Our new missionaries in training - 2009
Peter said to him [Jesus], “We have left all we had to follow you!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”
We began the orientation program for JAMI’s 5 new missionary candidates in February with these words of encouragement from Jesus to his disciples. Like those who traveled with Jesus, our students were feeling sharply the loss of leaving their homes and loved ones, and looking ahead to the future (in this case 6 months at the training center) wondering “What have I done?” These feelings are pretty typical for those who respond to God’s call to cross-cultural mission service, and we were able to encourage our students by telling stories of how Jesus fulfilled his promise in our own lives. We now have “family” on multiple continents and in many cities – including you who read this newsletter!
As the new training program starts, we’d like to introduce you to these future missionaries.
Anderson (back left) trained to be a pastor and has taught seminary classes. Before coming to us, he also completed a linguistics course for Bible translators. His mission goal is wide open. He dreams of serving in Greece, but is also interested in Bolivia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Juliana (front, 2nd from r.) is a nurse who worked two jobs in a hospital and put herself through seminary by taking Saturday classes. She’s the first evangelical Christian in her family, and one of her best supporters in her new calling is her mother. Ever since she heard one of our former students speak at her church several years ago, her heart’s desire has been to serve an indigenous people group in the Brazilian Amazon.
Raquel (front, 2nd from l.) is also a nurse who put herself through seminary. Her great love, though, is urban mission, especially children’s ministries. She was very active in her church’s Sunday School and VBS programs, and at the same time she served in its ministries in the favelas (slum areas) of her home city. Her mission goal at this point is Peru.
Salvador (back, middle) has done many things in his life before coming to us. He worked as an administrative assistant, studied in seminary, and completed technical training as a clinical pathologist: which was also his most recent job. Throughout this journey, he has had the dream of cross-cultural missionary service. He finally convinced his pastor that this was his calling, and is the first missionary to come from his church. At this point his mission goal is Ethiopia.
Sandra (back, 2nd from r.) served last year in Bolivia through a Brazilian parachurch mission agency. She is active in her home church’s worship and dance ministry, and also is a leader for the young adult group. An administrative assistant by profession, she now feels the call to serve through JAMI in cross-cultural ministry in Sudan.
Our students tell us that the 2-week orientation program we led was a great success. We explored the journeys that led everyone to mission service, reflected on what it means to be spiritually mature, identified the characteristics of healthy teams, talked about how to cope with stress, and touched on principles of communication and conflict management. The group also created a covenant for how they want to work and live together as a team. With some coaching they wrote their first prayer letter to their home church and supporters. And then they confronted the “seven-headed beast” (as many call it): the English language! In preparation for the month-long intensive Conversational English for Mission module we lead, they prepared a self introduction in English (as best they could) and recorded it on video. At the end of the English course we’ll record their self introduction again and celebrate how much they have improved.
We are so blessed to be part of the Brazilian missionary sending movement. As our partners, you are a part of this new thing that God is doing in our world: a new, different, non-Western chapter in the long history of Christian mission. We’re especially grateful for your financial support during these tough economic times for you and your family.
Please join us praying for:
- Salvador, Juliana, Anderson, Raquel, and Sandra, and as they tackle the 17 intensive courses ahead of them
- Isabel as she returns to East Timor
Que o Senhor os fortaleça e norteie seus passos
[May the Lord strengthen you and guide your steps]
Ann, Bruce, and Asa
Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
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