Experiencing God in the Waiting
I love that in both Spanish and Portuguese, the verb “esperar” can be translated to both “to wait” and “to expect/hope.” It makes me question if we have the proper understanding of waiting within the English language.
As I reflect on this season since completing my candidate orientation and preparing for moving to the field, I would say that in many ways I experienced the all-encompassing “esperar.” While there were many times when I desired to just hop on a plane and move back to Brazil ASAP, there was this quiet voice reassuring me that He had a plan in the waiting.
Throughout the year, God was faithful to me in reminding me of the ministry He has called me to. Whether it was through conversations with my future team, making Brazilian friends in my hometown, or through a vision trip to my future neighborhood, God always timed things perfectly. In seasons where I felt stagnant, God graciously reminded me of my longing for Brazil.
With this longing before me, however, I also knew God had much planned for me to heal and prepare before my move. Through investing deeply in my sending church, God revealed to me how works-based my faith had become, and reminded me of the joy and freedom I have in serving others for Christ. I also experienced a lot of practical preparation, through online courses I completed and being able to serve alongside a community development nonprofit in my neighborhood. As I’m nearing the time for my move to Brazil, I can see the unique ways God has been at work throughout this past season, teaching me that in the waiting I can also balance this unique expectation of what is to come.
Ultimately, this year has reminded me of the lifelong “esperar” we are called to in Christ. While we are living in the here and now and actively a part of God’s work of reconciliation in the world, we hope and long for the full restoration He has promised.
1. Pray for the first week of classes at Ammi. Ammi Training Center in Brazil celebrated their last semester with a musical conference where students planted trees, played music, and used other forms of creativity to bring glory to God. Please pray for their new semester that began on August 1. Please pray for the beginning of classes and guest teachers that will be traveling to teach at the campus. Pray that Ammi will continue to seek creative ways to teach its students about glorifying God in all they do.
2. Pray for the kids from the Creciendo con Jesús (growing with Jesus) project. In Santa Maria, Colombia, the kids involved in the Creciendo con Jesús project just started their semester up at school again! The project is led by the 1st Presbyterian Church of Barranquilla.
Pray for the students as they transition back to school- pray for their friendships, their safety, their teachers, and them as they enter back into that environment. It can be a tough place for them in terms of safety and often challenges a lot of the values they are learning in the project.
3. Pray for the San Fernando community in eastern Bolivia. Last month, SAMAIR Bolivia flew two dentists and a doctor to serve for two days in the community of San Fernando in eastern Bolivia. Alas de Aguilas (Wings of Eagles), a ministry started by students at the school SCCLC in Santa Cruz helped sponsor this trip. Praise God for all the hands that served. Pray for the people of San Fernando to know and experience Christ’s love and care for them.
4. Pray for Paolo Villanueva in Pucallpa, Peru. Paolo Villanueva works as an administrative assistant at SAMAIR Peru. His job is vital for the smooth operation of the aviation ministry. He praises the Lord for his job and asks for prayer for good health for him and his family.
5. Pray for the ministry of Ammi Training Center in Brazil. One of the Bible classes at Ammi is called “Termos Chaves” or Key Terms. Most students only have portions of the Bible in their language, so a primary need for the students is to learn how to translate natural, accurate, and clear explanations of basic concepts like God, life, death, angel, or grace. One example from the Key Terms class is the word forgiveness. Most of the students’ cultures do not practice or understand the idea of forgiveness, so there is no word for it. The students shared that when someone wrongs another person in their village, it is typical for the recipient to hurt the perpetrator back in the same way that they were hurt or to ignore, isolate, leave the village, or try to forget, always seeming to carry the weight of bitterness toward the person who wronged them. The translation process requires an entirely new phrase to be developed in each language explaining the process of receiving forgiveness from God and extending forgiveness to others. Pray for the ways this class allows the students to develop new language to share the gospel in their home cultures. Pray for the ministry of Ammi and for God’s Word to reach all the tribes of Brazil.
6. Pray for Latidos de Esperanza in Pucallpa, Peru. Latidos de Esperanza (Heartbeats of Hope) is a pregnancy center in Pucallpa, Peru. They praise the Lord that after many months of waiting for renovations to be done and for a water issue to be fixed (after not having water for several months), they will finally be able to reopen the office for service to the public. Two young ladies, Paula and Georgyna, are being discipled by some of their volunteers. Paula is currently attending school to be a nurse tech and has the support of her parents to help care for her baby. Georgyna is a university student planning to finish her studies with a law degree in December so that she can get a job to support her child. Georgyna lives with her mother, and they are in a very difficult situation financially and emotionally due to issues with her father. Please pray for protection for them and wisdom for the center to know how to best help. They are in a safe place for now.
7. Pray for the Smiths. Dave and Katrina Smith and their three girls moved to Costa Rica yesterday to begin their language studies. After they complete their studies, they will be moving to serve at our SAMAIR Bolivia location. Please pray for their family as they settle into their new home in Costa Rica and begin studying Spanish.
8. Pray for Granito de Amor ministry in Pucallpa, Peru. Granito de Amor is an evangelistic children’s ministry in Pucallpa, Peru. Before COVID, Granito de Amor mainly ministered in the pediatric ward of the hospital. They hope to start hospital visits again soon but have done two programs for the community so far this year. Several missionary kids (MKs) have joined the ministry along with eight Peruvian youth.
9. Pray for Mike and Marcy Brown. Home Ministry Assignment (HMA) is a time for missionaries to return to the United States and spend time ministering to their partners, churches, or spend time furthering their training and education. Please pray for Mike and Marcy and their kids as they spend this summer on HMA. They serve at SAM Academy in Pucallpa, Peru, and the new school year starts in September.
10. Pray for the Ballew family in Barranquilla, Colombia. Joel and Angel and their girls live in Barranquilla, Colombia. With a background in business and entrepreneurship, the Ballews are reaching out to professionals as a means of developing leaders and sharing the gospel. They have hearts for mentoring and hospitality. Pray for the Ballew family as they serve in Barranquilla.
11. Pray for IBC Ciudad de Dios in Arequipa, Peru. IBC Ciudad de Dios, a young church on the outskirts of Arequipa, Peru recently celebrated its first baptism service! Jason and Sarah Sheets, missionaries with TEAM, serve with this church. Praise God for new families and for consistent attendance at the Sunday service. Please pray for the Nueva Vida en Cristo (New Life in Christ) class that will begin this month. Please pray for the group of young people and their spiritual growth.
12. Pray for the ministry of IBIENA in Peru. IBIENA, the Bible Institute for the Evangelical Native Churches, serves many ethnic groups from the jungles of eastern Peru by training pastors and their spouses how to pastor a local church, disciple others, and share the Gospel effectively in their home communities. In July, students from 12 different groups celebrated finishing the first block of studies. The theme was 1 Corinthians 15:57-58. SAMAIR Peru plays a role by bringing many couples into the city for classes.
13. Pray for the transitions of Tracey Culley and the Callahans. Tracey will be moving to Brazil tomorrow to serve with the Recife Redemptive Ministry. Please pray for her as she says goodbye to friends and family, for safe travels, and for her as she transitions to her new home in Brazil.
Tim and Mindy Callahan have been in Brazil for one year, studying Portuguese in the city of Cuiabá. They moved to their new home at the Ammi Training Center this week. Pray for them as they settle into their new home and begin serving in the ministry at Ammi.