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Quarantine Reverberations

Lynda Neuman on April 27, 2020

We trust this finds you "casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you." (1Pet.5:7) and resting in God's loving care despite all that swirls around us in the world today. Plagues, conflicts, economic instability, political unrest, yet we have the certainty that "Our God is in the heavens and He does what He pleases" (Ps.115:3), with and through the world's kingdoms in order to accomplish His eternal purposes for "The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord." What great peace this gives to us His children! Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the way that our Lord moved among His people to provide our support and special funds to get us back to Brazil. We marveled at the way He was supplying our needs through so many and prayed about how He would want us to use the resources He put into our hands. Now we can see at least a part of His purpose -- with the lockdown due to the coronavirus many of our Brazilian brethren are hurting -- either have lost jobs, or having no income at the time because they can't go out to work. Our churches, the Bible school and our students are seeing resources dwindle as well. Because of your generosity we've been able to help in several situations for which we wouldn't have had the resources were our economic picture as it was in the past. Thank you for being a part of our ministry in that way! We would appreciate prayers for the country of Brazil. This week, things happened in the Brazilian government that have caused a good deal of instability. The coronavirus had already unsettled the health and economic scene. Now with this instability, the dollar has soared in value compared to the Brazilian Real. This really makes it difficult for the Brazilian foreign missionaries, who must have their funds changed into dollars first and then the currency of their place of service. Economic instability also affects the churches as believers lose jobs or can't keep up their former amount of giving to the church. We believe God is in control and trust in Him so we are praying that He will enable the Maranatha Mission and evangelical churches to continue to minister His Word. Despite these things I want to relate to you how my ministry at SIBIMA has developed. During our furlough we spoke about several promising students at SIBIMA. Since coming back we have seen our relationship with these particular men advance. Mattheus Almeida has become even closer to me. We pray for his desire to return to northern Italy as a career missionary. We believe that the pandemic disaster of northern Italy is preparing the ground for the Gospel seed he will plant in a few years. Bruno Alves has become my teaching aid in my Hebrew class. His linguistic abilities and his knowledge of modern Hebrew gives us a dimension in the classroom that is encouraging. The shift to online classes diminished much his participation in class especially since he had no computer at home. (Several of my students have only a cell phone to watch our live sessions and do homework and tests.) Finally, last week we worked it out to meet very quickly as we transferred to him Lynda's old laptop and a nearly tossed printer. We are transitioning in my Hebrew class as we now have the background to begin examing the Hebrew of the book of Jonah. This will be our emphasis during the second half of this semester period. With the creative adaptations that have needed to be made in order to continue ministry in these times of lockdown, it is thrilling to hear stories of how God is blessing His people and sending His Word far and wide. Many who would not normally darken a church door are hearing evangelical messages, worship services, Bible lessons -- and do not need to worry as much about reprisal if their culture is antagonistic to the gospel. Missionaries who had to return to the US are still able to minister to their contacts in their ministry culture. We were recently blessed being able to participate through Zoom in the SS class of a supporting church on Resurrection Sunday. Twelve missionary families from around the globe shared how God is caring for them and using them in their places of ministry even during lockdown. Lynda recently enjoyed a couple of virtual coffee dates with friends in the US that encouraged her heart. We would love to encourage more of you to contact us in this way. Just let us know of your interest through one of the contacts below and we can work out a convenient time to visit with you or your group. Thank you for participating through prayer in our ministry. May these reports encourage you in this ministry. Extending your ministry to Brazil and Beyond, Jerry and Lynda Neuman We'd love to hear from you!