Dear Friends and Family,
Annabelle was such a great traveller!
This is Missy writing. What a time we’ve had! And I mean that in every way.
We are thrilled to be here in San Ignacio with David and Mary Beth and many lovely Belizeans. Annabelle wrote in her journal that her “first day in Belize was fun, fun, fun!”
And before we left we cannot measure or count how many cards, gifts, emails, hugs, and prayers were given to us. We felt, and continue to feel, truly loved by so many. There are many stories to be told of generosity, unexpected goodness and kindness in those final days. And honestly, the months prior to leaving are a series of miracles small and large – like getting renters for our house without having to advertise and who were understanding of what we were facing with leaving the country for a year.
At the same time, the two weeks prior to leaving, and our trip down here, were fraught (and I do not use that word lightly) with challenges. They have and are costing us a lot of money, countless hours, and immense amounts of energy. I thought about listing them all out for you but I’ve decided to shorten this by combining them into categories:
The House Fiascos: Numbering 7 of significance and including everything from possibly losing homeowners insurance on the cottage, to dead HVAC, and bacteria in the well at the cottage.
The Motorcycle Fiascos: I won’t go into much detail on this as I don’t fully understand all that was wrong with it (except that it was a number of things and all quite stressful). In this case the end result is that it was sold to a good home, though for $2000 less than we hoped. We are extremely grateful that it sold!
The Weather Fiasco: A foot of snow was unexpectedly dumped on Charlottesville the day before we were to leave. The prediction was 3-5 inches. This affected our leaving in a variety of ways – but we left!
The Travel Fiascos: Numbering 3+ of significance and including having our train to Baltimore be canceled, our rental car pick up office being closed due to snow, and almost not being allowed on the plane to Atlanta.
I kept saying all along that whatever happened it was going to be alright because we were getting on the plane on December 11th. However, that was truly challenged when we almost weren’t allowed on the plane and ended up being let on at the very last minute. Once we were on the plane in our seats, my eyes just kept overflowing. I have shed more tears in the last couple of weeks (for the good, beautiful, and true things and for the heart breaking, stressful, and difficult) than many other years of my life. I think it is fair to say our bodies are still weary but our souls are full. And we are so grateful to be here.
– Please pray for our work permits, Annabelle’s dependent/student permit, my ministry of health application, and our immigration status. There are a lot of particular requirements, some of which are unexpected, and we need divine intervention to move things along.
– Unfortunately, we left Annabelle’s “chewie” (blanket) on the last plane. Please, please pray that Delta is able to track it down and return it to us. There have been many tears over the loss of chewie. 🙁
– Please pray for us earnestly. It truly feels as though there are forces at work that do not want us here and need all the divine help we can get, as we believe God does want us here.
We absolutely could not be here without you all. We are sending hugs and blowing kisses.
Thank you for reading. We love you!
Note from the editor (Evan) – I’m working on another post to give you an idea of what we’ve been doing since we landed.
We are so very thankful to God for your continuing interest, prayers and financial support for our Brazil ministry. Having just completed our first full-time 3-year term on the mission field, we need to ask you to partner with us and recommit to another term of monthly support of $10, $15, $25, $50, or more by clicking this link to our SAMS Giving Page. We actually need to raise an additional $3,000 per month for our ministry to expand into other neighborhoods to inspire more leaders and equip future generations to plant communities of faith focused on rescuing children and families from child labor, sex trafficking and drugs. We are confident in Christ alone!
This letter features two testimonies, one from our Brazilian friend Valdomiro Santos, and a personal confession from Ron.
Dear Pastor Ron and Debby and your financial & prayer partners, I want to highlight the importance of Pastor Ron and Debby in our lives. From the moment we first met this couple, their willingness and joy of serving the Lord Jesus in another nation inspired us.
First, I speak of my relationship with Rev. Ronald, when I learned that I was going to be discipled by Pastor Ron, I thought, “How will it be?” I do not speak English and he is learning Portuguese and still had difficulty, I faced the challenge with great joy and today we do not need Google translator anymore, today the Portuguese spoken by Pastor Ron is excellent and this man of God has been fundamental in my life.
I will make some reports:
- Support for working life: In search of work I got approval at the Fiat factory in Goiânia – Pernambuco, a neighboring state of Paraíba, but the city where the factory is located is two hours away from João Pessoa. In the first process I went through and there was a problem and I was ultimately not approved in the last process, anyway, the story is long, but I want to record the help of Pastor Ron. Without the encouragement of Pastor Ron, I would not have participated in this selection process, since I did not have a car to make the trip to the factory. He and Debby are being a boon in my life and consequently in my family’s life.
- Spiritual support for illness: A difficult moment in the life of my father-in-law was his hospitalization (90 days) due to appendicitis surgery. Pastor Ron was present, praying, ministering the life of Christ on him. Gradually he has been recovering and today he is doing his normal activities.
- Support for the ministry: Long ago God spoke to my heart about the ordained ministry, I was frightened, I always thought it was a thing of my head. To be at peace with my thoughts and feelings I made a silent prayer: “God if the call that you have for me is Pastoral, then confirm it through a person that I have no contact with, then Lord I will know that this call comes from You not from myself. Amen.” I, my son and my wife went to attend the service at the Anglican Church Vine that Bishop Flávio is responsible for, after the celebration the bishop invited us to go to his house and we were involved in many conversations when Pastor Ron and his wife Debby pass by the apartment and enter, reminds me of how we arrived in this pastoral call conversation plus the bishop explained the content of our dialogue, then Debby said: “since I first visited Brazil in 2006 I have been praying for your ministry.” After this confirmation of prayer, I stopped resisting God’s call to me.
- Always present in our lives…. Pastoral follow-up, visits on leisure days, quality time among friends. We praise and are grateful for your lives in our lives, God multiply in your lives everything you have done for us. We love you!! With gratitude and the Love of Jesus,
When my five daughters were young and I was beginning my personal relationship with Jesus, I failed to disciple my own daughters and invite them into my growing relationship with Jesus. I left this important part of my relationship with my daughters and Christ to my wife and the church. This mistake over the years caused great stress and strain on my relationship with my daughters. I deeply regret this sin of omission. I felt remorse that I did not model the life Christ intended for me and at times I felt like a failure as a father and stuck in shame not knowing how to set things right with my daughters.
Before I lost my total tongue to cancer my children will tell you I was angry all the time. After my surgery in 2003 to remove my total tongue and lymph nodes in my neck I went through radiation and chemotherapy. It was during this time I came to realize that I had experienced not only the removal of my tongue and healed of cancer, but I also experienced a supernatural change in my personality along with a redirection in my life targets and priorities. I realized that through my personal relationship with Jesus Christ all my sins were forgiven.
Since arriving for fulltime ministry in Brazil back in October 2015, God has opened the door for me to practice Biblical discipleship; the process of making disciples for Christ who make disciples for Christ. This ministry in Brazil has changed my life and opened the door for me to disciple my own children and their husbands through the use of technology, for example the telephone, voice and video calls over the internet and cell phone text messages.Today my children will tell you I am happy all the time. However, my children are still struggling to understand this change in their Dad and my call to serve God in Brazil.
Now, every day I wake up and ask God what will He have me learn today, then I listen for God to speak in the quietness of my heart, and then take the appropriate action, as I walk and grow spiritually in my personal relationship with my Lord, Savior and friend, Jesus Christ.
Please join in our efforts by making a financial gift to grow our ministry of equipping church leadership with Biblical principles that impact their actions and life patterns; to inspire the Church in Brazil for generations to come.
With every blessing and much affection,
Ron+ & Debby
Make a secure tax-deductible financial gift on-line through our SAMS website: