April 2020 Jason Dueck Update
I hope that this update finds you well; healthy in body and soul! In the last six months Lane and I have gotten back into the rhythm here at the base in Fortaleza. We are continuing our role as pastoral leaders, and walking alongside the missionaries here (27 in total). In November of 2019 we received some very exciting news...we are expecting! We are very much looking forward to July when our little boy will be born.
[It's a boy!!!!!]
Aside from our role as pastoral leaders here at the base, we have been involved in the work going on in the favela. We continue with kids programs, discipleship and evangelism, and more recently we have started a ‘Stop for One’ initiative here in Fortaleza. The ‘Stop for the One’ program is a sponsorship program that aims to provide education and basic needs for children and families. The program that we are starting here is very similar but looks a bit different than the one developed in Africa. We are focusing primarily on education including after-school tutoring and providing funds for children to go to better quality schools than the ones currently available to them. We also will be helping needy families in the community with food hampers.
[Out in the community.]
We were also very pleased to hold our first Bible Seminary here in Fortaleza. One of the things that burns in my heart is to see believers walking not only in the power of the Holy Spirit, but also with an understanding of the word. The ‘Inductive Bible Study’ seminary that we held here aims to teach valuable principles of interpreting the Bible and awakening a love for God’s word. The first seminary was small, but we hope to do more of these in the future.
[Our first Bible Seminary group!]
In February we also had the chance to participate in an event called ‘The Send’ in São Paulo. It was amazing to see stadiums packed with believers worshipping God with all their might. The Send has the goal of mobilizing believers to go to the harvest. Brazil is truly facing a historic moment; the Holy Spirit is raising up thousands of labourers to go and be light in the darkness. What is wonderful to see is that these ‘labourers’ are not simply labourers, but lovers who are passionate for Jesus. During our time in São Paulo we also had a few days to connect with all of the Iris missionaries in Brazil. We had an Iris family gathering that was both refreshing and encouraging!
One of our main focal points here at Iris Fortaleza is training and raising up missionaries. We believe that God is currently raising up a wave of missionaries here from Brazil that will be sent to the nations. We run mission’s camps throughout the year for people who are interested in missions and feel that they may have a full-time call as missionaries. Our last camp happened at the end of February, and it was wonderful to see participants of the camp touched by the Holy Spirit and see a passion awakened inside of them.
As I mentioned, we run a Harvest School of Missions every year that starts in March and goes for about three months. This year (since we have all been hit with the coronavirus pandemic) we have decided to cancel the school, as international flights have already been cancelled and domestic flights will probably be canceled soon. We are praying for God’s peace to reign here in Brazil and in the nations during this chaotic time. May we as the church be agents of peace and hope in a world desperately searching for answers.