International Ministries

Unless you become like a little child

April 16, 2009 Journal
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Jesus said to them, “… anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Mk. 10:15

Dear Friends,

We just completed the “Conversational English for Mission” course for the missionaries in training here at the center.  Though the one-month course is over, we will continue to teach English classes every other week until the training program ends in August.  At the end of every course, we ask our students to write a letter of encouragement to the next batch of students.  We thought you would enjoy hearing our students’ reflections (translated into English).  
Our students during an airport simulation
It is so difficult after reaching adulthood to accept the idea of becoming like a child again.  … It was so hard and I felt like I was losing my identity.  But by the end of the course, I was able to absorb so much … and I even led a devotional in English during the last week!  Juliana

I am certain that you [next year’s students] dream of reaching the nations for the Lord … and language is an indispensable tool …  I confess that I never have liked English, but during this [course] with Ann and Bruce’s support … I was able to overcome this barrier.  Anderson

When I began this course, I thought I was dealing with a 7-headed beast, but I discovered it is only a lion that needs to be tamed step by step!  Raquel

Sometimes the Lord calls us to do what seems to be the impossible.  Like Moses, we may ask, “Why me, Lord?  Isn’t there someone else who could do this better?”  Faced with a challenge we feel unprepared to meet, we feel like a small child alone in a forest of grown-ups.  I still recall the first time I tried to use an ATM by myself at the local bank here in Brazil.  It was a disaster.  All the instructions were in Portuguese and I was only just learning the language.  I inserted the card and waited … and waited … only to discover it was in the wrong slot.  The people behind me were not amused. Learning a new language is an effective lesson in humility and learning to laugh at yourself.

It is often when we feel helpless that we are most open to God’s guidance or correction.  Small children are more likely to ask for help or a steady hand when they need it; they worry less about what others think.  Wonderfully enough, we have a loving Father whose hand is ever ready to steady our faltering steps and protect us from the “7-headed beasts” that bar our way.  
Please continue to pray:
-    for our students as they begin the next of 17 intensive courses
-    for the protection of missionary colleagues serving in “closed” countries
-    for God’s wisdom and guidance as we pastor the youth and young adult group at our local church

Que você seja como uma criança segurando a mão do Senhor, ?    [May you be like a child holding the Lord’s hand]

Ann, Bruce, and Asa
Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil