Wednesday, June 1, 2016

New Places

Hello to my Wonderful Friends, Supporters, and Family!

Boy, do I have a lot of news for you these days. Life in Brazil can faithfully be compared to what it might be like to live on a rollercoaster. There is always something new around the corner, filled with both excitement and terror! I told God I wanted my life to be an adventure, and He did not disappointment!

I will start by telling you what an amazing time we had recently on our trip to Brasília, which is the capital of Brazil. Brasília is a planned city, and is certainly the most organized place I have ever visited. It is a shocking contrast to the rest of Brazil, especially in relationship to the northern region, which is where I live.We were very privileged to stay with a lovely couple and their daughters for the first few days of the trip. They were gracious enough to show us around the city to do some sightseeing. They also invited me to teach at the women's group they have at their house every week, which was a lot of fun. We had a wonderful time with Túlio and Diana (the couple), and we know that we will remain great friends with them into the future. 

Sightseeing in Brasília
Sharing at the Women's Group

As you know, one of the reasons we went there was to attempt to get a USA visa for Ronã so we could visit the States. Unfortunately, Ronã was turned down for the visa. We are only able to try again in another 6 months. The difficultly is in proving that we will not try to live in the States illegally. We have to prove that we have significant ties to Brazil such as jobs or property. We are still in the process of trying to get a visa for Canada. Please, pray for us about this situation. The idea of not being able to go home and introduce you all to my new husband really makes me sad. Please, pray that God will make a way for us. 
The other half of our trip was spent at the National InterVinha Conference. This was an amazing time with many people from Vineyard churches all over Brazil coming together. John and Eleanor Mumford (United Kingdom) , Phil and Jan Strout (USA), and David Ruis (Canada) all joined us to celebrate Brazil becoming an official association of Vineyard churches. Milton and Erika Lucas were ordained as the national leaders. It felt like a historical moment for the Vineyard in Brazil as it brought together both the northern and southern churches under one head. I personally look forward to watching churches being planted all over Brazil in the years to come, and the Kingdom of Heaven continuing to expand!

Milton Lucas teaching at InterVinha
As I said before, we are living on a rollercoaster, and soon, our lives will be taking another big turn. Ronã and I, along with our leaders, have decided to leave Portel. In July, after all the CDR classes have finished up, we will be moving back to Altamira. As you can imagine, this was a difficult decision for us. We are leaving behind the work we have started. The English school will not continue. We will be saying goodbye to the relationships we have built in the church and in the community of Portelinha. However in the end, we have concluded that Portel is not the right fit for us. I personally have been here for almost 2 years now and have put all of my strength into making it work. We believe God is simply leading us in another direction. 
What we hope to do in the future is stay in Altamira for around a year or so. After that, we would like to head out again in order to find another mission base in which to become apart of. We have no idea where that might be at the moment, but we will be spending the next year praying about it, as well as visiting the other bases. While we are in Altamira, we hope to focus on a few things. Ronã will be spending most of his time working at CDR and helping with the worship team. I will also be helping with CDR, but I also plan to focus on helping my colleges, Art and Cyndi Rae, with leading both Living Waters and Celebrate Recovery groups. Because of my background, I have a special heart for those who struggle with addictions and emotional trauma. I am really excited about getting involved with these groups. Ronã is also very excited about helping CDR again and being involved with the worship team. We believe being in Altamira will also be a good time for us to transition into our first year our marriage without the added pressure of church planting.  
Letting go of the school has been the most difficult part about this. It was a challenge to feel like we were letting down our students. As you know, the journey of the school has been a rollercoaster in itself, but there have been some really great moments along the way. It has been an honor to watch our students grow and learn. It has been an honor to know that we were giving them an opportunity that they wouldn't otherwise have. It was sad to tell them the news of our leaving. We gave each of them a certificate showing that they had completed at least a portion of the course. Though it is not everything, the certificate should help them as they try to get jobs in the future. 

Our class receiving their certificates.

Thank you all again for your generosity and concern for us here in Brazil. I know that all of you are on this journey with us. Please, keep us in your prayers as we go on this long and winding road. God is always leading us, even when we don't know where. We trust in his infinite wisdom in our lives. Things often don't make sense, but his redemption can make sense of them. He can take the pieces and make a work of art. He is our redeemer and hope in all things. I pray that you know His loving-kindness for you even in the midst of confusion and deep mystery. God bless you! 
I will make a link for all our pictures below. Also, I love all your comments or questions, so please feel free to post. Thanks!

Love, Allison and Ronã

Brasília Pictures