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As we enter our fifth month of being back in the field, we have had a chance to exhale as our unsettled life of home assignment has turned into a resettled life in Brazil.
As a family, we have been able to rejoin worshiping with Igreja Batista Central (Central Baptist Church). It has been a joy to see the people again and continue building connections there. The girls have joined the weekly teen meetings that are on Friday nights 7:30–9:30. They come home energized and excited to share what they have learned. One of the teen leaders made a special trip to our home to encourage our girls to establish daily Bible reading and show them tools that would help them. Brandon and Marci attend the monthly couples nights and have gotten to know a few new couples this way. On November 6, our family was able to become official members of the church. This is an exciting step for us as we continue to look for ways to get connected even deeper.
Monica and Olivia have established their rhythms at school. Olivia has been adjusting to having multiple teachers. Her desire to have a best friend has also been fulfilled. She plays basketball on Wednesdays after school. Monica is adjusting well to the rigorous demands of high school. She is taking both biology and chemistry. She is also continuing her Portuguese studies and as a requirement is learning Spanish, too. We are thankful that they have both adjusted so well. In late October, we had our first parent–teacher conferences and got positive feedback from all their teachers.
Brandon has established a weekly routine of class prep and then teaching. He is teaching a Survey to the Old Testament class this semester. Even with a year in the States, he has gone right back into teaching in Portuguese. This does mean that the prep for class takes longer, but it has been a great way for him to dive back into the language. His class will wrap up around the third week of November. The seminary semester will close out with a two-week intensive class taught by visiting professor Carol Potratz, coming here from Canada.
In September, Marci began new routines as a student. She was accepted into a Master of Divinity program through Kairos University. Over the next four years, she will be working toward this goal. It is her desire that this will equip her to join in teaching the students at the seminary. She also had the opportunity to join the biannual Baptist ladies congress. This event had over 300 ladies representing Baptist churches from across our state. It was a wonderful weekend of worship and unity among the ladies.
It is exciting to be back in the midst of what God is doing here in Rio Grande do Sul. The statewide missions campaign this fall was successful in raising funds and bringing people to pray for specific church plants across the state. Also, our church has had the opportunity to have two evangelism events. The church is located across the street from a busy mall, so there is a lot of foot traffic on Saturdays. During the evangelism events, the church sings praise from the street, hands out biblical literature, and offers to pray for people. During the last event, one of the people passing by happened to be a social media influencer. They recorded people singing outside the church and posted it. Overnight, the video got over 1 million views!
As we look to a new year, we have confidence that God will continue to be faithful both to us and to you!