20 December 2007

Tah Dah!

We have done it! We have requested a job assignment with the International Mission Board that has been reserved for us. Knowing where we are going gives feelings of relief, privilege, excitement, sobriety and love.

After running the long, arduous course of education on the lostness of so many parts of the world, we have settled on one place in particular. This has been difficult. Our hearts have been broken for so many regions and people groups in this process.

Before going on with the specifics, let me encourage everyone: educate yourself on the lostness of our world . . . places like South Asia that is referred to as the "heart of darkness" and the thousands of people groups (over 6,000) who await someone to come and tell them about Jesus.
The lost are everywhere. Right now our world population is 6.61 billion. The population of unreached people groups is 2.72 billion. That's 41%. Unreached means they don't have the gospel. Staggering, isn't it?

Visit the Joshua Project or People Groups .Visit the International Mission Board and read about opportunities to go . . . short term, long term, ministry teams from your church (from teenagers to retirees), your family vacation, so on and so on. Give to the Lottie Moon offering that goes to support over 5,300 missionaries who are already engaged with lost people groups.

There are lost here in the U.S. - - everywhere, and ministry in the culture in which we are a part is so important. We are blessed to know so many who pastor, teach, lead, foster, adopt, do prison ministry, counsel the unwed pregnant, share Christ with neighbors, co-workers, grandchildren, and the list goes on. But God has asked us to go, and we've said yes. Finally, we know where!

Here's the whole scoop! We are going to Caxais do Sul in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, South America. There is much we don't know, but here's some things we do know:

  • The city of Caixas do Sul is the center of Italian culture in Rio Grande do Sul, and in southern Brazil. It is also the least evangelized city in the state. It is located in the northern mountainous region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
  • Brazilians of Italian descent are one of Brazil's least evangelized cohesive people groups. Due to their isolation and density of numbers (about 540,000), Italians in the state of Rio Grande do Sul have proven to be particularly resistant to evangelization, in a state that is known for being the most resistant to evangelization (southern Brazil is one of the biggest challenges)
  • Brazilian Portuguese will be the primary language of use and study, but we will be learning Italian as well for the evangelization of the smaller rural communities where Italian is still the "heart language" of the people. Language study and cultural acquisition will take approximately one year.
I am overjoyed to have an assignment reserved for us through the IMB. We still have many steps to complete prior to actually engaging this group of people known as the Gaucho. Thanks for your prayers.



SelahV said...

so excited for you!!! what I don't know about Brazil would fill all the oceans in the world. What I do know is the Brazil nuts we love here in America that come in brown hard shells are all clustered together inside a huge green shell before harvested and sent to us.

This makes me think of the Christians in the world who are clustered together, then to fulfill their destiny with God's plan are all separated to go and be all they can be to enrich the lives of others in the world without Christ.

Some would say you are a bit nutty to leave familiar land, family and comfort to go to a foreign land. But we know God has a higher purpose for your lives and we are grateful for your dedication and obedience to His call.

Also...coffee there is not like coffee here. I understand their coffee is extremely strong--like expresso, and then they add tons of milk. I'll stick with mine in America. :) blessings to you and Robert. selahV

Vicky said...

I love your passion for JESUS and the lost of our world. I was on a short term mission trip Dec.1-Dec.8 to East Germany. What an eye opening experience that was. We learned that many of those in Germany don't even know that Christmas has anything to do with JESUS. That was staggering for me to hear...they live in a world of spiritual darkness, yet since the wall came down in the early 90's and they have learned to become self sufficient they believe they have no need of GOD in their lives. It is sad and tragic.
GOD has given my heart a passion for missions...
Glad to hear HE has done the same for you!
Because of JESUS-

The Phams said...

WOW! We are GOING TO be in the same REGION!!! HOW cool. I think that means we might have AGM meetings together (annual general meetings). Not sure though. So excited to read this news. I have some friends who went to language school in Brazil so I can get you in contact with them. They lived in Brazil for 4 years with the IMB. Let me know if you are interested.

Kerri said...

Thanks Jessica,
I hadn't even thought about us being in the same region together. That is awesome! There's hope of actually meeting you guys this side of eternity!!! Thanks for thinking of your friends who have done language school in Brazil . . . I'd love to be in touch with them.