March - June 2002
I'm writing this during my Home Leave, so this will be a British Bulletin in some respects. However, as I'm in regular touch with WEC Brazil and our Missionary Training College in Montes Claros, I'll aim to make it a Brazilian Bulletin as well.
General Update: October/November
Administration: Along with the normal routine, I was pleased to get ahead with many administrative tasks generally done in Dec./Jan
Ana, who was Dean of Studies and Vice Principal before me, agreed to stand in for me during my time away. That was a tremendous relief, as she could continue the acceptance process of new students, update manuals and then deal with unavoidable changes and decisions when College reopened (end of February).
AETAL: This is the body which accredits evangelical colleges in Latin America. I enjoyed attending its triennial conference in Belo Horizonte where I met staff from all over the continent, including friends from Peru and Colombia. It's always good to get out of one's own limited situation and see the wider picture.
Graduation and tying up loose ends went fairly smoothly. Then, ... it was great to get home for Christmas.
My time away from Brazil is pretty much all programmed now. In a nutshell, some 'factors outside of my control' meant that I couldn't make myself generally available for deputation. I've managed to fit in a lot, but I apologise that I couldn't get round as many churches and groups as I'd have liked.
It was good to renew fellowship with lots of friends at WEC's UK Staff Conference. After that, I covered a few hundred miles around England and Scotland. Formal and informal meetings were very encouraging; while travel by public transport was tiring! However, a fortnight's holiday was a real tonic.
Our calendar helps us recall general happenings in our lives and organise them in our minds, hence my jottings above based on months.
The calendar also marks momentous events - whether for individuals or internationally; for secular history or Christian mission.
6 Months On
Today is 11 March 2002, exactly six months after the horrific attacks in New York and Washington, world-changing events. I'm certain we've all empathised with those who suffered personal loss and have prayed for political leaders to be wise in the far-reaching decisions they take. We also need to keep praying for mission leaders who have workers in many sensitive areas and for the vulnerable national Christians.
10 Years On
September 11 certainly puts our personal situations into a different perspective.
At the same time, as Christians we marvel that our God is Lord both of history and of our individual lives, interested in detail and with a perfect plan for each of us.
Towards the end of March, I'll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my going to Brazil. For me, it's a very significant date, marking a journey that has changed my life in many ways.
I've just read David's prayer (2 Sam. 7), in which he marvels at God's personal dealings and trustworthiness: "Who am I..., that You have brought me this far? And...You have spoken about the future...." Yes, I can echo that!
This momentous truth also helps me pray for those with no conception of such a God. And it encourages me in my work at the MTC. I can invest in others who want to share this truth in mission.
The most momentous date in our calendar is the resurrection of Jesus. I'm sorry that I didn't manage to wish many of you a Happy Christmas. But let me wish you a very Happy Easter as you remember the living hope we have.
April/May: Islands' Tour
After a week of meetings in Inverness, Aviemore and Glasgow, I'll be part of the deputation team for WEC's Islands' Tour (18 April to 6 May). I'll be back with my home church the second week of May then I head for WEC'S HQ near London.
June: Intercon 2002
Every six years, WEC has an International Conference for its leaders. From 4 to 22 June, about 150 leaders will meet in Germany to discuss something of what the mission's 2,000 members are doing in 70 countries.
Normally, Rosifran would represent our MTC. However, he's under doctor's orders to lighten his load where he can; and so I've the privilege of attending Intercon in his place.
I expect to fly to Brazil around 26/27 June, hopefully to attend Regina and Sergio's wedding on the 29th.
- Deputation meetings and Intercon: to give and receive encouragement, spiritual insight and information.
- To be refreshed for going back to my MTC responsibilities.
- July: my readaptation, plus work on 2nd term timetable and contacting people.
- Ana's Home Leave: just after I return to Brazil.
- Rosifran and all MTC staff: wisdom and strength.
- Health: dengue fever (a type of malaria) is rampant again in Brazil.
- Protection: petty thieving by local youths is still rife around the college.
- Billie May: plans for retirement; and do I buy her share of our car?
- ... that I sleep better...
- & that I manage a Prayer Letter more frequently!
- Carol: at MTC for 2 more years as an English teacher.
- Abraao: helping at MTC.
- My Home Leave: good health & good meetings.
With much love, Karina.