As American missionaries in Brazil we are not suffering much at all compared to those servants of God who serve in dangerous places where it could cost your life to share the Gospel. We do not experience violence and persecution such as those who live and serve in certain parts of the world. Our health is not jeopardized by being exposed to deadly diseases like other parts of the world, although there are some disease issues here such as dengue and some others. And unlike what many people think of Brazil, we are not out in the jungle lacking most modern appliances and conveniences. We live in a modern urban environment with cell phones, internet, cable tv,...
I am writing this today because it is our middle son's 25th birthday. One of the hardest parts of our serving here in Brazil is being separated from our 3 sons and our families, and not being there for things like birthdays, Christmas, and many other of life's events. We have been here for 5 1/2 years, and rather than getting easier it seems that it gets harder as time goes on to be separated from our sons and loved ones, and not being involved in their daily lives. And it is not easy for them either.
Serving God involves sacrifice. It involves suffering, especially when you are on the front lines such as we are in the spiritual war for souls. It sometimes involves loneliness. At various times we have felt alone in our work, even though we work with many churches and people here. There is alot of spiritual oppression here, and often times we have to endure many difficulties in order to share the Gospel in the schools, churches, and other places, especially when we are preparing to speak to a large group of people and share Jesus with them. The spiritual oppression can be overwhelming at times.
However, it is the very least that we can do to show our love and appreciation for what Jesus did for us. And it is the very least we can do to help others to know the hope and the abundant and eternal life that we have in Jesus. We owe everything that we are, and everything that we have, and everything we do, and every part of every day to our Lord Jesus. And we owe it Him to do our very best to join Him in His work of seeking and saving the lost who are without Christ.
We can say without a doubt, that it is well worth every sacrifice and everything we go through and suffer, to see God touching others' lives and helping others to have peace with God and a restore relationship with Him. It is difficult to put into words the joy that we experience when we see people humbly praying to receive Jesus and committing their lives to Him. There is nothing else like it, and we are thankful to God for allowing us to have this wonderful privilege.