by Doug Perry
Recently, I returned from ten days spent with my friends and your missionaries in Belem, Brazil, Nick and Amy Fowler and their son Jonah. I bring you their greetings from afar. They are into their 3rd year abroad and are doing fine. Their family is growing (Sarah Marie is due early next month!) and the work is expanding.
I found Nick and Amy both fully engaged in planting the church in this place. Their days are busy.
Belem is a large metropolis in northern Brazil. The city is just south of the equator and serves as port and gateway to the mighty Amazon river and surrounding region. It is a city of 2 million people. Belem is a city of extremes – having many modern attributes accompanied by lingering images of hardship in people and conditions. The pure church has been almost entirely absent until recently.
In lieu of a more complete report, I offer my Top Ten summary: What I Found in Belem
1 I found fellowship. The Fowlers and Kings were warm and welcoming, and I found the Brazilians to be friendly and hospitable as a whole. Strangers helped me in airports. I was a guest in Brazilian homes and we entertained Brazilian visitors. I felt welcome.
2 I found seekers. There are many. The Outreach Center is overflowing with interested students.
3 I found teachers. There are many false ones. Thankfully, there are now some true ones as well. The Brazil Team is very busy teaching. There are classes. There are 1:1’s and small groups. There are adult devotionals and children’s classes. God’s Word is the message.
4 I found idolatry and religious confusion. The Light of the Gospel is now there to clear the fog.
5 I found a beautiful wilderness. The city is bordered by one of the world’s last great undisturbed expanses. You see few lights as you fly over the region. The Amazon seems timeless.
6 I found a thriving city. Skyscrapers. Traffic. People everywhere. Business and Commerce. The city is climbing.
7 I found true worshippers. There are not many yet, but some are present and numbers will grow as God grants increase.
8 I found a thriving mission point. They are On Plan. They are organized. They are prayerful. They are patient. They are energetically busy. Progress is evident. We are all waiting and anxious for our first new Brazilian spiritual brothers and sisters. I believe we will celebrate that soon.
9 I found the Spirit of God. He is in the eyes of the children. He walks across the stunning landscape. He moves among the people and seeks the hearts of men there as He does here.
10 I found missionary hearts. Words like devotion, commitment, sacrifice, hope, and resolve take on new meaning. The Fowlers and Kings are serving for a season. They rely on us. God is real and personal to them. This mission is in His Hands.
As a member of your missions committee and as congregational liaison for the Fowlers, I thank you for sending me to Belem. Mount Juliet is full of sincere supporters of this work. On behalf of the Brazil Team, I thank you for your steadfast, and in many cases sacrificial, support.
Our prayer group continues to meet weekly just prior to Sunday evening services. If you’d like to learn more about the Brazil Team and its needs, please let Sharon or me know or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.