December 12, 2017
Friends and family,
Since the day I discovered that I have cancer I have been in a quandary as to how I can continue effectively serving our Lord and Savior as a missionary. In these times you can get down to a lot of soul searching. I am saying this to let everyone know that when I surrendered to missions and my wife Barbara agreed to the prospect also, our plans were to be missionaries for the rest of our lives. Plans were to serve God in Brasil and be buried there. However; the Lord had other plans for our lives.
Planting churches and working with the wonderful people of Brasil has been one of my most AWESOME experiences. And to think that He (Our Lord) would allow me to do that in retirement. The only thing I can say is AWESOME.
Now we are at another crossroad in our lives. How can I continue to serve him in a meaningful and effective way? For the past three years we have been doing a Seminary to help the national pastors more effectively share the gospel. It started just to be a training tool for the people of our church in Caraguatatuba then grew to helping the local Pastors and church workers around our city.
Boy has it “sprawled out”. We have taken the Seminary to various cities and this year we have had three graduating classes out of Caragua Baptist Seminary.
Just to give you a little background, Caragua Baptist Seminary began from an idea between two pastors. We had a group from Gardenside Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, visiting and the pastor asked what we needed in our work here in Brasil. Having been an educator (teacher), my reply was “a seminary”. And from that conversation was born Caragua Baptist Seminary and with Dr. Coleman’s help we have watched it grow tremendously.
Thanks, Lord, for your guidance. Sometimes we do not even realize that we are being directed to another way to serve Him.
The seminary is blessed to be in its fourth year of operation training Brasilian pastors. We have had 18 classes taught and 184 students, having 35 cities represented and 68 different churches participating. So, the number of people impacted from this seminary training has been 7,346 people. These numbers do not include the present year of 2017. This year we have had two more classes and 3 graduations. What a way to reach Brasilians for Christ. Now for the AWESOME part: from these graduating classes, we have selected 2 pastors that we will help with new church starts. One is in another state and their building does not have electricity. The other has been started in the garage of the pastor, he is having 8 adults and 11 children in attendance.
So God has opened this door for us to continue our missionary work in Brasil though we are living in the States. We will be traveling to Brasil 3 to 4 times per year for the seminary classes and the setting up for the next classes. How AWESOME is the God we serve!!!
The need for us to be in the States is that I am continuing my cancer treatments and there is a need for me to be close to my doctors. I have another consult in February and should have some more answers about my cancer. Continue to pray for God’s will in our lives as we endeavor to serve the Lord in Brasil from afar.
Thanks to all who support BFM and us through them. Our mission work could not happen without your support. Continue to pray for us and for BFM. Also pray for the seminary and the professors as they come from the States to teach the Brasilian pastors.
We would like wish all of you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.
In His service,
Aj and Barbara
For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online