April 2017 Jason Dueck Update
Much has happened since the last time most of you heard from me. We have been blessed to see God responding to our prayers these last months. One of these prayers is for the Lord to raise up young people who love him and are willing to follow him. In January we held a missions camp at our base here in the interior. There were several local youth who participated, as well as some young people from Fortaleza. The missions camps that we run are intensive 3 to 5 day camps designed to teach about missions and to see God release or confirm callings in the lives of young people. God healed many hearts, baptized youth with his Holy Spirit, young people went out to do evangelism for the first time, and some people felt the call of God to missions for the first time. We are continuing to disciple the young people who participated in the camp.
[The group at the missions camp.]
As I mentioned in the last letter, the state of Ceará is in the middle of the worst drought it has seen in 100 years. It has, however, has started to rain! God has literally opened up the heavens in response to many prayers and the region has turned from grey to green almost overnight. Most of the inhabitants in the region depend on agriculture to make a living and were passing through a very difficult time. Now, everyone is planting, the water reservoirs are overflowing and the people are very happy!
[The water reservoir in front of our house.]
We are very thankful for the blessing of rain but it also brings with it many challenges. Our church members are finding it difficult to come to the services (especially the older people) and there are frequent power outages. The bad roads make it difficult to even walk from one place to another. Pray that we would be able to connect with our friends here, even amidst the difficulties.
Every year from March to May, Iris Fortaleza does a missions school with a focus to raise up and train new missionaries. This year at the school there are 12 nations represented. Lane and I were invited by our leadership to serve at the school during the month of March. We have a pastoral role and I am also doing a fair bit of teaching and preaching. We have really been enjoying our time here at the school in Fortaleza. The students are so hungry for more of God and it is a privilege to be here together with them. We are planning on going back to the interior on April 8th. On April 11th, we will be hosting an outreach team from the school who will minister with us until the 21st.