Many of you know that we are about to make our third trip to Brazil since officially becoming missionaries in July of '09. Back then we had gone with the expectation that we would be settling into the city or town that God would have us to minister out of. We had packed what little we had left with that in mind!
That, of course, was our expectation and now, in hind sight, see it was not God's plan. We have been blessed beyond measure in being able to travel to many of the churches, spending time with the pastors and their families and ministering to the people however God would lead. We know, had we settled in one place, that things would have looked much different and we wouldn't have had many of the opportunities that have been ours this way.
We've been reminded many times of Pastor Rob telling us of a vision that he had before we were even ready to leave. He had seen a map and on that map there were stick pins on the places throughout Brazil that we had traveled with our routes drawn out for each visit. Much like the way we view the maps of Paul's missionary travels (NOT that we are anything like Paul!). As we talked about “settling down” in one place, Rob, upon several occasions would remind us of his vision and express that he did not see us settling down – at least not for some time. As of yet, although there are many places we could see ourselves living in Brazil, we have never felt God confirm to us that we were to put down roots.
A year ago we were given an opportunity to buy a house in Tennessee. This was not in our plans. Even after the purchase was made we were in awe of it, wondering what God had in mind. Although, we are still not convinced this is a permanent situation we feel for now this house is to be our home when we are in the states. It was in need of work that we are doing with the hopes that when and if the time comes to sell it we would make a profit of some sort on it. The cost of housing and of living in Tennessee is quite a bit lower than that of Corvallis making this a possibility for us. Another added bonus to living in Tennessee has been the cost and the hour reduction of flying to Brazil. On our last trip we were amazed at how short the trip felt after having made it so many times before from Oregon. Now it's done in less than a 24 hour period compared to a 32+ period before. (counting layovers and travels to and from airports). That is huge when you are arriving, hitting the road running! We also were blessed to learn after moving here that a Brazilian Consulate had opened in Atlanta – a 2½ hour drive for us! We were especially grateful for that as we made our way there yesterday to apply for our new visitor visas. We did the interview and had the new visas before the end of the day!!!! These are just some of the ways that God has confirmed that this move was of Him.
So we continue on with another missionary trip! We are returning to Curitiba for the majority of our time. With John Hwang on an extended leave right now he had asked us if we would consider going back and helping Tom Stowe with the church as they settle into the changes that so suddenly came upon them. We are blessed to do it. We also will be spending some time with our friends in Foz do Iguassu where we spent much of our time on our first trip, then on to Campo Moura. Here we will be able to spend time with many different churches, pastors and their families as there is planned a Carnival Retreat for many of the Calvary churches throughout Brazil. We look forward to touching bases with many we have not seen for some time and also those that we have not been able to see at all. While in Curitiba we are hoping to make a trip out to Florinopolis in order to spend some time with both the churches there. Many of you know that Claudio and Jess Caze are in the states right now and so we would like to stop there and encourage the pastor that is filling in for Claudio while he is gone. Also Nathan Cate is still pastoring at the other church in Floripa. His young family is a joy to us and we look forward to our time with them. After leaving Curitiba we are headed for Rio where we will spent about 2 weeks ministering in whatever ways Alexandre has for us. We hear he already has plans!!!! We are thankful to have an opportunity to go back to Rio. We have a love/hate relationship with the city but with the people it is pure love!
I will try to keep updates on this blog while we are there and we both have facebook accounts where we would gladly welcome you as our friend if you are not already!
We just received a new 10 year tourist visas (it allows us to be in Brazil 6 months out of each year) and are praying about whether we are to try for a more permanent visa this fall or be content with this. We have found that God has always given us the next step, however, He has not given us much more than that at any given time! We are trying to learn contentment in whatsoever state we are in without feeling anxious about it.
As you can imagine all of this travel is expensive and while we know that God alone is our provider we have been reminded that many times God uses people for that provision and that those who assist in this way share in the ministry. Philippians 4:17. We know that times are hard and money is scarce these days but should God lay it on your heart to help out with these expenses we would be so grateful. Maybe it could be a monthly contribution for the 3 months we are gone (March, April and May) or a one time gift. All the money would totally go towards the expenses of this trip as God has provided us the means to take care of our living expenses. Any gift can be given through Calvary Corvallis 2125 NW Lester Ave. Corvallis, Or 97330. Write Warren Yoder in the memo line.
It is a tax deductible contribution. We are not asking for anyone to make any kind of commitment to us. We are taking this trip, as we have the others, by faith knowing that God is our ultimate provider.
We wish to thank all of you that have continued to bless us with phone calls, e-mails and facebook messages! It is ALWAYS such a blessing to hear from you. We also are so very blessed by the support of your prayers. We are so needy of them. Please know that you are loved.