In a couple of days, I'll be headed to the country of Brazil for the third time since 2008. Though I'm not looking forward to trading a week of Virginia summer for southern Brazilian winter, at least a few things excite me about the trip.
I'm encouraged to partner with dear friends at Living Bread Ministries, which focuses on planting churches among the poorest of the poor in Brazil and Latin America. As LBM is a ministry committed to holistic mission, I look forward to a week of communicating the good news of Jesus with our words and also ministering to real human needs through food and clothes distribution as we serve alongside the work of seven new church plants in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. It will be a blessing to worship with some of these churches and even encourage them through preaching God's Word.
What excites me even more, is that the "we" on this trip includes my 7 year old son Brennan. Though he was born in North Africa, Brennan has not traveled outside of the USA since he was 3. My prayer is that as we minister in southern Brazil, that Brennan's vision for the world would grow and he would begin to develop an idea of his role in the mission of God (Gen. 12:1-3).
Finally, I look forward to teaching 2 times at the Baptist Seminary of Rio Grade do Sul on intercultural ministry and a survey of Brazilian mission efforts around the world. A few months back, I finished up a PhD dissertation entitled, "Brazilian Evangelical Missions in the Arab World: History, Culture, Practice, and Theology." It will be a blessing to encourage these Brazilian seminary students through what other Brazilians are doing around the world in mission.
If you're reading this, please take a moment now to pray for our trip and that God will use it to glory His name among the nations.