Saturday, July 30, 2005

Visiting With Friends and Family

Chatting with Family
Originally uploaded by Brazil Bean Brewed.

We have been able to visit with our friends and family through the internet as you can see us chatting with family. Along with that though we were pleased to receive Pam Stonehouse here in Salvador for the past 10 days. Our first Canadian visitor here in Brasil. She has been working in Itu, a suburb of Sao Paulo, about 30 hours to the south. She works with Antenor Gonsalvez who is supported by the same church as Randy and Jenn on our team, the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene. She was able to fly here as the church in Saskatoon that oversees the both of us, helped her to be able to come and visit. It was really good having another Canadian perspective here, and I could tell that it was really good for Alicia to have Pam around to encourage her. I have known Pam and her family, for many years as her younger sister Michelle was in the youth group in Saskatoon when I worked there before I went to grad school in Abilene. Alicia and Pam were also good friends when they were in Bible College at Western Christian College. It is also neat to meet up with people like this on the mission field and ask ourselves if we ever could have imagined in Bible College if God would have directed our lives so that we would meet up some day thousands of miles from home, preaching the Gospel to the lost on a foreign field. The answer is obviously no, which is another way to see how God has worked in our lives in ways that we can never imagine.
I have noticed that when people come to the mission field they almost all find their unique niche in ministry. It was interesting to see that Pam had latched on to ministry to the blind and had become very informed of the resources that were available in Brazil in the Christian community to minister and share God’s word to the blind.
The trip also had a sad tone to it as Pam is on the opposite end of her time in Brazil. She has to say good-bye in 10 days. Having had to do that once before when I left Ecuador I know how incredible hard it will be for her and the mixed emotions she will feel as she leaves her adopted family in Christ, that she has grown to love in Itu, and return to the more familiar family of where she grew up in Canada. It is hard for those who have not lived extended periods of time on the mission field to understand how this could be anything but a joyous reunion and return to your home land, but the bonds that are built in Christ in a new mission work are so powerful that it tugs the soul. So this blog is dedicated to Pam and the difficult road of readjustment, commonly referred to as reverse culture shock. God will be with you in your many mixed feelings of thankfulness to be back with family and the desire to share with someone the life changing experiences that only God knows you have gone through the last 2 years. If you know Pam drop her a note as she will be grateful. May we all press on as God’s pilgrim’s on this earth, wherever we may be stationed to bring God glory and to love those with whom he has brought us into relationship with.

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