Word From the Rowes

 

Rowes 2011
October 2016
Health Update – Wonderful News!
In our June ROWE UPDATE I shared that my desired iron blood level had been reached in April. Later blood tests in July and then in September during our
routine physical exams in Brazil showed an even lower count! My Brazilian doctor concluded that my situation was very mild, and the fact that it dipped a bit wasn’t of any concern. And the doctor gave both us a “thumbs up” for our health. Thanks for praying!
Return to Brazil – A New Opportunity!
As I often shared during our church visits this year, our plan was to return to serve in Brazil for the next two years and during that time evaluate what God might have for our future.
Well, I didn’t expect God’s direction in this so soon! Arriving in Brazil we were able to give serious reflection to some conversations that were initiated at the end of our home assignment. What transpired is that the leadership of CONVERGE has asked us to transition to a role in Missionary Member Care. Although we don’t yet know what this transition will look like we have accepted and are excited about this new challenge and opportunity. As fellow travelers we recognize that our hearts resonate with the call to come alongside and encourage God’s “scattered servants”. Debra and I have a strong sense that our life experiences and training have led us to this point.
We aren’t expecting a geographical change in the near future, but are taking initial steps in being mentored and studying to become more familiar with missionary member care.
I really appreciated the response of the seminary director to our sense of call. “It’s wonderful that you’ve returned to Brazil well and are engaged in new challenges. We are thankful for this and grateful to God for your work and dedication at the seminary during these decades. It’s good to know that you will be close by and that we can be of service to each other. God has raised up other faculty members that, although they are much younger and with less experience, are able to meet the needs.”
Debra and I have really enjoyed our more flexible schedule to establish opportunities for personal interaction with Brazilians who need an informal “pastoral care” approach. For instance we met with one former student now serving in India who definitely went through a very difficult time of adjustment, and is back in Brazil to get help. We’ve also been able to have a couple over to our home who have previously pastored. During our last encounter they shared how encouraging it’s been to them to have someone listen to their struggles.
My responsibilities as Brazil field coordinator continue as do our ministries through the hospitality house and hospital chaplaincy. Shortly after our arrival Debra trained a new group of volunteers for the hospitality house ministry. She also printed her book on managing loss in a healthy way through AMAZON at the end of our home assignment. It’s being well received by our friends here who have read it. She’s looking into publishing it in Brazil, as well. Thanks for praying!
We treasure your continued participation as we venture into this new challenge and opportunity!
Steve and Debra
Serving in Brazil since 1988