April 2021 Jason Dueck Update
Even amid difficulty, there is always much to be thankful for. We see God at work here in Fortaleza despite the pandemic and the hardships associated with it. Many people in Fortaleza have been adversely affected financially by all of the lockdowns over the last number of months. The majority of people here do not have a financial reserve to depend on, which means that there is an on-going need for food distribution. The intensified needs of those living in the favelas have opened up new doors of ministry for us. Communities (favelas) are often controlled by gangs and are hubs for drug trafficking and violence. We are moving into new communities through the open door of food distribution, and have begun doing outreaches. At Christmas we held banquets in both the new and the already existing communities we are working in. While we need to be careful and act with wisdom, we are grateful that (so far) we have been well received in these new areas of ministry and are praying that the seeds of the gospel will bear fruit.
[One of the community Christmas banquets.]
The Lord has reminded Lane and me about the importance of using every opportunity to share the gospel. We want to share with at least one person every day. As we have been taking these opportunities, we have seen God touch people with his power. Recently we saw a man give his life to the Lord. I have also started doing Bible studies with some of the drug dealers in one of the communities, and I believe that some of them are close to giving their lives to Christ. Another initiative that is new this year is a discipleship group
While we are not able to continue with all of our programs the way we normally would, we feel it is essential that we continue to go out, preach the gospel, and minister the love of Jesus to those in need.
We are currently running a Harvest Mission School at Iris Fortaleza. The number of students is reduced this year because of travel restrictions, but the students that were able to make it are hungry for more of the Lord. I enjoying teaching a couple of classes each week at the school.
On a personal note, Judah has grown so much since our last update! He is so full of life and loves to babble and interact with anyone who stops to talk with him. He is full of energy and brings so much joy to our lives! Lane and I are truly blessed.
Thanks again to all of those who support us in prayer and financially; you are such a blessing in our lives! Please continue to pray for us in regards to our next steps. We would like to take a short trip to Asia in June and July. This is a scouting trip as we pray and think about the future. Lane and I have a desire to bring the gospel to the lost in Southeast and Central Asia. We sense that God will lead us there in the future. Also pray for us as this will be our last year in Fortaleza. We are excited about what God has in store!