Voices from the Field Lyndell Campbell-Requia Get to know Lyndell

Twenty Years of God’s Faithfulness

Published on May 09, 2023

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Seminary News

We had a great start to our school year at the beginning of March. During the pandemic, our student body tripled, and then we had the largest graduating class in a decade, with 13 finishing their Pastoral Formation program at the end of 2022, so we weren’t sure what this year would bring. Would we go back to pre-pandemic numbers? I am happy to say we have maintained a strong enrollment with 26 students in total.

In April, we hosted Pastor Kerry Bender, vice president of International Missions for the North American Baptist Conference, and my boss. He taught a two-week class on how to prepare an expositive sermon. Once again, we took the classroom on the road. We met with clusters of students in nearby cities, including at our church. Kerry also preached at three different churches, including one of the congregations our seminary student, Flávio, pastors. It was there we heard the testimony of Pastor Júlio, who God prompted to find a worship service to attend Sunday morning. His church meets Sunday evenings. Pastor Júlio, who had never been to this church before, was feeling discouraged and alone in his ministry. Kerry could have easily preached the same sermon he had shared twice the Sunday before but felt the Lord directing him to the story of Hagar and the God who sees. It was the exact message Pastor Júlio needed to hear from the Lord! He needed to know that God sees him and the work he is doing with his congregation. And Kerry was able to pray for Pastor Júlio and his church.

Church News

God has been doing some wonderful things at church these past few months:

  • On the first Sunday of March at our annual church meeting, we voted to adopt a church plant in a community close to our own. This church plant is led by our seminary student, Ricardo, who is receiving a scholarship from our Brazil field to study in the Pastoral Formation program. The weekend after, our church spent three days celebrating our 50th anniversary. Pastors Bruno and Ivo Seitz both shared. They are long-time pastors in our state and brothers who were young boys when their church started the congregation 80 years ago that eventually became our church. It was so wonderful to hear their stories, as well as other testimonies from so many years ago. Through it we praise the Lord for his faithfulness then and now!
  • Every Saturday afternoon, our church has held an outreach ministry for children in the neighborhood, called “Afternoon of Joy.” Last year, after restarting the ministry post-pandemic, the number of kids participating dropped significantly. Also, most of the kids were aging out. Therefore, this year, they decided to continue and include a ministry specifically for the adolescents. Well, God has blessed the ministry with between 30 and 40 children and adolescents! More people than we have in our church!
  • Many of you know our church has a ballet school. The main professor is Cristiane Ribeiro (wife of Jaques Ribeiro, who is responsible for the international sponsorship program at Chain of Love). She has received two scholarships to study ballet in Italy and France for two weeks this summer. Because of this, she was interviewed by the local news, which has been great publicity for the school. Beyond ballet, the purpose of this school is to reach our community, and we are so grateful to God for these doors he is opening. If you’d like to see the news report, you can watch it here using the English subtitles tool (part of it was filmed at our church): https://youtu.be/RA0z5Rdv8Cw.

Personal News

On March 15, I celebrated 20 years in Brazil! On April 22, my colleagues and church hosted a special service of thanksgiving to the Lord for all that he has done these last 20 years. I was so honored to receive tributes from Egon Berg, executive director of the Rio Grande do Sul Baptist Convention; Pastor Niander Winter, founder of the Rio Grande do Sul Baptist Theological Seminary and my first pastor; the NAB and our Brazil mission field; and from several special people in North America, including my famiy. And in good Brazilian style, we commemorated with barbeque sausage sandwiches and cake. I count it a tremendous privilege to serve in this place and partner with you, my faithful financial and prayer supporters! Thank you so much for journeying with me these past 20 years! As Paulo said, here’s to many more!

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.

Lyndell and Paulo Campbell-Réquia