, and prepared training guides for short-term mission groups and missionary partnership teams.She also has been serving on the pastoral staff of our local church in the areas of evangelism empowerment, discipleship training, and worship.
IM received a request from JAMI three years ago for missionaries to join them in strengthening and developing its missionary sending and support efforts.We are the first missionaries ever invited to serve with JAMI.They have been waiting for us for over two years.
As we prepare to move to Belo Horizonte to serve alongside our colleagues at JAMI, please join with us as we pray for:
- A quick sale for our home, and God's patience and strength as we pack up and move out.
- Our daughter Elena, who stays behind in the US.She will return to Willamette University in Salem, Oregon for her sophomore year this fall.This summer, she is part of the Xtreme Team, a young adult mission program in Bulgaria.
- Our colleagues at JAMI, as they prepare to receive us.They are experienced in sending missionaries, but we are the first missionaries they have ever received!
- Growth of our Network of prayer and financial supporters, and for the members of our Missionary Partnership Teams on the east and west coasts.
Ann and Bruce Borquist