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Dear Friends and Family,
August is a month of celebration for the Jones family. On August 6, we celebrate Brandon’s birthday, followed by Brazilian Father’s Day on the 9th. On the next day, the 10th, Monica turns 13, and then the Jones family will have a second teenager in the house. On August 18, Brandon and Marci celebrate 17 years of marriage.
This month we are also celebrating the start of a new school year for Daniel. He began 11th grade on August 3, and his language has come along enough that the school has put him in Brazilian Social Studies class, meaning he has his first subject fully in Portuguese. We are so proud of his progress!
August also marks five months of closures and lockdowns for our city here in Brazil. The schools continue to be closed, so all three kids are learning online at this time. This looks slightly different for each kid. But basically their school is on Google classroom. Each day the teachers have a schedule of what they expect from the students. Daniel and Monica have live classes throughout their day and are counted absent if they are not online. Olivia has between one and three live classes a day, depending on the schedule, as they have found that the 4th graders do not do too well sitting for hours in live classes.
With so much of the city shut down and everything moving online, that means that there is much time spent in the apartment together for the five of us. Brandon and I also have our language school online, and we have also been working on launching the Kairos Project here. In a small apartment sometimes it is challenging to get everyone a quiet space to work, not to mention the constant construction noise right outside our house.
Nonetheless, God has been faithful, and we are moving forward with our plans to launch Kairos. This new launch means our seminary here has a partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary in South Dakota. This program is a rethinking and a restructuring of the current way we do seminary. Each student will have a team of mentors who will work with them throughout the program. This allows us to help the student grow academically, spiritually, and vocationally. This way we can better provide them with a well-rounded experience that prepares them for the ministry to which God has called them.
Of course, taking a North American program and bringing it to Brazil has its challenges, including differences in language and cultural contexts. Each aspect of the program needs to be translated, and Portuguese resources are being found.
We are a small team here in Brazil, so Brandon and I have found that we cannot learn Portuguese fast enough! This project needs all hands to be on deck, so we have had to learn how to lean into our weaknesses and push through the challenges. Recently, Brandon found himself working for hours on coding the online platform, changing it over from English to Portuguese. Marci has been developing a website, making videos, and launching social media platforms in order to promote our new project. As the new seminary semester also starts this month, Brandon will be teaching a weekly class on Christian Ethics.
We are thankful for your faithful support during these uncertain times. We have been praying for you and your churches as you have faced many challenges as well. We cling to his promises and are thankful for his sustaining grace.
- The launching of the Kairos Project and the future of the seminary.
- The economy of Brazil and the impact that COVID-19 has had here.
- Our family as we continue to work from home and have three kids doing online school.
- Our continued acculturation to our new language and home.
- We have all remained healthy during the pandemic.
- The girls have adjusted well to doing their school online. Daniel has now begun his 11th grade year.
- Despite the lockdown and disruption to everyday life that COVID-19 has brought, God is still at work here and his church continues to be a present light in the darkness.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
Proverbs 4:18 (ESV)
Brandon & Marci Jones
Avenida Cristóvão colombo, 3452/201, Porto Alegre, rs, 90560-002, brasil