April 18, 2018
Five weeks from now, I will fly out of Chicago O’Hare Airport and enter into the two month missions adventure the Lord has laid out for me! I am so eager—to be surrounded by Portuguese again, interact with the precious Brazilian children at House of Hope, meet my host family, worship at Church of the Holy Spirit, return to a place I already love and anticipate growing to love even more.
I got to spend time with a leader from Church of the Holy Spirit over Holy Week and Easter, and memories of how much I love Brazil and Brazilians flooded over me instantly. I can’t wait to be immersed in the culture once more, and take advantage of opportunities to minister the love of Jesus to a people so open to friendship and relational connection.
It has been established that I’ll be living with one of the Directors of House of Hope—the incredible day care center in Recife that I visited two years ago. It also looks like I’ll be getting involved with worship leading at the church, and will join a small group to be immersed in the church community. I’ll be going to House of Hope daily and doing whatever they need: caring for children, helping with administration, offering whatever support I can for the crucial work they’re doing.
Please pray for…
…the presence of the Holy Spirit as I navigate the last 3 weeks of school before summer. I need the Lord’s presence so much as I try to balance RA responsibilities, class finals, time with friends, and preparation for Brazil
…the final details and planning of my trip
…the power of the Lord to direct me in my prayers and passion for Recife and the community I’ll be entering into and working with
Ron and Valdomiro during their weekly Discipleship meeting.
Making Disciples who Make Disciples:
This is the theme in the book by Francis Chan “Multiply” published by David C. Cook. In Brazil we use the version published by Editora Mundo Cristao and translated into Portuguese by Daniel Faria. I have been meeting with Valdomiro on a weekly basis for one hour for most of the past year. This relationship is directly inspired by Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV), “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We recently finished reading together in Portuguese the book Multiply; Valdomiro does not speak English, and then we began reading Alister McGrath’s Mere Apologetics. In Portuguese the title is Apologetica pura & simples. Simply put by McGrath, “Apologetics is about persuading people there is a door to another world – a door that perhaps they never realized existed. Evangelism is about helping people to open that door and enter into the world that lies beyond.”
When Valdomiro and I meet for discipleship we spend time discussing the implications of what we are reading for God’s purpose for our lives through the lens of Scripture. We also spend time discussing how our week is going and the thanksgivings, challenges, and opportunities for growth into the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and Friend. We also catch up on the thanksgivings, challenges, and opportunities Valdomiro is experiencing in his discipleship of other men in our parish.
This is my thanksgiving for discipleship in Brazil; I consider myself to be a novice with the Portuguese language and Valdomiro does not speak English. Our conversation in Portuguese at times can be both intense and full of emotion, and sometimes Valdomiro needs to restate his thought for me using simpler words. Valdomiro also is patient with me and calmly corrects my numerous grammatical and pronunciation errors especially if I rush my delivery and, for example, I’m talking in the future tense when I should be talking in the past.
Last week Valdomiro asked me if we could increase our discipleship time from one hour per week to two hours per week due to the intensity of the content of Alister McGrath’s book so we do not miss out on the other aspects of our time together. Of course, I said yes, and praising the Lord, almost fell off my chair! I took this as a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of two people who not too long ago could not understand a word the other was saying. Now we are both Making Disciples Who Make Disciples only for the Glory of God’s purposes for His Creation.
Ron and Debby Mckeon serve in the Anglican Diocese of Recife in Brazil. They are dedicated to helping the Anglican churches in Joao Pessoa grow spiritually, numerically and missionally. Please prayerfully consider giving to support their mission here.
We believe we are in the place God has called us to be. Ron is now discipling some of the men in our home parish as well as his regular ministry duties, all in Portuguese. Debby is currently teaching several classes on intercessory prayer, a new ministry that began in February, written in both English and Portuguese, but still using a translator for pronunciation purposes. Debby continues with the soup ministry twice monthly, which is also good practice for her Portuguese, during all the soup preparation and serving with the team of ladies.
In addition Ron has been called to assist our Suffragan Bishop in his new role as the Diocesan Missionary Bishop to reach the unchurched and underserved with the Gospel across Brazil. Ron will assist the Diocesan Missionary Bishop Flávio Soares to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s immeasurable love through planting new communities of faith throughout Brazil. More details on this new startup ministry to follow after the special Diocesan Synod in May.