Dear Friends and Family,
Thank you for your prayers and support. They have been greatly appreciated.
I wanted to start this newsletter by saying how much I love being a missionary. I really do! I love how every day’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God. Although I believe that this should be the mission of any follower of Christ, I love the freedom I have to pursue this calling full-time – that my job description is to advance the Kingdom of God. I wouldn’t change a thing about my career choice. I hope to be doing this until the day that I die.
Although I love what I do and have not one regret, there are difficulties being a missionary and during the last several weeks I have experienced one of them. As many of you know, my mother was in a horrible car accident last week. She has multiple breaks in her arm and wrist, a huge laceration across her head that needed to be stapled shut, and scariest of all, she fractured 2 vertebrae. When I initially found out that my mom was in a bad accident, I had trouble getting through to my dad by phone. Eventually I did get through and he explained what had happened and that the doctors where doing test to find out the severity of the injuries. The following day Denise and I woke up hoping to hear an update on my mom’s condition, but we were unable to get through by phone and, not surprisingly, the internet was also out. It’s not that I could have done anything, but it’s a terrible feeling being cut off from the ones you love in times of crisis. It’s these moments when I feel the most isolated.
As of now, my mom’s prognosis is looking much better. After a few surgeries to her arm and wearing a neck brace for three months, the doctors believe she is going to make a full recovery. I am so delighted and relieved by this news! It could have been so much worse. But this situation has made me think a lot about how far Denise and I live from my friends and family. Throughout this year, there have been multiple situations when I wished I could have been home to love or comfort a friend or family member going through a hard time. I have had to get good at handing these feelings of helplessness, sadness or isolation over to Jesus. I have had to get good at asking Jesus for help – and Jesus has shown himself to be very good at answering this prayer. This might sound a bit silly, but I am constantly reminding myself that my missionary life needs to be dependent on Jesus. Imagine that! It’s important to have Jesus if you’re a missionary! 🙂
Prior to this difficult week, the last month has been great. My mom was actually here in Altamira with me for ten days! There was a pastor’s conference here for all the Vineyard pastors in Northern Brazil and my mom was one of the guest speakers. We had such a great time. Denise and I loved having my mom around. There is no sweeter person in the world than my mom. I love her so much and we had a great time together.
Mom preaching at Mirante Vineyard and Denise translating
Denise and Mom
Mom and me
The conference was also wonderful. God really seemed to show up and do some cool things in people’s lives. It was also a great experience for Denise and me! We are really excited for our move to Macapa, but we are also experiencing the anxieties of stepping into the unknown. We both felt that this conference was extremely helpful in equipping us for this next stage of our life. We were very encouraged by many of the pastors there as they blessed us in our upcoming adventure.
All the pastors who attended the pastor’s conference here in Altamira
Mom speaking at the conference
Another thing that we are excited about is our upcoming trip to Portel where we will meet up with a short term mission team from Vineyard Church of Delaware County which is my home church. We are excited to spend some time in Portel and on the river doing ministry together. We are also looking forward to being able to hang out and catch up with some old friends as well as good missionary friends who will be joining us in Portel. There will be missionaries from Portel, Maraba & Altamira along for the ride. It should be a great time!
Directly after this trip we will be heading back out on the river with another short-term missions team also from the Central Ohio area. We are excited about spending time with this team, too. Both Denise and I love meeting new people and making new connections. It should be a busy month, but also a very exciting month!
- Please pray continued healing for my mom.
- Pray for safety and discernment as we continue to travel.
- Pray for grace and wisdom through the summer as the time of our move grows nearer.
- Pray for continued growth in our financial support.
Thank you again for your prayers and support. We love hearing from you!
In His Service,
Christopher and Denise