Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings from warm Missouri! We are happy to report that our move from South Dakota to Missouri went well. When we arrived we had a team of men from Aurora Baptist Temple ready to help us unload and setttle into our new temporary home. Over the past couple of months we have been adjusting to new rhythms. The kids have gotten used to getting up earlier to ride a bus to three different schools, all with much larger classroom sizes. Brandon has been adjusting to no longer serving a flock and preparing a sermon every week, while Marci has been adjusting
to balancing new schedules and different responsibilites throughout the week. We have all had our sad moments as we reflect on the loss of our home in South Dakota, because we all loved it there very much. But we are also excited for the way God has taken care of us and is preparing us for our future adventure.
We settled in time to have a wonderful Christmas! Brandon’s mother visited from Little Elm, Texas, during the two-week school break in Aurora. We took a short overnight trip to Branson, Missouri, during the break, where we enjoyed a day at Silver Dollar City and saw their marvelous display of Christmas lights.
Our family has become members of Aurora Baptist Temple. This has been a homecoming for Marci, because it is the sending church of her parents during their 40 years of ministry in Kenya. Daniel, our 13-year-old son, has joined the praise
band and has enjoyed sharing his gift of playing the tenor saxophone. Brandon has been able to preach to the church and teach adult Sunday School some weeks. Marci has helped out in Awana and nursery and spoken to a ladies’ group. We are excited for the opportunities the church gives our family to serve while we are in transition.
Recently, we had the privilege of going to a retreat in Hutchinson, Kansas, where we met several pastors and wives from the NAB Southwestern Association. We were able to present what God is doing in Brazil and how they can be a part of it. We had a great time of fellowship, and
we as a family found much refreshment over the weekend through
conversations and prayers with our fellow NAB family.
While in Hutchinson we took the opportunity to go to their famous salt mine. We were fascinated by the miles of tunnels that had been dug during the past 100 years. Being in the mine reminded us of the verse in Philippians 2:12, where it says, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presense, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” The idea of “working out” in that verse is a mining concept, where all the mine’s treasures are always there from the start, but they must be uncovered through steady, hard work.
Shortly after returning home, Brandon took a solo trip up north to Chicago and Wisconsin, while Marci stayed behind and the kids went to school. He was invited to preach to the First Baptist Church of Watertown, Wisconsin. Established in 1853, it is one of the NAB’s oldest congregations. At that time Wisconsin was still somewhat of an American frontier.
The church’s history has ties to the NAB’s ongoing presence in Cameroon. The church sent one of their families, the Benders, to serve there in the early twentieth century. Most people today have not heard of the Benders, but may have heard of one of their sons-in- law, Carl F. H. Henry.
Henry founded the magazine Christianity Today, serving as its first editor-in-chief. He also helped create the National Association of Evangelicals, the Evangelical Theological Society (of which Brandon has been a member since 2005), and Fuller Theological Seminary.
Henry and his wife retired in Watertown to be near her family, and his body is buried at the local cemetery, which sits across the parking lot from First Baptist Church’s facilities.
Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support. Here is our current schedule over the next few months. We hope to fill the rest of the weeks up, meeting with even more churches, pastors, and individuals. May God continue to bless each of you. We are so blessed to have such an amazing team surrounding us as we prepare for the mission field!
We had a successful move to Missouri, and all of us are adjusting well.
We have reached 50% of our support goal and are on track to leave for Brazil this year.
All three of the kids have had such amazing attitudes, and they are accepting the changes very well.
Our family has a lot of traveling in our future. Pray for safety and that we continue to connect with supporting and potentially supporting churches.
For wisdom for our family and our team as we work out the logistics for our move to Brazil.
The economy in Brazil is still recovering from its worst recession in history. Pray for the country as they navigate through this tough situation.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who has promised is faithful”