Dear Family in Christ,
As I sit down to update you and seek your continual prayers, I must admit that due to the rapid pace of events, this past year seems like a haze.
One important thing to mention is the new leadership in the country. One friend summed it up like this:
“Jair Bolsonaro is officially Brazil’s new president. The leftist New York Post kindly labeled him “far-right.” He was one of the few politicians in Brazil’s recent decades who has not been dragged into or charged with some corruption while serving. He promised to fight against gender ideology and perverse forms of sex education for children in the classroom. He desires to once again respect the Judeo-Christian tradition and prepare children for the job market. Further, his “far-right” positions include fighting the communist ideologies infecting politics and education in Brazil as well as establishing new relationships with Israel and the United States.”
“Is God opening the doors for revival in this land?…God’s grace extends as far as the curse is found!”
Bolsonaro’s wife is a committed evangelical. This is such a radical change from what Brazil has experienced in her recent history. It is almost unbelievable. Is God opening the doors for revival in this land? That is our hope, and this is what we are here to work and pray towards. God’s grace extends as far as the curse is found!
Many of you have heard of the biblical counseling project that God has placed in our hands in Northeast Brazil. It is a big project, and, not surprisingly, there are many challenges along the way. Those challenges can be both personal and logistical. And yes, opposition is not unexpected. But our new project is already prospering and advancing greatly.
Here are some things that have been happening:
- We have two families with a lot of energy and workers for the project. I have seven boys, and Lucas has three.
- A ministry project has been developed and approved, teaching experience has been accumulated, and a lot of excellent materials are now in Portuguese with the necessary means to deliver them to the Church.
- Many good relationships have been built with many opportunities for service.
- Six solid opportunities to teach biblical counseling courses in the church in Aldeia and in the church called Engenho do Meio have been opened to us. These two local congregations are excited about learning and implementing a vision of biblical counseling in their local church context, and we hope that these will become pilot churches that many other local churches can follow. Leaders (pastors and missionaries) from the Sertao area, have signed up for the two-year course that we will offer in a modular format every two months beginning in March. Hopefully, we will have the property question settled by then, but, if not, the church in Aldeia has already offered us their space for teaching the classes.
- Opportunities continue for teaching at the seminary in Recife and in other seminaries.
- Lucas is being trained in biblical counseling and has started the certification process. He is already active in counseling with and under the church in Aldeia.
- I will still help Alianca in the morning with Sunday school and preaching when needed, but I will also start to slowly transition to Aldeia in anticipation of a move in the near future.
Please continue to pray for this country. The tensions and response against the new president have already begun. Please continue to pray for us. Our enemy, the lion, is roaring and seeking to devour (I Peter 5:8); our hearts need prayer to remember that the victory belongs to the Lord.
Thank you for all the prayers and support in the past year, and may the Lord bless you in 2019.
Rev. Doug E. Leaman