Since our last letter, there have been three changes in the mandates. The first was to further restrict by widening the age requirements. After seven days, that was overturned (change #2). Last week they removed testing requirements (change #3). This makes us extremely hopeful as it is trending towards open and, as you can see, can change rather quickly. The other angle to this is the meeting with the consulate. Since we have been back in the US, they have been excellent about communicating/ responding (sometimes multiple times in a single day) as we tried to get our appointment. They scheduled us for one in February but had to wait (the county clerk was over 20 days behind in processing here in Florida) on an additional document NOT on the original form they sent me. That all being said, I have emailed the consulate several times since our last letter and am simply waiting to get a response. The only thing I can imagine is they are backlogged with requests. This is one of those moments where you have to take it as a lesson on waiting on the Lord, and the providence of God-it is the only thing to keep you from losing your sanity! I have been going through 1 Samuel lately, and there Saul is a perfect illustration of the opposite of waiting when he makes the sacrifice in Samuels's place. Read a great quote I will share, "The last moments of waiting are usually the most difficult, and they powerfully tempt us to take matters into our own hands."
It was a tremendous blessing to be at South Knollwood Baptist Churches missions conference! We got to catch up with dear friends and meet new ones who joined the church since we were sent out in 2019. Our children were able to be with different friends they had grown up with, staying the night and catching up. It was said well by another missionary there that they are not just a missions-minded church but a missions-hearted church.
As we made our way back to Florida, we stopped in Leawood, Kansas, where Keith and Melissa Drinkard planted Ironwood Baptist Church. They were another couple sent out of our church right before us. It is great to see the families that God is bringing together and the faithful plodding they are doing in a very challenging area.
We will continue to reach out to the consulate and keep you informed. Please pray for a man named Janez. He is a Brazilian, and he has helped me get a van. I have been with him and given him the gospel several times. Pray that God humbles him. We never want to forget to thank you for praying.
This Month's Plan
- Getting our appointment for the visas.
- Reversal of the mandate in Brazil.