Growing up, if I complained to my dad that things just weren’t going my way, he would sometimes jokingly say to me, “That’s life in the big city.” Now that I live in a big city, I know what he meant. Each week presents unique challenges. Just last week, for example, our whole family left to run an errand and the car we were borrowing broke down. But, out of nowhere, a barefooted man appeared and said he had a mechanic friend just down the road. Great! However, at that very moment a plastic bottle full of urine that someone had thrown on the side of the road slowly rolled under our car and into traffic where a truck hit it and sprayed its contents on the passenger side of our car – and Melissa through the open window. Not great! We were able to push the car to the mechanic and he began to work on it. After an hour or so, he said he couldn’t finish because that afternoon Brazil was playing in the World Cup and clearly nobody works when Brazil plays! So we walked until we found a bus (the bus driver was working!) that had just enough space to wedge all six of us in and we were on our way. Thankfully, we arrived home safely and in time to see Brazil win. Yes, that’s life in the big city. A lot of times it makes us long for that City whose builder is God.
Thank you for your prayers, they are crucial in the city or in the country. We had a great trip to the next state north of Rio, Minas Gerais, which is known for its precious gem mines and its coffee plantations. God protected us in a close call on the highway on the way. I preached at a three day conference on the theme, The Church: Christ’s Bride. It was wonderful to see how God is using Brazilian pastors and Brazilian missionaries together to expand His church in Minas.
Recently, we have also travelled to explore other ministry possibilities. The Lord seems to be moving us in a new direction. The land on which we have been laboring to build a church for over a year is still entangled with time consuming legal issues. We’ve sensed other strong indications that the time is not right for us to build there. We plan to leave the land and the prospects of a future church there in the hands of Brazilian coworkers who have been helping us. Our hope is to be able to build a wall around the land before August to prevent it from invasions while the legal issues are settled. In the meantime, we have been helping a church in Rio whose pastor has suffered some hard times personally and whose wife is chronically ill.
It’s hard for us to believe that in July we’ll have been with Baptist Mid-Missions for 10 years. We thank God for our mission, our home churches, and for the many churches and individuals who have prayed and helped us so faithfully. Our plan is to return to the US at the end of July to report to ministry supporters. During this year in the US, we’d love to see each of you who has been involved in the ministry here over these years. If a church would like to set up a meeting with us, our contact information is below. Please pray for evangelistic opportunities in the city during the World Cup and the preparations for our move.
Our mailing address is:
Estrada da Grama, 13
Qd. D, Lt. 5 Guaratiba
Rio, RJ 23033-220
Love in Christ,
Brendan, Melissa, Myla, Elaina, Daniel and Flavia Holmquist