September 2020 Jason Dueck Update
God is a good Father. I have been reminded of this truth numerous times over the past months. We have seen his provision and kindness in our lives and the lives of those around us. I have, especially, had a new appreciation of God as Father these past weeks. On July 20th, our son, Judah Fernandes Dueck was born! We are so thankful that he was born healthy and strong amid everything that is going on. For those of you who are parents, you know the sense of wonder the first time you hold your child in your arms. You also know the feeling of responsibility. The last few weeks have revolved around feedings, diaper changes, sleeping (or trying to), and cuddling. We are so blessed and very happy.
[Lane, Judah, Jason.]
Aside from Judah, much has happened over the past six months, even amid the COVID pandemic. As I mentioned in my last update, we had to cancel our mission school due to COVID. However, we were still able to do two online schools, and we were very encouraged by the result. More than 400 students participated in our two three week schools, and we heard so many testimonies of God touching the lives of the students. We heard testimonies of students receiving their callings to the mission field, people being set free from depression, and many more. Many of the students who did these online schools want to do our next mission school in 2021 (if everything returns to 'normal').
Brazil has been hit very hard by COVID-19, and since April, it has been mandatory for everyone out in public to wear a mask. In the early months of the pandemic, there was a real shortage of masks, and many people in poor communities did not have or were not able to buy them. Iris Brazil started an initiative to make and distribute masks, and the project was a success. We handed out hundreds in Fortaleza alone. The other Iris bases in Brazil distributed many masks as well.
Aside from masks, we continued to go to different 'communities' (favelas) throughout the city of Fortaleza to distribute food hampers as well as hygiene products. Even though we were not able to do many of our ministry programs, we were able to continue to visit the communities where we have been present, and even reach new favelas where we hadn't previously been. We saw God's hand at work amid difficulty.
[Masks and hampers.]
[Handing our hampers in the community.]
As mentioned in my last update, we started the 'stop for the one' initiative here in Fortaleza (the 'stop for the one' project originated in Pemba, Mozambique). We have been blessed to see the response of many generous people who have sponsored the children who we have registered in this program. We have been able to distribute food and hygiene products to these children and their families during the pandemic. As things start to return to 'normal' (or the new normal), we will continue the tutoring and educational support that is part of this project.
Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read these updates and to everyone who supports us in prayer and financially. Pray that God would give us wisdom as we transition out of this time of quarantine and that we would be able to implement some of the new ideas that God has given us during this 'mandatory Sabbath.'