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Where the Rubber Really Meets the Road

Where did the rubber meet the road? Well, everywhere and anywhere, all over Michigan, 23,000 miles. We had the opportunity to present the ministry and visit 30 different churches. This also included sleeping in 22 different places, too! We are about to leave our base in Oxford, Michigan. We are so thankful for First Baptist in Oxford for opening up their parsonage for us to set up home these last seven months. We have enjoyed getting to know this small but faithful group during the Wednesday prayer meeting times as we find ourselves traveling each Sunday. We were truly blessed to have this place of our own which was even bigger than what we needed. Each of our children got their own room and a big place for our classroom (this part might not have been the biggest blessing for the kids) and a yard that matches the size of the house. My wife enjoyed the many stores nearby and I enjoyed the many trails for geocaching. As we have traveled all over this “mitten” shaped state, we have seen the colors of Michigan as the vibrant fall colors began to pop, and then soon to the white of winter, and finally even if it took a while we can now see the vibrant green grass. The budding trees with the colorful blossoms even try to entice us to stay just a bit longer. We have crisscrossed this state from north to south (Mackinaw City to Coldwater), from east to west (Muskegon to Midland) and even diagonally (South Haven to Alpena, or Traverse City to Detroit)and then some. We were able to be a part of three different mission’s conferences which are always a highlight. We were able to see three of the five great lakes and visited a handful of lighthouses along the way.

But most of that last paragraph is the visualization of colors, maps, facts, and landmarks like lighthouses. But the heart of the matter, “where the rubber really meets the road” is that each of those 22 sleeping spots including the one in Oxford were prepared to take care of us, many times to spoil us, and give us a place to lay down a weary body after a long trip. Those 23,000 miles include God’s graciousness of not having the van break down one time, nor letting the countless deer come by for a close encounter. And the cool visualization of a zigzag pattern over the mitten to visit the 30 different churches is way so much more than that. Like I quote in my video presentation as I spout off the names of a list of teenagers, “each one has a name, a story,” and how they were a blessing to us. Their desire to rejoice in the ministry in Brazil and dote on our family never ceases to amaze us. Especially since we come by somewhat as strangers (with our visits being five years apart), and yet like family reuniting after a long absence and reminiscing of even earlier visits.

And what else are they? Well, we can also call them landmarks as they are pockets of believers that are lighthouses in their city, and they also allow us to be a lighthouse in Brazil. As for the ministry in Brazil, we have been sharing how the Lord has blessed and planted five “lighthouses” in Sorocaba, and we are looking forward to seeing a “lighthouse” in Ipero soon. And the Lord has been providing in a big way to buy the land for this light. The hefty price tag of $57,000 is not within sight with $42,000 coming in already! Please praise the Lord with us.

Serving Him in Brazil,

Ben, Dani, Sabrina, Melody, and Josiah Jacobs

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