Dear Family and Friends,
When I was in middle school, once a year we had a day called “career day”. On this day, instead of coming into school, we were allowed to shadow a professional at their place of work. One year I decided to shadow a pastor. My dad set up the day with his good friend and fellow pastor, John Moriarty. To be quite honest, I remember very little from any of my career days, but there were a few things that happened during my time with John that have been etched into my mind ever since. After meeting John at the church, much to my surprise, I was informed that we weren’t going to be hanging around the building all day. As you can probably guess, I was more than okay with this. Hanging around the church all day didn’t exactly sound fun as an adolescent pastor’s kid.
The first place John took me was to the newborn unit of a hospital. As we stood there looking through the glass at all the newborn babies, John began to explain that one of the great joys of his job was how he regularly has the privilege of witnessing new life. As a pastor he would often be invited into the hospital to share the special moment of a baby entering this world, but also regularly would be witness to individuals turning towards Jesus and experiencing new spiritual life. Our next stop was very different… John took me to a cemetery. As we walked around the cemetery, he began to explain a whole different side of his job. He explained that a large part of his job was also walking with others through great hardships, dealing with crisis, sickness and even death.
I’m not really sure how much of what John was trying to teach me really sunk in at that point, but during this last month, I have reflected a lot about his words all those years ago and how true his words really were. We have had many blessings this last month. Our church continues to grow and mature. We are having amazing moments – experiencing God in tangible and awesome ways. We even had our first baptism.
Our first baptism
But it was also this month that Denise and I faced probably the most difficult ministry experience in our lives to date. It was just a few days after our first baptism that we received the news that our dear friend Kazu, a member at Vineyard Macapá (our former church), had taken his own life. The news was heartbreaking to say the least. Everyone in the Vineyard family here in Macapá was devastated. Many from both Vineyard Macapá and Vineyard Viva had close connections to Kazu and his family.
Denise and I have been doing our best to assist the family and the two churches through this process. Because there are so many who have been deeply impacted by this, our job has at times felt overwhelming – not to mention that we ourselves are trying to process what happened as well. We realize how important it is to be well connected to God through times like these. Wearing out or burning out would be inevitable without the God’s presence in this. We have been encouraged to see how the churches have gathered around the family and the ones hurting the most, and also have been touched by the way God has continued to come and meet us in the midst of tragedy. We still have a long way to go, but God has definitely been guiding us through.
As is always the case, there has been great joy even through the hard times. As I mentioned, the church is doing super well, and of course, Jonas brings us daily joy.
Jonas and Denise
Jonas and me
Enjoying the World Cup
We woke up one morning and this animal was stuck in our pool. It is known as a “lesser anteater” or here in Brazil it’s called “tamaduá”.
Luckily we were able to save it!
1) Pray for Kazu’s family.
2) Continued grace and strength to help our friends who are grieving.
3) Wisdom in planning and discipleship as Vineyard Viva continues to grow.
4) For Denise and I as we take care of Jonas and each other.
Thank you as always for your prayers and support. We love to hear from you!
In His Service,
Christopher and Denise
Contribution Link: https://xingu.org/opportunities/giving/meyer-ministries/