Jan. 12, 2015
In Philippians 1:3,5 the apostle Paul said, “I thank my God . . . For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” Our hearts overflow with thankfulness when we think of your vital partnership with us in the gospel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil through your gifts, prayers, and words of encouragement. Your prayers have sustained us in the trials and glorified God in the victories.
We are writing to inform you that we have made a prayerful decision regarding our future. In April 2013, we said goodbye to the church family at the new church plant in the Bento Ribeiro neighborhood of Rio and left it in the care of our missionary colleagues the Patefields and Joy Hunt. Upon leaving that work, our vision was to help plant another church in Rio. While we were praying about options of where to go, we received documents for property on the west side of the city of Rio. We prayed with our missionary colleagues and Brazilian pastors in the city about the possibility of planting a church there with a team of Brazilians who were part of an established church. After over a year of diligent attempts to establish the new work, it became obvious to everybody involved (through providential circumstances, document problems, team dynamics, and a personal health crisis) that the Lord was closing the door on that property for the time being. It is our earnest hope that somebody will resume the attempt to plant a church there in the future if God permits, but we knew that the Lord was moving our family.
We then began to explore other options for ministry within our mission in several regions of Brazil, but we concluded that God was not leading us to any of those options. We resolved that we could not remain in Brazil if God did not give us the same certainty and conviction of calling that we had when we first went to Rio. We believe in our hearts that the Lord called us to Rio to serve for the time that we were there. After much consideration, prayer, and counsel we equally affirm that after ten years of service with our wonderful mission family of Baptist Mid-Missions, the time has come for us to resign. Our resignation will be effective January 31.
We will look back on this chapter of our lives with gratitude to God for the people who made it possible. We truly believe that eternity will bear the fruit of your partnership of the gospel in Rio. And as we send this final letter to you, our beloved family of intercessors, we ask for one last request. We believe that God will guide our future as He has our past, but we need faith to step into the fog of the future. Pray that He will give us wisdom to walk in His will and show us what steps we should take. And pray that we would be obedient and courageous to take the steps that He has planned for us.
With Gratitude and Love,
Brendan, Melissa, Myla, Elaina, Daniel and Flavia Holmquist
6772 E. Price Road
St. Johns, MI 48879