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Happy New year!!! The year 2021 has arrived and with it a new year of hopes and promises. It is such a beautiful promise that we have from our Lord that he is as faithful as the changing of the seasons. No matter what we are walking through or facing, time will move on, healing will come, tears will dry, and God will continue his wondrous work.
Christmas and New Year’s are a time for family in Brazil, just as they are in North America. Families typically gather on Christmas Eve and eat a traditional meal of turkey, or sometimes barbecue. Then there are fireworks and gifts at midnight. Our family has not become Brazilian enough to stay up so late on Christmas Eve! But we did enjoy some turkey and ham as a family, celebrating that our Messiah has come, and hastening his return.
February marks the end of our summer break. We are thankful for a period of rest. We decided to escape the city for a few days and go off to the countryside of our state. This little getaway was so needed and it refreshed all of us. It was such a blessing to be out of our apartment and enjoying the nature and change of scenery. We rode a train through the countryside, visited a sheep farm, and went to an adventure park.
For the work in Brazil, February 1 is a day we can all celebrate together. After years of prayer and months of building, we have launched the pilot group for Kairos Brasil with fourteen students! Wow, God! His hand has been in this project every step of the way, and we are excited that he has allowed us to be a part of it. Please pray with us as we take steps forward. As we take this first group through the program, there are bound to be some hiccups along the way. We have a great group of students, all who are flexible and full of grace and ready to take things as they come.
The seminary will resume its traditional classes in March, and Brandon will teach Systematic Theology in the fall semester. While launching Kairos, we will still offer our pastoral training program for students who only have a high school education.
All three kids will end their school break in February. Daniel will continue 11th grade, Monica will begin 8th grade, and Olivia will begin 5th grade. We imagine they will begin classes online, but there are hopes that as the year goes on and health conditions change in our city that they might return to in-person classes before the school year is over.
For more than two years we have asked you to pray about our language-learning, and in January we passed one more milestone. Brandon was invited to preach at a local church while their pastor was away on vacation. Given the slower schedule during the summer, he prepared and delivered his sermon in Portuguese. Although we all have farther to go in becoming fluent Portuguese speakers, we love to celebrate victories as they come.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers, financial support, and encouraging words. We truly feel like teammates with you as we proclaim the good news of God’s kingdom in southern Brazil.
Brandon & Marci Jones
Avenida Cristóvão colombo, 3452/201, Porto Alegre, rs, 90560-002, brasil
- For more sponsorships for our Kairos Brazil pilot group to cover each student.
- For our Kairos pilot group, who will need endurance, patience, and grace.
- For our kids to thrive in another year of schooling in a foreign country.
- Good health and rest in the summer.
- Continued milestones in language-learning.
- Our support levels were steady throughout 2020.
My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
Psalm 71:15 (NIV)