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May 2015 Newsletter

WWW.GOSPELMUSICFESTIVALS.COM

This Month's Featured Writer is
Andrew Warthe

The Flight

Leaving Portage around 9:30 am I began my journey to the Mission Field. It was a peaceful ride to the airport with many unanswerable questions. I first flew through Chicago, then New Jersey, and finally landed in Sāo Paulo. Including a 1 & 2 hour layover, the journey took 19 hours, arriving at 10:40 am the following day.  

No Easy Break In

After waiting an additional six months to get my visa, and wanting to experience the New Year in Brazil I left a few days after Christmas and arrived here December 29, 2014. All the projects at ABBA were on holidays leaving me with a Brazilian host family to pick me up at the airport and take care of me for the first few days. I was greeted with a man holding a sign with my name on it and a 60°C difference between Canada and Brazil. My host could speak a little English so we got off to a good start. There was no honeymoon for me—from day one it was a struggle to understand what was going on, bearing with the heat, hearing a different language, coping with the extreme heat, eating at different times, jet leg, and did I mention the heat! All aside I wanted to experience the culture first hand without a North American orientation to it all. This experience so far has been a challenging one, but has made me rely on God’s ability to care for me in an unknown land.  

My greatest need after entering Brazil was turning my heart back to God. A heart, which is content for the things of God is dry and cannot survive when uprooted and thrown into a new place. Therefore I found myself coming back to God’s refreshing springs and humbly asking him for help in the small things and in the big things. I made it half-way around the world, now is not the time to stop relying on God’s daily provisions and asking him to work in one’s life.

Being in a new place, I decided to go back to the Bible and see how others had done it before. No one had it easy. Each person God called had to move everything, learn a new culture, and language. For Joseph it took him 13 years before he served under Pharaoh and I only have 3½ months! Yet no matter where Joseph was, God blessed him. This included being sold as a slave, thrown in jail, and being forgotten by all but God.
I’m not saying my plan is to make it to jail, but I have been encouraged to be patient with myself and with God as there is a lot to learn and it will take time.
In December I found myself looking at people God had called, untrained and rough around the edges. At SBC I have been a strong and confident leader. As I thought then, and have now experienced, God has called me to a place where I can relate to Moses: I cannot speak, and I am not trained to lead. However, I resolve to trust God and let him use me as he has called.

For those of you who are still wondering what I have actually been doing let me briefly inform you. After arriving at the airport where I met Toninho, my Brazilian host for the first few days. From here I got a room, a chance to shower, and then I was off meeting his family. I learned Kite Cutting is a sport the kids really love here and ate some delicious pizza (just watch the olives they still have the pits in them!) Toninho gave me a quick tour of Casa Elohim, where I will be staying at for the time I am here. There was lots of sunshine, heat, swimming, and football. News Years Eve consisted of a churrasco (BBQ) with the host family followed by a missionary party. Here I got to meet many of the different missionaries and their families from different projects around Sāo Paulo. The New Year is brought in with lots of noise, specifically fireworks. There is no planned show, like we might see on Canada Day; however, the whole city is shooting fireworks in the sky. When in a good position one can rotate and see explosions of light all around!
The weekend was filled with some much-needed time to slow down and relax. This included more swimming and late night football. Everyone in ministry needs to recharge and take their minds off the constant demands around them. I have found joy in sitting back and listening to the stories of C.S. Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia. Have no fear, I still hit the apps to study the Portuguese language and look forward to the day I can join in conversation.
My prayer is to be a man of faith and integrity on the mission field. My Prayer Request would be for courage and guidance to do the right thing, even in the small stuff. To adjust to the heat so that I may be able to get some rest for the tasks at hand. Lastly to be able to connect with the children and youth even with a language barrier.
Thank you all so much for supporting me, while I am here. The plan is to be stretched and challenged, so that I may grow.

“Obrigado, e Deus Abençoe!”

Andrew Warthe

Served in Sao Paolo Brazil under Action International on a 3.5 month internship/experience working with children and youth at risk at ABBA Ministries
Email: gnomechf52@hotmail.com
Andrew is a Former student of: Steinbach Bible College SBC


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