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This spring we had the privilege of connecting with many partnering churches. Our travels brought us through four time zones and all kinds of weather, ranging from hot sun to blowing snow. One travel day we got both of those conditions within a span of a few hours!
One person asked Brandon if he ever got sick of sharing the same thing over and over, and the honest answer is no. While all kids love hearing the same stories again and again, perhaps some of us grown-ups enjoy sharing stories again and again, especially when we get to share good news of the Kingdom of God.
Wherever we go we get to share about what God is doing both in Brazil and in North America. We introduce the ongoing opportunity that lies before us and celebrate how God has invited us all to come alongside where he is already at work. One of the last things we like to share when we visit a church is that in 2021 the Baptists of our state in Brazil officially recognized seven church plants becoming official churches! And God used graduates of our seminary to equip and prepare some of those church planters who are now pastors.
June will also close another “first” for us as missionaries as we finish our first home assignment. Looking back, our first home assignment has been a time of discovery.
The heartbeat of our mission continues to be our students, and we can dream of how God might use them after they graduate. The fall semester began well in March, and we also added two new Kairos students. We will return to Brazil in late June to give us a little bit of time to adjust before the spring semester begins in August.
Olivia discovered a joy for painting on canvas and has turned the garage into her little art studio. She has also caught up in her English spelling and reading skills and is currently tackling a 350-page memoir.
Monica discovered that she’s a great student. Her time in Brazilian school left her feeling perpetually behind her classmates, so she has excelled in eighth grade in North America. She was even inducted into the National Junior Honor Society.
After attending six different schools across three states and two countries, Daniel discovered he is college ready. He is not only ready academically, but in life. He has proven himself to be a great employee at Sonic, has gained confidence driving in towns and cities, and has found how much he loves to give gifts to loved ones now that he has a little bit of money of his own.
Having lived so close to her mom this home assignment, Marci discovered that she and her mom are more alike than she ever imagined. She also got to see all her siblings and all their kids, gaining two more nieces this home assignment.
Brandon discovered that when he now talks about “home,” it comes out as a mix of Kansas City, Aurora, and Porto Alegre. Relating somewhat to Monica, he also has been relieved to speak, preach, and teach in English again, because doing all of that in Portuguese is still rather difficult.
Next month only four of us will head back to Brazil to begin our second term as missionaries and await new discoveries there. Daniel will be staying stateside to attend university. Thank you for your prayers and support during our first chapters as missionaries. Together may we be open and ready to receive what God has for us next.
Brandon & Marci Jones
Avenida Cristóvão Colombo, 3452/201, Porto Alegre, RS, 90560-002, Brasil