Monday, August 1, 2016

From Joelton to João Pessoa and Back Again, by Jeremy Newlin

July 10, 1994, I first set foot on Brazilian soil, (a three week visit to Recife) the same as the McKinneys many years before.  Fast-forward, (does anyone born after the year 2000 even know what that really means?) 22 years and 6 days:  A group of 21 people, varying ages, arrive in João Pessoa for a one-week mission trip.

We planned their week with many activities: visiting, singing in public squares, handing out flyers (no one more excited about this task than Riley Putman, my nephew), door-to-door invitations to a new School of the Bible course (beginning this Saturday, August 13th), spending the night in the home of a non-English speaking family, buying fruit in the open market, buying souvenirs, going to the beach to relax and have fun, meeting with the congregations in J.P. and eating lots and lots of food (even going to a true to life, Brazilian steakhouse).

Several from the group want to visit again.  If we could fast-forward again 20 some odd years into the future, would we see someone from this group, having been bitten by the love for missions, writing a similar article about a similar group on a short visit. We loved having you here. It was great fun, and we were all greatly encouraged by all of you. May God light His flame for missions in the hearts of all those who came, those who contributed and those who prayed for this trip. May we all love loving others, bringing glory to the Creator and Lord.

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