We have been in the U.S. for just over three months. After 11,000 miles, 24 states, camping in 10 different state parks, speaking in 7 churches and sharing at one prayer retreat, our trusty Toyota Sienna has finally found a place to park. We have been absolutely astounded at God’s faithfulness. We have been encouraged as we have met friends who have prayed for us and those who, through the years, have contributed to our ministry in Brazil. We can’t wait to meet you all face to face.
While we will still be on the road throughout this next year we have taken on a new role at Indiana Wesleyan University. We will serve as Missionaries in Residence for this academic year. Looking ahead to the interaction we will have with students, who have an interest in missions, gets us really excited.
One of Grace’s prayers at the beginning of the summer, as we faced months on the road and living out of suitcases, was that God would grant us His peace. The first days in the States were made easy by Tom’s gracious family, who provided a van for us to use, up-to-date clothing, and our first tastes of American food. It was like a dream. But even with all these provisions there were adjustments. Hudson was not so sure he wanted to be in the States at all. As we talked, prayed and released all our fears to the Lord, God has poured out His blessings on us. If you ask Hudson today how he is enjoying the U.S. he will point to his new fishing pole and a box full of lures and smile. He is finding that his love for fishing and naturalist hobby has not been put on hold at all, it has just been steered in a new direction. And as he visits churches around the country he has found kindred spirits, folks who want to hear about Brazil and his life there.
Another evidence of God’s care for us happened when we were on our way to a family wedding. Gwendolyn, our youngest, started to feel achy and feverish. We already had plans to stop in Atlanta at a missionary care center, where The First Baptist Church of Atlanta has a ministry to provide missionaries with gently used clothing and household products, for free of charge. While we browsed for much needed clothing items Gwendolyn sat in silent misery on the couch. We wondered how we would find a comforatble place for her to rest when we had no home. As we were leaving the church the staff invited us to sit down on the couches to have a prayer time for our ministry. One woman prayed so particularly for Gwendolyn that the Lord would heal her. It touched our hearts that she would pray for something that could seem so trivial but to us was so important. We headed on to Alabama to find a place to stay for the night. As we unpacked the car we noticed that Gwendolyn was actually helping! Grace touched her forehead and the fever was gone. She hugged Gwendolyn and said, “Prayers have been answered! Our friend prayed that you would be better by tomorrow.” Gwendolyn resonded, “No, she prayed that God would heal me BEFORE tomorrow.” And He had. How precious to see prayers that are prayed in faith answered.
On September 3rd we arrived in Marion, Indiana. We will be there through the school year. Stay tuned for how God opens doors for His ministry on campus. For the meantime it is nice to unpack our bags and feel like we are home. Our Sienna has indeed landed.