June 2016 Jason Dueck Update
Greetings from Brazil!
It is time for an update! The last few months have been very full and I would like to take some time to share with you what has been going on and what God has been doing. I do apologize that I have not done a better job in keeping all of you updated, but my internet situation has been quite difficult.
During the past three months I have been involved in the missions school here in Fortaleza as well as the interiors (which here in Northeastern Brazil they call the sertão). My main focus here at the school has been teaching theology, organizing outreaches to the interiors for the students, translating, and grading theological assignments that I gave to the students. I have enjoyed seeing the students being touched by the Holy Spirit and getting a heart for the nations, to take the gospel to areas where Jesus is not known. It has been great to see the students grow in a love for the word as well as grow in understanding. I had the privilege of grading 35 essays that the students wrote about various theological topics. I enjoyed seeing them put effort into writing, even though for most of them it was the first time that they had written a theological paper. The lecture phase of the mission’s school has now wrapped up and we are now sending out teams to Cambodia, India/Nepal, the Amazon and Piaui (a state in the interior of Brazil where there is another Iris base). The international teams will spend two months in their locations and the teams in Brazil will spend between 1 to 2 months. We also sent out a team of full-time missionaries who are going to the Middle-East. They are planning on living in the Middle-East long-term and their focus will be bringing the gospel to the unreached.
As mentioned, one area of focus has been in the sertão. God has been doing so much in the town of Salgado and we are currently discipling a number of people who have given their lives to Christ. We also recently opened up a new church. We were able to rent a small church building and we had the inauguration service this last Sunday. We had the privilege of baptizing 6 people and God’s presence was so strong during the service! Nearly all of our missionaries who work here in Fortaleza went out to Salgado for the service (there is a video of the baptisms on my Facebook page). We have one married missionary couple who are currently living in Salgado. I am still traveling back and forth between Salgado and Fortaleza because of responsibilities that I have here in Fortaleza.
One very exciting piece of news that I wanted to pass on to all of you is that I am engaged! I proposed on May 29th to my beautiful (now fiancé) Islânia Fernandes. We still do not have a date for the wedding because we are still trying to find a location for the wedding, but we are planning towards a wedding for this Fall. For the next three or four months I will be helping plan the wedding as well as making trips to the interior. Lane and I are planning on moving to the interior when we get married. We are both excited and a bit nervous as this will be a big step for us as a newly married couple. The house that we are moving into needs a lot of work (there is no plumbing and the electricity needs to be redone and the roof needs to be fixed). The interior region where we are planning to move (Salgado) is also quite isolated. I am also planning on pastoring this new church that we planted for the first year or two, after that we are hoping that we can train up a local pastor to take over. Pray for me as I feel a bit over my head in a number of ways. The interior ministry is growing and I need wisdom to be able to lead well. Pray that I would also sense the nearness and power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to try and minister on my own strength. I need his power! Pray also that God would pour out signs and wonders over the region of Salgado that the name of Jesus might be exalted. We were hoping to visit Canada in June but Lane’s visa was denied and so it looks as though a trip to Canada will need to be a little further on in the future.
[Our 'new' house.]
I also wanted to say thanks to all of you for the prayers and for all the support that I have received over the past number of months. I am so blessed to have Christian brothers and sisters who are praying for me!