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Encouraging Brazilians in Life and Ministry

Bahia

Even before entering the teaching ministry full-time, the Neumans came alongside men who had recently entered the ministry, giving them counsel and encouragement. Pastors Elmo, Fernando and Moises were Jerry's understudies in the beginning years of ministry in the interior of Bahia.


Natal

As they moved to Natal and gave themselves full-time to teaching, they continued to have opportunity for this type of ministry with some of Jerry's students who were already pastoring congregations.  For the first several years in Natal, Jerry worked with Pastor Jean at the Candelaria Regular Baptist Church teaching the adult Sunday School class and serving as counselor.  During the last two years, Jerry and Lynda worked alongside Pastor Goncalo and Maria José and Pastor Raimundo and Verônica in the ministry at the Parque dos Coqueiros Regular Baptist Church.


Fortaleza

Igreja Bíblica Batista Maranata (IBBM or Maranatha Baptist Bible Church)

Shortly after returning to Brazil in 2005, the Neumans were invited by their good friend, Fred, to visit the Maranatha Baptist Bible Church, a new congregation, started by Pastor Tiago and with a good number of SIBIMA students serving in this work. A number of these were students in one or more of Jerry's classes. Besides the formal relationship as teacher, Jerry and Lynda enjoy the opportunity to encourage young people in ministry serving alongside them.

From late 2005 through June 2009, Jerry, Lynda, and Lydia were involved with this work, Jerry serving on the pastoral team along with Tiago, Junior, and during the last year, with Fred as well. Besides helping Jerry, Lynda sought to encourage the other pastor's wives, and was involved in evangelism and discipleship. Lydia served with the Saturday Project Rescue ministry, the music ministry, teaching English to a small group, as well as discipling several of the young girls.

Due to Maranatha having the involvement of a number of young people desiring to serve in missions, Jerry and Lynda found a variety of opportunities for encouraging these young people in their service for our Lord.


 Fred and Kari -- Fred, our 'adopted' Brazilian son, was involved in Maranatha since its beginning. He led the young people, served on the worship team, as well as the pastoral council in the last year we were there. While teaching in the MK school here in Fortaleza, Kari visited Maranatha with us and met Fred. They were married in Sept. 2008 and continue to minister as a team. 


  Junior and Monica  -- joined the ministry at IBBM in 2007, having just graduated from the Bible School in Cariri and wanting experience to prepare them for ministry in the Cape Verde Islands. Both served alongside us in various areas of ministry at IBBM, which became one of their supporting churches. As they did further studies at SIBIMA in missions, we were privileged to have them as students as well as colleagues in ministry. Their family left for their first term of ministry in Cape Verde July 13, 2009. (See their send-off service in our photo albums) How exciting to see their family come back for their first furlough in June 2011and hear of the impact for the gospel that they are having in the city of Praia. We hope to visit them on the field in the near future, as a part of Jerry's responsibilities with MMM.


 Aézio and Geovanya -- Being a part of the mother church, Geovanya was involved in the Saturday children's ministry when Neumans first came to Maranatha. Several years later after her marriage to Aézio, they became involved as a couple at Maranatha for a year as they awaited God's direction to a full-time pastoral ministry. Geovanya was Jerry's right-hand helper when he filled in as librarian at SIBIMA. He also had the privilege of mentoring Aezio during their engagement period. This young couple accepted a call to serve in home missions in a state south of us, where they are having a great impact in a church-planing ministry.


Igreja Bíblica Batista de Planalto (IBBP or Planalto Baptist Bible Church)

In June of 2009, Jerry, Lynda, and Lydia went back to this church, which had been the mother church for the Maranatha church plant. God has allowed them to continue to minister encouragement in a variety of ways to Brazilian believers in this body.  Jerry helps out by substitute preaching and teaching when needed.  Lynda and Lydia are involved in discipleship ministries, while Lydia is also on the worship team and teaches in the children's department.  Jerry has a ministry of teaching in an English service with the goal of helping our members who already know some English to increase their capabilities in order to be able to witness to the English contacts God gives them.  Lynda and Jerry have also been able to continue encouraging young couples in this body.


Ronaldo and Talita  -- both worked in Maranatha's Saturday morning children's ministry for several years. Ronaldo was involved in drugs and crime at a young age, but won to Christ through the ministry of the folks at Planalto. When he had to go back into prison to serve for a previous crime, God used his situation to spur Planalto into a prison ministry.  After he was released from prison, Ronaldo has used his past to God's advantage by leading this ministry in the local prisons and juvenile detention center of Fortaleza even while studying.  Ronaldo and Talita were married in January of 2008 and have been preparing for cross-cultural ministry in the portuguese-speaking country of East Timor. Ronaldo's enthusiasm and dedication has been evident in the several classes where Jerry has had him as student. he graduated from SIBIMA's  5 year missions course in 2011.  God has worked through the justice system to grant him early completion of his sentence, so they can visit East Timor this july to determine what platform to use for entry.  They are expecting their first child in September and hope to move to East Timor by 2014, as God provides their support.

André and Jeanette --  We knew André from our time at Maranatha, when he sought Jerry's counsel concerning initiating a cross-cultural relationship with Jeanette, daughter of German missionaries to indians in S. Brazil, who was in Fortaleza on a 10 month study extension from her medical course in Germany.  Bonds with Jeanette were easy due to the common missionary background.  We have sought to counsel and encourage them both before their wedding in September 2010 and since they have moved to Germany for Jeanette to finish her medical training. We don't know what God has in store for their future, but are praying for His guidance each step of their way.

Fred and Kari --  Fred and Kari came back over to Planalto at the end of 2009, and we were glad to have more contact with them. They are like our 'kids'and we are privileged to fill in as 'adopted' grandparents to their two young sons, Mishael and Benaia.  Fred graduated with his Bachelor's at the end of 2011 and has started serving in an appreticeship with the Planalto church leading the young people. They hope to get further training in Biblical Counseling to help them better serve where God would lead in the future.