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Heading North

Jerry Neuman on April 21, 2017 Comments (0)

A Persecuted Church and a Free Church? No!

As we reported in our last prayer letter, we were planning to attend a conference we thought was on the Persecuted Church. We learned much from a missionary couple who have traveled to over 180 different countries, interviewing those who face persecution on a regular basis, asking: "How do you manage? Is Jesus worth it?"  We learned a number of principles and some surprising ideas. One of them is that there is not a Persecuted Church and a Free Church, but THE CHURCH, the body of Christ. Throughout the New Testament and in the world in general, the CHURCH is persecuted! When one brother or sister suffers persecution for the name of the LORD, we all suffer with him or her. House-church Christians in China are so isolated they asked if the gospel of Jesus Christ had arrived in countries beyond China! They were thilled to hear the answer. When told of persecution in other parts of the world, they increased their prayers for them. We would recommend the reading of the books The Insanity of God, The Insanity of Obedience, and watching the film The Insanity of God (which we purchased and would be glad to share you if we are in your area).  Be prepared to be challenged!

Touching Bases with Mission Leaders

As we headed north last week, we made two brief stops on the way to meet for the first time important mission leaders. The first was in Madera, CA to meet with Jason, the newly appointed ABWE Regional Director for West Africa, who therefore is over the ministry of our MMM missionaries in the Gambia. We had a great time getting to know Jason and his vision for ABWE ministries in West Africa. We came away impressed with this man that the Lord has raised up to lead this ministry. A few hours later and up the road a bit, we met with missionaries who have been involved in Brazil for nearly 50 years and, even after retirement, continue with a ministry of mentoring and guiding Brazilian missionaries sent out by another Brazilian organization. The ministries of these Brazilian missionaries center around mentoring and training church leaders in countries where established evangelical churches already exist. This is, of course, distinct from that of MMM, as we seek to evangelize and plant churches around the world as the Lord leads us.

Heading North and Back Down

We have had a great time with family and supporters these last two weeks in Northern California. Celebrating my mom's 85th birthday, on March 4th, with all my siblings, family and friends was very special. The next day we spoke in both Sunday School hour and the morning service at Crossraods Baptist Church in Bella Vista. Soon afterward, we were in Weaverville where we were hosted by Irl and Bev Everest and had a great time of fellowship with these dear friends who provided an wonderful lunch meeting so we could update the very active missions committee of the First Baptist Church. Last weekend, the 12th, it was over to Fortuna to update the Campton Heights Baptist Church and meet their new pastor Mason Lockwood. On Tueday and Thursday of this past week Lynda had opportunity to share with Women's Missionary Fellowships of the Grace Baptist Church in Redding and First Baptist of Cottonwood. We have stayed this past week with long time friends Steve and Karen Yates of Cottonwood who have blessed us richly with their warm and generous hospitality, for which we are immensely grateful.

This Sunday, March 19, we will be sharing at Forest Ranch Baptist and meeting their new pastor Norman Walker. Tuesday, it will be off to Grants Pass, Oregon to meet with a supporter and some friends before we head down the road to Springfield, Oregon where we will present our ministry for the first time at the Thurston Community Baptist Church before landing in Stayton, Oregon. There we will be meeting with church leaders of the Foothills Church, as well as several friends of our support team. Then on the 26th of March we will be in services of our sending church, Sovereign Grace Baptist in Enumclaw, WA. After visiting supporters on the west side of the mountains, we will head over the mountains to the east side to touch base with friends and supporters there.

The last two days of the month will see us traveling down to Sisters, Oregon to visit with Ed and Cheryl Deardorff, Lynda's brother and sister-in-law. Since they were snow-bound and could not make it down to Southern California before Dad Deardorff passed away nor for the memorial service, our time with them will be special.

We will quickly get back to Northern California for the annual meetings of the California Association of Regular Baptist Churches at the First Baptist Community Church of Los Gatos where I was baptized 56 years ago! Then we are off to the Monterey area to meet with MMM missionaries Regis  and Jennifer Cordeiro. He and I will attend a church Men's Retreat while Lynda and Jennifer, Luke, and Grace fellowship at home.  If other opportunities open up, we will try to take advantage of them along the way.

We covet your prayers for us and for those we fellowship with, updating them on what the Lord is doing through MMM and what He is teaching us. Pray that we won't have any car problems and for safety on the road.

Reinforcing our Support Team

Through the 33 years we have been in Brazil, God has graciously raised up team members faithful to lift us before Him in prayer as well as contribute generously to our support, allowing us to live and minister in Brazil. and then come home and travel around to share what God is doing there. We are grateful for each supporting church, family, couple and individual that has faithfully participated in our ministry in this way. As the years have passed, several factors have changed in our support team. Whereas we have had as many as 22 supporting churches we now only have 17. Besides that, we and the inidividuals on our support team have all aged. A little over a year ago, a faithful supporter in prayer and resources from the very beginning,  passed into Heaven at 94. Of our 23 individual units of financial support 14 are in their 60's; 2 in their 70's and 4 in their 80's. We would love to see some younger folks stepping up to fill the gaps, to reinforce the bastions, so that we might finish the work God has given us.

Besides the effects of aging to both our prayer team and support base, there have been crises in the families of supporters who have contributed faithfully, generously, and even sacrificially through these years.  We hurt with them and certainly understand why they are not able to continue.

Besides our prayer and support needs, our role and involvement with MMM presents the need for us to travel  -- to encourage the missionaries under our care, to survey new fields.  Our hearts desire is to see the resources provided that would enable us to fulfill this responsibility.

How will the Lord meet these needs? Who will He raise up as reinforcements? Who will take the commitment to pray faithfully for us? Will current supporters take up the challenge of giving more? One couple has indicated they will increase their support from $100 a quarter to $200 a quarter. Another individual has said they will double their support also from $50 a month to $100 a month. Will supporting churches be able to increase their support or will other churches join our ministry team? Pray with us in this as we travel around and present how the Lord has blessed our ministries.

Click here then go to the Trip North 2017 photo album if you want to see photos about this prayer letter.

To Brazil and Beyond,             

Jerry, Lynda and Lydia Neuman  

909-734-2782 (Jerry)    909-734-3714 (Lynda)      brazilprof@hotmail.com

 


 

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