Update!! Six years have brought the most wonderful changes. And yes, the Lord manipulates our "vision" to fit His will all the time. For 5 years, Wanda and I followed the vision that you see below. And God was tremendously faithful. The Mission Center is finished along with 4 separate suites, for a total capacity for 60 people. We now have a public bathroom and a pool. We are employing a caretaker, a gardener, and a part-time administrator. Churches are renting the facility for day use as well as for retreats and weekends. It is beautiful!!! We have fruit trees, chickens and a garden. And, hundreds of decisions for Christ. As I look over the statement I made in 2013, I am amazed at the progress we have made in the Lord. And no debt!!! Our Father has been faithful all the way.
Wanda and I spent 3 months in Brazil at the end of 2018 and prepared our lives to make that a regular occurrences as we developed ministries on the Farm of Encouragement. But once again, God had other plans. In March of 2019, I went to work full time with Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. I joined the faculty as we try to implement a Physician's Assistant Degree Program at Meharry. The amazing part was that they, as a Christian college, accepted my work in Brazil!!
So for now this is our trajectory.
We continue to plan and go on mission trips and will continue the Pantavida boat trip. We are working with our administrator to develop a ministry vision for the Farm of Encouragement. For so many years, we have had to focus on construction, but now we are ready to see what God has in store for this special place He has brought about. As in years gone by the possibilites are numerous. It will be amazing to see what God pulls down and blesses.
Our vision remains to encourage those in Brazil in the Pantanal region. God has not released us from this mission. We will continue to seek to make available the Gospel in the heart language of those we reach, meeting their physical and spiritual needs as a platform to share the love of God and salvation in the one and only name of Jesus Christ. We will continue to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ, helping individuals and congregations to accomplish their God-given ministries in Brazil.
We are forever, deeply indebted to those who have joined us in our mission for 34 years now. You are the impetus. You are the provision. You are the answer to our prayers. You are OUR encouragement. You have been the hands and feet of Jesus in Brazil.
Humbly, we thank you and praise our Heavenly Father for all of His good gifts.
About eight months ago the Lord burdened my heart again. Many could do what I do as a medical provider, but who was focusing on the Pantaneiros? I felt the time had come to give priority once again to the mission field in Brazil. God told me it was time to complete the vision He had planned. He promised that if I would be obedient, He would be faithful to provide what was needed. In December of 2013, I changed my work status from full-time to an as-needed status to allow me to focus on missions. Since the beginning of 2014, Wanda and I have lived on faith in the promise that God gave to me. And praise the Lord, He is faithful!!
Since March I have been able to spend 40 days in Corumbá, one week in Honduras, and plans to return in September and November. God has provided over $52,000 already so that work on the Mission Volunteer/Ministry/Retreat Center can proceed quickly. He has raised up men, here in the USA, as well as, in the churches of Corumbá and Ladário who are helping to get the construction projects done so we can move ahead with ministry. In addition, God has opened up a new vision for the farm through contact with local evangelical pastors, by using the farm and facilities for retreats, local training and conferences, and ministries to families and local communities.
We are excited about the future, but in these last few months, the Lord has reaffirmed for me that hands-on, day-to-day leadership is needed on the mission field to accomplish the goals He has given us. Therefore, the time has come for me to make an appeal. As GEM moves forward, we need you. Wanda and I are counting on you to continue partnering in ministry through prayer, though going, and through financial support. Will you join us as a monthly supporter? We are enclosing all the information you need.
Thank you for being obedient to what God leads you to do. As Brazilians say, “Only God can repay you.”