Voices from the Field Brandon & Marci Jones Get to know Brandon & Marci

Receiving and Sharing Jesus

Published on August 10, 2023

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Every year, the Baptist churches of our state have a local missions campaign that focuses on church planting. This year’s theme is Receber e Compatilhar Jesus – “Receiving and Sharing Jesus.” This theme comes from the story in the Gospels when Jesus feeds thousands of people, using just five loaves of bread and two fish. The disciples continued to receive food from Jesus and kept on sharing with the crowd until everyone was satisfied.

Rio Grande do Sul has a large crowd, because nearly 11 million people call it home. And they are hungry for the good news of God’s kingdom. The state has over 500 cities, and so many of them do not have a single gospel-preaching church. That is, they do not have one yet. Christians here have not only been receiving from Jesus but are sharing him as well. There are currently 13 church planting projects! The crowds are being fed, and they are not yet satisfied.

During this year’s convention meeting in May, Marci and I had the privilege of seeing first-hand what it looks like to be equippers of the gospel message. During the meeting, Brandon and Leandro, a doctoral student with Kairos, shared how current pastors could use Kairos to help them further in their journey of discipleship as they serve their respective churches. Leandro is currently planting a church in Pelotas, the fourth-largest city in our state. His brother Anderson is also a Kairos student and is planting a church in the city of Caçapava do Sul.

The seminary is vital for the Christians of our state to have access to high-quality theological education. Through the pastoral formation course, and now Kairos, they can be well equipped for whatever ministry to which God is calling them: church planting, church leadership, lay ministries, pastoral care, and even missions!

The second Sunday of June is national pastors’ day here in Brazil, so we hosted all the pastors and their families from the church of which we are members to join us for a special taco lunch after morning worship. When Kerry Bender preached at our church in April, he mentioned tacos in an illustration, but no one was familiar with them, so now we can say that at least our pastors’ families have had them. And they liked them!

June also brought a highlight to our family because our son, Daniel, returned to Brazil for the first time since 2021. He was able to stay with us for five weeks, and one highlight of his visit was taking him and his sisters to Rio de Janeiro for the first time. We did all the classic touristy things and even enjoyed going to the beach in the winter, though none of us got in the water!

As we welcome August, a new semester is upon us. Brandon will teach Christian Ethics and help teach Ecclesiology (doctrine of the church) this spring. Monica and Olivia will begin 10th and 8th grades at their international school. Daniel will soon begin his sophomore year at UMKC. Marci will also be entering her second year as an MDiv student with Kairos in September.

As we look backward and forward, we are reminded of the gift we have been given both to receive Jesus and to share him. Thanks for your continued prayers and financial support. May you also continue to receive and share Jesus!

In Christ,

Brandon & Marci Jones