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Dear Family and Friends,
Summer is ending soon, and many parents like us are rushing to prepare for the upcoming school year. Kids hate to see summer go, but they also anticipate the first day of school with excitement as summer fades.
Likewise, this summer God has brought us closer to leaving for Brazil and with each bit of preparation, the anticipation and excitement continues to build up within.
We began our summer with a 33-day, 7,000-mile journey across the United States. We traveled to raise more financial support and also discover what our next steps will be as we transition from pastoring in Herreid, South Dakota, to being missionaries in Brazil.
Our prayer before leaving was threefold: 1) God would provide a home to transition into once Brandon steps down as pastor. 2) God would provide a place to store the furniture and items we would like to keep in the States while we live in Brazil. 3) God would provide a church that would parner with us as we prepare to go to Brazil and be our home base church when we return for home assignments.
Our first stop was in southwest Missouri in the town of Aurora. This area is familiar to us because this is where Marci’s parents live when they are on home assignement from Kenya. It is here that God answered all three of our prayers in just three days!
First, Marci’s parents will let us stay in their furnished house that they purchased for their retirement. Second, family friends let us deliver a shipping container to their property near Aurora, which will meet our storage needs. Third, we will be joining Aurora Baptist Temple, the home church for Marci’s parents.
Thanks to God everything is now set for our transition from Herreid, so we now have two more prayers for him. 1) When we move in November we will be at the 50% support threshold and can start drawing partial salary as missionaries because Brandon will have no income as a pastor. 2) We will be at the 80% support mark by next summer and making plans to move to Brazil!
The rest of our trip this summer was also filled with blessings and excitement at each stop. We traveled to Dallas and were able to meet with family, friends and churches there.
We were honored to be part of the NAB’s Southern Association meetings in Houston and connect with a number of churches there. At those meetings we also had the privilege of getting to know retired NAB mission-aries to Brazil, Dick and Beth Rabenhorst. They were a great support and encouragement to us and our kids. Dick and Beth’s faces both lit up every time they talked about Porto Alegre, we enjoyed seeing their passion and joy for Brazil that they have all these years later.
From Houston we traveled along the Gulf coast to Florida, where we met with more family, friends, and church leaders before returning to the midwest and ending our trip in Kansas City.
While Brandon and Marci met with lots of church leaders and friends in Kansas City, the kids were able to spend a week with Marci’s parents, who are home from the the mission field for three months. We are thankful for God’s faithfulness this summer as we traveled.
After returning to Herreid, Marci’s sister and her family were able to come from Boise, Idaho, for a visit. This was special because it may be the last time of our families, especially all six cousins, could be together before we go to Brazil. We were able to take them around South Dakota and show them all the wonderful things our state has to offer in the summertime. We made great memories during the week, and it was hard to say goodbye when they left, but we are so thankful for the time we had together.
Please continue to pray for us over the next few months. There are a lot of goodbyes to be said for our family as we leave our home and church family in Herreid. Join us in praising God for how he has already answered our prayers, and please continue to pray that God will increase our financial support.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support! May God continue to bless you!
Joyfully, the Joneses