…in rushing rising riv’lets. For the first week of May the rain didn’t stop. We had to cancel our plans for the Mother’s Day Tea! Our airport has been shut down until at least SEPTEMBER! Our city of Caxias do Sul is at the top of the mountains. All of the water that complicated things up here all drained down the mountains and made a bigger mess down below. Our capital city, Porto Alegre, is underwater. The airport is flooded, supplies are limited, and the media is trying to play it down around the world. Media says that only 100 are dead, but locals claim that warehouses have been FILLED with the deceased that no one knows what to do with. The flood itself is horrible, but the aftermath is perhaps more dangerous. Insects, rodents, water pollution, landslides, and other issues have occurred. OUR CITY HAD ITS FIRST EARTHQUAKE! We don’t get earthquakes. Our buildings are not designed with earthquakes in mind! Fortunately, very little damage came about from it. After the first week of May, all at once, the rain stopped. Fall neutralized itself into a normal cycle. We have a day of rain, fog, cold weather, like fall is supposed to be. Things have normalized a bit more. Please be praying for our state, our city, and other missionaries we know who are serving in crisis down in Porto Alegre. This is an opportunity for revival, and for people to turn their lives to God as they search for answers in crisis.

April looked uneventful but turned out to be a nice break from the chaos we have been facing. We finally took our vacation! We travelled to the beach for a couple of days and lounged on the beach in perfect weather. It rained the day before we left, and started raining the day we returned home. We were so grateful for sunny, 85-degree weather and nearly empty beaches. We returned much better rested and focused. We got several projects done and worked on a few church renovations. Our church now has walls to separate classrooms! We also took our youth group out to a trampoline park for a couple of hours. They absolutely loved the event. And then last Sunday, it started storming…and it still hasn’t stopped. Five days of storms has caused some damage. Dams are breaking; embankments are collapsing; schools are closing. It is a mess! We are safe, and fortunately still have electricity and water. This forecast is set to continue until Monday. Please be praying that we and our members continue to stay safe. For right now, everyone we know of is doing well, but we really need these storms to stop.

March was a little bit…rough. I was knocked onto a concrete tube by one of our horses and was badly bruised. A few days later, I got a kidney stone. I now know what the ten scale of pain feels like, so everything else should be easier, right? That remains to be seen. We are honestly doing just fine now. Those medical incidents are behind me, and we look forward to what’s ahead. Our Easter was blessed, and our choir again pulled off a fantastic special. We are very proud of the hard work they put into the song. We also baptized five people this month! God continues to bless and grow the ministry here.

Summer here has not usually been this warm. Average summer temperatures are generally under 30 degrees C (~85 degrees F), but this summer has been a surprising average of 35 degrees or more (~95 degrees F plus)! To our friends and churches in Texas, that really isn’t THAT much, but it can be quite a lot when most of our people here don’t have Air Conditioning. Despite the heat, we had an extremely successful Teen Camp! Eighteen teens were in attendance for our Summer Camp. We got to use our house for chapel, which was such a blessing because we had these kinds of events in mind during our renovations. It was wonderful to see some of the fruits of our labor. I had the opportunity to give one of the lessons, and we had a blast together! It has been great to shift our focus even stronger to the ministry. I have started taking official Portuguese Classes. I tried the self-taught route with my lovely wife, but I came to a language plateau where I needed a little bit more help to push through to the next level of language proficiency. Please keep praying for my Portuguese fluency.

It has been a long time since we have felt this stretched: emotionally, physically, and mentally. The Good News! As of January 26th, we have been on the mission field for one year! It is such an achievement for us, and a joy to be in Brazil. At the same time, this city is a spiritual challenge. There’s a reason most missionaries do not make it here. Satan has a foothold in Caxias do Sul, and he doesn’t like missionaries. We have been sleep deprived, heartbroken, been at funeral homes and the hospital, all while still working hard in our church, home, and property. There have been many successes! The cost on our wellbeing has felt…overwhelming.

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Contact Us:

+1 (206) 849-3874

BRT (UTC/GMT -3 hours) Time Zone

jbennett@the2819mission.org 

 

Sending Church:

Worth Baptist Church
Pastor Tyler Gillit

4900 Campus Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76119

+1 (817) 534-0787
worthbc.org

 

Mission Agency:

Independent Baptist Fellowship International (IBFI)

PO Box 151259
Fort Worth, TX 76108

+1 (817) 367-3422

ibfi.us