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“Simply” Special

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

"Insignificant somethings in some settings become a Godsend in another context".

We were trying to wrap up our ministry in these last four months as 2021 promised smoother waters than 2020, but coronavirus still seemed to rear its ugly head as a second wave crashed onto the shores of Brazil which caused us to close down again. Fortunately, it was only for a month. And then seemingly on sadistic cue, as if we actually wanted an encore; Covid reappeared on the eve of our departure. We had to cancel our Mother’s Day banquet and our last church services in Brazil due to a covid case in our church who had a lot of close contact with various members including our family.

But one can focus on the frustrations that life offers, or concentrate on Christ that either molds us through them or delivers us from them. The other interesting benefit is that the simple unnoticed shines because of the backdrop. Hot chocolate after being out in the cold. Sleeping in after a 70 hour work week. Sunshine after the rain. A snickers bar during a diet. Or a hug in the middle of the coronavirus. Insignificant somethings in some settings become a Godsend in another context.

MISSION’S CONFERENCE: We had planned on doing it in 2020. Conferences happen all the time. Two or three a year in our church. But after a long drought and with some discussion, the conference was scheduled and even with an international banquet. But it was also special as we would be introducing Faith Promise for the first time and also one of our own would be preaching in the conference. Thiago and Gisele had just surrendered to the ministry and have felt the Lord calling them to missions. They traveled up from the seminary in Curitiba, six hours away. Thiago’s challenging messages were a testimony to God working in his life. He and Gisele were able to share with the people that they are planning on working with us in the next church plant in a nearby city!

MINI CARNAVAL YOUTH RETREAT: As rules and government regulations seemed to change each and every week surrounding the big holiday of Carnaval in Brazil, the hurdles seemed many. Some churches decided not to participate amongst the confusion and fears which we also understood. Mini youth retreat of 40 rather than the normal 80 was maybe more of a blessing spiritually as the teens had less opportunities in this year. Hurdles are frustrating, and sometimes they trip you up, but finishing the course has its own rewards.

CONSTRUCTION TO FINISH THE CHURCH BUILDING: The best way I can sum it up is that it looked so much easier on paper. 18 different people to accomplish all the different projects especially the front of the church over 9 months had me pulling out my hair in my already bald head. And doing paperwork during the pandemic? Every governmental bureaucratic step is a mini-celebration like opening up a bank account, blueprints printed and signed, exemption tax status granted, etc.

GOODBYES: Remember that our last church service was cancelled? Well, it “just so happened” that the church decided to honor us a week earlier by having a service dedicated to saying thank you to our family. Although it included a lot of tears, it was neat to be reminded of how special it is to invest in people’s lives spiritually. I had wanted to do something special with the teens ever since needing to cancel our annual Christmas outing, missions trip, amongst other things. Every time it seemed to be thwarted by some angle. Once again on the next to the last weekend everything came together and we were able to have a special time together at a national park that finally opened up that week. The teens also did a mini appreciation presentation of thanks as a goodbye.

HELLOS: After two canceled flights, waiting for nail biting negative covid tests, and an 18 hour masked airplane ride, we were able to say hello to the US with pepperoni pizza at grandma’s house. After we get our van plated and insured, prayer cards printed, suitcases packed, and calendar filled, we want to say hello to all of you! We will see you in Maine in the summer, or in Michigan in the winter. We also look forward to saying hello to a new city called Ipero where we plan on starting the next church.

Serving Him in Brazil,

Ben, Dani, Sabrina, Melody, and Josiah Jacobs

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