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Holmquists' October Prayer Update

October 6, 2011

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I took a test drive in a car that we were thinking about buying. My neighbor Moses the Mechanic came with me to check out the car. The car salesman wanted to show Moses that the engine, steering and brakes were good, so he got behind the wheel and we raced off. We went over both cobblestone roads and areas of heavy traffic weaving between cars at high velocity, stopping on a dime, and making tight u-turns in front of oncoming traffic. All of this within a few blocks of the dealership! That experience is a good metaphor for our first month in Brazil. We have felt a little like being in a race car – not an out of control car that is spinning and smoking. No, we’ve felt God’s providential hand masterfully turning the wheel. But it has been fast and furious nonetheless. We’re thankful God is in control. We’ve had multiple opportunities for preaching and ministry since our arrival. There is no lack of open doors for ministry. What we need is wisdom from on high to know how to discern what is the best thing to do in the midst of all the good things we could choose to pursue. May the Lord give wisdom and send more laborers into His harvest.

It’s been a good day. As I sit here, I am looking at keys and a contract to a building that God has provided for us to rent. After weeks of negotiation and prayer, today I was able to get the keys. The whole story is really amazing. Our colleague Joy saw a phone number painted on the building as she walked by one day. I called later and our team went to see the building. It was a former pizza place (store front) on the main commercial avenue of the neighborhood.  Everyone who has seen it has commented that it is in an excellent location. Our Brazilian friend Pastor Jose helped us as we began to negotiate with the owner. After several weeks of negotiations and paperwork we were finally able to sign. Pastor Jose was able to get the building for 20% less per month than what the owner was asking. Beyond that, the owner allowed Pastor Jose to write the contract (!) and include clauses that would protect us in the present and help us in the future when we look to purchase a building. I’ll try to post pictures on our blog in the next few days.

Transforming this pizza shop into a building conducive to holding services will take some creative work. We estimate the remodeling costs to be around $2,500. We will also need to begin to purchase items such as a sign, a pulpit, furniture, etc. We are trusting God to provide. Our team has gathered resources to give toward the project. Also, Brazilians burdened for the church are willingly giving of their time and resources. We’ve also opened a special account at our mission designated “Holmquist Building Account” to make it possible for those led by God to give toward this project. Praise the Lord with us that He has provided a building, but we know that a church is made of people not brick and mortar. We want to be faithful in meeting people and spreading the word of truth.

A few weeks ago we held an evangelistic outreach for young people of the neighborhood. Thirty minutes after the start time, twelve young men came. We later found out that many are involved in drug and alcohol abuse. Most listened intently as the Gospel was preached. One young man, Fabio, seemed particularly interested and wants to continue to talk.  We pray that God would open his eyes and that he would seek God and His glory.

Remember, the car ride I talked about at the beginning? We ended up buying that car today. The salesman called it a “white fly” because he said it is extremely difficult to find that particular car with low mileage, in good condition, and in our price range. We thank the Lord for leading us to this car. Incidentally, we didn’t get to bring it home today because the deposit at the bank won’t go through until tomorrow because the bank workers were on strike for part of the day!

Well, it’s been a good day. Now if the Detroit Tigers could win tonight……

Praise: For the Lord providing a meeting place to rent and providing us with a car.
Praise: For a good youth meeting.
Please pray for Fabio and the other young men who heard the Gospel.
Please pray for God’s provision and wisdom as we begin to remodel and
plan to hold services.

By His grace and for His glory,

Brendan (BJ), Melissa, Myla, Ellie, Daniel and Flávia Holmquist

Brasil (21) 3734-2867
US (517) 580-0704

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


The Holmquists' September Update

September 2, 2011

Dear Friends,

We wanted to send a quick update to let you know that we have arrived in Brazil.  We thank you for your prayers and thank the Lord for His mercy.  All of our luggage arrived intact and we were greeted at the airport by co-workers in Rio.  After about 24 hours of travel from Central Oregon to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil we were exhausted but excited about what God has in store.  The Bible study and evening service went well on Sunday and our friends at the church presented us with some beautiful orchids to welcome us back.  Amazingly, after just one week here we were able to get a reliable internet connection – something we didn't have our first 3 years here.  Because of that, we are able to use our vonage phone which goes through the internet connection and dials as if it were a number in the U.S.  Our phone number is (517) 580-0704 and will be connected as long as the internet is.

Our address remains the same:

Rua Corumbiara, 256 fundos
Rocha Miranda
Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21555-060
Thank you sincerely for your love and prayers!

Please pray for the salvation of Fernanda, Kennedy and Elias.
Please pray that we could find property to rent or buy where we can begin holding services.
Please pray as we search for the right vehicle (our colleagues are graciously letting us use theirs in the meantime).

Love in Christ,
The Holmquists
Brendan (BJ), Melissa, Myla, Ellie, Daniel, Flavia

Sent By Maranatha Baptist Church
Serving with Baptist Mid-Missions
Planting Churches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The Holmquists' August Prayer Update

August 23, 2011

Dear Friends,

In just a few days, Lord willing, we will board a plane and return to Brazil.  As I presented the ministry in Rio and preached in a church last Sunday night, I was struck with the fact that next Sunday I will be preaching in Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!  The year in the US, like a vapor, has vanished away quickly.  Our time in the US was filled with wonderful memories that we will take with us of family and brothers and sisters in Christ from all over America who care deeply about God’s work around the globe.  You have expressed God’s love to us in more ways than we could list.  We leave for Brazil very encouraged.

On Sunday night, somebody asked us publicly if we have fears about returning to the big city of Rio.  While we have great joy about returning to the place where God has called us to begin afresh in the work of church planting and to see our beloved friends, we cannot deny that fear is present with us.  There is the challenge of brushing the rust off of our Portuguese and growing deeper in our knowledge of the language so that we can effectively and graciously communicate God’s heart and His truth.  There are the personal questions of family safety and health, of quality education, of helping our children make right decisions and good friendships in a land that will seem foreign to them for awhile.  There is the knowledge that the forces of evil are against us and the transition (as all transitions are) will be turbulent.  There are the old feelings of inadequacy and helplessness that arise before us like a looming mountain range when we think of the great task that God has put in front of us.  Yes we have fears.  And we freely admit we feel like spiritual peons when we read about Hudson Taylor and Adoniram Judson and the trials and situations they faced with such courage.  But we will return- and the only reason we will go back is because Jesus promised, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”  That promise changes everything and fears flee.  Also to know that God’s people are going before Him in our behalf gives us tremendous confidence.  Thank you for what you do.  We thank the Lord for who He is; by His grace He will build His church.

Praise– For safety and health over tens of thousands of miles of travel in the U.S.
Praise– In our last letter we asked for prayer for Deborah’s salvation.  Since that letter she told Lydia, a daughter of our co-workers, that she trusted in Christ the week before Easter!
Please pray for God’s grace during our transition to Brazil: specifically on Thursday and Friday August 25, 26 (the days of our flight) and on Sunday, August 28 (I will be leading a Bible study in the morning and preaching in the evening).  We leave Portland, Oregon on August 25 at noon and fly to Atlanta.  From Atlanta we fly to Rio de Janeiro and are scheduled to arrive at 8:40 am local time.
Please pray for fertile soil for the Gospel to be planted in people’s hearts in Brazil.

By His grace and for His glory,

Brendan (BJ), Melissa, Myla, Ellie, Daniel and Flávia Holmquist

P.S. – See family news and new pictures at-
(517) 899-7906
Sent By Maranatha Baptist Church
Serving with Baptist Mid-Missions
Planting Churches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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