Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"Missionary By Accident"

Happy Mid-to-the-End-of-Summer Everyone!

I hope that doesn't make you sad, but just remember that that means Fall is coming, and Fall is easily the best season :)!
So, this month, I am doing something a little different with the blog. I realized that, of course, none of you have gotten the chance to meet Ronã (Ronan), and that everything you hear is always from my side of the story. So, I wanted to give you an opportunity to at least meet him virtually! I asked him to write the blog for this month, and talk a little about his experience being a new missionary.

"Missionary by Accident"
That's what I usually tell Allison about how my life changed after I married her. On August 23th, we will complete four months of marriage, and this missionary life has already brought us many great and unexpected experiences.
My Version of the Story
I know well that you are already aware of much of my life. You know where I live, where I work, the church I attend, what I do there, how I met Allison, when we got married and other details, but I would like to talk about a few things you don’t know about me.
Since my childhood, I have been a “church kid”. I always liked the message of the gospel, and I loved to sing and hear about Jesus. But I always had difficulty connecting with the most fundamental Christian principle: Love. Even though I attended church regularly, I always had a bad habit of judging and condemning people. I judged them for their clothes, what they ate, their tattoos, the denominations they attended and many other things. It was automatic for me. In addition, I also had a wrong view of the person of God. Just as I judged people, I also believed that God judged me the same way. My relationship with him was based on fear. That was the thing I prayed about to God. I wanted to be used by Him, but I understood that I didn’t have what was essential. I needed to be close to Him and feel compassion for people.
Since I met Allison and we have been together, that area of ​​my life has been touched. Behind the tattoos, there is a person who is very sincere and dependent on God. Several times, I have seen Allison helping needy and dependent people and praying for them. When she is preaching with words and actions, she is also preaching to me. Last semester, we had the opportunity to work together in a city that I did not know, with people who I had never seen before. There we helped the church, caring for and teaching very needy children, helping with worship, and meeting with very poor people and praying for them. Things that I never imagined I would do. On our trip from Portel to Altamira, we prayed for a group of women who accepted Jesus. This was the first time I saw that happen, and it was very good.
I joke with Allison that I became a missionary by accident because I married her, but the truth is that I do not believe our meeting was an accident. I believe that God was answering both of our prayers. He is using us.
My Frustration
When I considered marrying Allison, this was my plan: my wife will focus on missionary service, and I will help in everything that she needs, but my priority is to get a job wherever we go to help in our finances.
I thought this was the perfect plan, but I was wrong. It did not work and will not work. The missionary life requires constant change and availability. Last semester, we were in Portel, and today we are in Altamira. In just two months, we will need to travel to Belem, and we do not know where we'll be going in 2017. The truth is that I could not get a good job, much less make money, because a good job requires a commitment of long period of time. Something I don’t have.
I do not know how it is in the U.S., but in Brazil, it is the duty of man to be the provider. This philosophy is well steeped in our culture, and we agree with it. So you can imagine how I feel. That's right, I feel frustrated.
I talked about it with my friend, Steve Dolan, the leader of the Xingu Mission in Brazil. He explained to me that I should not feel that I am not contributing with the finances because when we are receiving your donations, this money is not only for Allison, but you are donating to both of us. It's our money. But Steve also added something I did not expect. He told me that as a missionary, my focus should be in the ministry and providing services for free. He explained that that was the purpose of your donations, allowing us to do this work. And lastly, he explained that if I needed to increase our finances, my option would be to work on raising more support. That was a shock to me. Until now, I still have not assimilated to the idea that I will be totally dependent on donations, but I am beginning to understand that this is the path of God for us.
I am very grateful for the trust you have given us until now, and I would ask you to pray for our finances. Now I'm going to go out of my comfort zone and ask if you would consider supporting us financially?
Please also pray for ...
The mother of my friend Christopher Meyer, who is being treated for cancer;
That God may help us to have children;
Insight from God for our ministry in the coming year;
My development as I study the piano.

Thank you so much for listening,
Sincerely Ronã Moura
If you would like to make a donation, below are the options
Xingu Mission
PO Box 340785
Columbus, OH 43234
-Make your check out to Xingu Mission, with Ronã and Allison* in the memo. Thanks!
-All donations are tax-deductible.
 *If you don't add our names to the memo, the funds will NOT be allocated to us.