August 23, 2011
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- http://ministryupdate.blogspot.com
Sent By Maranatha Baptist Church
Serving with Baptist Mid-Missions
Planting Churches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil