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Editor goes all sentimental for the holidays

First off, let us wish everyone a wonderful and blessed holiday season. This prayer on our sponsor site, GoSpeak, just about says it for us. Is it not a blessing of God to have opportunity to be with family and friends, and to recall how he has upheld us and brought us forward another year?

¶ We’re sad to be losing two families in the Taubaté congregation. One family has just left, another will leave next month. Both are key people in the work. On the one hand, we feel sad from not being able to work together with them closely. On the other, we believe we send them off with more resources and a stronger faith than they came with.

Perhaps, too, the Lord will send us workers, by conversion or transfer, to take up where they leave off. We’re obeying the commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ to ask him to send more our way. We know the truth of his statement:

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest. Luke 10.2.

The body of Christ is a dynamic group. God supplies our needs. He answers our prayers for more workers for the harvest. We feel confident because the work is his. Each moment provides us opportunity to witness how our heavenly Father provides.

Our area has not enjoyed the labors of a full-time worker for many years. In spite of that, the work goes forward. Full-time workers are not indispensable to the gospel when the members of the body of Christ use their gifts.

¶ It’s a popular thing to do, and not at all a bad one, for a congregation to have a mission statement. We have one here in Urbanova. Perhaps it might give you some starter ideas, if you’re looking for some. “The mission of the Urbanova congregation is to glorify God; to go and bear much fruit that remains; to grow in number and spirit, in love and good works.”

You can of course hear something of the 15th chapter of the gospel of John in that statement, as well as allusions to other texts. If a mission statement doesn’t have Scripture standing behind it, it’s not much of a statement, is it?

¶ Perhaps because it’s the season to be sentimental that I’m talking today about the saints with whom we have constant fellowship. We’re grateful to have this family of God and be a part of the body of Christ.

¶ I’ve found one thing I regret about our work, one American import that I wish I had never brought in: the dirty Santa game. How Brazilians love it! And how I’ve gotten tired of it. Go ahead, call me a bah-humbug sort of guy.

Speaking of American imports, brownies and doughnuts are now big here in Brazil. You can find brownie mixes in the supermarkets, and doughnut chains are seen in the country. The Missus makes her brownies from scratch, of course, which are a favorite of all. Except for one good friend, who’ll take her Hello-Dolly cake over a brownie every time. People gobble up these imports and swill Coke, all the while railing against the bad ole American diet.

These items serve as a metaphorical caution to missionaries about what they bring into a work.

¶ Might a proud father be forgiven for a sharing a daughter’s blog post, if said post has something great to say? She writes about being “Home for the Holidays.” One person has already asked, so I’ll answer the question here: a TCK is a third-culture kid, a broader category than missionary kid.

¶ During this holiday season, be safe, eat heartily and heathily, enjoy the gifts and goodness of God, and find in Christ your reason to live every single day.

Let the kindness of the Lord our God be over us” Psalm 90.17a CEB.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet.

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2 thoughts on “Editor goes all sentimental for the holidays

  1. Loved reading the post. Sorry for the inevitable pain that change brings, but glad you’re able to find the joy in it anyway. From reading your daughter’s post, the apple didn’t fall too awful far. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Thanks, brother! May the pain of loss lead us to the gain of Christ.

      To you and your marvelous crew as well!

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