Not sure exactly how many miles we have put on the car this month, but it has been quite a bit. We were up in Michigan; then went to Atlanta area, over to Raleigh and Hickory, NC and now we are in Chattanooga until Saturday when we head to Huntsville. We have been overwhelmed by the graciousness of the churches in which we have spoken. God has blessed us through them and we pray we have been a blessing as well. I feel like we are transitioning from having great supporting churches to having partnering churches. What I mean is that the relationship truly has grown with many of these churches. We recognize this difference and it is much more biblical and exciting for us! Sarah was also able to speak to a woman’s group in Chattanooga!
This month (February), Sarah officially starts her master’s degree in counseling. I have mentioned this but not explained much. In the Amazon we worked with Al and Kim Yoder to a certain degree and they were very influential in Sarah’s spiritual growth while we were there. Kim used nouthetic counseling to show Sarah areas in her life that needed spiritual growth. I was really proud and still am of how well Sarah responded and now of how much she is helping others in their discipleship.
One area that she and I both want to be able to help more is in the area of counseling. Where we are at in Brazil there is a belief that any mental issue needs to be addressed by a psychologist or psychoanalyst and pastors are not equipped to handle these cases. In the US, Pastors counsel quite a bit and we believe that we should be able to. We actually do counsel, although we do not always say it is officially counseling, but we do meet with people to help them with their growth and to talk through issues. Yet we do not feel we are totally equipped for this. We have seen from Al and Kim that counseling is growing in churches in Brazil. They hold conferences with 500+ pastors and that is awesome to see! They will be Sarah’s professors for this course.
So this month, although Sarah will not be present for the first module, her class will start taking four modules a year for three years in the city of Fortaleza and then do online work in between these modules. This will mean Sarah getting a ride by bus or car to Recife and taking a quick plane trip and being gone for 4-5 days. Then it will require quite a bit of extra work/reading (it is in Portuguese) and more classes in between the modules on top of her homeschooling, women’s ministry and new discipleship activities. She already was busy! :) Pray that God will provide the right help/scheduling/flexibility as we do this as a family. We are super excited for it and I plan on going through the material with her as well to glean as much as possible (minus doing the modules).
The discipleship I am talking about with Sarah is from a dynamic conference she just attended with Reba Bowman with a plan to multiply strong mature disciples in churches. Sarah looks forward to implementing this when we arrive. Pray for wisdom with that as well (and if you are curious for more info, feel free to write us).
Pray for our monthly support level! We are down more than I thought! We are not nervous though as God has always provided. We do need to raise it before we leave at the end of March.
All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, and my two singers (we do not make them sing in churches but they have sang a couple of times and enjoy it; although they do sing in tongues, we do interpret :) Also, Anna Claire got a kitty cat (a little after Christmas because it had conjunctivitis on Christmas Eve and then we went to Michigan). She really enjoys playing with it though and so do I.