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It was great to have Doctor Carol Potratz with us in Brazil for a month. She has been my long-term mentor since I started in ministry, so what a joy it was to share all that is happening in Brazil. We kept Carol very occupied while she was with us. She started by speaking at a ladies’ spring tea at Connection Baptist Church. Then she taught a two-week intensive class in Public Speaking to the students in our Pastoral Formation program. Instead of having to teach to most of our students online, Carol and I traveled to close-by cities where there were clusters of students and held classes in Baptist churches in these cities. The students who live close to these churches attended in person while the rest of the students watched online. On the night the students were present with us, they did their speeches. That way they could do their presentation in front of an audience. All in all, we traveled to four different cities twice, and it worked much better than we expected.
After two weeks of class, we headed to Iguassu Falls for a missionary retreat with the Jones family, led by Carol. Our theme was “A Pause that Refreshes.” It was a blessing! We returned and prepared for seminary graduation. We had 13 students graduate, and all but one was able to participate in the ceremonies. I had the honor of giving the commencement address. Carol was invited to bring greetings from the North American Baptist Conference, honoring our partnership with the seminary since its founding in 1979. Graduation also happened to be on Carol’s birthday, so the Brazilians had fun celebrating her day. The day after grad, our church had its annual Christmas picnic and the next day, on Sunday, Carol spoke at our Christmas service.
Summer Bible camps have just wrapped up. Once again through generous offerings from North America, 30 children and adolescents from poor communities were able to participate. Also, Carol, a teenager from our church, was an assistant counselor for the first time ever. We are so proud of her!
If you would like to help fund visiting professors and the Kairos Project in Brazil or help provide a scholarship for a seminary student, visit nabconference.org/give/special-projects and click on the appropriate links.